Turn Old Journals into Alphabetical Organizers!

With all the time I have this summer, I succumbed to cleaning and organizing bits and pieces of my entire life. This is harder than it looks, but it is a HUGE relief on my end. I am the type of person that can easily be whisked away into the deep dark nights of cleaning and organizing—that’s just me. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, if I could make a solid career out of this, I would.

While cleaning my desk in my old room, I came across a lot of empty journals that I half wrote in/half totally forgot about. In my case, I don’t want to just throw away all that paper…ESPECIALLY when the notebook is too cute! (I will relentlessly buy cute school supplies at Target…even if I have no use for it. Don’t tell me you’ve never done this before).

Tonight, I found a way to make use of these old journals and notebooks without guilt of killing trees and spending dollars: by turning it into an alphabetical organizer. Of course, this organizer can be used for contact phone numbers/addresses, recipes, or in my case, I turned it into a password saver. I saw a password saver at Barnes & Nobles’ today priced at $12.99. The one I made tonight cost essentially nothing but some old desk supplies in my room, and it is MUCH cuter!

Here’s a step by step (with pictures) of how I made my alphabetical password saver:

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Supplies

  • 1 small notebook or journal (gently used or new)
  • 1 pack of rectangle labels OR sticky tabs
  • scissors
  • pen or marker

Step One: Make a fold in the labels at about one-third of the label. If you already have sticky tabs, skip steps 1 and 2!

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It is best to fold them all together at the same time so that all the labels are even and at the same length.

Step Two: Peel off the label, and fold 1/3 of the label back onto itself to make a homemade sticky tab. (It’s easier than it sounds—trust me!)

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This is what the back of the label will look like after it has been folded onto itself. Only half of it will be sticky (to stick on the pages).
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Finished folded label. See how it is able to stick on my finger, yet the other side isn’t sticky at all?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step Three: Count your pages.

This number depends on how many tabs you need to make, and how many pages you want incorporated into each tab. You’ll need to make sure you have enough pages from the beginning—finding out you don’t have enough is no fun at the end.

I chose to make 27 tabs, one page per tab (one for each letter of the alphabet and one labeled ‘#’ for webpages that begin with a number or symbol). If you want 27 tabs with two pages each, you’ll need (27×2=) 54 pages, etc. It’s easy math, I promise!

Step Four: Start on the last page, and stick a tab at the bottom. Then work your way up!

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You want to start at the bottom of the last page so that it all evens out. If you start at the top in the beginning,  chances are that you won’t finish clean at the bottom when it’s complete. This also makes it easier to see when you should stick on the next tab; once you flip the page, you’re still able to see the last tab’s placement and can adjust the new tab accordingly.

TIP: When you’ve reached the top, start over from the bottom. This continues the same pattern and keeps everything aligned.

Step Five: Stick, flip, stick, flip, repeat.

Stick a tab on. Flip the page. Stick on another just above it. Simple as that! Be careful not to skip any pages—it can be really frustrating to fix! If you want more than 1 page for each tab, make sure to change the number of flips accordingly.

Here is what you should end up with!
Here is what you should end up with!

TIP: It’s always fun to incorporate patterns into your tabs if you’d like. I interchanged tabs between four colors to add a little bit of brightness to my organizer 🙂

Step Six: If you are like me, and the tabs aren’t even enough for you, or even if the tabs are too long for your liking…simply cut with scissors to your taste! If this doesn’t bother you, or if you like the unevenness homemade looking style, by all means, adjust to your comfort level.

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Step Seven: Last but not least, pull out your elementary skills and write your ABC’s!

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The end product!

TIP: You can be as creative with this as you like. I think stamping small letters would be so cute (unfortunately, I did not have stamps available to me at 11pm).

 

I hope you enjoyed this short tutorial on this SUPER SIMPLE alphabetical organizer. You can use it for whatever you find convenient. For example, I think it would work well for a contact list or recipe book (if you want to use it for recipes, you might need a lot more pages per letter).

TIP: If you decide to turn this into a password saver like I did, BE CAREFUL to put it in a SAFE place where no one can get to it! I think it would definitely be a leave at home under your desk type of organizer, rather than one you might carry around with you.

Thanks for reading,

Yin

Did you like this tutorial? How did your organizer turn out? Do you have any more tips and tricks you might like to share? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget for share!

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