Content first written in 2002; updated October 13, 2007
Information You Wouldn’t Share With a Stranger
Avoid putting any information in your notebook that you don’t want available for house sitters, child care takers, pet sitters, or burglars to see. For example, financial records for banks and credit cards that include account numbers, social security numbers, etc. If your household organizer is stolen or you end up hiring a sitter who isn’t as trustworthy as you thought, such personal information can be used for identity theft. Instead, keep such records in a locked file cabinet.
Huge, Bulky Projects
If you have a large project that you need to keep records of, consider setting up a separate notebook or filing system for that project. Extremely large projects simply take up too much space. This would include projects like home schooling your child or planning a wedding. If you run a business out of your home, keep your business records separate from your household binder (but you can put your business items on your schedule in your household binder since time is something that needs to be balanced between work and family).
If you have a project that requires you to travel from place to place with your records, such as buying a new home, also consider setting up a separate notebook or filing system for that project. You don’t want to bring your entire home organizer with you everywhere you go. First of all, why carry around all that extra stuff? Plus, you don’t want to have to deal with losing your home organizer along with all of the addresses, phone numbers, calendar entries, and everything else that’s within it, and you’re more likely to lose your organizer if you keep moving it around. Leave it at home. You also don’t want to have to constantly be putting in and taking out entire sections of your organizer. It simply takes up too much time.
Computer & Internet Information, Especially Passwords
Another thing I don’t suggest that people put in their binders is Internet information.
Email addresses and websites of specific people or companies can be recorded in the directory section of your organizer, but don’t have a separate list of every email address you would ever want to remember. When it comes to websites, you don’t need a list. If you really like something, bookmark it (save it to your favorites) in your browser or you can even save bookmarks online if you want to access them from any computer.
It’s never wise to write down your Internet logins and passwords, but sometimes there are those crazy user names and passwords that you simply must be a memorization freak to remember. In such cases, you have my permission to write down your user name and password for such accounts, but please keep them in a safe place, locked away (especially if it’s a financial account or any account that has your credit card number on record), and don’t put them in your binder where they can be easily discovered.