An effective office filing system requires thoughtful consideration. This system will be in place for many years, so the decisions you make in structuring it will ultimately define how navigable your files are for many years to come.
One of your first considerations: What types of folders are right for you? When considering folder type, it’s important to first ask a few questions:
- How often will these files be handled?
- What types of documents will be stored in them?
- Will each file require different categories?
- How will you organize the folders?
- Will the documents need to be secured?
These questions will help you whittle down the types of folders. But in legal and medical offices, one of the most versatile and common types are classification folders. These folders typically have multiple dividers inside, as well as end tabs or side tabs, and they can be customized by size, color, and configuration. Plus, due to their durability, they’re ideal for long-term file storage.
Choosing the Right Classification Folders
The customization options for classification folders are endless and you can truly optimize the folders to suit your office’s specific filing needs. Some of the most important customization factors include:
- End Tab or Side Tab: Typically, the majority of files have end tabs along the bottom edge of the folder or side tabs along the long side for labeling. End-tab classification folders are ideal for shelf filing, and side tab folders are best for drawer filing systems.
- Fastener or No Fastener: Most classification folders have a metal fastener attached to the folder. This enables hole-punched documents to be secured in place and is necessary for documents that must be stored in a specific order. These fasteners can be configured along the top or side of the folder.
- Type of Material: Classification folders are made from durable materials, including heavy-duty card stock and pressboard. Pressboard classification folders have a thickness rating of 25 points, and it’s one of the most durable materials available for classification folders. Card stock classification folders, on the other hand, are best suited for files that are handled less regularly.
- Letter or Legal Size: The two most common sizes for classification folders are letter and legal, although they can be customized to many different sizes.
- Color or Manila: Colored classification folders can simplify your organization and make it easy to differentiate different types of classification folders. If you’ll be organizing mostly by the text on the tab, manila folders will do the trick.
- Expansion or Non-Expanding: Adding an accordion spine to the folder enables your files to grow over time. And most folders are available with a wide range of sizes – from 1 inch up to 5 inches. Non-expanding classification folders are typically used for small files.
- Number of Tabs and Dividers: Finally, classification folders can be fitted with 1 or more interior dividers. These dividers can include metal fasteners, additional tabs, and they’re useful if different documents within the file will need to be categorized.
Classification folders are a versatile office supply item that will instantly simplify and organize your filing system. Just remember: There are many different types of classification folders, and the type that is right for you will depend on a number of factors. We offer a wide variety of folders that you can checkout