The Binder System


Tom Corley boats - crop

I’ve been using something I call the Binder System since I discovered it during my Rich Habits Study. The Binder System helps you in your quest for success. Each binder is a tool in your success tool belt.

Fact Binder

In my research, I found that self-made millionaires were dedicated to daily growth and daily self-improvement. Each day, they sought to increase their knowledge through reading, listening to audio books, listening to podcasts, watching educational video, attending seminars, webinars, tele-seminars, participating in formal or informal mastermind groups and asking questions of others to gain more insight and expertise. This enabled them to grow their knowledge each day to help them evolve into the person they needed to become in order to realize success.

While reading is important, retaining important information uncovered in your reading is critical to learning new facts and information. One strategy to do this is the Fact Binder. In your Fact Binder create various topic sections that are meaningful to you. Each day, after reading, add any new facts or information to your Fact Binder. You can even add a section titled: “New Words” where you add any new words you come across in your reading. Writing down what you read has a way of reinforcing what you just read. Abraham Lincoln would write things down 3 times in order to commit them to memory. The physical act of writing somehow acts to create a new neural pathway that allows the new facts or information to stick. Once a week go over the new information you added. That will help reinforce the learning.

Mistake Binder

The Mistake Binder is a running list of every mistake you make in life. Each mistake is documented on one page. You want to document four things on that one page: WHAT went wrong WHY did it go wrong HOW to avoid repeating it in the future LESSON you learned The goal is to get into the habit of filling your Mistake Binder with page after page of mistakes that you make. Then spend a few minutes every other week reviewing your Mistake Binder. This helps make the learning stick and will also keep the mistakes in working memory, acting like a radar system, alerting them when you are about to repeat a mistake. The Mistake Binder will take the taboo out of making mistakes and will change your negative perception regarding mistakes. You’ll soon find yourself embracing your mistakes and the lessons they teach.

Book Binder

This is a binder where, in 1-2 pages, you summarize the key points of every book you read. This binder gives you immediate access to these key points at any time.

Vision Binder

The Vision Binder includes a picture of every dream that you one day hope to realize. It gives you instant access to each dream, allowing you to easily document and review each dream. By periodically  reviewing each dream, you help consolidate it into long-term memory, allowing your subconscious to go to work behind the scenes to help you make your dream a reality.

Goal Binder

In this binder you list every one of the goals you want to accomplish in order to help you realize each one of your dreams. In my Goal Binder I put at the top of each page one dream. Then, on the same page, I list all of the goals I will need to achieve in order for that dream to be realized. In the Goal Binder each dream is your destination and the goals are your GPS – how you get there.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit,, India TV, Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money,,, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider,, and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. Vanessa S. Lewis says:

    As a writer and reader, I do like the book binder idea for recapping each book we read, but the Mistake binder is a brave and smart idea. Entrepreneurs are out to succeed, sure, but they want to admit, forgive, learn and reference their mistakes if they aspire excellence. There are other great and useful binder ideas mentioned here as well. I really like this idea, thank you Tom!

  2. Hi,

    Just a quick marketing tip for you – take it for what it is worth…

    Instead of your same profile picture every day, it would be awesome to see a picture of what you are talking about for the day. It creates interest. For example, today, I would be totally lit up to see a binder system, your binder system, an example of a binder system.


  3. Excellent article Tom. Thank you for your imput to share your knowledge. Well done.

  4. A goal binder sounds like a smart way to tackle your dreams. Staying organized and on task in this area may be key to success.

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