How To Use Printable Binder Inserts

Hey Party People! I hope you’re having an awesome and chaos free week but if you’re not, this little tutorial might help it go a little better by teaching you how to customize and label your binders, therefore giving you a little sense of order is a chaotic world.

If you are anything like me when I was in college, I would haul binder after binder in a tote bag or backpack back and forth across campus and didn’t bother to label half of them. Having multiple binders with the same color didn’t help me much either as I would dig through my over-sized tote bag (they were the all the rage in the mid 2000’s) looking for the right one. I avoided labeling my binders because my only option at the time was jamming some flimsy copy paper down the spine of the binder which would just bunch and rip, mainly because I had very little patience to “gingerly” slide the paper in. Another option was sticking one of those permanent white labels on the outside of the spine but that would inevitably get dirty and scratched, leaving me with a janky looking binder. Not exactly the look you’re going for when you’re trying to look professional and tidy in front of certain individuals.

Now that I am older, spend most of my workday in an office and am a wannabe minimalist, I have a much greater appreciation for organization. That is why I am happy to help you and provide this tutorial on customizing your binder with printable binder inserts and spine labels.

Let’s start:

  1. Go to the folder on your computer containing the digital download file of the binder inserts you downloaded from Little Hawthorne on Etsy.
  2. Right click and choose “Open With” and open the document with your version of Adobe Acrobat

For this version we will be using the older version of Adobe acrobat that most people still have. A newer version Adobe Acrobat Pro was released my Adobe but my understanding is that it is a subscription service with a monthly or annual fee. The editing in the updated software is more user friendly, in my opinion, but for now let’s use the free version most user have.

  1. On the top, right hand side you will see the “Tools” Click it.
  2. Under the  “Content Editing” tab you’ll see “add text”. Click it.
  3. Place your cursor over the area you want to add your text. Then click the cursor and hold as you drag the cursor to create a text box.


NOTE: Your text box may come out smaller than the area you selected and that’s okay because you can edit it to the size you need in Step #10.


  1. Next, type in your text. For this example, I will use the text “Financial Budget”.
  2. To change the font, highlight your text by clicking and holding your cursor and dragging your cursor over the text. This will highlight your text and tell the program you want to edit it.
  3. With your text still highlighted, go to the right side of the page and go to the section under “Format”. Click and choose a font from the drop down menu. For this example, I will be using the “Will & Grace” font.
  4. While the text is still highlighted, adjust the font size to the size that looks best for you.

This will increase the size of the text box, therefore allowing you to size the text and box how you’d prefer.

  1. While the box is still highlighted, hover your cursor over the text box border lines (This changes your mouse’s single arrow cursor to a 4-way arrow cursor. This 4 way arrow allows you to move the text box anywhere by clicking and holding the box as you move your cursor. Move the box to your desired position.
  2. You can also change the text color or add a border to the text box by clicking on those options which are also located on the right hand side of the screen under “Format”.
  3. Lastly, click “File” on the top, left hand side of the screen and click “Print”.
  4. Each printer has its own settings and color management but be sure to choose the borderless 8.5 x 11 printing option in your printer preferences so that your document will print from edge to edge on the paper.

I hope this information helped! Customizing your binders can not only be a lot of fun and but also help you in your efforts to stay organized.


All the best,


Wanna get organized? Take a look at our Binder Insert collection over at Little Hawthorne on Etsy.

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