Thursday, February 5, 2009

Two Questions: When Binders Don't Quite Work

cat and 3-ring binders

I've seen two questions in the past week or so regarding alternatives to binder. One came from a reader, who sent me an e-mail saying:

I am looking for an alternative to the 3-Ring binder for keeping documents together. In the past, I used a shelf with the binders, but the 4" models added so much width to them that they began to hang off the edge. Plus, they tend to lean and fall over. We now store the binders in a horizontal drawer filing cabinet designed for hanging folders. That is a bigger mess because you cannot see the binder where the information is.

So, is there an alternative that will bind several hundred pages, have hooks for the hanging folder bars, and have a flat binder area for attaching a label?

hanging binders in file cabinet

Yes, there is indeed an alternative. Both Avery and Acco/Wilson Jones make hanging binders; see the picture above. However, I've only seen them in 1-inch, 2-inch, and 3-inch sizes. However, I've read that the 2-inch binder holds up to 500 pages, and the 3-inch binder holds up to 700.

desktop binder carousel

Another storage option worth knowing about is the binder carousel. They come in many sizes - the desktop carousel is shown above. For a whole range of binder carousel options, see Bindertek or Ultimate Office.

The other question was posted on the Getting Things Done Yahoo group; someone was frustrated by the wasted space a binder takes (if you don't have just the right size for your papers), but was also frustrated by pressboard report covers, which don't waste any space but which make it hard to reorganize papers - and again, wanted to know if there were any options.

spring clamp binders

The product worth knowing about here is the clamp binder. Here's one version, from Ultimate Office.

clamp binders

You could also get the Semikolon clamp binders, available from See Jane Work. The clamp binders at Jenni Bick also seem to come from Semikolon.

[photo by A.J. Gazman, licensed under Creative Commons]


Liz McCoy said...

I have found personally that binders just don't work for me at home. however at my office binders ROCK! I've got all my state reference materials in my binders neatly labeled and they are the hanging kind so they're tucked away neatly in my lateral file cabinet. the hanging binders are AWESOME!!!!!!

Jeri Dansky said...

I'm so glad to hear they work well for you, Liz!

Anonymous said...

how much are these they look good?

Jeri Dansky said...

Anonymous, you can follow the links to any product you are interested in, and see the prices.

Anonymous said...

Do you offer your binder with a cover insert?
We need to put inserts in the front and back of the binder.
Thanks, Gail

Jeri Dansky said...

Gail, I don't sell any products. If you have questions about any of the ones shown, just follow the link to the product page, and ask the vendor.