How to Organize a Binder

Two Methods:Organizing Your BinderImproving Your Organizational Skills

Does your binder seem worn out? Do you often have trouble searching for some papers inside? Perhaps it's time to clean up! Organizing your binder will make it easier for you to take notes, store loose papers, and keep in order without having to find crinkled homework that was due last week hidden inside the pockets, or missing notes from the day before. Being organized is one step towards being a successful student.

Method 1
Organizing Your Binder

  1. Image titled Make a Wedding Planner Step 1
    Get a three ring binder. Choose a size that is best for you. Binders can be 1 inch, 2 inch, 3 inch, or 5 inch.[1] If you are using the binder for more than one class or subject, get a 3 or 5 inch binder. Get the 1 or 2 inch binders if you plan to use separate binders for each of your classes. Do whatever works best for you. Either method is fine.
  2. Image titled Organize Your Bag, Binder, and Locker Step 10
    Gather your papers. Get all of the papers for you classes that you need to put in your binder including your syllabus, notes, assignments, homework, class requirements, etc. Separate the papers by class/subject and the type of paper (e.g. science notes, science homework, math syllabus, etc.). Place each in separate pile. [2] This will make it easier to place the times in your binder.
    • Use a 3 hole punch to put holes in all of your papers that will go in your binder.
  3. Image titled Organize Your Middle School Binder Step 4
    Add paper dividers. Dividers are used to create separate sections in your binder. The sections should match the type of papers that you have for your class. For example, have a notes section, homework section, projects section, class information section, etc. Label each divider tab and then place it on top of the corresponding papers. You can write on the divider tab or use the computer to type and print the section names.[3]
    • Your teacher may have specific instructions for the sections that you need to include in your binder. Check with your teacher before you label your dividers.[4]
    • You have some options for dividers. Some dividers have pockets that you can slide papers into if you have a few papers that you do not want to punch holes in.[5]
  4. Image titled Organize Your Middle School Binder Step 8
    Assemble your binder. Once your papers are sorted and your dividers have been made, put them in your binder. If you are using a single binder for all of your classes, it may be helpful to put the dividers in the same order of your daily schedule. However, organize the sections in an order that makes sense to you. .
    • Keep extra notebook paper in the back of your binder in case you need it.[6]
    • Always date new papers that you add to your binder.[7]
  5. Image titled Organize Your Middle School Binder Step 9
    File papers as soon as you get them. Go ahead and file your papers as soon as you get them. It can be easy to drop papers in your backpack or lose them between home and school. Make a habit of filing them in your binder as soon as you get them. This will help you avoid misplacing papers and stay organized.[8][9]
  6. Image titled Organize Your Middle School Binder Step 3
    Clean out your binder regularly. Your binder can become cluttered with papers that you do not need anymore or old completed assignments. Go through your binder periodically to keep it neat. Set a time period (e.g.every grading period, once a quarter) for how often you will clean out your binder.[10]
    • As you go through your binder, look for torn holes. You want to repair them so you do not lose the paper.[11]

Method 2
Improving Your Organizational Skills

  1. Image titled Organize Your Middle School Binder Step 13
    Use an assignment book or planner. Keeping all of your assignment due dates in one place will help you turn in your work on time and help you keep up with multiple classes. Write down both the day your assignment is assigned and the day that it is due. Check off assignments as you finish them. If you have not finished an assignment yet, continue to add it to the following day until it is complete. [12]
    • You can keep your assignment book/planner in one of your binder pockets.
    • Look ahead in your planner to see when everything is due. Read your planner at the end of each day so you know what you need to take home with you.
  2. Image titled Make a Pencil Case Step 8
    Get a pencil bag. A pencil bag with holes can also be included in your binder. Put pencils, pens, erasers and other small items in the bag. [13] It is easier to stay organized when everything you need is in one place.
  3. Image titled Organize Your Middle School Binder Step 2
    Have a catch all folder. You may not always have time to file your papers neatly in your binder throughout the day. Keep a special folder for items that need to filed. At the end of the day, file all the papers in your binder. [14] This will keep your papers from getting crumbled in the bottom of your backpack and keep your from forgetting the papers all together.
  4. Image titled Ask Someone to Be Your Study Buddy Step 2
    Get a buddy. Have a buddy in each of your classes that you can call in case you forget an assignment or have questions about something. Check in with this person at the end of class to make sure you both have written down your assignment information correctly. You can also ask the person what he or she is taking home from school that day.[15]
    • You can also share pens and pencils with your buddy if one of you forgets.
    • Trade phone numbers with your buddy in case you need to call them when you get home.
  5. Image titled Choose a Tablet Computer Step 8
    Consider using an organizational app. In addition to having your binder, you can try using an app to help you organize all of your assignments. MyHomework Student Planner and Studious let you keep track of your class schedules, due dates, and reminders for assignments and are more suited for college students.[16] Complete Class Organizer, EpicWin, Chore Pad HD, iHomework, and iRewardChart Lite are good for children and adolescents.[17]
    • These apps should be used in combination with your binder and are not a substitute.
  6. Image titled Ask for Help Step 7
    Ask for help. If you are struggling to stay organized or feel overwhelmed by all of your assignments, talk to your teacher and/or parent. They can help you organize your binder. Many students are able to stay organized once a good system has been set up.[18] Do not be afraid to speak up. It takes time to learn good organizational skills.


  • Try color coding your other supplies with your dividers. If you have a notebook and/or folder for each class, color code them with the dividers that you have chosen for the class.
  • Always ask for help if you need it. Your teachers, parents, and school administrators are there to help you succeed.

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: School Binders Books and Folders