An experienced pro once told me “you get the draft started and I’ll use your ideas as a springboard.” Go ahead and use these ideas to make your binder project even better!
I have used this fool-proof method several times. It just plain works for me:
- BINDER. Get a binder that provides a clear view of the front. You can quickly personalize it or update it simply by slipping in a new 8 1/2″ by 11″ paper. You may want to purchase one that you can add slip in a descriptive spine as well.
- BINDER POCKETS. Make sure you have an adequate supply of clear binder pockets 3-hole. These can get expensive, but they make my system work. The most economical brand is Filexec Binder Pocket, 3-Hole Punched, Letter Size,Clear (6 Packs of 5) (50106-30204).
- BINDER DIVIDERS WITH POCKETS. This is different than those mentioned above. Avery 8 tab binder dividers with pockets are wide enough so you can actually see the TAB on the divider. This is a simple but important element of the system. I always get the 8-tabs to have plenty of planning room, but the Avery 5 tab binder dividers with pockets will work, too.
- LABELS. If you want a little more of a neat and tidy binders, I always use the Avery 5160 Labels (1″ x 2-5/8″ mailing labels). I feel these are the most versatile of all label sizes. You don’t even need to print on them, just slap on and scribble a descriptive title.
- POST-IT NOTES. Post-It Notes is just a tool of the trade that I will explain in the implementation phase below.
- PRINTER PAPER. The standard 8 1/2″ by 11″ size.
Beginning starts with grabbing a paper and pen and drafting an outline. Don’t worry, the outline will get changed MANY TIMES. Consider this the first initial brain dump (con’t. below).
- Consider the main topics; they will correspond with the BINDER DIVIDERS.
- The SUB-TOPICS will go into each BINDER POCKET.
- Load your binder up to match the number of topics and sub-topics. Now you have “landing places” to pop-in notes and papers as you make them. TIP: I like to insert a sheet of copy paper or a post-it note as a stand-in for the final content.
- Finally, your content will be created and slipped into the BINDER POCKETS.
My method only works if you don’t have a lot of content per binder section. I might have 3-4 stapled sheets of paper in each binder pocket, but I might have up to seven binder pockets in a section.
Now, you might be wondering why no 3-hole punching the papers. I don’t do it anymore because it takes too much time. Also, when I have an edit or change, I mark right on the paper or add a post-it note to remind me of changes. Binder pockets also make it easy to slip a note in any time as you think of additions or changes.
SUPERSTAR EMPLOYEE TIPS:
- Footers are your friend! Regardless of the word processing program you use, be sure to add page numbers to your footer AND the total number of pages in the document. Example: “Page 1 of 12.”
- Add a “Last edited” date in the footer. This will help you discern the most recent version of your documents when you find any loose physical papers floating around your office.
- Finally, always add “File location” and detail where the digital copy lives for the benefit of the hard-copy readers. Is it on a Gdrive? Your local computer? Add the file path, for example: My Computer/Documents/General Office/Work binder/Cloud Platforms/donor database how-to.docx
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