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Organizing Your Important Documents: Final Thoughts (Part 5)

Guest post from Mandy White

There has been a lot of information given over the last week in this series. Compiling and typing everything will take some time. Don’t expect to get it all done in one sitting. Also, don’t be afraid to make adjustments to the index, adding or deleting sections if necessary. This is your book for your family, so put it together in a way that makes the most sense to you!

Over the last six years, I have occasionally noticed things I am missing, or make a change that makes it just a little better. I hope you do the same as you start to use your book.

Something I did recently that I have really liked is to create two additional parts of our Brain Book:

  1. The first is a three-prong folder that has a copy of our bill accounts page, bank accounts page, and debit card page. This makes paying bills online a lot easier than having to get out the entire 3” notebook.
  2. The other part is a second notebook. It is a 2” binder and contains three-ring zippered pockets, and the multi-page sheet protectors mentioned back in the suggested supplies on Day 1. I call it the Brain Book Supplement. In it, I keep our travel hard-drive, cash emergency fund, life insurance policies, and anything else that is bulky. This is totally not necessary, but moving these items makes handling the original Brain Book a lot easier.

I cannot overstate the importance of both a fire safe and a shredder! If you are going to invest in a fire safe, make sure it is large enough for your notebook. (The first one I ever got wasn’t – that’s how I know!) If you have one that is small enough to be carried, make sure that it is well hidden.

You can get an inexpensive shredder at Target or Walmart. though, Sam’s Club and Costco carry ones that are larger and more heavy-duty.

When you assemble your notebook, it is helpful to create section dividers and print them on cardstock. Put them in sheet protectors, and attach your index tabs. Avery has come out with great color-coded adhesive divider tabs that you can write on. I found mine at Target, but I saw a larger pack of them at Sam’s Club just the other day.

The cheapest place to buy your notebook is Sam’s Club or Costco. However, they come in either 2-packs or 4-packs depending on what size you get, so split the pack with a friend. Those two places are also the cheapest source of page protectors. The best place I found for multi-sheet page protectors to hold life insurance policies, etc. is Amazon.

Again, it is time consuming, but so worth it to have all of this information organized and readily accessible. If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment, and I will try to help!

Mandy White is blessed to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. She and her amazing husband have three amazing kids. She loves to serve others, and her favorite time of year is fall.  Unfortunately, in Arizona, fall doesn’t start until November!

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  • Robin says:

    Thank you for this series. I actually completed a good portion of this over the weekend, only thing left is sitting down and writing log in’s and password to all of our online bills, since we rarely get paper bills anymore.

    I actually feel a little more at peace knowing that if I were to get bit by a rogue zombie, my husband would be able to pay the power bill. 😉 But, in all seriousness, I do feel better after having put this together, so thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Rachel Campbell says:

    I never would have thought to have emergency cash on hand. That is a great idea!! Thanks for this series, I am going to put something like this together for our family.

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