Need a binder, but not quite sure which type best meets your needs? These guidelines will help you buy the perfect one.
Step 1: Consider its primary usage Consider the binder's primary function. There are two general categories -- view and non-view. A view binder has a clear cover that lets you add your own cover sheet, making it ideal for meetings, presentations, and reference documents. If storage is more important, consider a non-view binder; they're perfect for filing, organization, and project-tracking.
Step 2: Understand that durability matters Understand the importance of durability. There are three levels: "Economy" is fine for light use; "durable" is better for more frequent use; and "heavy-duty," the sturdiest choice. Heavy-duty is best if you're going to be referencing the binder a lot or storing large amounts of paper.
TIP: If the binder needs to stand upright, look for a four-sided secure binder -- one that closes around the contents on all four sides; it's designed to prevent slumping.
Step 3: Choose a ring shape Choose a binder ring shape: Round ones hold the fewest pages and can be difficult to open and close. Easy-turn rings help pages lie flat when the binder's open. Slant or D-shaped rings are more durable, and hold 25 percent more paper than round ones. For maximum paper capacity, the smoothest page-turning, and rings you can open and close with one touch -- without getting your finger pinched -- look for an EZD or Easy Open ring; they hold 50 percent more paper than round ones.
TIP: Easy Turn or Easy Open binders feature a design that prevents gapping and ring misalignment.
Step 4: Know what size ring you need Get the right size ring, which plays a key role in determining the amount of paper the binder can hold. Binder rings range in size from 1/2-inch, which holds up to 120 pages, to 5-inch, which holds up to 1,050 pages.
Step 5: Choose a color Take advantage of the wide variety of binder colors to help organize a project, express your personal style, or make a presentation really pop. Because people really do judge a binder by its cover.
TIP: Adding dividers and sheet protectors to your binder helps organize your information and provides a professional edge in meetings and presentations.
Step 6: To sum up… So the next time you're binder shopping, remember these five factors: usage, durability, ring shape and size, and color. They'll help you buy the right binder every time.
FACT: Special-use binders are also available, including data, hanging, post, and easel binders.