A couple of years ago at the NAPO conference I was given a small package of Filertek dry-erase hanging file-folder labels. To be honest, these reusable tabs seemed to solve a problem I didn’t have and I brought home the sample and then never used it.
A company rep contacted me earlier this year about the product and I explained how I didn’t really see the need for them. When I set up a file system for a client, I use Post-It® notes as temporary file folder labels and typically replace them with adhesive Freedom Filer® labels.
The rep patiently explained to me that these Dry-Erase labels (which have a plastic cover that goes over the dry-erase part, so you don’t have to worry about smudging) can act as both temporary and permanent labels. After you’re satisfied with a category, you can slip a paper label into a slot in the top of the label, so you can easily have a printed label. Or you can adhere a label maker label right over the dry erase part. She offered to send me more product samples, with no obligation to review. I think she just wanted me to see the light.
So I took a box to a client’s home. We already had a Freedom Filer system set up for her, but she wanted a separate, non-Freedom Filer system for her husband’s few files which live in their own drawer. A few years back, we’d used Post-It notes as temporary tabs, then we took a hiatus from working together. Now she was ready for something that felt a little more permanent and was happy to give Filertek a try.
I’ll tell you what: The Filertek labels were perfect for this application. While we were tweaking the file system, we actually changed the names of the categories a few times. A quick swipe of the dry erase area and the old category was gone. I love having that flexibility as the file system develops. My client has great handwriting, so she doesn’t mind having hand written labels. We’ll probably never use inserts with her system. But it’s nice to know we can.
I also love that the file tabs are sturdy and reusable. They clip right onto the hanging file folder; I don’t have to insert them into slots. No fiddling around.
These hanging file folder tabs are a little more expensive than the light weight plastic ones. You can get a box of 50 tabs at Amazon for $13.53. Also at Amazon, Smead hanging folder 1/5 cut tabs are $4.65 for a pack of 25. But the difference is that the Filertek labels feel permanent and the poly tabs feel disposable.
I do believe I’ll be using these with clients again. I have to admit, they were a pleasant surprise, and a reminder that I should keep an open mind when it comes to new products!