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Thursday, January 20, 2011

life story binder

Tonight is our Life Story Binder class at the church in the Relief Society room. We'll start promptly at 7 pm, so be on time! I'm very excited about the response to this project. It seems we're all motivated to get more organized this year. I'm loving my first binder and can't wait to move on to the others.

What is a Life Story Binder?
It's a place to gather and organize documents, photos and/or journaling that pertain to your life or the life of a family member.

How do I get started? 
I would recommend starting small--one or two binders--so you don't feel overwhelmed in the beginning and drop the project all together. Like I always say, keep it simple and doable.

SUPPLY LIST:
  • 3-ring binder* (2" ring size works well)
  • sheet protectors (80-100) 
  • Life Story Binder suggestions list (I've compiled a list of suggested documents, photos and journaling for you.) 
  • Return Address Labels (80 per sheet) *optional, but it makes it simple to flip through and see what still needs to be added. I've put together a creating labels tutorial

What's next?
Step 1: Add sheet protectors to binder.

Step 2: Read through the Life Story Binder suggestions list and check off and/or add items that are applicable to you or your family member's life story. I store my list in the front of my binder for easy reference.

Step 3: Create labels using Return Address Labels and adhere to sheet protectors.I use Return Address size labels for other organizing purposes, so you might want to check out the creating labels tutorial even if you don't plan on adding the labels to your binder.

Step 4: Get organized by adding your documents, photos and journaling.

Step 5: Enjoy flipping through your binder, finding everything in one place and feeling organized! :)


Make sure sheet protectors will fit in your binder without sticking out. It usually says on the label.


I put the labels right on the sheet protector so I can flip through quickly and see what's missing. I use these Return Address size labels for other organizing purposes (love the small size!), so you might want to check out the creating labels tutorial even if you don't plan on adding the labels to your binder. I used Microsoft Word 2007 in the tute, but you can adjust by searching around a bit in other versions of Word.


Begin with the gathering process--adding documents, photos and journaling to each sheet protector as you find them. You can go back and organize things within the protector later.

One last tip: Costco is a great source for binders and sheet protectors.

22 comments:

  1. I love love love love love this idea!!! I'm so wishing I got to come to your class!!! LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE the idae!!!

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  2. So sad I had to miss this class. I had a scout meeting. :-( I even have all the supplies.

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  3. Brilliant idea:) I've been struggling with this for ages & this has really helped me. Than you.

    One tip I have is to add tabbed subject dividers to easily find the different subjects.

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  4. how do you separate the stuff in each binder? Do you have one binder a year? One for each person in the family? One for important documents??

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  5. Jen,
    I have one binder for each person in my family that covers their entire life. The important documents, information and stories are each separated/stored in labeled sheet protectors. Hope that helps.

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  6. Would you mind sharing more of this project? I am very intrigued. Thanks.

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  7. I featured this idea on my blog today! Thank you so much for the idea.

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  8. Thank you for posting this. I have done that too but I added another binder for medical book for each family member to keep the medical history as well.

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing this! :)

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  10. I love this idea. Creative Memories books I find too complicated, but these have purpose, usefulness and are fun too. Any ideas on what i could do like this for my elderly parents?
    Julie

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  11. Love the idea! I really need to get more organized for the new year. I scrapbook and also have a business in my home, do you have any more ideas for keeping bills,receipts,invoices organized?
    Thanks so much!
    Susie

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  12. Love the idea! I really need to get more organized for the new year. I scrapbook and also have a business in my home, do you have any more ideas for keeping bills,receipts,invoices organized?
    Thanks so much!
    Susie

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    Replies
    1. Hi Susie,
      The paper chase is definitely my greatest organizing challenge. :) I'll post as I find solutions.

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  13. awww, she was a witto bitty thing! One of mine was 4 lbs (preemie), and the other was 6 lbs (termie). :)

    I know, not the point, but I CAN'T be the only one who saw. She's adorable!

    Cherie
    Irish Twins and Me

    The {mis}adventures of first grade

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cherie. Yes, she was tiny. I can't imagine four pound little one, and your termie was still tiny!

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  14. I just wanted to say thank you so much for posting this. My husband passed away suddenly in January at the age of 42 and I have been looking for something for me and my kids. This is so perfect. Thank you again.

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  15. Crystal, You are welcome. I am so sorry for your loss. Your husband was so young. Bless you and your children. Big hugs.

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  16. While I commend you for the organizational skills it takes to pull all the info together, please, please don't leave this kind of information in your home. A safety deposit box is the best storage place. Should a disaster befall your home, the records will still be intact. As well, they won't be subject to theft (how horrible to think that someone would not only steal your tv, etc. but steal your identity).

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    Replies
    1. Very good point to consider. Thank you!

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