Creating a Home Management Binder
Maintaining a Contacts List
As we continue the transition from old house to new house, we have been
slowly creating a Home Management Binder to help us better run our home. This is something that I have wanted to make for some time, but since each part requires a significant amount of effort, it is taking some time to create it.
This is technically the third piece of our Home Management Binder Templates. Part 1 of the Home Management Binder includes a Weekly Cleaning Schedule that is sure to keep your house clean as can be. Part 2 includes the follow-up Seasonal Home Maintenance Schedule that (if followed) will keep your Spring cleaning checklist down to a minimum since you are already knocking out the list in small spurts on a weekly basis.
The next section of our Home Management Binder doesn’t fall in this same category, but since I have found an immediate need for it, we are going to create it today. A contact list (or address book) is one of those basic necessities that when updated regularly can make party planning and thank you note writing a much easier task.
If you have ever planned a wedding or large engagement, you know first hand how time-consuming it can be to collect all of your loved ones information. On the plus side, once this list is created, you have a wonderful comprehensive list that is easy to navigate for Christmas cards and the like. The key to creating a good contact list is making it easy to update and access.
Our contact list template is created in Excel. The formatting and color scheme is similar to the other templates found in our Home Management Binder tutorials, but this is for you so feel free to get creative and make it your own!
If you prefer to have a hard copy on hand (like me), once the contact list is created, print it out and add it to your physical home management binder. When you go this route, you will still be able to make updates to the Excel file when needed and seasonally re-print the most up-to-date copy.
Whenever you are creating a list that might need to be updated, sorted, or filtered, Microsoft Excel or other spreadsheet program is going to be your best bet. Below is our template for a basic Contact List.
The contact list is sectioned off by first letter of last name (similar to a physical address book) and then will be sorted alphabetically by last name once it is filled in. This is one of the main advantages of a computer copy versus a hand-written address book. As your contact list expands, this will make it much easier to find the information you are looking for or see if any information is missing.
The headers we included for our Contact List are Last Name, First Name(s) (if including spouse name also), address, city, state, zip, phone number, alternative phone number (this could be the spouse’s number, work number, etc), e-mail, alternative e-mail, and notes. A notes column is good to have to capture anything additional that you might need to know later such as Mr. John Doe (Note: Husband’s great-uncle).
One feature that is included in this template is “grouping.” Rather than viewing all of the information in the spreadsheet at the same time, we have added a “group” to each of the letters. That way, you can open up all of the information (if you would like) or only those whose last name’s begin with the letter “A” or B, C, D, etc.
In Excel, to group select the entire row below the letter and drag down to the last row in the list.
While highlighted, at the top ribbon, select the Data tab. Under the Outline section of the data tab, select the Group button. This will add a “group” to the information that is highlighted.
Continue grouping each letter until all of the letters have been grouped together for your liking. You can select the little one in the left-hand corner to close (or hide) all of the sections.
You can open one section by selecting the plus sign next to the group (or letter in this case) that you would like to view.
If you would like to view all of your contacts, select the little two in the upper left-hand corner to show all of the information on your contacts list.
Once everything is set up, make sure to save your template and now it’s time for the
hard fun part – collecting and adding all of the contact information!