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  • 3 point tabbed manilla folders...

    I just purchased a box of 100 letter sized manilla folders. They usually come in three tab positions. Left tabbed, center tabbed, and right tabbed.

    Since GTD encourages readily starting new files, it's futile to try to keep the three point system properly staggered. (ie. left, center, right, left, center...)

    Do you guys care about such minutia? I am a very visual person, and would ultimatley like my files to be pleasing to look at. I am considering buying my folders in just one tab position only. What do you do?

  • #2
    I've solved this by using ONLY the expandable "pocket" style folders that are closed on three sides.

    I use them both in Legal (work) and Letter (home) sizes - and I love them. I can quickly grab one at any time with minimal worry that things are going to be falling out of them.

    These come "square cut" across the top (no tabs) and I always center my labels in the middle of the folder - using their little "thumb notch" as a guide.

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    • #3
      Staggered Tab Folders (are evil)

      I agree entirely. I have two offices, one in the US and one in the UK, and just before I left for a long stint away from my US office I completely re-organised my permanent files there (for my own peace of mind) by throwing out the pre-existing staggered-tabbed hanging folder mess. I replaced it with a nice clean line of ALL CENTRE-TABBED folders with label-maker printed labels.

      Any good office supply store (e.g., Office Depot, Office Max, Staples) will sell boxes of all-centre, all-left, or all-right tabbed folders. I suspect it doesn't matter which you choose, but I do think it is helpful to be consistent. It does save a surprising amount of time when scanning across the files--not to mention just making the whole process more enjoyable because it looks so much neater!

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      • #4
        Another Suggestion

        Or you could make all A's left tab, B's middle tab, C's right tab, D's right tab. . . repeating the sequence. I'm experimenting right now to find my preferred filing and recovery "stlye". Still evaluating-nice to have one "row" of lables but can end up with excess folders with one of the tab positions.

        My work is teaching me how to do it.

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        • #5
          Correction

          That should have said D's left tab etc.

          One other thing, I used to resort the files to get a stack of nicely arranged files ready to go because that's what my files "looked like". Well used to look like. That was mainly for readability because they weren't arranged by topic A-Z. Then the "BFO". Just take them out of the box as they come-blocks of left, middle, right. You'll already know where you want to file it by the label you just made, so just choose the correct position folder.

          "Want to get organized? Be creative"

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          • #6
            Three-cut versus straight cut file folders

            This may be less than a burning issue for anyone but since the question was asked and we all have pondered it, I think it depends on whether getting new files made or finding existing ones to add or retrive information to is of greater importance. It is faster to create a new file without having to pay attention to Right, Center, Left, but faster to retrieve if they are set up this way, esp. if you need to alert yourself to closely titled categories, such as " Church: Welcoming Committee" and "Church:Welfare Committee" or "Health Outreach Budget '03" and "Health Outreach Budget '04".

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            • #7
              THIS MAY BE A SIMPLE SOLUTION

              Originally posted by intrigueme@aol.com
              I've solved this by using ONLY the expandable "pocket" style folders that are closed on three sides.

              I use them both in Legal (work) and Letter (home) sizes - and I love them. I can quickly grab one at any time with minimal worry that things are going to be falling out of them.

              These come "square cut" across the top (no tabs) and I always center my labels in the middle of the folder - using their little "thumb notch" as a guide.
              I have always wondered how to keep the folders from collapsing & curling without using pendeflex, which I hate, so I may just overhaul my system. This may also be a way of preventing overstuffing files. I'll have to look into this some...

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              • #8
                Manilla Folders

                I simply look at where the file is going to go and choose a tab that won't be directly behind another. It doesn't make a perfect alternating pattern, but in the long run my files look pretty evenly spaced. In the back of my mind, I always wish for perfectly alternating files, but I realize that it is impossible. Even if you could do it, the files would still look uneven because each file is a different thickness. And what would you do if you had to remove files in the future? Its selfdefeating. My concession to my need for perfectness is to use a labeller to make tab labels. It doesn't really take much more time than hand writing, and it makes my files look pretty. Just make sure that you have spare cartridges, so that you don't have an excuse not to file .

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