Using a ring binder at university – Part 1

Loretta Coles is here today to share her first post on The University Project, where she’ll be using an A5 Burde binder to manage her life through Uni.

Hello everyone! Well here it is my first post as part of the University Project! Although my second year doesn’t start until the 30th September, I’ve just moved into my university house which is giving me plenty of stuff to sort out- I now know how you read a meter and understand something about all the jargon broadband providers throw at you! With my 21st birthday under 2 weeks away and having just moved into a house of my own (sort-of!) I’m starting to feel like I’m growing up and becoming an adult with responsibilities (EEP!) so when my binder arrived I loved how grown up and professional it looked, yes I have covered pages in Disney Princess stickers, but from the outside it oozes sophistication!

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Here is my green envelope! After a ridiculously long and busy day at work I returned home to find this waiting for me and it brightened up my day- literally! I got my binder on the 6th September and over the last few days I have been playing around with the set up and making new dividers for it as well as having a go at making some new inserts.

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Here it is, my beautiful binder that Janet kindly sent me! I should point out that this isn’t strictly speaking a ‘Filofax’ it’s a Burde organiser (which I think is a Swedish brand) but the A5 Filofax inserts that I had bought fit it perfectly which is great!

This is my ‘dashboard’ so to speak, I have some ringbinder post it notes from Pukka that I bought from Rymans here in the UK and a zipped pocket in which I am keeping stickers for on the go filofaxing. You can see here that the pen I am currently keeping in the pen loop is a black Pilot Frixion as I love the way they write and the fact that they can be erased if plans change.

Here are the main categories I am using- Reference, University, Diary, Lists, Health + Fitness and Finance. The reference section is where I am keeping addresses and emails as well as things like passwords and bus timetables. The photograph below show I have split up the University section- into Lectures, Work to Do and Deadlines. In the lectures tab I plan on keeping track on the lectures for each module and making a list with a brief summary of what each lecture covered as I found this incredibly useful when it came to revision in first year. The work to do tab is pretty self-explanatory and I have put some to do pages in this section in preparation for semester starting. In the deadline section I will organise the deadline I currently have as well as keeping track of exam dates and planning out my revision.

Below are the diary pages that come with Burde and I am currently in love with them! I just love the layout! There’s a blank box at the side of the page and I have split this in half into a to do list section and a shopping list. I am currently using the Filofax Today ruler as the one that came with the Burde organiser seemed much flimsier and I didn’t trust it to stay in place- especially seeing how the post man squished my organiser so now there are gaps in the top two rings!

I had a go at making some Meal Planning and Shopping List inserts to help me plan my food shop when at University to try and keep the cost down and stop me impulse buying when I am in the Supermarket!



In the finance tab I have details of my student finance information as well as the direct debit details for my rent payments on my house. I also have a smash tab in which I keep coupons and loyalty cards and I am currently using the finance inserts that came with Burde as I like their simplicity.

At the back of my organiser I have a business card holder in which I keep train tickets for future trips as well as cards that I don’t use very often. I also have a small exercise book which I will use to take notes in lectures.

So there it is, the way I set up my binder and I am currently confident that this set up won’t change too much once I start university but we shall see! I should be getting my timetable soon and I think the layout of the Burde diary pages will be great for me being able to see how much time I have free to do work and stuff whilst still being able to keep track of things that I have to do that week.

As I haven’t started my lectures yet, my next post will be after my first week back at university in a few weeks time when I have had a chance to try out my set up at university. I used a personal sized Filofax for my first year so it will be interesting to see how the weight of an A5 organiser holds up in my bag! If you have any questions about the setup of my binder then post a comment or find me on the Facebook page!  

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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