Binders can be a great way to organize information and paperwork—if they are properly set up. No matter what type of binder you are making, there are easy steps to follow to arrange it so in a logical, orderly way.
Decide what purpose your binder will serve. Do you need to keep track of current clients? Are you keeping your poetry in one place? Will you be using the binder for school? By determining the purpose of your binder from the get-go, you will spend less time organizing it in the long run.
Sort all papers that will become part of the binder. If you are creating the binder for a storage solution, do this step before purchasing any dividers. By taking the time to sort first, you will know how many tabbed dividers you require. If you are starting the binder from scratch—for school or as a way to track current clients, make a list of the different sections you will require.
Purchase your supplies. Don't forget items like CD/DVD sheet protector pages or business card protectors. These items can keep important information (and back-up disks) with the printouts.
Insert your index dividers in the binder. Create a label for each divider.
Create a table of contents. Some index dividers come with a table of contents. If not, you can create your own. List the title of each section. If you want to be super-organized, list key titles of documents that will be found in each section. Reinforce holes with stickers. You will be flipping the table of contents page a lot.
Hole punch any sheets of paper that require it and place in your binder under the appropriate headings.
Place sheet protectors or binder pockets at the front of each section to hold documents that have not yet been hole punched or put in their proper sections. Sheet protectors also keep copies of portfolio work or reports that you will want to keep in pristine condition without holes.
Place a pouch at the front of your binder, before the table of contents page to keep any supplies (i.e. pens, single hole punch, white correction fluid, etc.) you might need with the binder.
Place any business card holders or CD/DVD protectors in the appropriate places (either under the subject headings or after your table of contents).
Finally, create a label for the outside your binder.
Based in Walnut Creek, Calif., Ronda Levine has been working as an editorial consultant since January 2008. Her articles have appeared in "Equanimity Magazine," "Bright Hub," and "Urban Mainstream Magazine." Recently Levine was awarded with the Equanimity Excellence Star Award. She received her Master of Arts degree in philosophy from Northern Illinois University in 2006.