Binder Heaven

Binders are my thing. Give me a good binder with tabs any day.  I have a binder for my other book club, for poetry that I’ve printed off the internet, for directions, for recipes and for Solstice planning.  Vacations and special events like the solar eclipse also get binders.  I made a binder for YA’s college search and another one for college financial aid.  Luckily at work, I need a binder for each program and I also have a binder for assorted things I need to keep track of.

YA’s injury has generated massive amounts of paper: emergency room paper, orthopedic paper, worker’s comp paper and insurance paper. Every time we leave the house for an appointment, I get handed the folder.  I joked on Tuesday that I was going to put it all in a binder; YA snorted.

So I was surprised yesterday morning when she said “can you put all these papers in a binder?” I didn’t know how serious she was and although I agreed, I didn’t have the project on my immediate radar.  She asked again at 5 p.m. and then 8:30.  At that point I grabbed an unused binder (yes, I have a stash) and some tabs (yes, I have a stash) and we worked on it together.  She sorted out all the papers, I labeled the tabs and 3-hole punched everything.  As she wheeled herself back to her room with the completed binder, I felt a warm glow.  Two binder gals together!

How do you like to organize your papers?  Do you think our society will EVER be paperless?

43 thoughts on “Binder Heaven”

  1. thanks vs
    this will be life changing
    i can think of 27 uses right now
    my latest business venture is wide in its reach
    i am renting apartments to lease in air bnb
    keeping track of all the interesting properties is possible in the iphone but a binder has benefits
    i’m in

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What is this “organize”you speak of?

    OK, seriously, I have pretty much gotten all my clients to communicate important stuff via email (orders, changes, invoicing, scheduling), that way, everything is documented and searchable. I’m getting better at having a system for emails I send so they are easier to search too.

    Paper I have to keep and deal with goes into a “current” folder, and stuff that is processed and just needs to be held onto for a year goes into a file box next to the printer/computer.

    So my “current” paper is pretty contained and minimal (mine is, afterall, a pretty simple life, no eleaborate business, one child off at college, no health issues).

    My “archival” paper? Not so much (which is why my current paper is so streamlined, I have learned).

    And before anyone smugly hands me the “if you haven’t looked at it in a year, pitch it in the recycling”, I will note that I come from a line of women who stick bits of paper here and there, and this spring I found a scrap in a book handwritten by my maternal grandmother telling how her mother came to the US as a “hired” girl, including the name of the farmer who hired her and paid her passage to get here. This is info I had never heard before.

    I also found a tiny clipping from the newspaper that my mother had stuck in a cookbook, that pretty much summed up her personal philosophy. It was like she was telling me something she never could have said to me directly. (I took a quick picture on my phone and emailed it to myself, so if it ever disappears from the fridge it is magnetted to, I’m good.

    So I try to pile through from time to time. I figure if I am not ADDING, I must be winning, right?

    All that said, I really hope we never go completely paperless. I do my thinking on a stack of halfsheets of scrap paper on a mini-clipboard. Anything worth saving (most of it isn’t) can always be typed up on a spreadsheet or doc, but I somehow need a pen or pencil in my hand to process thoughts.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. You’re right, mig – I have a couple of little squares of newspaper treasure, one from when my G’ma & G’pa got engaged, one that speaks in glowing terms about my dad and uncle playing h.s. baseball. I should scan them – if I can still find them!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. maybe that’s my problem
      i keep having thoughts and spinning off to the next thing
      i ran into my best friend from childhood and i was telling him i had a guy i was working on container homes concepts with and he said oh like the idea you had in high school about dropping dime homes onto sites with helicopters
      oh i forgot all about bucky fullers influence
      50 years later the thoughts just spin and evolve


  3. Husband is the binder guy. We have lots of recipes in three large binders. Husband also has lots of manilla folders with papers sticking out them . They irritate the heck out of me because his finger don’t work to make the papers straight and uniform. They look messy. I am no better, however, as I just throw papers in piles on my desk at home and leave them until they annoy me and then I put them in folders in our filing cabinet.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I pile papers until I stash them in the file box or recycle them or otherwise get them a real destination.

      Our orange tabby is trying to cure me of the habit. I have never had a cat who was so obsessed with paper chewing. He only does it when he wants me to do something too, so not like it’s a nervous habit.

      Usually works, although of late, me “doing something” involves confining him to the bathroom until I am ready to do what I know he wants.

      I make no claims that any of this is effective.

      Perish the thought that I give up piling paper.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. My agency’s new electronic record system is supposed to make us paperless. Ha! We still go through lots of paper since we are printing things off the electronic record to send to people or to read more easily.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I have several levels of organization, the highest “level” being VS’s binder method. I am still dis-assembling binders from the business I sold 3 years ago and shredding the contents as they age out of legal requirements. I am now down to three bins of binders.

    Level 0: Where did I put that?

    Level 1: Put it on my desk. If I never need it again, shred it

    Level 2: Either file it in a file or put it in a binder if it gets a lot of use. Right now at work I am almost at the end of a program credentialing process that has a lot of parts. It is in a binder because I need to keep it and I need to find it. Files keep stuff that is needed, but it is difficult to find and use in a file.

    Level 3: VS’s binder method.

    At work we have a cloud system, too which does really help file some kinds of things, however, some things just need to be held in a piece of paper. The clouds work very well, but there are times, for some unknown reason, when you cannot access the cloud. Very frustrating.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I used to file important papers in Lunds shopping bags. They hold a lot. When a bag got full, I’d move it to a place where I wouldn’t see it, open a new bag and repeat. Since I don’t look at my reflection in mirrors, my home gradually acquired more and more places I couldn’t look. That made it difficult to move about without seeing something spooky. I solved that one by moving away from those Lunds bags, although my damn reflection came along uninvited.

    My new system is better. It’s Bill’s system, only my Robin is called Molly. I bribe her with free babysitting (only the baby is called Liam, who is nobody’s “baby,” as he often mentions), Since I spend 99 percent of my time in two rooms it would be awkward to have more places I can’t look.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I must have inherited my father’s “throw it” gene. Paper clutter in my house is one thing I can’t stand. My paper shredder and the recycling bag get heavy use. That said, I do have 4 binders for choral music. I hate turning pages during performances so I make “accompanist” copies which only have the piano part – I can usually condense 8 to 12 pages of a music score down to 2 or 3 pages. These are kept in a 3 ring binder – much easier to turn pages if necessary and the music doesn’t accidentally fall off the piano. I do have 6 file jackets full of these copies which will have to be recycled when no longer needed. (please don’t sic a copyright lawyer on me!).

    I go through other paper stuff (medical, insurance, investment, etc.) on a regular basis and get rid of what is no longer necessary. Pretty much all of my filed paperwork fits in two banker’s boxes. Miscellaneous other paper stuff also gets thinned out regularly. I don’t want whoever has to clean out my place when I am dead and gone to wonder “why the hell did she keep all of this?” I learned that lesson very well when having to clean out my mom’s huge collection of paper. I wear the title “Neat Freak” proudly!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. First of all, where I grew up in Iowa, they were called “notebooks”. I was in Minnesota for a while before I figured out what people meant by “binder”.

    Several levels here, too. The first papers that come in for a new activity – if it’s something I intend to continue – get a manilla folder of a dual-pocket folder. If it’s something I become very active in, it gets a (sigh… alright) binder. I can’t to tell you how many binders I currently have, If it’s rather involved and immediate, it gets clipboards.

    And then there are a few recipe binders, preferably with pockets on inside covers; some of my mom’s photos are in binders…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I really want to go online with Medicare, UCare, etc., and get all the notices we now receive transferred to emails. I end up saving them, which means finding a place for them, and most likely I’ll never need this paper copy. Maybe I should just hire someone to do this!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You all are making me laugh this morning. So many great ways. I have used them all!
    Except mine are plastic Target bags for short term and Long term “VIP” papers are the HyVee bag with handles.
    No, piles are short term, Target bags are intermediate storage.

    I do good at work; I have a filing cabinet with hanging file folders and manila folders inside them if needed.

    But home… ugh.

    Never got into binders except for scripts. But lately I create a cover and have the front and last page laminated then spiral bind the whole things. It works because 99% of the time I don’t need to add something else into the middle.

    Be careful out there!


    Liked by 2 people

  11. While I don’t have binders full of paper, I do have four external hard drives attached to my computer, containing archives of everything I’ve produced on it in the last 20 years, my genealogical inputs (the photo and document scans), all my photo files, all my billing records and a huge array of miscellaneous stuff. I could eliminate a lot of it, but that would entail a lot of time because there are a lot of nested folders and, with the ability of the computer to find anything I want, why bother?

    Liked by 2 people

  12. (Inspired by K-Two’s comment) My erstwife was a hoarder, whereas I’m a chuck-it guy by nature. It was one of the lesser fault lines in the relationship. One day I got freaked out by all the stuff we were storing in the basement. Example: a kit for making wine from dandelions, a kit we hadn’t ever used in 30 years. My wife was in Europe on business, so I slipped the wine kit in the garbage. And, of course, didn’t mention it. When she took another trip, I discretely caused another item to disappear from the basement. At this rate, I figured, I’d have the basement clean in 70 or 80 years, and then we could take a shot at the attic.

    She took another trip. My eyes fell on a roll of wallpaper we had left over from the 1976 remodel of our bungalow. I made it disappear. She came home, Then something bad happened, and our kitchen wallpaper took a hit. She said, “Oh, that shouldn’t be a problem. I think we’ve got spare wallpaper in the basement.” I still haven’t told her why she couldn’t find it.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. While I don’t have binders full of papers, one thing I do have, sort of in the same spirit, is toolboxes. I keep separate toolboxes for different kinds of projects. Besides individual boxes for electrical and plumbing work and one for outdoor sorts of things like cement work, I have toolboxes for oil paints, acrylic paints, a toolbox for bookbinding and a separate one for leather binding, a satchel for botanical illustration, a box for wood engraving, and a satchel for the sketching work I do for General Mills. Where the activities have tools in common, I have duplicates. Each toolbox is sufficient in itself for the activity. Whenever I start a new craft or art form, I create a fresh toolbox.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh gosh that reminds me. I have to clear a path in the basement room where the water meter is. Cuz the city is coming to swap out the water meter on Tuesday.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. In my world, tools equals basement. Basement equals water meter. Water meter means city coming to replace it.


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