Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required
Choose which emails you'd like to receive from me
Favorite Graphic Design Resources

Using Ring Binders to Tame the Paper Monster


If you’re like me, managing the piles of papers that accumulate can be a challenge. I find that having order in my home helps me accomplish a lot more and stay sane! One solution I really like is using 3-ring binders.

A favorite saying at my house is:

A place for everything and everything in its place

I like having all of the papers I need for a particular activity in one place, neatly organized, and easy to access.  If you have a place to put papers, it’s easier to deal with them when more come in. 

Be sure to label the spines of each notebook so you know at a glance what is in each one.  If you’re using clear view binders, you can also create a personalized cover for each notebook on the computer or have your kids draw pictures to create their own covers.

Here are a few ideas for using this great organization tool to help you tame the paper monster in your home:


Create a notebook for each child’s schoolwork with a divider tab for each subject. A larger 2.5” or 3” binder works well for this. Or create a smaller notebook for each subject. For older children, you can even have them do their own filing!  


Create a notebook for yourself with divider tabs for things you deal with on a regular basis … to-do lists, home repair list, errands you need to run, important documents, etc. We even have one larger notebook for all of the manuals that come with household items we’ve purchased.


Make a notebook for menu planning, grocery shopping lists, and coupons. I find that having a 3-ring binder for recipes is incredibly helpful. I keep one in the kitchen that has a bunch of extra plastic page protectors in it. This gives me a place to quickly and easily store recipes that I come across in magazines or online that I print out.


Make notebooks for your extracurricular and church activities.


Include a printout of your friends and family with their contact information. Before I got a smartphone, my address book binder was a great place to keep MapQuest or Google maps that I had printed to people’s homes or businesses so I had directions stored in one easy-to-find location. Now Siri helps me get to where I need to go, but when I need a printed map that I might use again, I do file it in my address book binder. I also keep business cards I want to save in this notebook using special business card plastic page protectors.


Keep brochures and information from local attractions like museums, amusement parks, ice skating rinks, etc., in plastic page protectors in a 3-ring binder. This becomes a great reference when you’re looking for a fun place to take the kids or when planning birthday parties or field trips.


Here's a picture of the 3-ring binders on my desk for some of my volunteer work on the AFHE board. This makes me happy!

Some of the 3-ring binders on my desk

The possibilities for using 3-ring binders are endless!

What are some creative ways you've used 3-ring binders to help control paper clutter in your life? 


(c) 2013 Nancy Manos. All rights reserved. Please contact the author for reprint permission.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

« Should You Attend the Homeschool Convention? | Main | Vocabulary Fun: Words of the Week »

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>