Can’t Keep Up? How to Use Binders to Organize Your Life

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For years and years I have had “make a family binder” on my to do list.  And there it sat.  (my imaginary to do list because I am actually not a good list maker) Last summer I finally decided one day to make it.  And that was the start of my new obsession.  My name is Mique and I suffer from “BO”- that’s right, binder obsession.   I have a dear friend who has used binders to organize for years.  I used to tease her a little bit about putting everything into a three ring binder but now I have seen the light.  And there is no going back I’m afraid.
By now you’re wondering what this has to do with you, right?  Like…what’s with all the binders?   Why would you want to take the time to make a binder?  Here’s why:

Can't Keep Up? How to Use Binders to Organize Your Life - simple tips that anyone can use to help get your life on track. Printables included! | Thirty Handmade Days

  • Everything has a spot.  No more searching for that one paper.  You know the one- the paper you knew where it was until you really needed it.   With a binder for everything, you know exactly where to find all of those important documents, school assignments, dates, calendars, etc.
  • Having a binder(s) helps you be accountable.  This is a biggie for me.  I can easily put everything out of my mind if I don’t have something staring me in the face.  But if I have to look at a written budget or a printed calendar, then there is no hiding.  It might be forced accountability but hey, I’ll take it.
  • You are able to track progress.  This doesn’t go for every binder but it definitely helps with budget, accountability and school binders.  There is a clear starting point and it is easy to see how far you, your spouse, your kids have come by having it all filed in one spot.  It’s the visual pat on the back you need to keep on going.
  • You can teach your kids/grandkids/students/ spouse how to be organized.  I really think that being organized is very much a learned behavior.  Having a spot for everything and setting an organization system will help you be the example to those around you.  If your kids have a school binder and an accountability binder, they will learn the importance of organization.

Please hear me out when I say- I am not organized by nature.  I am writing this post with a laundry room full of clothes, dirty dishes and a garage that needs decluttering.  I am learning to give myself a little space and be okay with where I am.  If you are reading this post and stuck in a rut, you are not alone.  Just decide to do a little something today.  Don’t tackle it all at once.  Make little steps in the right direction.

Not sure how to get started?  Here are the products I use:
Affiliate links are included below.  You can also find most everything at Target, Walmart, any office supply store.
My favorite pen of all time
3 hole punch
Laminator (read why I love and use my laminator so so much!)
Laminator pouches

For mini binders:
Mini Binder
Mini Tabs
Mini Pockets

I have been asked several times how I store my binders.  I actually found a tip from A Bowl of Lemons to use a dishwashing wrack to store them.  It’s hard to see it in the picture below but it’s a wrack and I slid the binders in between.  They sit on a desk in our kitchen for easy access. on Instagram

Have I convinced you yet?  Here they are, the binders and coordinating sheets I have spent 21490239239023902 hours designing, compiling, photographing and posting for you:

Note: You do NOT need to do 10 separate binders.  Feel free to combine binders together.  Do what works best for you.  In case you like what I have going on, print this binder to do list and get going:

Printable binder checklist- do a little something every day to get organized!
Download this checklist.  Or a blank one For personal use only.  Thanks!

A few other notes: these aren’t editable PDF’s.  They are as you see them and I can’t email them.  Sorry about that.  I get lots of requests for them to be emailed and just don’t have the time to do so.  If you are having trouble downloading, make sure you have a program that can download PDF’s like Adobe Reader (it’s free).

I have a list (yes, an actual list, not an imaginary one) of binders and sheets to add to the current ones that I am working on.  Let me know if you have other ideas that you want to add to my binder collection.


  1. says

    No matter if some one searches for his vital thing, therefore he/she
    wants to be available that in detail, so that thing is maintained over here.

  2. Jen Blanton says

    I really love your binders! I especially love the mini binders. I wish you could convert more over to the mini binder if you get time…

    • says

      Thanks so much Jen! I love making the binders but they take a lot of time to put together. I’ll see what I can do. ;)

  3. says

    Wow, I couldn’t have found you at a better time. I was just contemplating today how I’d find & use a laminator. I remember using the one at my high school for projects & wishing I had one. I had no idea they made little ones! I am obsessed with your blog now & I am buying a laminator on Amazon as we speak. And what a great deal! Well done! Thank you! I found you via a FB share. I printed your daily meal logs because I am starting a cleanse tomorrow & think it’ll be helpful to track my meals. Yay! :D

  4. says

    What a great posts of binder material! I have a refillable soft cover 3 ring binder that I have been refilling for a couple of years now. I like that I can print , add and go. It also lays flat on my desk. I am old school in that I have used and carried binders with me my whole life. I am starting to seek out good printables for meal planning and budgeting. Thanks for sharing yours.

  5. says

    What an incredible resource! Saw you on Kitchen Fun link party. I especially like the accountability binder. Going to be using that for my two kiddos for sure. Pinned! Thanks so much for sharing all this.

  6. says

    Ok seriously… I was on SITS, and I told myself that I will pick 3 links to check out… whichever ones catch my eye, and then it’s time for bed. Your tex-mex chicken was the first one I clicked on, and now this one! I had no idea that they were both yours. Haha! We must totally have the same taste! Lol… I love everything that you post. So awesome.

  7. says

    Cute idea! This could help a child or adult who needs help with organization skills. Sometimes something like this relieves a lot of stress for someone unable to track things for themselves. Thanks for sharing!

  8. says

    I’m a big binder girl~ maybe it comes from the teacher in me! I just love those school books! ;) Of course, yours are much prettier than mine. I should get working on a makeover!

  9. says

    This is great! I’m really trying to get more organized for 2014. I’m going to pin this so when I get a chance I can come back and get all organized.

  10. says

    I’m impressed. I’ve tried to make and use a family binder….. I’m just happy to keep up with a calendar. Maybe I should try again…..

  11. Nicole P says

    Thank you…I bought one binder 3 months ago and the inserts and the folders and have cute pens. I just need to print the dang pages..i’ll get there. One day. But thank you for making these. One day i’ll be uber organized.

  12. Dion Seneca says

    Thank you so much for these printables. I have been working hard to put together a mini binder that suits all of my needs. I have created some new pages that I will be adding to my binder, and I wanted to share them with you, if you are interested. If so, then please email me or give me an email address where I can send them. Thanks!

  13. Amanda says

    Whoop! Whoop! Awesome printables! Thank you! Here’s a suggestion: A Legacy Binder!! A binder that allows couple to know where to find EVERYTHING if something horrible were to happen to either person. Copies of Medical Directives, POAs, car/home titles, all bank account info, IRA/401k accounts and financial planner contact info, locations of safe deposit box, password log, etc, etc.