Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
- fully enclosed
- stands upright evenly and stacks easily
- eco-friendly, biodegradable
- cost is reasonable
- sometimes requires pieces from company to work best
- somewhat limited sizes
At the NAPO conference in 2010, I came across the Unikeep booth. Initially, the most notable thing was that their binders have a unique feature with the binder rings. The rings, just like the rest of the binder, are made of 100% polypropylene. As I was talking with them, I found out that they brought some free samples to share, so I looked through the various colors and sizes they had and picked one. I’m grateful they did, I now have a blue 1″ view case binder.
Although the case itself is interesting, the rings are odd. I was truly hesitant at first. It feels unnerving to pop them up. Since they’re made of polypropylene, you open each ring individually by putting your finger under the ring and pulling up. It often makes a snapping sound and I have visions of breaking it. Yet, I’ve never done any damage to the rings. Snapping them back into place is easy too.
Another feature of the rings is that the placement of where the rings separate means that you can have pages anywhere in the binder, all to the left, all to the right, or somewhere in the middle. This seems even truer with this product than even the typical 3-ring binders.
Their binders have a snapping closure to keep everything safe and secure inside. The binders are rectangular, and the marketing on the back talk about how easily they stack. Although this is certainly a nice feature, what I find more impressive is that they can stand on a shelf. They are balanced, so they stay upright. Yet, one thing I dislike about typical binders is that because of their shape, they don’t fill shelves evenly. This could never happen with Unikeep’s binders, they’d line a shelf with perfect symmetry.
The line of view binders has a full wrap overlay so you can create and insert pages of the information or design you want. Although I’ve not used it, they say they’re website has templates and tips for creating the insert. With this feature and the line of possible colors, you can customize this binders to fit your needs, whatever that might be.
Their website has many different kinds of pages you can insert into the binder, from basic tabbed dividers, to pockets (with or without tabs), business cards holder pages, disc holder pages, and on. The standard pockets pages with tabs do not fit in the binder, as the tabs are just a little too big unless you fold them. This means that it’ll make more sense to buy the accessories from Unikeep. I’m less annoyed by this than I might be since I find the standard tabbed pockets to be too big for binders too! I might even buy some supplies from them to use elsewhere since they’d appear to be more appropriately sized. I’m also intrigued by the “tear out” pages where you don’t need to open the rings – as I’ve been impressed with the material’s sturdiness, those “tear out” pages might be well done.
One of the first ideas for me was for my volunteering for the support group, I have this large binder that has articles and handouts for attendees. As I talked to them, they acknowledged that they did not have anything that was big enough for that purpose. Of course, I could carry multiple binders, or even consider the extreme case binder. The truth is that my standard binder for this is now falling apart; it’s probably too full. *grimace* I’m now seriously considering these binders.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to overfill standard 3-ring binders. It looks like there’s more room and I’m fighting that triangular shape. With Unikeep’s design, you don’t have the temptation to overfill them. The descriptions also clearly state the number of pages you can expect to get into their binders.
Under pros above, I listed cost as reasonable. I was working on a personal organizing project, and wanted to pick up some binders and was dismayed at the cost. So dismayed, that I bought some binders from dollar stores and whatnot to save money. Those binders are now falling apart. A perfect example of getting what you pay for, yet Unikeep’s prices are comparable in price to your standard binders with better features.
Now I love the idea of being environmentally responsible, though often put other factors higher on the priority list, like functionality. If something is not functional, it doesn’t inspire me to recommend it or buy it for myself, no matter how environmental. Yet this product is more than functional, and is 100% recyclable. It also uses fewer resources to make these products. So far, I’d even be tempted to say it’ll last longer and stand up to use better than your standard binders. Now that’s great environmentally, but also great for us, the one who’s going to use it.
I’m not always a fan of 3-ring binders in general. If you use them without accessories, you need to make sure to take time to punch holes in the papers. This becomes less of an issue if you use the accessories of course. I’m impressed with these binders, and even dropped a book into the case successfully one day when I was out and about. The quality and design of these are wonderful. I hope you’ll consider these for any potential need you have in the future (and I have no affiliation, they don’t even know I’m writing about them).
Do you have another binder that you really enjoy using?
Note: All my reviews are done without consideration for the company (sorry!) – as unbiased as possible! I don’t receive anything from any of them and most don’t know I’m even reviewing their products.