Survival Binder for Kids and Parents: What would you include?

<p>One of my (smart and organized) friends made a binder for her daughter to keep critical info together on her daughter's college out of state. She and I realized that actually, there should really be TWO binders - one for me to keep at home, and one for DD to keep at school. Purpose: easy access to numbers, info, etc that is likely to be quickly needed. </p>

<p>I would love to hear if others did this, and what they included! So far, </p>

<p>DD's Binder (Assumes that we start together at home, adn she adds on her own when she is there. Assumes that anything confidential would be either locked up or otherwise protected)
1. Student Number, email address, phone and addresses for common university depts.
2. Contact Info for Family Members living close in case she needs a "quick hug or cheer up"
3. 10 favorite recipes that can be made with a pan and a spoon that she could make if she just couldn't stand one more dorm meal<br>
4. Contact Info for Southwest and JetBlue with her frequent flyer numbers
5. Copies of warrantees of printer, computer
6. Contact info for cell phone service
7. Contacts for storage facilities for summer
8. Place to start a "Brag Sheet" like she did in last two years of high school to remind her of contact info and responsibilities that might come in handy for resumes and recommendations
9. Transcript info and place for notes on who NOT to take for various classes from upper classmen
10. Health insurance info</p>

<p>WHAT ARE OTHER PEOPLE'S IDEAS?? I have a "brain book" like this at my office for work and one for home - they are INVALUABLE. If it isn't in there, I don't know it!</p>

<p>To broaden that Health Insurance topic, we needed to give D info on health insurance, prescription insurance, and dental insurance (all are separate for us). Included a list of providers in her area that take our coverage (looked up on provider's website). Although she would start at the campus clinic with most ailments, we thought it would be good to have identified some providers quickly so we wouldn't have to look it up when she was sick.</p>

<p>For a lot of what you mention, such as the phone numbers of the family members who live close by or the phone numbers for the relevant airlines and the student's frequent flyer numbers ... I would just program that into a cell phone and be done with it, versus keep paper around. Most cell phone contact lists have room for additional info and that's where you put the frequent flyer number.</p>

<p>My daughter lost her cellphone once and another time it was out of commission because of water damage. She couldn't call people on other phones because the phone numbers were only in her cellphone.</p>

<p>Airport transfer info./#s.</p>

<p>scanned Copy of vaccination information </p>

<p>scanned Copy of drivers license, passport and credit cards STORED IN A SECURED location--even an online case things are lost/stolen.... You wouldn't want these cpies/items easily available to anyone entering a students room.</p>

<p>We didn't have a survival binder...or anything like it. BUT DS and DD DID have copies of their drivers licenses, passports, health insurance cards, SS cards, and contact info for family and friends written down and in a safe place locked up in their dorm rooms. WE also had these stored electronically here so if needed we could quickly provide a copy via email attachment.</p>

<p>This feels like overdoing it to me, and I'm an organized, list-making person. Here's the reason: When our children start college, they need to begin taking charge of this kind of information for themselves, using whatever organizing system works for them. My son never wanted to see another binder after high school. In our case, we prefer to be paperless when we can. Evernote is my lifeline! </p>

<p>I gave him the following--all things he did not need to have or know about in high school:
Health insurance card
Complete health history
Frequent flyer account numbers
Extra family contacts (he already had most of them)</p>

<p>I let him figure out where and how to store this information, and he's never lost it or asked me for it. I know for a fact that the FF numbers went into his Evernote and family contacts went into his iPhone. He already knew how to deal with the cellphone provider. Original warranties are in a folder at home; he has copies. He couldn't cook until sophomore year, when I did give him some favorite recipes.</p>

<p>Nos. 7, 8, and 9 should be your D's responsibility. She'll find out about storage on her own, keep resume information if she's been doing it already (my S has had a resume since mid-high school, so he just keeps updating it). The transcript and notes on professors are the student's business. And transcripts are so much easier to obtain in college than they were in HS. </p>

<p>You'll find that the cashier's office (or whatever they call it at your D's school) is the only department you'll need to contact--and in my view, the only one you should be contacting. I find that e-mail is the best way to get in touch with them at my S's school.</p>

<p>In the spirit of full disclosure, I did give him a batch of greeting cards to send his grandmother, with stamps! She was in a nursing home then, and she loved hearing from him. </p>

<p>As of Friday, he is officially a senior! How did that happen?</p>

<p>having scanned copies of these items on a flash drive would also be a good idea.</p>

<p>I made 'a system' for my organized daughter when she left 3 years ago. If I recall, there was a binder (modeled off of a store-bought version) and a filebox. I had that same feeling of trying to prepare my bird for her flight.</p>

<p>She never used any it and it stayed at home for 2nd and 3rd year. </p>

<p>She came up with solutions that worked for her, asking us for missing info as needed.</p>

<p>I'm with geezermom....</p>

<p>It's fun to have her need to call us for a missing piece of information! I don't want her to not need me!</p>

<p>for recipes - after many many filing variations, I moved all of them to Google Docs, and shared the folder with my sister and daughters.</p>

<p>For holidays one year, she asked for some nice Thank You note cards.</p>

<p>Wow, do I feel like a slacker. This never occured to me. But then, D has always been one of those "NO" kids; my brilliant suggestions go in one ear and out the other. </p>

<p>But the last 2 years have shown me that she can figure things out herself, in her own way. When she needed a resume, the only thing she asked me for was the template that I use; whether she filled in her information from memory, or from some well-hidden secret filing system, I have no idea -- not my responsibility or my concern. She figured out all by herself how to store her things for the summer. She's become adept at navigating the college bureaucracy when she needs a form signed or a question answered. All without my help! She has her insurance card and passport, but no copies; a copy of a passport is useless, and Blue Cross is always a phone call away. </p>

<p>Speaking of which, almost any phone number can easily be found on the internet, so I see little reason to keep them in a binder. When I need to contact the college FA office (the only people I have any reason to talk to), I can go to the aforementioned internet. Or I can grab the "College Bills" file; the number is right there on the statement. If I ever have an emergency need to contact, say, Campus Security, I'll go to the website.</p>

<p>This thread, though, has prompted me that she needs to have contact information for an uncle or two, just in case DH and I are ever unreachable; for that matter, the uncles need to have HER contact info. And I'll remind her to upload her phone contacts on a regular basis. That is, I'll remind her once -- after that, loss of contacts would come under the heading of Life Lesson. :)</p>

<p>Otherwise, unless we're talking about some apocalyptic event (in which case cell phone and other systems and infrastructure wouldn't be working anyway), I have faith that she can handle most anything, or figure out how to handle it.</p>

<p>I am sorry, but this is really silly to me. D1 has iPhone with internet access, without it she has her laptop, plus she has a boat load of friends with smart phones and laptops. At any given time she could easily get emergency numbers online. When I am driving with my kids, I am the one who is asking them to get me various contact info via internet and how to get there. We are not living in the 90s.</p>

<p>I am also my kid's concierge.</p>

<p>But it's hard to get cellphone numbers online, so uploading them regularly is a good idea.</p>

<p>I've moved a lot of family data to Growly Notes (Mac OS X knockoff of Microsoft One-Note). I find that it's an invaluable tool for managing college stuff, job searches, work projects and personal information. You create notebooks with hierarchically-stored information. It can be text, pdfs, images, video, audio, links, etc. You can send notebook files to other people for sharing your data. There's also encryption.</p>

<p>With Microsoft One-Note, you can sync installations with multiple computers keeping users linked and providing implicit backups of data.</p>

<p>Good points all! Being still a paper person myself predominantly, I went to paper first but of course storing it virtually is better! Very good points on independence too - although I do think I need to get things together for her (as much to organize myself as her) I will let her take the lead and determine how best to use/store the info. </p>

<p>So with that tweak, what else should a KID remember?</p>

<p>We didn't actually have a binder, but she did have a manila envelope with a clasp on it with the insurance info, all the insurance cards, and phone number for nearby friends/relatives in it. We might have put a few other items in it, I don't remember. She still moves that envelope from place to place with her, and has use the prescription info in it a few times.</p>

<p>Shoot - go ahead and bust me for calling her a kid. A young adult spreading her wings into adulthood.... Lest you think we are too helicopter-ish. we are encouraging her to go to school on the other coast. Just trying to control MY anxiety - I know she will be fine.</p>

<p>As a kid going to college on the opposite coast, here's one random thing that I never would have thought of, but can be very important - </p>

<p>At my college, and I'm assuming at a lot of others, in order to be put on the payroll for an on-campus job, you must present your actual, physical SS card. A copy is not okay. You will need it in order to fill out an I9 form and start getting paid by the college. Something a lot of people didn't realize, but can really hold you up! </p>

<p>I don't know if this is a universal phenomenon, but thought I'd put it out there.</p>

<p>My daughter needed a passport or birth certificate for her campus job.</p>

<p>If this is the kind of system the family uses, it makes sense to transfer that to the child-- if she wants to develop her own system, she will ignore it. No need to call OP silly for trying.</p>

<p>Something she should keep in her phone and on paper somewhere is the different numbers for security and police, emergency and non-emergency, numbers for any kind of a safe-ride program or cab service for emergencies, and info for an urgent care thats open on the weekend. That's stuff I kept on a card in my wallet when I was in school. Those non-emergency security and police numbers got used much more often than I would have anticipated.</p>