Organizing Notebooks

notebook organization for messy people

I love notebooks, I have piles and piles of them all over the house.  I have ones for drawing, ones for Bible study, ones for planning stuff.  They are all over my house.  For purposes of this post, I am dividing my notebooks into two types: mine and the kids’.  Here’s a look at how we are organizing notebooks right now (this will change, I guarantee it).

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Organizing MY Notebooks

drawing notebook

My drawing notebook is one I put together using my Manual Comb Binding Machine {affiliate link}, it’s just a stack of cardstock cut in half, and bound together.  I eventually added on a cover of the different combinations of skin tones, laminated for durability.  It gets carried around in my pencil bag.  I include this one, because I figure someone else might be an artist and trying to figure out what to do with their work.  Because I carry this EVERYWHERE, it is the notebook I am most likely to lose because I do not put it back where it goes (primarily because I don’t have a spot for it).

artwork storage

After the pictures are done and scanned, they go into manila envelopes with the story labeled, and stored in a box on my shelf.

lesson plan notebook storage

My lesson plans and such stuff are kept in a magazine box in our calendar time area (you can see it sitting on top of the shelf in the calendar time post).

home planning notebook

My home-planning notebook is another that is frequently lost.  I carry it all over, and use it to plan everything.  In it, I’ve got menu plans, my Sunday school lesson plans (which are nominally planned for the first semester, I just stuck in my Bible curriculum and boom done!), blogging plans (which is an area I’m working to get scheduled and planned).  I keep trying to create a cleaning schedule, but it always self destructs after a week, so that’s still on my someday.

FYI: the cover is just a piece of cardstock with scrapbook paper on it and laminated for durability.  It makes me happy to see the pretty lamination.


Organizing Student Notebooks

I will say right now, this is an area I am working on.  It has been on my to do list for the past three weeks, so I could have it done and pretty to show our new plans, but things happened.  So, these are my future plans.

For our schoolwork in many content areas we use a combination of notebooking and lapbooking.  The kids like opening and closing the folding elements on lapbooks, but they do not always like making them.  So, we compromise and some activities we use lapbooks and some we use notebook pages.

This produces a lot of notebooks made with my Manual Comb Binding Machine {still an affiliate link, still love it, but I’m not going to marry it}.

organizing notebooks for kids

My plan: All of their notebooks will go in the center drawer of their desk.  There will be NOTHING else in that drawer.  As you can see, my plan hasn’t happened yet.  Right now there are random stuff in there as well.

creating a student notebook

Aside from their anatomy notebook, which I bought, all the rest are bound with my super awesome machine.  The cover is laminated card stock (new addition this year after losing all of the covers last year).  The inside is just blank pieces of card stock.  As we complete things we glue it in.

If you don’t have a binding machine (why aren’t you getting one yet, they’re AWESOME!), then you could use a spiral notebook or composition notebook to glue it all in.

Or you could use a 3 ring binder with tabs, and add them in that way.  I have enough bad memories of getting fingers caught in the rings, and the rings breaking (I may or may not have played wit them), that I don’t really plan on using them too much.

notebook storage

This year, I am gathering up all of their notebooks from last year and storing them in a plastic file box (from my teaching years).  I have mixed feelings on this, on the one hand it frees up space, but on the other hand, this means they can’t go back through and look at them again, which they like to do.  So, I’m still deciding.

Here’s my plan for the “How can I teach when I’m a mess?” series:

My prior attempts at organization

Organizing lesson plans

Teaching reading to multiple levels

Organizing notebooks (today)

Your tips on homeschool and life organization


Now, go see the other series on “How Do I Teach?”  There’s something for everyone there, and I’ve got some great friends writing on different topics.


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9 thoughts on “Organizing Notebooks

  1. I have a binding machine and love it, however I am constantly pulling out binders because I have over 30 that ended up in my garage from my classroom days {sigh}. I love the notebooking and lapbooking ideas (my kids are hit and miss about making the lapbooks – they do not enjoy cutting all the pieces!)

    • Same problem my kids have with lapbooks, they just don’t like the cutting. So, if I can pre-cut stuff with my paper cutter, they like it much better.

  2. I think binding machines are really cool!

    I actually think you are pretty organized – you just own a lot of stuff (necessary for homeschooling!)

    • Mwa ha ha ha ha, then I have done my job of fooling you :)

      Okay, I probably am at least somewhat organized, but it’s only a self defense against my natural tendency to lose things, otherwise I spend an hour searching for my car keys.

      That last statement was not exaggeration.

    • Side effect of 3 kids who all need their own, and my natural liking of using it.

      You will love the binding machine once you start using it :)

  3. Pingback: Organization tips that work from homeschooling Moms like you | Adventures in MommydomAdventures in Mommydom

  4. Pingback: Teaching Reading to Multiple Kids | Adventures in MommydomAdventures in Mommydom

  5. Pingback: 100 Ways to Organize Kids

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