Training Badge
Submitted by suedavis on


Here's an extremely picky question: what size ring binders should I have the department admin order for me for O3's with my new directs? At my last job, I used 3x5 cards in my Hipster and a spiral notebook (into which I stapled the cards, and took notes); using the Hipster didn't work quite as smoothly as planned, and I think I'm inclined to just use the regular form in my new position.

How quickly would a 1" binder fill up? Should I get 2" binders?

rwwh's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

I am using simple 2-hole transparent foil A4 binders. One for each direct report. At one O3 per week, they each are about 5mm thick after a year.

One binder for all would not be useful. And 2" per person is about 10 years worth of O3's, which does not look like a reasonable period to keep the logs.

WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

I use 1" binders. (Maybe 3/4") They don't fill up that fast. I can fit a year in them pretty easy. Heck, pull out 52 sheets of paper and see how high the stack is. :wink:

I wouldn't go with the 2" as I can easily fit the smaller folders in the drawer of my desk. (Hanging folders) It seems like the 2" rode up a little higher and did not allow me to close the drawer.

kenstanley's picture

Ah, fitting in the draw is a good point, Will.

I use manila folder style pocket-thingys. I think it is called a Slimpick Wallet (do a Google image search). Similar to a loose folder, but things don't fall out. I just stack them on my desk. Each page is loose so it is easy to pull out in your 03s or lay out on a long desk for evaluation times etc.

WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

I keep a stack of O3 forms (pre-punched) in the first hanging folder, then each direct's 3-ring binder in another hanging folder. Each 3-ring binder has a label on the spine for easy identification.

I haven't gotten to the point where I put Post-It notes for feedback or O3 topics during the week into each folder, but I know I should. That's a terrific idea.

juliahhavener's picture
Licensee Badge

I use 2" binders. These happen to fit perfectly in my desk drawer. I use these binders for more than my O3s, though - they have tabs for employee information, O3s, quality evaluations for calls, rewards and recognition, and a training log.

I am, however, vain enough to have ordered very specific binders and created a pretty cover for them that puts the employee's name on the spine (which faces up in the drawer).

tlhausmann's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

I am using composition notebooks with sewn pages. I glued O3 forms inside the covers as a reference guides. Symbols in the margins denote 'To Do' items, coaching topics, feedback topics, and accomplishments.

MattJBeckwith's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

I use 1.5" binders, the ones with the pocket in the front to hold my post-it notes.

The "I" in me wanted to make fancy covers but I never got around to it.

juliahhavener's picture
Licensee Badge

Thanks for the early morning chuckle, Dave.

RichRuh's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

I use manila folders- one folder per direct. I have a box on my desk that holds the O3s for my group. When I have something I want to remember to talk about, I just write it on a piece of paper and toss it in the folder.

AManagerTool's picture

I use manila folders also....but I am starting to really think the 1" binders are a better idea. Putting the sheets away after the O3 has been an issue for me and they get shoved in my "to file" box.....which stays out on my desk too long...ahem!

sklosky's picture


Here's my take on it.

Have you admin order a dozen or so binders of various sizes and keep them stocked in the supply room. 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4 inch ones are popular. I like the clearvue style where you can print front and rear covers on 8.5 x 11 and slip them in. The spline can take an insert as well. These can be reused as needed. With time you will gravitate towards the size that works best for you for your O3 notes. Also, the extras can be used for other purposes as you find stacks of paper that need to be put "in a bucket".

Good luck,

terrih's picture

Gee, I use 0.5" binders. We have a labeler (had it BEFORE I read David Allen) and I used that to put each direct's name on the spines.

I might have to file old O3 forms occasionally, but I haven't gotten to that point yet.

rwwh's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

Terri, how long do you plan to keep the forms?

terrih's picture

I haven't determined how long to keep the forms. Just off the top of my head, I guess maybe I wouldn't need them any more after a major review.

madamos's picture
Licensee Badge

I use manila folders with twin prong fasteners. I also have the hole punch to fit the fasteners. You may have seen these types of folders used for medical records or legal records.

These fit into hanging file cabinets easily, they are easily transportable for when I travel and they allow me to lock the files in the cabinets when I am away.

I have 12 direct reports and have been travelling frequently so having folders that take up the minimum amount of space is really helpful.


mwbirren's picture

ok, here's my challenge... I want to keep a daily journal for myself [u]and[/u] maintain a 1x1 folder for each employee, but its kind of a hassle how I do this today

You see, I keep a journal for any and all meetings I attend. This includes 1x1's. At the end of the day or week, I will copy the 1x1 notes and file them into folders I have for each direct report.
The reason I do this is that I do not always carry every person's folder with me during the day and there are times my 1x1 notes with one person is useful for some different meeting. Its a hassle copying and filing the 1x1s, but it is handy come review time, plus I think the employee gets the sense that I am serious about working with them (their file is only about them, includes their previous performance reviews, recognitions, awards, certitifcations, etc.).

I have yet to use the MT form, but try to follow the guideline of their-items, my-items, hand-written, etc..


juliahhavener's picture
Licensee Badge


I do this, too. I have a hard bound spiral for my daily notes, but I use the MT form for my O3s. The binder I use for daily notes has a pocket in it, so in your position you could just keep a few extra blanks there. When you have your O3, take those notes on THAT form and store them with the employee binders when you are back at your desk. Notate in your binder 'O3 with so and so' and you can reference those notes should you need them later.

I think you're building in a little more redundancy by trying to track them in both places to do it effectively. You're just burning time trying to re-create the notes in two places.