What do students, artists, entrepreneurs, and interviewees all have in common? They all use padfolios. Nobody wants to carry around all the contents of their workspace strewn in a bag, so having an accessory to keep everything organized is essential!
Since there are so many different types of padfolios, you’ll want to pick the best one for your needs, whether that’s attending lectures or giving presentations. Learn everything you need to know about the different types of padfolios!
If you plan to keep sensitive materials or items like USB drives inside your padfolio, you should consider a zippered style. This way all your items will stay securely inside, and you won’t have to worry about anything falling out, getting lost, or becoming damaged.
Not everyone needs a full-sized padfolio. If you only need to keep a few small items like business cards handy, a mini padfolio might be the best choice. Typically, a small notepad will be included that is great for keeping a to-do list or jotting down a quick note during a meeting.
For someone who carries lots of electronics every day, a tech padfolio is an easy way to keep belongings organized and secure. There is enough storage space for charging cords, a stylus, your smartphone, tablet, and several USB drives.
Do you like to sketch or hand-write your meeting notes? The cover of a writing padfolio features a hard-flat surface specifically designed for writing on. Inside, you’ll find all the elements you’d expect from a standard padfolio including a notepad and several storage options.
Some of us need a bit more space than normal. If that’s the case, consider a trifold padfolio! This style folds out on both sides and provides the extra storage compartments a regular padfolio does not. The extra compartments can include an additional note pad, more business card slots, and multiple folders.
Accountants, financial advisors, and people who crunch numbers every day will appreciate the convenience of a calculator padfolio. This style includes a built-in calculator, a notepad, and extra folder storage for loose papers. You won’t have to worry about carrying along a calculator because there will always be one right inside!
The different types of padfolios have been designed to suit the needs of nearly anyone. You don’t have to have a desk job or attend daily meetings to get good use from a padfolio!
What Are the Different Parts of a Padfolio?
Since padfolios are designed to keep all your professional necessities in one place, they have a lot of room for storage. Learn about the different parts in a standard portfolio!
- Interior Pocket: Ideal for folders or loose papers like meeting notes
- Business Card Slot: Handy for keeping your business cards, and to store any you might collect from networking
- Clear ID Pocket: Keep your license or state ID card visible with this clear pocket
- Pen Loop: Never forget a pen by keeping one securely inside the elastic loop
- Zippered Interior Pocket: Perfect for storing small items like USB drives or calculators
- Zippered Enclosure: Zip the entire padfolio closed to avoid losing any belongings or damaging papers
- Notepad: Take meeting notes, sketch a scene at the park, or keep yourself organized using the notepad inside
Keep in mind, some padfolios might have more or less storage options and can also vary in size. When choosing a padfolio, consider the space and size that would be best for whatever you’ll be using it for.
How to Care for Leather
Believe it or not, caring for leather is as easy as using soap and water! Add a dot of dish soap to a damp rag and wipe it across your leather padfolio to remove built-up dirt. Be careful not to soak the leather or it can become brittle when it dries. If you notice a stain on the leather, use 1-part lemon juice and 1-part cream of tartar. Rub the paste into the spot and repeat every few hours if the spot remains.
DISCLAIMER: Not all leather is created equal. Contact the manufacturer before using these methods to avoid potential damage to the material.
How to Care for Polypropylene
Polypropylene is a type of durable plastic that is simple to clean. Combine 1-part warm water and 1-part white vinegar. Wipe the surface dry with a cloth rag or paper towel. Vinegar is great for removing stains as well as disinfecting surfaces.
How to Care for Polyester
You can clean your polyester portfolio using a rag and cool water. You’ll want to avoid using any heat or hot water because it can damage the fabric. Polyester is a durable material that can withstand long-term use. If you have a stain on your padfolio, you can use a small amount of detergent on the cloth to remove it.
How to Care for Paper
Padfolios made from paper can be especially delicate to clean. If you end up with a spill or a stain on the paper material, it’s important to act quickly before the spill dries. With a dry paper towel, soak up as much excess liquid as possible, then spread the stained page on a flat surface. Moisten a clean paper towel and dab the stain. Repeat with a clean paper towel each time, until you stop seeing color come off on it.
Materials You’ll Need:
- Notepad (size of your preference)
- Fabric, leather, or decorative paper
- Hot glue gun
- Duct Tape
Cut the cardboard to the size you want your padfolio to be when closed. A standard sized notebook is 8.5” x 11”. You will need two identical pieces for the front and back cover of your padfolio.
Lay the fabric, leather, or paper face-down and place the two pieces of cardboard next to each other on top, and cut the fabric around each piece of cardboard, leaving space around the edges of the cardboard.
Glue down the fabric to the cardboard and glue the edges down by folding them on to the cardboard.
Use a strip of duct tape to create a spine by taping together the two sides of cardboard. Use black tape for a professional look.
Take another piece of paper, leather, or fabric and glue it to the inside of the padfolio to cover the cardboard and tape.
Construct any pockets you need by cutting pieces of fabric, paper, or leather. Be sure to leave folded edges to glue down.
Glue any pockets down to the inside of the padfolio. If you are using paper, you can always put a cardboard backing to the pocket to make it more sturdy.
Glue down the back piece of cardboard on the notepad to the inside cover of the padfolio.
And there you have it! If you want to add some type of enclosure, you can add that at the end as well.
Making your own padfolio at home is simple and fun! While this specific design is relatively easy, you can get creative using a sewing machine, tooling leather, or adding different storage options inside. Make them as a gift for your friend who just got a new job, or for yourself to stay organized at work.
Check out this DIY padfolio construction in action!
The Bottom Line
Padfolios are a diverse office accessory that comes in all shapes and sizes. If you need to carry your presentation notes or your most recent sketches, a padfolio is the perfect choice!
WikiHow. (2019, August 8). How to clean plastic. Retrieved December 11, 2019 from
DIY Networdk. (2019). Tips for Cleaning + Protecting Leather. Retrieved December 11, 2019 from
Ariel. (2019). How to wash polyester. Retrieved December 11, 2019 from
WikiHow. (2019, March 29). How to remove stains from paper. Retrieved December 11, 2019 from
Esther Frayda Safrin. (2016, July 22). Junior Legal Padfolio DIY-Timelapse. Retrieved from
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