Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How to Maintain an Organized Binder

I know that a lot of college students have the New Year's resolution of staying organized at school, in fact it is a goal for most students at the beginning of each semester/quarter. And as a college student it took me my first four semesters (so two years) to figure out a system of organization that works well for me. I tried multiple binders for each class, binders for Monday/Wednesday classes and Tuesday/Thursday classes, accordion folders, and keeping individual notebooks for each class with folders to hold handouts. None of these systems worked, and I still somehow lost papers and homework assignments that I needed for my classes. So I am going to share with you all the secret to maintaining an organized binder in college.

I used templates from this blog to make my cover for my binder. I just added the words!

So here is what you need to start making your rockin' binder!
-Heavy Duty Binder (any generic binder will do, but these have the special rings that will allow you to easily open and close your binder if you are in a rush! Also, I choose a 1 inch because it fits in my bag and I do not need a larger one)
-Binder Dividers (Again, any will do, I get the 5-tab ones because I usually average five academic classes a semester)
-College Ruled Binder Paper (self-explanatory)
-A three-hole-punch that fits in your binder (Probably the most important purchase of all--GET ONE!)

Step One: Type up (or handwrite) each of your classes on the white tabs provided in your dividers, possibly tape them too so that they do not move when you are pulling your binder in and out of your bag. This is a very important step, and I recommend that you put your classes in order of when you have them, so the first class is the first class you have on Monday and so on and so forth.
So here are my tabs with my classes!

Step Two: Put in the three-hole-punch. I say that this is the most important part of the binder because this is how you will stay organized. If you get a handout in class, you do not have to shove it in your bag to three-hole-punch later, if you remember. If you can quickly just put it away in the correct place then you are more likely to know where it is for studying and reference!
I love this thing, I was too rough on my last one and it broke, so I had to replace it.

Step Three: Put in your binder paper, I like to just put an entire package of binder paper in my binder because that will usually be good enough for the semester. I plan on writing another blog post on how I take notes and organize them later on when I am back at school and taking notes again. But basically the idea is to take notes, staple the notes for that day together (or the section you are taking notes on), and put them right into the correct section of your binder. I even keep a mini-stapler in my pencil pouch for this exact reason!!!
Binder paper!

Step Four: Admire your hard work and promise yourself that this semester/quarter is going to be different and you will stay organized! Hope these tips helped!
It is pictures like this that make me excited to go back to school. What can I say? I am a nerd at heart.

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