I’ve recently started using a 5.5×8.5″ binder from Staples to organize my RPG notes for Savage Worlds and other games.

These binders are truly something special — Staples has produced a binder which has a rugged rubber edge. As such it won’t crack and wear out as easily.

They come in several colors — I like white and black the best.

More importantly though, it gives a certain weight to the binder which makes it sit snugly on the game table with little chance of tipping over accidently. Below you can see it in action sitting nicely in front of the GM (me!).


From the player’s side, the clear covers allow you to insert a picture — making it a sort of mini-GM screen. The small form factor means it doesn’t get in your way. It gives the feel of running without a GM screen with the convenience of having what amounts to a full 8.5×11″ page of content visible.

In the inside, the left flap lets you insert some documents — I like to stick 4×6 notecards with my NPC stats there. For dividers, I create my own using a paper cutter to cut heavyweight paper to 5.5×8.5″ size, and use Avery tabs on them. You can buy commercial tab dividers at this size if you prefer though.

Below is a screenshot of an OpenOffice template I use to write up my adventures. I then print them out double-sided, and cut off the extra space and hole punch it to fit the divider. I’ve developed a template to support RPG scenes, box text, and character stats blocks.

Download the OpenOffice 5.5×8.5 RPG Planner Template here. OpenOffice┬áis available for free download. To get it to look just like my layout, you’ll need some free fonts: Open Sans and SF Fedora.