July 30, 2009 at 1:56 PM by Dr. Drang
This is an embarrassingly simple thing, but I’ve noticed that none of my coworkers—all of whom have advanced degrees—have figured it out.
Tabbed folders generally come with the tabs in three places: left, center, and right. The idea behind this is to make it easy for you to thumb through them in the file drawer. With adjacent tabs in different positions, the names written on the tabs are fanned out and more visible.
Because folders are cut, folded, and packaged by automated equipment, they come to you in a box with the lefts, centers, and rights segregated.
This is very efficient for the manufacturer, but not for you. Before you start using them, take two minutes—that’s all it takes, really—to rearrange the folders so the tabs on consecutive folders don’t line up.
Now, when you take them out of the box, they’ll be ordered for easy searching in the drawer. You’ll recoup that two minutes many times over when you have to go back into the drawer to find those folders.