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  • What are you using as the “Classic GTD manila file folder” in UK/Europe?

    Hello GTD Fans,

    I’m in the UK and as others have mentioned here before, it’s not that easy to get an A4 tabbed manila folder over here!

    There are loads of document wallets, folders without tabs, slip files, file pockets and so on to choose from, but the classic GTD manila tabbed folder seems a rarity here!

    Avery do a version, but it works out a lot more expensive than its US counterpart. I’ve tried a straight cut version, but it’s harder to read the labels when the files are close together.

    So imagine my delight when browsing through my local “The Works” (High street cut price books and stationery supplier) when I found several boxes of Pendaflex Clearview A4 Tabbed Plastic/Poly File Folders.

    With 30 folders to a box for only £2 GBP (around $3.50 USD) I just had to buy all they had there! I walked away with 7 boxes, total cost was £14 or $24.5 for 210, A4 tabbed clear poly file folders!

    The US version (letter size) is over at:

    http://www.pendaflex.com/enUS/Produc...pk__90320.html

    The one’s I picked up today are effectively the same, only differing in being A4 sized and being in packs of red or yellow tabs.

    They’re hard wearing, can be labelled over and over again with no tearing, creasing or getting dog-eared – in short they’re great! Wish I’d seen them about 2 years ago when I first got into GTD.

    I like the feel of manila but these plastic folders will be far more practical for me. Most of my work filing is current work/projects in progress – once completed the hard copies are usually shredded and the details stored on PC instead. The labels come off and the folder goes back in the blank pile. I don’t need to do a lot of long-term reference filing. Either way, these 210 files are going to last me a very long time! (Longer than their manila counterparts too and the labels come of easily and don’t tear as the manila ones did.)

    This has now lead me to wonder – what are most GTD’ers in the UK and Europe using for the classic GTD file folder?

    At home I’m using manila document wallets and they’re working fine.

    At work I’ve never found an ideal, until now that is, I tried document wallets but by their very nature you can’t simply open them and read the contents like a book (as you can with the open on 3 sides style folders) - instead I’d have to remove the contents first to read them.

    Tried straight cut A4 manila file folders but as some only had one or two sheets in them, the labels were not easy to see.

    Just wondering what most of us are using out there? Tabbed v Straight Cut? Manila v Plastic? And to think I used to think a folder was just a folder!!

    Many thanks,

    Andy.

  • #2
    I live in Switzerland, I also spent some time searching for tabbed folders without success. In the end, I have settled for straight-edge folders (which are plentiful and free at the office supply cabinet at work). It takes a little bit more work to find things since you have to flip through them to be able to read the labels, but I have found it to work fine. One advantage is that as folders get inserted in my filing cabinet, the look remains uniform (wheras with tabbed folders you could always end up with a mixture of tab positions or several folders with the same tab position in a row).

    In the end, I don't think it makes a significant difference.

    Comment


    • #3
      Source for A4 manilla folders finally uncovered

      Hi Andy,

      Originally posted by AndyD View Post
      So imagine my delight when browsing through my local “The Works” (High street cut price books and stationery supplier) when I found several boxes of Pendaflex Clearview A4 Tabbed Plastic/Poly File Folders.
      [...]
      This has now lead me to wonder – what are most GTD’ers in the UK and Europe using for the classic GTD file folder?
      [...]
      I can certainly imagine your delight as I have been searching high and low for tabbed A4 folders! I have found some (Elba is a brand for example), but I would really prefer not to have stuff printed on them, so didn't buy them.

      For my filing system, which I've recently re-done, I ended up with square-cut folders as they are available in the UK (from Stapels with a little bit of print on them). Finding A4 size is the trick though, as foolscap seems to be the prefered size here, but they are too wide for my filing box. As others have said, the square-cut folders make it more difficult to read the labels, but on the other hand you're not restricted to short labels. For my general a-z reference they work well enough, and I can grab a bunch and browse pretty much like thumbing through a magazine (not sure how to explain this better).

      For project support I use the A4 manilla wallet folders.

      Your post had me searching the Internet again, and while I didn't turn up the plastic folders you found, I did find a source for plain, light yellow manilla 5-tabbed folders. http://sweden.esselte-catalogues.com...247.33.43.html. It's a Swedish site and I'm not sure how to order, you may have to be a company. There is a phone number at the bottom one could call.

      My tickler file is made up of these folders, but they are, gosh, 10-12 years old and severely freyed, and I'm looking to replace them. The plastic ones you found might be even better, though. I'm in a small town in Yorkshire and we have no The Works here, so I'll continue to look on the Internet, but if you happen to have a link, I'd be much obliged if you would share it.

      All the best,
      Christina

      Comment


      • #4
        The Works

        Hi Christina,

        I know exactly what you mean about the search for A4 tabbed folders! Before I found (purely by chance) the poly/plastic A4 folders in my local “The Works” I’ve found the following too:

        Elba do a tabbed folder as you mentioned, but it does have their own printing on it:

        http://www.euroffice.co.uk/i/r3c/Elb...20442-Pack-100

        For a while I used 5 Star Square Cut A4 folders, which are completely blank:

        http://www.euroffice.co.uk/i/63c/5-S...-Ref--Pack-100

        “…...For my general a-z reference they work well enough, and I can grab a bunch and browse pretty much like thumbing through a magazine (not sure how to explain this better).......”

        Explained perfectly! I’ve taken a plastic/poly ring binder and removed the ring/lever section, leaving only the plastic “U” shaped cover. I then slip into this the following folders; Inbox, Action Support, Read/Review, To Home, To Work and any current project folders. At the desk it sits upright between 2 mesh bookends acting as a file stand, when travelling it slips into a zipped canvas folder holder.

        It ends up being a cross between an expanding file folder and a single lever arch file. The cool thing is that I can pickup and browse through all these folders as if a single large bound file or magazine as you mentioned, without having to remove any contents from their folders first.

        I bought the poly folders at my local branch of The Works (they don’t do any online sales), but they do have quite a few branches throughout the UK. You can search by post code etc at their site over at:

        http://www.theworks.co.uk

        A quick search for Yorkshire turned up about 16 stores so you may be in luck! I think they buy stock in job-lots and when it’s all gone, there’s no guarantee they’ll get any more. But it might be worth a call to some of those stores – they may have stock of the poly folders left.

        The description on the blank plain boxes of 30 they come in, is Pendaflex EasyView Insert Files A4 (pack of 30) and they’re retailing at £1.99 per pack. They’re boxed by tab colour and appear to be available in red, green, orange, yellow or blue.

        I found (and bought!) some more at another local branch just last weekend so they seem to have some still in stock – good luck if you decide to find some!

        Hope this helps,

        Cheers,

        Andy.
        Last edited by AndyD; 10-06-2008, 09:35 AM. Reason: Typo!

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks Andy for the pointers! Sorry for the late response; have not been visiting the forum for a while. I go to Manchester every now and then and will check out The Works there next time.

          Originally posted by AndyD View Post
          ... I’ve taken a plastic/poly ring binder and removed the ring/lever section, leaving only the plastic “U” shaped cover. I then slip into this the following folders; Inbox, Action Support, Read/Review, To Home, To Work and any current project folders. At the desk it sits upright in a file folder, when travelling it slips into a zipped canvas folder holder.

          It ends up being a cross between an expanding file folder and a single lever arch file. The cool thing is that I can pickup and browse through all these folders as if a single large bound file or magazine as you mentioned, without having to remove any contents from their folders first.
          ...
          Very innovative! Good tip!

          Cheers,
          Christina

          Comment

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