Keeping all paperwork together in one place is essential for people who want to be organised, whether they are students, office workers or keeping wedding ideas together in a scrapbook. One of the simplest ways of maintaining good order with paper documents is to hold them in a ring binder folder. They have certain advantages over wallet-type folders. This includes the ability to leaf through rapidly without having to remove all of the papers, helping to keep them in order. They are also able to be stored on a bookshelf because they often have rigid spines, meaning that plenty of them can be stowed away and accessed easily, when needed. Despite the small holes that need to be punched into the paper inside, all of the page can be viewed in one go, a distinct advantage over bound folders. They are used on a widespread basis in offices because of their sheer practicality and affordability.
Types of Ring Binder Folders
Although ring binder folders all perform much the same task - that of keeping papers held securely so they can be transported around easily - there are many differences between them. Before purchasing, buyers ought to be familiar with the basic types of folder.
Ring binder folders are usually in the region of 260 by 315 mm which means that they are ideal for storing and presenting A4 paper. The other dimension, where it is given, relates to the size of the spine. Thin ring binder folders have 35 mm spines but buyers can find much larger ones, too, capable of storing more paper, if wanted. Ring binder folders which are sized for A5 pieces of paper are commonplace, as well. Indeed, larger ones that can accommodate A3 paper are also easily found. These are ideal for school artwork or an artist's sketch paper. A2 can also be found, but these tend to be professional items used for visual presentations and are subsequently more expensive.
Most A4 and A5 ring binder folders have two rings in them. These are held together under tension but can be prised apart easily, allowing the paper to be hooked onto them. Folders with thinner spines can have smaller rings meaning that fewer sheets of paper can be added. Furthermore, some folders have four equally-spaced rings, not two, which is a good option for people who will be accessing their papers regularly, since two-hole systems can put the paper at risk of tearing. Some A3 folders have three rings, but these are not commonplace.
Many ring binder folders that are sold are coloured in bright primary hues, making them easy to spot and to organise into categories, such as accounts paperwork, for instance. However, many others are plain. Some have a transparent card holder on the spine which can display a note or label, which helps to identify it among others from a quick glance. In other cases, the outer design is tied in with a particular brand, such as a football club, to make it more appealing. These themed folders make great gifts.
Some ring binder folders are constructed from stiff cardboard coated in a plastic sheet which gives them a shiny finish. However, this is not the only option. Polypropylene ring binder folders are also available which feel very different when being carried about, sometime because they have ridges running over them. Some also have rubberised edges which mean that they can stand some rough treatment and are ideal for people who travel a lot. Others are marketed as being made from entirely recycled materials which is worth considering from an environmental point of view.
Lever Arch Files
Along with normally-sized ring binder folders, lever arch files are a popular choice. They are similar, but are able to store many more papers inside. The rings that hold the papers are extended into two inverted U-shapes which protrude through the cover of the file. As well as a lever, which is used to separate the restraining rings, these products are also sold with a clasp which can sit on the top sheet of paper, gripping the rings and holding the paper down neatly.
Presentation and Conference Folders
These folders have rings in them like all of the others, but differ because they have a professional look which means they are ideal for business use. Unlike a normal folder, a presentation or conference folder can usually be zipped up so that the contents are held very securely. They usually have compartments for items like calculators, pens and pencils, too.