Sticky note binder tabs!

Hi everyone! It's my last day of vacation (sniff!) and I've been organizing my student binders for Reader's and Writer's Workshop (more to come on those binders soon!).

Anyhow, I was a little stuck because I have had several new students arrive in the past couple of weeks and had also run out of binder dividers.

And I am not leaving the comfort of my pajamas on my last day of vacation to go get new ones!

So I started thinking. I don't really love those binder tabs anyhow...I don't even use them for my own teacher binder--I made my own tabs with larger fonts I could see more easily.

I thought this would be ideal for my students too. But to make it even easier and less time consuming (my tabs were laminated, but that was back in those happy days of summer) I decided to call on some old friends, my sticky notes. And packaging tape. Really the perfect blend of teacher supplies...well, almost...I would need my laminator to make that true! Ha ha!

Anyhow, this is what I did...

1. Made a quick template for the sticky notes in Powerpoint (I'll explain why in a moment)...
(They have lines down the middle, so I can cut the sticky note in half).

Then I put all of my sticky notes onto this template. All sticky notes are placed with the sticky part at the top of each box, that way they can be fed through the printer sticky-side first and not fall off.

Then, I went back to the Powerpoint and typed in the names of the binder sections I wanted and flipped them upside down (this is why I used Powerpoint, because it's so easy to rotate the text). I had to put make the text upside down because, when I stick the note onto the paper, the sticky side will go can see more about I mean a few pics below).

Before I printed this page out, I removed those boxes with the lines from the Powerpoint slide, so only the text would show up, like so...

I cut the sticky in half and placed it on the page where I wanted the tab...

Then I made a fold at the top of the tab...

...and folded it back.

Next, I took a piece of packaging tape and taped from the bottom of the sticky note...

...and up over to the back part, so all parts of the sticky were protected with tape (to make it last--hopefully!).

The last thing I did was cut off the tiny bits of excess on the tab itself.
It was actually very easy to do and I like how they are easy to see, size-wise for my students. I also prefer this much more than typing on those tiny white pieces of cardstock that come with store-bought tabs, only to have them fall out later in the year!

As I mentioned above, I plan on sharing more about our Reader's and Writer's Workshop binders in the coming weeks. I have found some things that have worked really well with my class and I am eager to share them with you. In the meantime, I hope this is something others might like to try!

I've uploaded the Powerpoint file below left in ppt form, so you can adapt as need be. Is this something you might try when organizing a binder? I would love to hear if so! I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend :)

Sticky Note Binder Tabs template (.ppt)


  1. This is a great idea!!! Thanks for sharing the template; I love it!

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  2. I loved it when you posted the original sticky note template and the video tutorial. :) I even love this more! Thanks so much.

    Colleen Patton
    Mrs. Patton’s Patch

    1. back in the day, right? Thanks so much for stopping by Colleen, I hope you are having a nice year!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks way though, just type A!!!

  4. Great Idea! Now I have to go to school tomorrow and change all my the large cute font! By the way I have OCD!!!

  5. I love this idea! Thanks for the template! Tell me: what font is this? I love it. ;)

    Jamie at 2nd Grade Stuff

  6. I love this idea. I need to do this. Thanks for the template.

  7. You are a genius! Seriously!! :)

  8. This is a really good idea. I hate the divider tabs, too, and usually just end up using colored construction paper or post-its anyway! Thanks for sharing the pictures!
    Buzzing with Ms. B

  9. oh' kristen!!! I thought printing on post-its was the greatest - but...this is equally as awesome!
    You amaze me! Hope you had a nice vacation! -melissa

  10. Love, love, LOVE.
    These could say beans, dirt, and shoelaces and I would still be sitting here saying Oh. Wow. BRAVO! (Or, more likely, Neat-o!)

    I have to go to Office Depot at this very moment and I am trying to figure out what I can put OVER my pajamas. And I may just have to wear the slippers!

    Sorry your vacation is drawing to a close... I'm sending you wishes for all of your efforts to fall into place perfectly tomorrow!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  11. You are bloody brilliant you are, you know that? I am sooooo doing this to all my binders over my spring break next week.

    Ms. M

  12. I have a question did you use regular construction paper for the tab page?

    Ms. M

  13. I have given you a lovely award. Please check it out at my blog a teachers bag of tricks


  14. Love it girl! You are so innovated and crafty! Thanks for sharing all your great tips!

  15. Love these!!! You are soooo creative!! :)

    Color Me Kinder

  16. ok.... seriously GENIUS!!!! I LOVE it!!!!

    I heart post its and even more so clear packaging tape! I tape/laminate EVERYTHING!!!!
    {and totally robbed off on my kids, they now laminate everything too with the tape}

    Thanks for the great tip & template!!! You rock!

    ❤ Mor Zrihen from...
    A Teacher's Treasure
    Teaching Treasures Shop

  17. I just LOVE your blog!!!! Im your newest follower:) You are such an inspiration for us newbie bloggers like myself:):) I hope youll stop by my little 'ol blog sometime!!

  18. I absolutely love your blog!
    Please stop by my blog to grab an award that I have given you.

    Thanks for all your great ideas!

    Teaching with a Smile

  19. Fantastic idea!! This is why I love blogging...something so easy, but something I would have NEVER thought of!! Thank you for sharing with us!

    Confessions of a Fourth Grade Teacher

  20. You are pretty much a genius! This is great and those tiny tabs are so AWFUL! And they DO fall out!
    Rowdy in First Grade

  21. Love it! I've used sticky notes for tabs before but never thought about the packing tape or making them pretty in the printer! Thanks!!


  22. I love your blog! I am your newest follower!

  23. This is perfect timing! I am in the process of updating my binders- I love this!

    Thanks for all of your amazing ideas, I heart your blog :)


  24. Do you have problems with the sticky note tabs staying upright? I have done something similar but have had problems with them sticking up so I can see them. Seems like they always get bent down or smooshed. :-\

    1. Hi Amanda, so far I haven't. The sticky note is entirely covered with the tape, so I think that helps. Thanks for reading! :)

  25. Love! Want to make some to go on some hanging folders for my benchmark book testing materials. I remember when you posted the original print-on-stick-note tutorial; now I need to go find it for a refresher I guess. I tried to insert a text box and type on the PPT slide template, but somehow it's not working... maybe the original post will help.

    Thanks for all your great ideas and downloadables!

  26. Thank you! These are perfect!Lupe Palacios

  27. LOVE these! Just made a new assessment binder, and didn't have enough dividers...going to use these instead! Nina Hollingsworth, RISD

  28. I remembered reading about these way back in March and used this very post and your template to create my own labels to organize my literacy curricula this week. They are not as pretty as yours, but I love how easy they are to read! Thanks for the help! I linked back to this post in mine here, if you want to check it out:

  29. How did you type upside down?

  30. Thank you so much for the template! Love, love, love:)

  31. Although this post is rather dated, I found this idea especially helpful as a homeschool parent. I can use them in my own parent binder & for my child's binders as well, particularly since I grade her on binders. I was handwriting out tabs on those flimsy flags and they just don't last very long, even when taped. Kudos & thanks so much!


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