Introduction: Neat Electrical Component Organizing in Binders

About: I am an electrical engineer. I graduated from U of Waterloo. I used to work for Adafruit Industries as an EE. Now I work for Sony PlayStation as a EE.
I organize my components in 3-ring binders. The things I buy:

  • The largest 3-ring binder I can find, from Staples
  • Small zip-lock bags, from Dollarama
  • Anti-static zip-lock bags, 5" by 3" size, 3M brand from Digi-Key
  • Business card holders for 3-ring binders, from Staples

Put components into the zip-lock bags, and stick a label inside the bag. Then place the bags inside the business card holders. Then place the business card holders into the 3-ring binder. Sort however you like.

Remember to use anti-static zip-lock bags for everything that is static-sensitive. The 5" by 3" bags are larger than business cards, but you can fold them in half so that they fit into the business card holders.

I do not like to actually stick the label onto the bags because I might re-use the same bag once it becomes empty. I simply leave the sticker's protective backing on, cut it into a strip that contains the useful information about the component, and insert it into the bag, NOT sticking it on the bag.

The anti-static bags are not completely transparent but they are translucent enough for you to still view the label if you place it into the bag instead of sticking it on the outside of the bag.

Digi-Key provides labels for all the components in your order, making it very compatible with this organization method. If you buy components and it doesn't come with a label, then just write down the information on a slip of paper. The most important information is what component it is, the second most important information is how to order the same component when you've run out, so remember to try including a searchable manufacture name and part number.

When components come shipped inside anti-static bagging already, sometimes I simply cut and fold the original packaging into the size of a business card and insert it into the business card holder, instead of using one of my 3M branded zip-lock bags.

This organization technique works with all surface mounted components, and small through hole components. It's also great for small nuts and bolts, button or coin cell batteries, and other reasonbably flat objects.

I also show you some other holder sheets designed for binders, one is designed for baseball/pokemon/trading cards, the other is some "Martha Stwart" branded holder that I found at Staples.
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