Five Ways for Parents to Use Binding

When most people think of binding, they picture bound reports and proposals designed for business applications, but binding also has many uses within the home environment. Below are five ways for parents to use binding to stay organized, share important information, and even provide fun activities for their children.

  1. Babysitter’s Guide – Whether you’re working with a new babysitter for the first time or have been using the same sitter for years, a bound babysitter guide keeps all of your important information in one convenient location. Using a word processing program, create sheets that list emergency contacts, helpful hints (such as favorite games, nighttime routines, etc.), special needs (dietary restrictions, allergies, medications, etc.), and even your favorite local pizza shops. Bind the sheets together using your preferred binding method for an easy-to-use booklet. To involve your children in the process, allow them to create the cover by giving them a blank sheet of cardstock and their favorite art supplies.
  2. Personalized Yearbooks – Have you been looking for a way to organize your child’s homework and art projects? Try creating a custom yearbook! At the end of each school year, gather their best tests, reports, artwork, and other assignments and bind them together using your binding machine. Place a copy of that year’s school picture onto the cover along with a label listing the name of the school, the grade, and the school year, and you’ll have a keepsake you’ll treasure for many years to come.
  3. Medical Records – Staying on top of immunizations and other medical records can be difficult, especially when you have multiple children. Try using your binding machine to make your own bound medical record books to keep all of their medical information organized. Begin by designing a few basic templates (with columns for date, doctor’s name, and other notes) for immunization records, prescribed medications, and surgeries using your preferred word processing or graphic design program. Print out a few copies of each template and bind a book for each of your children. Add an entry onto the appropriate sheet following each doctor’s visit, and you’ll find that keeping your medical records organized is easier than ever.
  4. Original Storybooks – Creating original, one-of-a-kind storybooks for your children will make reading extra special. Whether you choose to involve your child by letting them help you write the story and provide illustrations, or write your own story that features your child as the lead character as a surprise gift, you’ll find that making your own professional-looking bound storybook is easy. Just prepare the pages using a word processing program or graphic design program (or a combination of the two), and then bind them together using your favorite binding style. You can even leave some pages blank to allow your child to illustrate the story as they go.
  5. Vacation Activity Book – Traveling with small children can sometimes be stressful, but planning ahead and creating a vacation activity book will help provide entertainment during long car rides or flights. Print sheets featuring their favorite paper-based games, such as tic-tac-toe, mazes, word searches, or coloring book images (either create your own or find them online), and bind them together using your binding machine. These simple and inexpensive vacation activity books make traveling a breeze!

Four Ways to Get Organized with Binding

If getting organized is one of your resolutions this year, then you’ll love these four organizational ideas that utilize your binding machine.

  1. Custom Day Planner – Using your favorite word processing or page layout program, create a blank template that is tailored to your specific needs. Unlike mass-produced planners, these custom pages give you the ability to add sections that are specific to your business or activities. Once the template is completed, print out as many double-sided copies as desired and bind them together to create the ultimate custom planner.
  2. Training Materials – Every organization has a set of training materials that have been created over the years. Make it easy for your employees or coworkers to stay on top of company procedures by binding your own training manuals. Simply gather the most frequently referred to documents, such as price lists, product brochures, and company policies, and use your binding machine to create easy-to-use guidebooks for everyone in your office.
  3. Calendars – Did you know that you can use your wire binding machine to bind your own calendars? Using free, downloadable calendar software or your favorite graphics program, create the pages for your calendar, add a notch to the center on the binding edge with a half-moon punch, then bind them together with twin-loop wire (inserting a wire calendar hanger before closing the wire). This is especially useful for organizations that need unusual calendar layouts (such as Monday through Sunday or work week-only).
  4. Log Books – Have you found yourself having difficulty keeping track of company-specific expenses or appointments in past years? Try creating your own custom log books to help you stay on top of your own information or that of your employees. Use your favorite word processing or page layout program to design a blank template for tracking expenses, listing client information, appointment notes, or whatever other information you may need to log, then turn it into a booklet with your binding machine.

What are the Most Popular Varieties of Clear Binding Covers?

Clear binding covers are traditionally used as front covers for business reports, proposals, and employee manuals, both because of their classic look and because they allow the contents of the first page to be read without the book being opened. They also make a great, low-cost substitute for custom-printed covers, since they enable any standard-sized sheet of paper to function as a cover page.

There are five standard varieties of clear binding covers: PVC covers, non-glare covers, heat-resistant covers, matte-suede translucent covers, and matte-gloss translucent covers. PVC binding covers are traditionally the most popular clear cover style, with the widest range of sizes and thicknesses available. Non-glare binding covers are a newer addition to the marketplace, but they are quickly gaining popularity because of their glare-free finish. Heat-resistant covers are designed to withstand the extreme temperatures of thermal binding (or for use in other high-temperature environments). Matte-suede binding covers are tear- and scratch-resistant, with a smooth, matte finish on one side and a pebbled texture with a frosted finish on the other side. Matte-gloss binding covers feature a glossy finish on one side and a satin-like, anti-reflective finish on the other to help reduce glare.