Spine labels for spiral notebooks — Somebody please invent them!

I’ve never seen a solution to this problem: When you’ve used spiral notebooks for many years, how do you tell them apart on the shelf? Here’s what I mean:


Kind of a mess, huh? How can I find all of the treasures no doubt concealed in these notebooks?

I guess you might be able to slip a label down inside the spiral of a notebook, but if you opened it a lot, the label would probably get mauled.

Anyway, this seems like a niche need for which someone might be able to invent a marketable solution!

AB — 23 August 2009

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3 Responses to “Spine labels for spiral notebooks — Somebody please invent them!”

  1. Ashton Says:

    maybe a special made binder(without rings) that will have a flexible and durable vertical pocket for the spiral notebook and maybe another vertical side pocket to fit other class material such as handouts. Also the binder should have a spinal insert so we can label each subject.

  2. larakruz Says:

    I have the same problem, have you find a solution?
    I thought about writing in the side of the sheets, so you can see inside the spiral, do you know what i mean? But its still a mess…

  3. Indominableman Says:

    This isn’t a great solution, but it does work. Essentially you’re creating a sleeve for the top (or bottom depending on your preference). With a little folding and two cuts, it doesn’t take long. A sharpie or label maker will complete the spine label.

    I’ve made these free-hand, but using a ruler and scissors gives a much neater appearance.

    Take a piece of card stock (paper will work, but I prefer the card stock).
    1. Turn it landscape, and lightly mark the center (at 5.5″) with a pencil from top to bottom (this is only a reference line).

    The next bit will depend on how think the wire/spiral is on your notebook. The one I’m looking at right now is just over 3/4″ tall.

    2. Make two more reference lines about 7/16″ from the center on each side. You should have three vertical lines down the center of the piece of card stock.

    3. Make a fold toward you from the top ….about 2″ …the piece of card stock should now measure 6.5×11″

    4. With the 2″ flap facing you, cut the flap along the lines you made to either side of the center line …but only cut down to the fold. This will create a small strip of paper in the center (you can tuck this into the spiral, or trim it off when you’re done).

    5. Now fold along the two lines creating a flat “spine.”

    6. At this point you should have your sleeve – the 2″ flaps can tuck into the front & back cover of the spiral notebook, the tag of paper can be tucked into the spiral or cut off (I usually cut it off). You can label the flat spine however you like. I’ve used a sharpie and printed out labels from my label maker.

    7. if you like you can fold the corners of the flap (from the center out) to make it easier for the sleeve to slide down into the front & back cover.

    I hope the directions make sense. I was writing this on the fly.

    One last tip – I’ve found I can color code my notebooks using different color card stock (Kinko’s …er, excuse me, FedEx office will sell card stock by the sheet). I’ve also found I can use the front (or back) of the sleeve as a table of contents/summary.

    I’ve made these free-hand, but using a ruler and scissors gives a much neater appearance.

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