Friday, March 30, 2007
Smead has been introducing some new filing products - and each time, they kindly send a sample to professional organizers.
The one that arrived in my mailbox today was the FasTab hanging folder. We're all familiar with the normal hanging folders and the plastic tabs used to label them. These new hanging folders have built-in double ply tabs - no plastic tabs needed. (See traditional vs. FasTab picture above.)
I can definitely see the appeal to this product. My major concern is that the folders are only available in 1/3 cut - with left, center, and right tabs. This precludes using straight line filing, where all the tabs are in the same position. Others have expressed some concern that the paper tabs might not hold up as well over time as the plastic tabs do.
Another new product from Smead is the SuperTab file folders - with larger-than-normal tabs to provide more room for writing labels. Again, these are only available in 1/3 cut - and the tabs are only single ply. To me, these address a non-existent problem; I easily solve the issue of too-small tabs by using folders with straight cut tabs, which extend for the entire length of the folder.
And then there are the Smead anti-microbial file folders - which I can no longer find on the Smead web site, although they are available elsewhere. Smead says they are treated with an antimicrobial agent to guard against the growth of bacteria, odors, algae, mold, fungus and mildew. There may be some specialized need for these products - but I can't think of one offhand. My first reaction, perhaps unfair, is that Smead is simply exploiting the incredible fear of germs that has seemed to permeate American culture recently.
Update on November 13, 2007: You can now find the antimicrobial folders by using the advanced search feature.
Update on November 14, 2007: I got an explanation from Smead about the anti-microbial files folders, and they make sense to me now. The main benefit of these products is archival; the antimicrobial protection guards against the growth of mold, mildew, fungus, etc., on the product that could damage archived records. It is especially effective in damp storage areas (basements) or areas with high humidity.