by Cori Large
I came across this product purely by chance. I couldn’t tell you how I found this product on the Mead website. Uncharacteristically of me, when I found the webpage, I copied and pasted the URL into an email so I could pull the page back up when I got home from work. When I showed my husband, his response was, “So how many have you ordered?” (That’s its own video!)
The Mead OrganizHer Shopping Companion is a half-sheet, two-ringed version of the Mead Flex Binder. This binder was designed to be a coupon and shopping list holder. Complete with pocketed dividers, perforated shopping lists, a plastic zippered pouch, and business card slot sheet, this product and your wallet were all that you needed to have with you while shopping. Another major plus, in my opinion, is that the two rings in this notebook lineup with the top and middle rings on a standard three-ring binder.
Unfortunately for us, Mead neglected to market this product properly. There are a few still available for purchase on Amazon. A phone call to Mead on March 28, 2017, confirmed that the product was discontinued. So why am I bothering to tell you about a discontinued product? Well, this product may be going the way of the Dodo, but with a little creativity, you can make your own, AND in any size you want!
To make your own Franken-Flex:
- Purchase a Mead flex binder with whichever ring size you want. They are on the pricey side. Of all the ones I’ve purchased, only 3 were full price. If you keep an eye out about a month after the Back to School sales end, you can find some on clearance.
- Remove all dividers and paper so that it’s empty.
- On the inside of the back cover, measure 6 inches from the outer side of the ring mechanism and mark with a white pencil or something you can see. You will be including the ring mechanism in your measurement. If you don’t, your covers won’t be even and the back one will be too long. I have placed the beginning line of my ruler at the edge of the ring mechanism. You’ll need to feel for it through the spine fabric.
- For the inside of the front cover, since you don’t have the ring mechanism like you do on the back, you’ll measure 6 inches out from where the cover meets the fabric and mark that spot.
- On both covers, measure down from the top 9 inches and intersect with the 6 inch mark.
- Using scissors or a sliding paper cutter, trim off the excess cover.
- When it comes to cutting through the ring mechanism, first and foremost BE CAREFUL! You can use a box cutter, pruning shears, angled medical scissors, or whatever you have to CAREFULLY cut through the thicker plastic. This pair of Fiskars pruning shears is what I use.
- Once you’ve done that, you’re pretty much done, unless you want to round your corners.
- To make sure you punch your scrap paper or planner inserts correctly, remember to line them up with the top and middle punches, as though you were punching something for a standard three-ring notebook.
To make the Travel Flex, you would follow the same instructions, but trim the covers to 4 inches, instead of 6. Paper from those magnetic refrigerator notepads can be punched in the same fashion to fit this notebook.
I have many different videos showing off ways of customizing and using flex binders. You can view the playlist here.
Cori Large is a blogger, YouTuber, writer, knitter, and librarian. Writing is her passion, she hopes to one day publish a book, and thus achieve a childhood dream. When not writing blog posts, filming YouTube videos, writing fiction, or knitting, she is taming research dragons as a librarian. She can be reached at her blog, YouTube Channel, Knitting Podcast, and Facebook Page.