This is a written adaptation of my Butler’s Books, S-Type Files, and Other Service Records class.
The traditional butler’s book is an incredible resource that has all kinds of useful, customized information for management of the household. Some ideas:
- Household guides and info. Any basic information that helps you run the household. This could be information on how to do laundry or how to make coffee. Generally things you or the person you’re serving have drafted. This could also be manuals for appliances and other installations.
- The butler’s journal. Not so much the pour your heart out kind, though that has its own value, but a basic log of household happenings. This includes outings, visitors, and basically any event you might want a record of in the future.
- Calendar. A way to keep track of deadlines, appointments, and anything pretty specifically scheduled.
- Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annual lists. And so on. Lists of recurring household tasks sorted by frequency. This can include housekeeping and other items.
- Recurring checklists. Checklists for recurring activities, whether it be hosting, travel, or spring cleaning.
- Waiting on list. A list of things to keep tabs on. This could be delegated tasks, IOUs from others, responses to questions, RSVPs, reimbursements, packages and mail, tasks that can’t be completed just yet, and more.
- Contextual items. Items sorted by context and convenience. This could be items to pick up from a specific store, or even errands in a specific part of town. This could also be things to be done when you’re in contact with a certain person, such as returning an item, or having an item returned to you.
- Miscellaneous to do list. A place for to do items and reminders that don’t go anywhere else.
- Inventories. Inventories of collections, household equipment, valuables, or anything else you want to keep track of. This is great for creating shopping lists or keeping track of items you lend (such as books).
- Master shopping list. A list of everything you shop for, ordered by store department, so you can easily pull items from this when you go to the store, and then be able to walk around the store in order. You might have one per store.
- Menus and meal plans. Menus for specific meals, or meal plans (or meal plan templates) for the week, month, so on.
- Favorite recipes. Sort them by diet, meal, or main ingredient. Consider adding information like how many it serves.
- Restock list. A list of things in the house to be restocked. This could be things like toilet paper, towels, and soaps in the bathrooms, or oils and spices on the kitchen counter.
- Budget and finance. Your budgeting system to track spending and accounts, and plan for the future.
- Passwords. Make sure this is secure. A password manager such as 1Password can help you keep your accounts secure but convenient. Make sure the information is written down somewhere, like in a safe, in case of emergency.
- Legal paperwork. Insurance, banking, contractors, power of attorney/advanced health care directive, mortgage or lease paperwork, homestead form, titles, etc. Don’t forget things like birth certificates and social security cards. Make sure these important papers are safely stowed in a fireproof location.
- Contracts. Your dynamic’s agreement, and any others that are relevant, if you’re poly, so on. Any related paperwork, if you have separate rules documents, etc.
- Master packing list. A master list to pull from when you’re traveling. If you have recurring types of trips, you may have a master packing list for each type of trip.
Things to include in an s-type file. This might be for the reference of others if you’re seeking, for your own reference purposes, or something you maintain as part of training with a partner.
- Hard and soft limits, all safewords, aftercare desires and needs (and notes on providing), consent policies (including approach to CNC).
- Desires, roles, experience, and training. What you’re looking for, what specific roles and archetypes you identify with, the experience you’ve had with these things, and any applicable training.
- What you’re looking for/attracted to in terms of gender, age, and exclusivity policies. Note your own here as well. Consider notes on romantic/sexual/kink orientations.
- References/vetting resources, your social media links, information about your health (such as STD screenings, birth control, and anything that may affect the dynamic or play in particular). Basic safety and community factors. Note your community involvement, too.
- BDSM tests and checklists. An inventory of “yes, no, maybe so”. There are a million online. There’s the most popular “BDSM Test” and others that get into more specific archetypes for different sides of the slash. Also consider vanilla equivalents like Myers Briggs, or even your Hogwarts house. Just for fun if nothing else.
- Learning and writing done. Include classes you’ve attended, courses you’ve taken, reading you’ve done, video or podcast series you’ve completed, and any relevant written assignments that stand out. Be sure to include certificates, such as for CPR, alcohol management, or food safety.
Quick note: butler’s book templates for guest entries, gifting, and event debriefs can be found with the class information here.
I hope this gives you some helpful information for getting started!