One of my favorite tools for organization is definitely my life binder. I of course have my handy dandy Erin Condren Life Planner for daily, weekly, and monthly planning as well as different folders and notebooks to keep school stuff organized. But, it is my life binder that holds important things that I need to keep on file. It is pretty simple to DIY your own life binder, and I am going to tell you what I put in mine and why/how to create one for yourself.
What is a life binder? Well, it is a binder where you can store important, usually long term or recurring information. I have everything from legal documents to health documents to a sheet outlining my degree program. The nice thing about these binders is that they can be completely customized to your needs and wants.
What do you have in yours? Since I have quite a few personal documents in my life binder, I am not going to actually show you what is in mine, but I will tell you how I organized it and what goes in there.
In my life binder, I have the following sections: Personal, Health, School, and Other.
In the personal section, I have personal things. That could mean legal stuff or a long term calendar, or important contact details.
In the health section, I put anything that is related to my health. Any receipts from doctors’ visits, prescription receipts, handouts regarding health conditions, doctors notes, it all goes in the binder under “Health”.
In the School section, I keep any important stuff regarding school that does not go under a specific class. This means letters of admission that I received, scholarship information, an unofficial copy of my transcript, a degree outline, and then I also keep things related to enrollment in that section.
Why do I need a life binder? If you are in college or even nearing the end of high school, it is a good idea to have one central place where you can go to look for important documents. If you are not living at home with your parents or you will be moving out soon, you want to have an organization system in place for your own use. It does not take much time or money to set one up, and the time and money you spend doing it now will save you from a lot of hassle later on.
How do I make my own life binder? It is really cheap and quick to get started. I would recommend first gathering everything that you think might fit in your life binder. Most things would fit there, but just give yourself something to start with. Then, categorize the documents and information you have and put them in different piles. This will help you figure out what sections you will need.
Then it is time to gather your materials. I use a one inch binder, but the size will vary based on how much you will be keeping in there. I think one inch is a good starting point. You will also need dividers or tabs of some sort to keep your sections separated.
At this point, decide if you would rather hole punch everything or if you want to use sheet protectors. I, personally, prefer sheet protectors so that things don’t get ruined or fall out. Also, if I need to turn something in, say to financial aid, then I have a nice clean copy that has not been tampered with.
Once you have all of your materials, it is time to start putting everything in your life binder. If you have a calendar or planning section, I would suggest that that is the first section, because you will probably be referencing it often. Although, it is totally up to you on how you decide to organize it.
There you have it! Why you need a life binder and how to create one. As you get older, it is very important to start doing as much for yourself as you can so that you can have an easier transition to adulthood. I have always been an independent person, and so I know this helps other people like me. If you are less independent, it can give you a little sense of freedom and control over your life to have something like a binder to keep everything organized. If you make a life binder or you have one already, be sure to post it on Twitter or Instagram and tag me Twitter: (at)hannahhaefele Intsagram; (at)killerharmony and use the hashtag #killerlifebinder!
Thanks for reading!