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  • Converting from hanging folers to manila folders

    I have a file cabinet, front opening, that doesn’t have the slider in the back to allow me to use regular manila folders instead of hanging folders. I tossed the hanging folders out and started to reorganize, and I liked it MUCH BETTER without the hanging folders. David was definitely on the ball when it came to storing reference material in cabinets.

    Problem is, I can’t keep the folders up. So, I went out and bought some Smead FasTab hanging folders. They have a tab built in. I like the FasTab way better than the Pendaflex cr*p. But I still prefer just plain manila folders.

    Does anyone know of a conversion kit that can turn a hanging folder drawer into a manila folder drawer? I know they make plenty of kits to go the other way around…

    Andy

  • #2
    Ah-ha! Yes, I had this problem.

    Big question: Are the drawers of your filing cabinet flat?

    If so, buy these magnetized metal dividers: http://www.organize-it-online.com/it...?cmpid=Froogle

    If not, you'll have to buy new filing cabinets, unfortunately.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah they're flat, but....

      They're made of wood, so I don't think that will work for me. Damn good idea for a metal file cabinet, though....

      I was actually at staples and looking at file cabinets and none of them had the slider in the back. They're all set up for hanging folders...

      Andy

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      • #4
        Bookend

        I placed a simple bookend in my drawer.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ah! Sorry, didn't realize your cabinets were made of wood.

          Then, yes, the alternative is to stack up large books or empty boxes in the back or front. I've done this before, and it worked, though the drawers were much heavier and thus harder to operate.

          Comment


          • #6
            Maybe in 2008 this is no longer necessary to say, but:

            Keep magnets away from your computer's hard drive and any other magnetic media (floppies, zip drives, tapes, etc.) because magnets will erase them.

            I personally would not have that magnetic file-divider anywhere near my workarea. Losing your primary hard-disk is a miserable, miserable experience... especially if you're one of the 99% of computer users who do not back-up regularly...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Brent View Post
              If so, buy these magnetized metal dividers: http://www.organize-it-online.com/it...?cmpid=Froogle
              Brent - thank you, thank you! Have been looking for something like this for a long time. Now to see if I can get them sent over the big blue Pacific....

              Cheers

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              • #8
                Looks like I am staying with Smead FasTab

                Well, I don't like any of the solutions proffered other than the magnetic one, which, sadly, is not an option in a wood desk and file cabinet.

                So, I am going to stay with the Smead FasTabs.

                If anyone is interested in them, here is a link to the product:

                http://www.smead.com/Director.asp?NodeID=889

                In general, I am finding I like Smead products better. They make a file folder with a very large tab on the end, called SuperTab. Very nice overall.

                The FasTabs were on sale at Office Depot last week, buy 2 boxes get one free, so I now own 6 boxes. Too much of an investment to abandon now...

                Andy

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mikeobrien58 View Post
                  Maybe in 2008 this is no longer necessary to say, but:

                  Keep magnets away from your computer's hard drive and any other magnetic media (floppies, zip drives, tapes, etc.) because magnets will erase them.
                  An excellent reminder!

                  Magnets are fine around CDs and DVDs, so it's easy to forget that good old magnetic hard disks are still with us.

                  I don't know off the top of my head whether magnets will blank solid state drives (such as found in the MacBook Air, iPhone, etc.), but I'd be careful around such devices as well.

                  Katherine

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Spark of an idea

                    I too am looking for a good solution for a wood cabinet. I like the idea of the magnetic book ends. It would be pretty easy to put a piece of sheet metal in the bottom of the drawer that the book end can attach to. It could be glued or double back taped to the bottom of the drawer so that it does not move when you try to move the bookend. The metal plate should be easy to find at a home improvement store. It could even be strips of thinner bars set side by side. I am going to give this a try with the metal bookends I am using now. I think I can find some self-adhesive backed magnetic sheets that will stick to the bottom of them. As long as the surface area is big enough it should be strong enough.
                    Thanks for the spark of a potential solution for me.

                    Chuck

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                    • #11
                      Flash memory is not affected.

                      Originally posted by kewms View Post
                      I don't know off the top of my head whether magnets will blank solid state drives (such as found in the MacBook Air, iPhone, etc.), but I'd be careful around such devices as well.
                      No, flash memory is not affected.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        How to use hangers and still follow the 60-second rule

                        David Allen addressed this topic in the presentation he gave at my company several years ago because most corporate offices use filing cabinets that require hanging folders. Here's what he suggests to keep the act of creating a file down to 60 seconds.

                        If you have no choice but to use hanging file folders, create a file in a manilla folder, label the manilla folder, throw away the plastic tabs for the hangers, and place the manilla folder inside a single hanging folder. Each hanging folders must contain ONE AND ONLY ONE manilla folder. It takes up more space in the filing cabinet to do this, but if you start putting multiple folders in each hanging folder, they will "go wierd on you". Your filing system will become disfunctional, and you'll start to resist processing your inbox because you'll be afraid you might have file something and recalibrate 14 hanging folders to do it.

                        If you choose to implement this solution, I can tell you from experience that you need to make sure you purchase manilla folders that have tabs that will stand above the top of the hanging folders you use. Some brands of manilla folders have narrower tabs that do not rise above the lip of a hanging folder.

                        If this solution will eat up too much space in your filing cabinets, you're better off selling or repurposing them and investing in some good office-quality filing cabinets with metal sliders built into the drawers.

                        On a side note, there is one place where I do use hangers and the plastic tabs--my tickler file. For me, it's easiest to slide a hanging folder into an open position and drop a piece of paper into it. It's much more difficult to access a tickler folder near the back with the weight of 20-40 manilla folders leaning upon each other.

                        If you don't have space in your filing cabinet for a tickler file, get one of those plastic file boxes at your local office supply store for about $10-15. It's the perfect size for a tickler file, and it's portable, too!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mikeobrien58 View Post
                          Keep magnets away from your computer's hard drive and any other magnetic media (floppies, zip drives, tapes, etc.) because magnets will erase them.

                          I personally would not have that magnetic file-divider anywhere near my workarea.
                          Magnets will only affect a drive if they're very close to that drive. MacBooks have magnets built in to them to help the lid stay closed and to keep the power cord in, and the hard drives aren't affected at all.

                          As long as the divider magnets stay, oh, at least a foot from your computer, it'll be fine.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I heard this in Getting Things Done Fast!

                            Originally posted by ellobogrande View Post
                            David Allen addressed this topic in the presentation he gave at my company several years ago because most corporate offices use filing cabinets that require hanging folders. Here's what he suggests to keep the act of creating a file down to 60 seconds.

                            If you have no choice but to use hanging file folders, create a file in a manilla folder, label the manilla folder, throw away the plastic tabs for the hangers, and place the manilla folder inside a single hanging folder. Each hanging folders must contain ONE AND ONLY ONE manilla folder. It takes up more space in the filing cabinet to do this, but if you start putting multiple folders in each hanging folder, they will "go wierd on you". Your filing system will become disfunctional, and you'll start to resist processing your inbox because you'll be afraid you might have file something and recalibrate 14 hanging folders to do it.

                            I tried to use this solution and had one problem. When the manila folder sat in the hanging folder, only half the tab was visible, making it impossible to read anything at all. I think part of my problem was that the hanging folders were Pendaflex and the manila folders were Staples brand.

                            I tried to use the system described above with the new Smead FasTab, and the manila folder sits much higher in the Smead folder than it did in the Pendaflex, so now I have 2 tabs in each folder at the same height.

                            So, now I think I am going to get rid of the manilla folder and just use the Smead FasTab for everything (for now.)

                            Andy

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Brent wrote:

                              Magnets will only affect a drive if they're very close to that drive. MacBooks have magnets built in to them to help the lid stay closed and to keep the power cord in, and the hard drives aren't affected at all.

                              As long as the divider magnets stay, oh, at least a foot from your computer, it'll be fine.
                              Well, it depends on the magnet strength... Apple engineers had complete control of the strength and location of those magnets, so they could design it to keep the hard drive safe... and I wouldn't be surprised if they added magnetic shielding to the hard drive, but your computer may or may not be shielded as well as the MacBook...

                              Those file dividers look like some big ol' magnets to me, and in my house, with kids, spouse, etc. sharing the workarea, it would only be a question of time before something bad happened... I still have a significant investment in magnetic media of various kinds, and magnets are not allowed in my workarea! It's not just the computer's hard disk that's at risk -- it'd be all too easy for a disk or tape to make its way into that file drawer and cozy up to that magnet...

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