In order to make any homestead run smoothly, you have to be organized.  For most of us, that means ‘a place for everything & everything in its place’.  We have a Things to Do list posted on our refrigerator to remind us of tasks that need to be done.  To prevent the ‘What’s for Dinner?’ question, we prepare a weekly menu.  And some of us are so organized, we even keep a running list of what is in our pantry.

The Biggest Challenge

My biggest organizational challenge has been to know what I want to do, know I have seen something like it, but have no clue as to where to find it.  In order to combat that challenge, I began keeping a series of notebooks.  Actually, it started out as one, but with all the great ideas I have found, I am now starting to expand.

If you are like me, you hate to waste time scrolling through posts, pages, and praying that you ‘Liked’ that one on Facebook, and spend an hour searching through your list.  I finally gave that up, and if I really like the post and planned on trying it, I began printing them out.  Immediately.

Just Keep a Notebook

To keep a notebook is simple.  You need three tools – a 3-ring binder; a package page dividers; a 3-hole punch.

I simply copy the post I am interested in, paste it to a blank page in Word, print it out, then add it under the appropriate category in my notebook.  I can take the book with me anywhere and use it for reference.

Here’s an additional note: 

At the top of each page I print out, I have an automatic note to myself.  This note tells me the link to the website where I found the post.  Next, I write down if I shared the post, and where.  The reasoning behind this?  If I found one post on a website, there is a good chance that I will find more.  It again keeps me from scrolling through hours of internet searches to find it again.

If I shared the post, it means that it was exceptionally good, so now I definitely want to remember than website.  I also delete any photos, as printing them uses a tremendous amount of ink.  If I need a visual refresher, I just head over to the website.

Tired of the Hunt?

Are you tired of hunting and scrolling for that perfect idea you really want to do today? Fix you up a notebook.  And when the first one gets too full, break it down into other notebooks according to category.  As a crafter, I found that section overloaded, so I broke that one out.  As a blogger, I have found multiple articles I want on hand as reference, so it now has its own book.  And if I keep reading all these great posts, I am going to have to spring for more.  One for gardening, one for the kitchen, one for laundry, one for……

Like the articles I printed out?  Here’s where to find them:

DIY: Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

How to Make a Survival Seed Bank

If you love homesteading, self-reliance or self-sufficiency and want to learn more, visit me over at the Self Reliance 2019 Page.

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Be sure to leave a comment below to tell me what you think about this post, and how you are doing on your own Self Reliance journey!

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.


  1. Hi Julie,
    I totally agree with about organizing whether it is a homestead or anything you are running you have to have guidelines and good organization to make it production and to keep on schedule. I also like your way of organizing bookmarking and doing categories .

    1. Author

      Thank you, Marla. I do love my notebooks. I use them for more than just farming. I neglected to mention it, but in some notebooks, I also have a copy of budgets, income and expenses. It does make my life easier to have all that information close at hand!

  2. I often do this but there is so much information I want to save! I’ve ended up with several notebooks on various subjects but at least the information is accessible.

    1. Author

      Ah, Nancy, I could have a library devoted to just my notebooks! I am a hands-on kind of girl, and although computer bookmarks and folders help, some days I just want to haul that notebook outside with me and follow along with the directions as I work!

  3. I have three notebooks I keep. One for the animals, one for our garden and one for projects around the place.

    1. Author

      Candy – I don’t have one for the animals, but you have just inspired me to get busy with that! Thanks for the reminder!!!

  4. Oh girl, I LOVE notebooks! I’m a notebook queen. Love your colors, by the way! Mine are all mismatched and weird colors, but in a perfect world, they would all be jewel tones. 😉

    1. Author

      Kristi – I am SO glad I am not the only one! And as for the colors, I have to confess – they were on sale and super cheap. My other ones are the plain dark blue and white. But I am always on the hunt!!

  5. Great ideas, Julie! Thanks for sharing a link to my post 🙂

    I have a tendency to get brain overload, so I organize by saving bookmarks first, if I still like the post the next day, I go back and save it to a document. I haven’t printed anything out in a long time, but there are times when it sure would be helpful!

    1. Author

      I use bookmarks as well, but there are still some articles (like yours!) that I want to keep close at hand. I have a tendency to ‘crash’ my computers, so having it in print really helps!!!

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