Week 7 – Information Management: Strategies – Reference Material At The Ready (Originally Published on GetConnected.com)

Clare Kumar Writes About Organization – Photo Courtesy of GetConnected.com


By Clare Kumar

Filing works well for storing some types of information but not others. Smaller papers can get lost, files can easily get out of order and they may not stand up to heavy use.

Consider including binder systems and magazine holders to provide additional options for your paper storage. Here are a few reasons to consider each:

1. Binder Systems

To set up a successful binder system, keep good quality supplies handy. These include a reliable 3-hole punch, index tabs, sheet protectors, binders in a variety of sizes and labeling material. Select a binder system for:

a) Durability

More durable than folders, good quality binders hold up to heavy usage. They are ideal when information is to be referred to often or by multiple users.

b) Storing and protecting random-sized papers

In combination with sheet protectors or pockets, binders offer more secure storage for smaller papers. Sheet protectors preserve documents and eliminate the need for a three-hole punch. Special pockets can be used to store business or credit cards.

c) Organizing information

Information in binders can be further divided for quick recognition with index tabs. Widths vary to handle regular hole-punched paper or wider sheet protectors. Consider how quickly you can label contents – especially if making multiple copies, and how durable the tabs are if they will be used regularly.

d) Storing information on bookshelves

If filing space is limited, bookshelves become ideal repositories through the use of binders. Have a variety of sizes on hand to suit the material being stored. Bigger is not always better. Especially if the binder will be referred to often, choose a size that makes it manageable to use. Men’s hands are generally bigger than women’s, so keep users in mind.

e) Making presentations

Binder and sheet protector systems work well if you need to present information to a small group of people. Built-in easels prop the binder up for easy display.

2. Magazine Holders

Often overlooked in offices, magazine holders are ideal for storing a variety of information in seconds. For an uncluttered look in an open space, keep the taller side of the holder facing out. For easy access or behind closed doors, use them with the shorter side facing out so you can easily pluck out an item. In both cases, label the exterior side for easy reference.

For more than just magazines or catalogues, consider using magazine holders for:

a) Odd-sized documents

Manuals for electronics and software can be kept together and out of sight in a magazine holder.

I’ve often seen piles of trade show material cluttering up offices as people wait for just the right time to review the material. Instead, use a magazine holder to corral all the flyers and brochures in one place. When you’re ready you can conveniently take the material to a comfortable spot to read and sort it.

b) Stationery

Magazine holders are ideal for group paper office supplies. Use them to keep presentation folders, envelopes and paper pads easy to access and free from damage.

c) Project files

Magazine holders are the quickest way to group like pieces of information. They can be used to organize files and materials by project or client.

Coming up next in the series: More Information Management Strategies and Time Saving Tools

ACCO BRANDS CANADA is proud to sponsor this 10 week series on organizing your workspace leading up to ORGANIZE YOUR DESK DAY on October 21, 2010. Get the tools you need to get organized from world-class brands such as Swingline, Quartet, Day-Timer, GBC, Kensington, and Wilson Jones. Clare Kumar, founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, will take you on a practical and inspiring journey from chaos and clutter to productivity and peace of mind.

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