Back-to-School Binder Buying Guide

Few school supplies work as hard as binders do. Before you buy, review these considerations for choosing school binders that will survive the school year:

Durability & Strength

“Binders go in backpacks, and those backpacks are thrown under desks and plunked down all day long,” says Oona Abrams, an English teacher.
Mitch Weathers, a science teacher and founder of The Organized Binder, agrees that you need a binder that can live up to abuse. “The only criteria to look for in a binder is durability and physical strength: thick plastic on the outside, strong rings and a really good binding,” he says. Pay attention to the edges, too, looking for reinforcements or coverings that resist tearing and breaking.
And forget the traditional rings that adorned your school binders — binders with D-rings hold more paper. Glenn Kessinger, a middle school instructional facilitator suggests testing to make sure the rings “don’t fly open each time the binder gets picked up.” Look for a solid closing mechanism (one-touch is best) that won’t nip fingers and closes securely.

Functional School Binder Features

While nobody wants a cheap school binder that falls apart in the first month, kids generally care more about function and style than strength and durability. Look for these key features once you’ve chosen a sturdy binder:

    • Deeper Pockets: Most school binders have barely-there pockets that hold only a few sheets of paper. “Any binder a student has for my class needs to house much more than hole-punched handouts,” Abrams says.

    • Crucial Accessories: School binders hold more than paper. Pouches for pens, highlighters, thumb drives and sticky notes are common items. Oh, and don’t forget the reinforcement applicator to help keep all that notebook paper in place. Tabbed dividers are essential for helping kids stay organized.


    School Binder Style

    Your kids have to live with their binders all year long, so choose one that matches your child’s personality.

      • High Style: Fashionistas and trendsetters prefer the Better® Binder, which comes in a variety of cover graphics, including bold patterns and photo-quality images.

      • Eco-Friendly: Environmentalists choose binders that are earth-friendly, like the Sustainable Earth Binder, made from recycled materials. Make sure to look at the newly-launched Me to We product line. With every purchase from the line, a tangible, life-changing gift is given to a child in need overseas through Me to We’s charitable partner, Free The Children.

      • Personalization: Let your child show his or her true colours with a view binder that can showcase any image your child chooses. “Photographs are the expression of choice right now thanks to Snapchat and Instagram,” Abrams says. “An insert they can switch out enables them to decorate their binders.”

      As with so many things, you get what you pay for in a school binder. You may find low-priced options, but they aren’t so cost-effective if you have to replace them or your kids don’t use them. Follow this advice and choose wisely so the cash you spend on your binders will truly be money well spent.

By Adam

July 14, 2014