I’ve found myself purchasing tons of eBooks and PDFs versions for our curriculum. I print them out and place them in a Staples Better Binder. That habit was getting too expensive, especially at $9 per binder. I also found myself loving spiral bound books, as they lie flat. So I was open to some new ideas…

Yesterday I took the splurge and purchased a ProClick P50 Binding System. I found the best deal at Office Depot, where I got it in-store for just $50. I got some sturdy back covers, glossy front covers, and some combs, and the total came to under $100. You can use your own cardstock for covers though, so the fancy covers aren’t necessary.

Right away I bound my History Odyssey Ancients book that I hadn’t been using as it was just loose papers that I had filed away a year ago. Now, I have a beautiful, glossy history book!

One thing I am losing over putting them in binders is the ability to place a label on the spine. I have colored tape that I rolled around a top coil, so we’ll see how that works in identifying them if they’re all on the shelf.

Here’s a look at how thick it is, with the clear front cover and black, sturdy backing.

A look at the device itself. It looks very simple, and it is – yet it’s very sturdy and weighted, so you stick the papers in, and then run the top thing over the papers to punch the holes. This inexpensive version will punch 6 papers at a time, but I normally like thicker or glossy papers, so I only punch 3-4 pages at a time to make it easier. It’s super easy to run the top over the papers if you give it a manageable job.

I purchased two boxes of spines, for 45-page and 85-page capacity. If you do use covers, that lowers the capacity. There are only three sizes of spines that I’m aware of, and the 110-page capacity spines I could only find in boxes of 100 for $50. I decided to wait on those.

I love these special ProClick spines because you can open them back up, take out, reinsert papers, and then zip them back up! They feel nice and sturdy, and they look great. Books now lie flat.

I asked for some ideas over at the WTM last night… Thanks ladies! I finally found a use for the beautiful scrapbook papers I had been collecting just because they’re so pretty, even though I’m not a scrapbooker! The spines are easily cut. So I made a cute mini-notebook on Africa for Satori to use.

I made this template super quickly last night, but hey she totally loves her new notebook! She even slept with it last night. 🙂 We’ll be putting all 53 African countries in here (more on that later).

Another great idea is to put the spines on top, which makes it easier for a child to write in a workbook.

Since the spines hold up to 85 pages (110 if I purchase the bigger size), not all complete programs will fit. Some people split their programs up into different volumes. Also, an affordable option is to purchase 3:1 spiral coils (Thanks Paula for this idea), which are both more cost effective and hold more paper. The con is that they won’t click back open. This is a good idea for larger teacher’s manuals.