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paper-holding trays - recommendations?

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  • paper-holding trays - recommendations?

    Hi. I'm new here and am wondering whether anyone can recommend a good holding tray plus other office furnitures.

    David mentions that "the most functional trays are the side-facing letter of legal stackable kinds, which have no 'lip' on them to keep you from sliding out a single piece of paper." Does anyone have any link to site?

    Similarly, what kinds of file drawers do you generally use? David again recommends that "use just plain folders standing up by themselves in the file drawer, held up by the movable metal plate in the back." Without any picture, it's kinda hard to imagine what kinds of drawer he is talking about.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  • #2
    Here is a link to Jason's pics of his work area. The inbox is in number six, and the last one is his file drawer:

    And this is a nice photo from flickr of someone's desk with the stacking letter trays:

    I get the Eldon plastic ones, six to a box, for around $10 (US). Staples carries those, too, but the first link I saw was to the Staples one.

    And another type:

    Re the file drawers.

    Here are links to views of the type of file drawer DA is talking about--the not-hanging-file drawers:

    The files are standing directly on the bottom of the file drawers, not in hanging files.

    These are links to pics of hanging files (and one shows the tabs and plastic inserts you might want if you go with with hanging files):

    I have the hanging files, because my file cabinets aren't made for the files to be standing on the bottom. If you stand the files directly on the bottom of the file drawer, they get heavy, and some of the assemble-it-yourself file drawers aren't sturdy enough to hold the weight, and the files will pop the bottom of the drawer. And I like hanging files anyway. (Can't tell if you're American but in Europe the hanging files are called suspension files, if that helps). And I have a roll-around wire file drawer that works only with hanging files, anyway.
    And as you see from the flickr photos, people use the hanging files quite a bit--either kind works. I think hanging files are a little bit neater-looking. You don't really even have to use the plastic tabs and inserts--you can just put in several manilla folders per hanging file, and have the folders all alphabetized, sitting in the hanging folders. Also if you use the hanging folders you can get box bottom ones that hold thicker files neatly. And there are hanging files that have closed sides so things don't fall out.

    I only see the metal plates at the back of file drawers in metal desks, usually the functional metal office type desks, and in metal filing cabinets. If you have the wooden filing cabinets, especially not the top-of-the-line, most epensive ones, I don't think you'll find the metal plates at the back, that can be moved to compact the files and keep them from falling over. Of course if you get a filing cabinet without the metal plates, you can get a book end to fit behind the last file, maybe one with cork or a magnet on the bottom.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by ggrozier; 12-18-2005, 06:19 PM.


    • #3
      some suggestions

      Originally posted by ansatzjp
      ...recommend a good holding tray
      Here's what my wife and I use:
      Steelmaster Letter-Size Metal Horizontal Organizer, 5 Tiers

      Originally posted by ansatzjp
      Similarly, what kinds of file drawers do you generally use?
      I suggest a pair of two-drawer metal filing cabinets, one on each side if possible. This gives you four drawers total of swivel filing. It's great if you can get one of the cabinets with one large 'file' drawer and two smaller 'supply' drawers. In addition, for secondary/long-term storage get a taller four-drawer metal filing cabinet. Finally, I agree with Allen - get good quality equipment. The inexpensive ones at Staples will break, plus turn you off to filing. Instead, find a used office supply store in the area and buy from them. We found a warehouse full of great used stuff - at a huge discount. Plus, you never know what you'll find in them (winning lottery ticket, signed photo of John Lennon, etc)!


      • #4

        ggrozier and cornell,

        thank you so much!


        • #5
          The clear trays are great for visibility of contents, but the only ones I've found have been Eldon cheapies that break when the big cat decides to crawl into one to take a nap.

          I'll be shopping for a permanent solution next year, when I overhaul the office. I'm putting visibility high on the list, as well as staggered setback and stacking with enough room between the trays to keep the tops of my hands from scraping as I reach in for things in the lower tiers. My office re-do is pretty modern, and I'm looking seriously at those trays made of perforated metal that provide some visibility as well as sturdiness.

          Like a lot of people here, I use hanging folders (suspension), with inner manillas. They were developed to end the problems that arise from having loose manilla folders slipping around inside a drawer, and they do that well. I don't use one pendaflex for each manilla folder. I categorize and batch. GTD heresy perhaps, but it's how I'm accustomed to filing and retrieving.

          Personally, I think you have to take DA's specific advice on these kinds of things as guidelines, but customize your execution. If part of a system I implement perpetuates, or worse, introduces a difficulty, I know I'll tend to avoid using it. It doesn't matter if DA or anyone else finds something easy. If I don't, it won't work for me, and I wind up with Mind Like Bilge if I don't retool the solution to fit.