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Organizing and storing documents in folders and binders

Since the long-heralded advent of the paperless office has yet to actually materialize, the good old paper folder still occupies an important place in document storage. Most of the folders you'll use in your home office will be made of heavy card stock, with convenient tabs for easy labeling and organization.

Folder tabs come in three basic varieties: one-third tabs, half tabs and full-cut tabs. More innovative alternatives are also available; for example, you can purchase folders with erasable plastic tabs that allow you to reuse the product over and over. You can also get multicolored folders that allow you to organize documents by type, date or whatever other system makes most sense for you.

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Specialized Folder Products

Hanging folders are useful organizational accessories that allow you to group file folders together in desk drawers. Designed with gussets, which are usually placed along the bottom edge, hanging folders are made of thicker stock or a light plastic polymer. These features deliver expandability and a much higher storage capacity than basic manila folders provide.

You can also get presentation folder products that have built-in business card holders and pockets that hold CDs or DVDs. These are very useful if you need fast, easy access to information about a client or supplier, or if you want to be able to hand out your business card without having to fish through your pockets.

Document Storage Alternatives

For more secure document storage, a binder is a good alternative. Binders are made of more durable synthetic materials and feature flaps and pockets that can be used to keep heavily used documents close at hand while protecting them from damage. A good old-fashioned ring binder is a classic accessory for students, especially those who want to avoid lugging cumbersome laptop computers to class.

Keep in mind that you'll need to match the products you choose not only to the size of the documents you'll be keeping, but also to the size of the drawer you're going to store them in; generally speaking, folders are available both in standard and legal sizes, but binders are normally limited to 8½" x 11".