With so many products available – sometimes only online – it’s challenging to know what the possibilities are for your needs. And I cannot claim to be an expert. Yet, I do love discovering the variations and considering how and where they might be helpful. Therefore, with that in mind, here are some variations on a couple of traditional products.
3-Ring Binder Pocket
I first discovered this at Walgreen’s for $0.99 and was impressed by its quality, though I haven’t been able to find this specific one in recent years. There are now other brands available with various differences. It can be helpful to have a closeable pocket or folder that then lives within a larger container – in this case a 3-ring binder. I prefer the side opening; it makes the contents easier to access. If you are a fan of using binders, there are limitations when you have smaller items that need to be included and this is when having the pocket helps. (You might remember this is one of the benefits I’d talked about with the Unikeep binders.) Typical binder pockets and page protectors can be a way to include smaller items, though things can fall out of these since they don’t close. In searching for the specific style I’d found, I realized there are some variations available – from the top or side opening and the type of closure: string, Velcro, and plastic snap (though this plastic snap is harder to find). Most are designed to expand as the contents need – which is another reason they can be helpful – as the typical binder pockets and page protectors are intended for a limited number of pages.
Bookmark Index Cards
Index cards have many variations – they have colors, lined and unlined, 2 size choices, and binders and spiral bound to contain for your index cards. Then there’s the bookmark style from Mead – where it looks like a ruled index card only there is an area that is cut so you can attach it to a page. Now you can make more extensive notes and easily keep it where it relates in the book. These can be found locally, Office Depot lists it as being sold in stores, so you might have seen these already. A friend shared a handful with me and I’ve been using them some – they can fall off the page, though I’ve been using them on the side rather than the top so that might be part of the problem! I like how they have color on the top and back so they stand out and that due to their size I can write more details. Then if I want to remove them from the book and save them, it’s easy to do.
Tree Free File Folders (in SuperTab style)
Most of us use file folders at least some – even if you avoid a typical filing cabinet – and we’ve probably all seen all the colors and patterns available. Did you know that you could buy file folders that are made differently? These are made from sugar cane waste fiber that they say is sustainable, bio-based, and is a renewable resource. The file folders are biodegradable, recyclable, and made through a sustainable, eco-friendly manufacturing process. These have the 1/3 cut tab and are the SuperTab style – which means the space for your label is larger. I can say that they feel sturdy – maybe even more than the typical file folders we’re all familiar with.
Project Planner Notebook
I’ve mostly seen project planner pages sold in packets that you then add to your day planner or other customizable notebook, like the Arc Notebook. Granted I don’t personally have a great need for a whole notebook dedicated to project planning. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting option – and now that I have a one from the NAPO Conference Expo – it’s been handy. The distinct spaces for making notes is conducive for planning and keeping track of your progress – and different project planners have different allotments of space. Although it comes spiral bound, sometimes the pages are perforated so removing them and putting them somewhere else is clean and simple.
All these products relate in some way to common organizational tools we’re all familiar with, yet these are variations that you might not have known existed. There’s part of me that thinks we already have too many choices – too many options – yet there’s also a need for alternatives to the traditional tools. Since we’re all different, having a variety of needs, and handling things uniquely our own way – this means we can likely find the tools that can assist us along the way. Are any of these items likely to benefit your organizational life?