Sunday, June 30, 2013

Office Supply Review: Smead Desk File A-Z

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Quickly and easily holds stuff in alphabetical order
Cons: Could expand more and hold up better to heavy use.  Storage issues.
The Bottom Line
Despite some issues
Great quick way to sort and store
Paper for short time

Perfect for Temporary Storage in Alphabetical Order

I have no idea how my office found and started using Smead's Deluxe Indexed Desk File, but it’s invaluable for us for holding invoices.

These files are fairly simple when you look at them.  They’re just over letter size, so most standard pieces of paper would fit into them.  There are twenty tabs on the top from left to right.  Most of these tabs have one letter of the alphabet on them, but a few of the lesser popular letters are bunched together.  I and J are coupled up as are U and V, for example.

The idea behind these files is that you can sort and store documents in alphabetical order in a draw.  We use this for our unpaid invoices.  That way, if you need to find something quickly, just go to the tab and pull it up.  I pull the back up once we’ve run checks, and it’s very easy to find them.  Plus, you don’t have to put them in alphabetical order before you file, just grab the top one and add it to the appropriate slot.  This could also be used for customer invoices that have not been paid.  Employee information could be put here until it is properly processed and filed and still be easy to find.  The uses for these sorter files are quite extensive.

However, they do have some drawbacks.  While they do expand some, they don’t grow much beyond six inches think.  And when you realize they are three inches think to start with, that’s really not that much space.  Actually, we have two folders, one for each half of the alphabet.  Even then, if the bills come in too quickly, they can be bursting at the seams.

That’s another issue.  The accordion nature of the files is rather weak.  These seem to last for about two years of daily use several times a day, and then you need to replace them.  For the price of roughly $15, that isn’t too bad, but it would be nice if they lasted longer.

Finally, the files need some form of support.  You either need to wedge them in a draw or find a place to lay them flat.  They are too thick for most file folders and don’t come with hangers to hang them in a file cabinet.  Then again, they are usually so heavy they would probably break most hangers quickly.

These complaints can be annoying at times, but if you have a need for filing and sorting material temporarily, Smead's Deluxe Indexed Desk File is invaluable.  There really is no good substitute, and they make life much easier.

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