How to Set Up a Class Binder {Filofax Style}

I wrote this blog the first year I took B-School, and I thought it would be a great idea to revisit since school is back in session!

In the Spring of 2014, I joined one of the most incredible sisterhoods I have ever known.  Marie Forleo’s B-School for Business and Marketing was life-changing for my career, and this is how I prepared for it…

There is so much excitement and preparation leading up to this school with Bonus reading materials and informative videos, whichPhoto Mar 05, 5 47 32 PM got me thinking about offering a little guide on how I set my class binder up.  I received a few inquiries in our group, so this was a great opportunity to give anyone who needs it a little productivity boost.  Nothing makes me happier than sparking your creative productivity, especially when it comes to doing it with a little style.  {And as a self-proclaimed “Planner Addict”, this of course is my favorite thing about starting school – buying, re-using and putting together my supplies!}


Here is what I used and how I intend on organizing my worksheets and notes:



Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery Shagreen Binder – This one is 1″ wide and holds up to 275 sheets (which will probably be too small), but I intend on using another one specifically for notes.  I absolutely love this color and it happens to match my home office 🙂

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Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery Plastic Dividers – Comes with 8 tabbed dividers that are different colors.   I love color-coding subjects to make it clear what goes where.

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Colored paper that is lined and pre-punched – I am using colored paper only because it makes me happy and I like the soft rainbow effect my binder is taking form in.

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Plastic Pockets – I got this 6 pack for the back of my binder at Staples.  It’s great to use as a catch-all for notes, but I labelled them to correspond with the tabs, so that I can easily reference the pages later.

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Set Up

Color Coding – I created this color key to go along with the modules of this course.  Each color represents a tab for each subject.  I didn’t want to label the tabs because I like the look of the full color, but you can adjust it to your preferences.

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Dividers – I reserved one tab for the class schedule, one for the progress tracker and one specifically for my goals.  Then the five modules each get their own divider.

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Flyleaf – I created a “flyleaf” just like you would find in a Filofax to cover the front page.  I also have one in each section to hold sticky notes.  This was created by using acetate report covers and simply punching holes.

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White Space – I keep plenty of blank white paper in the “Brain Dump” section so that when I get a spark of brilliance, I can quickly create a new page.

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Pens – I found some colorful pens that I absolutely adore.  They are fine tip (.3 mm) felt and the colors are vibrant and do not bleed through the pages.  I love to write in different colors – it just makes me happy.

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There is a small pocket in the front that you could keep pens in if you will be keeping it on your desk, but for the most part, it’s better to house a small notebook or something flat.  I would recommend using a pen pouch if you use assorted colors and hi-lighters.  You can also attach a pen loop to the side of the binder to hold your pen.

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There are a number of other things you can do to make your class binder like a “Faux Filofax”.  For instance, you can get a letter sized business card holder to house all of your sticky notes, etc.  But the main thing is to customize each section with the subjects you need during your course.   Having extra dividers is great to keep every detail separated.  You will thank yourself later when your homework catches up to you and you’re scrambling to find information.

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So there you have it – I hope these tips will help you set up your perfect class binder.  Adjust it to your needs, splurge on fun colors and pens if that’s what floats your boat and please tailor it to your specific taste, needs and budget.  This is an investment in your future – enjoy the process!

(NOTE – As a solution to an over-stuffed notebook, you can easily create a separate book for your printouts with tabbed note references – HERE is a post I did on how I dealt with all of that paper). 


Renee Weatherford

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