How to organize educational bundles is a great question, because once you have invested in one or two it can soon get overwhelming.

What exactly are digital homeschool bundles?

This is where a group of creators get together and all contribute to the bundle, usually with a particular theme. The bundle is then sold at a huge discount and the creators then split the profit. I’m a regular contributor to the Montessori Mega Bundles along with about 30 other Montessori and Charlotte Manson creators. There are other types of bundles out there too, but the premise is the same. A collated collection with a theme offered for a limited time as a budget-saving bundle.

What’s the catch?

There is no catch. These bundles of digital resources are all the rage at the moment and are great for both the creators and the buyers. For the creators, it is a great way to get in front of a new audience and for the buyer. You get a huge amount of teaching resources for a fraction of the regular price. This is great for teachers on a budget and homeschoolers/teachers alike.

Flat lay  of Montessori educational resources

How To Organize Your Bundles, Files and Mini Units

Often these bundles have hundreds of pages and numerous files and sifting through it all to find what you need can be a bit of a nightmare. I highly recommend that you take a bit of time to organize educational bundles properly so that you save yourself a truckload of time down the line.

I have seen it recommended online that you go and print everything out in one go and then add it to plastic folders, I do NOT recommend this course of action if you are not a school teacher.

WHY I DON’T RECOMMEND PRINTING EVERYTHING?

If you are a homeschooler, the chances are you are not going to need or use everything in the bundle, and that is OK! Printing everything is wasteful not only for the environment but also for your wallet! 

Plus, it might be that some of the items in the bundle are not suitable for your three-year-old at the moment but will be perfect in a couple of years’ time. It is much better to print the things you need as you need them. Otherwise, you end up with the files taking up physical space and it is much more difficult to keep them organized. 

Often, with bundles, you have a limited amount of time to access and download everything. Follow this organization hack to get your system up and running. The key to keeping it all organized is having a system, and you know how much I like having systems in place. Once you have that nailed, the rest is easy. I’ll share a few tips which will make the whole process easier and done is a fun way!

Plus a few hidden tips that will make finding the specific file you want at a later date so much easier.

Google Drive is my favourite because of its superior search function, but you could use another storage system like Dropbox, you might want to keep a copy on your hard drive too or an external drive. 

I like to have a backup because… you never know! 

Before we rush in and start creating digital filing systems, we need to be clear on how we are going to set this up. What will work best for you in the future? 

You might want to have a folder called Montessori and inside that sub-folders with each subject area. Or you might want to keep each bundle in its own folder and then subdivide it into unit studies. If you have several kids, you might feel that different age groups would work best.

This really is a personal choice. You know how your brain works, so find what is easiest to use for you. There is no perfect way! I personally go for the Montessori and subjects and I will show you how you can keep the bundle related to each file as we proceed. 

a diagram showing how to organize educational bundles. It shows how to use folder organization and different ways to set up the system

If you can’t decide what to do with a file or maybe you use project-based learning or mini units alongside Montessori, or maybe it feels like the file could go in any of three subject areas. Then simply do that, make another copy and pop it into the other folders, and then you have all bases covered.

Some ways you might want to organize educational bundles:

  • What you plan to study over the school year
  • Grade level
  • Lesson plans for different topics
  • Classroom materials vs student materials
  • Segmented into main subjects
  • Segmented for developmental ages
  • Common core subjects
  • Support guide – in their own section or kept with. the files they came with

Google Drive Is Your Friend

In your google drive account, start by creating the folders you will need (click +New then Folder the give it a name). 

To create a sub-folder, open the first folder and then click +New then Folder the give it a name. Don’t worry if you add a folder in the wrong place, it is easy to move things around later. 

Now you have your folders in place, it is time to upload. If the bundle has the files hosted on Drive, make sure you are making a copy and not adding files to your drive that are shared. If it is a shared pdf file and at a later date, the owner revokes access, you will lose the file. 

A screen shot of how to change Google folder color. to help you organize educational bundles.

Using colour coding to organize educational bundles

An extra ninja trick… use the different colors options. Colour coding your folders is a nice added touch and you can match them to the Montessori Colour Coding if you wish.

Using colour coding does help both you and your kids keep things better organized. You should be able to click the image below to print a copy as a reminder of which colours to use if you like.

Infographic of Montessori color-coding and how that helps to organize educational bundles

To organize educational bundles name files Intelligently

Usually, the files will already be named sensibly but you might want to tweak or add to them. For example, if you are adding files from the Spring Mega Bundle but the file name doesn’t reflect that you can add it to the file name. 

Alternatively, you might want to add a word so that you know at a later date which age the file would be good for. Again, it is up to you how you do this but you will find it easier and more convenient if you pick one way to do it and stay consistent across the board. Something like: 

  • What the file is + the creator + subject + age group + bundle. 
  • Types of mushroom 3 part cards by jojoebi biology 3-6 Fall mega bundle. 

Click your file in Drive so that it’s highlighted and then the three dots on the top right. Then choose rename. There is a lot of information in the name alone that will help you find the file in the future but we can also take things a step further. 

a screenshot of How to rename a google file

Using the notes section, we can add more keywords, making it easier to find what you want.

Google, as you know, is a very powerful search engine, so even if your filing system gets all messed up, at least you can rely on the search function to find the files you need when you need them.

If you are like me and remember visually what the file contains but suck with names, this is a great hack! Write a few keywords describing what is in the file. That way, when you remember what the file contains but don’t remember what it was called or who made it, you will have a fallback for finding it.

a screenshot of How to add description in google folder

I’m not going to lie. It will take a while to get this all in place, but once you have a system set up, it gets easier. As you add new files to your library, freebies that you find, or other files that you buy, it is easy to add them to your filing system.

Save Money By Using A Filing System

This will also help you make informed decisions next time you see something you want to buy, it is easy to pop into Drive and do a search to make sure you don’t already have what you need but you had forgotten about it. Once you have bought a couple of these mega bundles, it is easy to forget what you have got in these tons of resources!

Once you have printed your files

There are a lot of organizational tools out there for printed materials. My personal preference to organize educational bundles is to use file folders with colour co-ordinated binder covers. With anything that contains small pieces, I keep them in the plastic pockets in the folder, it they are flat or small plastic containers from Daiso (dollar store). I also like to make good use of Washi tape, and use it strategically to help keep things organized. Continent work, for example, all gets colour co-ordinated tape depending on the continent.

I have worked with teachers that swear by magnetic storage bins and magnetic storage pockets, you can also get creative and use household items such as dish rack to stack files and keep things in order.

One last thing about digital content

I wish this didn’t need saying, but sadly it does. Copyright covers digital files. They are the creator’s intellectual property. That means that if you share them, either in digital or printed format, you are stealing. 

As a content creator, I can tell you that it takes hours to create educational materials. Often we pay for images, photographs, fonts etc too. Many of us do it for the love of creating, but we still have families to feed! If you do want to share, it is a much more ethical choice to send your friend the link to the shop or to the website where you found the file.

If it is from a bundle, usually the creator has the file for sale somewhere too. For example, I submitted files which are available in my 193 Little Adventures shop, Teachers pay Teachers and Etsy stores.

FOR MORE FREE TEACHING PLUS PLENTY OF THINGS TO KEEP THE KIDS BUSY, SIGN UP FOR THE 193 LITTLE ADVENTURES RESOURCE LIBRARY…

193 free resource library with cover images from some of the free packs

Other posts you might enjoy: