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NAPO Conference 2013 – Cool Organizing Products

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I’m back from the NAPO Conference!

Look how the 600+ of us were welcomed when we landed in New Orleans. I thought that was pretty cool–it was right next to the Arrivals and Departures sign.

Landed around 6pm and by the time I got to the Sheraton New Orleans, I was hungry. Hubby and I are members of the Starwood Preferred Guest program so I was able to use points to cover the cost of my room and upgrade me to the Club Floor. On the Club Floor is the Club Lounge. In the Club Lounge there is food–breakfast in the morning and hors d’oeuvres in the evening. The night I landed, alligator meatballs and frog legs were on the menu. I had my doubts but ate them anyway. YUM!
Now I can say I’ve eaten alligator–can you?

Three days of workshops, panels and lunches kept me very busy. But, year after year one of the most exciting parts of the NAPO Conference is the EXPO. The EXPO is a place for companies that specialize in organizing products and services to ‘share their wares’ with the Professional Organizer community. 
Since I traveled with one carry-on bag and a purse, I tried my best to not grab every product sample and brochure available to me. Instead, I took pictures of some of the ‘cool products’ to remind me to look for them in stores and so I could share them with you.
Up first, some cool containers from Rubbermaid
Dishwasher safe, BPA free, stackable, see-throught lids–perfect for pantries.
Premium Modular Canisters by Rubbermaid
ClosetMaid had a great booth at the EXPO. I learned a lot about their product and shot a quick tip video for them about hangers. Thought this floor organizer was an interesting option for getting shoes and the like off of closet floors…
Floor Organizer by ClosetMaid
SMEAD had a few ‘cool’ products this year. First, these file folders have tabs that are erasable! Use a Sharpie to write on the extra large tab. Made a mistake? Want to change the name of the file? No problem and no need for a new manila folder!
SMEAD Erasable SuperTab File Folders
Next is the ColorVue Expanding File with SuperTabs–colorful and easy to use! Perfect for color coding. I put my hand in the middle of the ‘V’ shape and it was very easy to retrieve papers from the pockets.
ColorVue Expanding File with SuperTab by SMEAD

‘Tree Free’–I love that name. Whoever thought of it should get a raise, in my opinion. They are made from sugar cane waste fiber. I have no idea what that is but it saves trees so it’s OK by me. Super Tabs–another great idea especially for those who have ‘large’ handwriting or a lot to say on the tab of a folder. 

SuperTab Oversized Tab File Folders by SMEAD
Jill Yesko, of Discover Organizing Inc. had a great idea. Besides being a Professional Organizer, she is the owner of Clearly Noted, a company that offers greeting cards to Professional Organizers and their clients. These cards, ‘encourage, motivate, and congratulate your organizing client.’
Her cards are brightly colored, whimsical and offer a bit of bling, too. The part I liked best was that a Professional Organizer has the option of placing a sentence on the inside of the card giving permission to the client to recycle the lovely card at the end of the week. We don’t want to make more clutter for our clients!
Kudos to Jill for creating a product that Professional Organizers can use to express their gratitude!
Greeting cards by Clearly Noted
You paint a room in your home. You either label your paint can with a Sharpie, or your label maker. OK–maybe you don’t label your paint cans in the hopes you’ll remember where you used that color and the year you used it. The people at What’s That Paint have made the labeling process a snap with their fill-in-the-blank paint can labels. Despite their simplicity, everyone was ooohing and aaahhhing over them. They also used a paint tray instead of a box to collect business cards for a raffle–loved that creativity! 
What’s That Paint fill-in-the-blank paint can labels
This is just a smattering of the products I saw at this year’s NAPO Conference EXPO. Absent this year was 3M/Post-it. Good thing I hadn’t used up my samples from last year. The people from Brother were also missing–they make amazing label maker products. Maybe they’ll be back for next year’s conference in Phoenix. The bigger question is–will I be there? If so, I promise to report back on some new and exciting products.
Which of these products would help you get more organized?

Cool Product – 3.5″ Hanging File Folder Tabs

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You’ve decided to organize your files–that’s great! I’m so proud of you.

You purchased hanging folders for this project, right? Good. You’re on your way!

Open the box of hanging folders. Somewhere in the box is a plastic baggie filled with plastic tabs and paper inserts.

Take a close look at the tabs. They’re small–only 2″ across. You can’t write much on them. I’m going to tell you right now–they’re going to frustrate you to no end as you attempt to use them for your filing project.

I’d like you to consider NOT using them.

I know you paid for them. But, I’m going to ask you to spend a little more money on your files.

The ‘Cool Product’ that will make it easier for you to locate, retrieve and store your papers is…

The 3.5″ Hanging File Poly Tab

Photo: SMEAD

What are the benefits to using 3.5″ tabs?

– they have more room to write on
– larger tabs means you can write larger on them or create labels with large letters for easy readbility
– find files more quickly with a larger tab

Whenever I work with a client on getting their papers organized/setting up a file system, I always recommend they use 3.5″ tabs. I pull a pack of these out of my ‘magic’ bag of organizing supplies, and people are amazed–most have never seen the 3.5″ tabs. They only know about the 2″ tabs that come in the box of file folders. Happiness abounds. Joyful categorizing and labeling begins. Another client’s life made easier with a Cool Product…

Thinking of switching to 3.5″ tabs?

SMEAD – Poly Translucent Slash Jackets

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Another product from SMEAD has arrived in my mailbox!

January’s product review is for the Poly Translucent Slash Jacket. It sounds like a great name for a punk rock band to me, but it’s not–it’s really the name of an office product.

The ‘Slash Jacket’ comes in ‘clear’ or a pack of assorted colors. SMEAD sent me one in a nice baby blue. It’s very pretty…

They are…
– translucent
– 3-hole punched for standard three-ring binders
– letter size
– acid free, archival quality
– closed on both sides and on the bottom

And they have pockets on both sides – great for storing lots of papers!

The ‘Slash’ part of this product is what makes it functional. Papers are kept safe and at the same time are easy to retrieve and put away. Try doing that with a full plastic sleeve–not as easy…

I wouldn’t use them for recipes but I could see using them in a binder of information that requires easy access such as...

– A Wedding binder – one side for ideas, one side for vendor contracts
– A Decorating/Adding On/Building a New Home binder – one side for each room of the house
– A binder for Students – one side for tests, the other side for important class notes

No need for a hole puncher. No little, punched-out circles all over your desk or floor. The Poly Translucent Slash Jacket is a perfect solution for organizing, storing and retrieving papers in a three-ring binder.

Related Posts:

SMEAD – Secure Pockets with Easy Grip
SMEAD – Super Tab Folder
SMEAD – ‘My Organizer’ Products

SMEAD – Secure Pockets with Easy Grip

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If you’ve read some of my past posts, you know that just about once a month, the office supply company, SMEAD sends me one of their products to review on my blog. I’m always excited to rip open the package to see what it is.

SMEAD has sent me what I think is a very efficient office/home office product–the Secure Pocket with Easy Grip.

Have you ever put a bunch of papers in a folder and had them fall out all over the floor? I think all of us at one time or another has had that happen. It’s no fun!

Enter the SMEAD Secure Pocket with Easy Grip. This pocket folder is designed to provide twice as much grip as other pocket folders. I’m not sure even a tornado could blow papers out of these folders.

These straps you see in the picture are strong! You’re going to need to eat a bowl of Wheeties or head to the gym before stretching these straps out! I tried pulling them before I had my breakfast and I had to exert more energy than I usually do when securing paper into a pocket folder…

It fits beautifully in a file cabinet and has Tyvek reinforcements on the side to make the place where you put the straps practically tear-proof. Yea–no raggedy looking edges! It also has a barely noticeable grippy material running across the top of the folder–this makes it easier to pull out of your file cabinet. Love this feature!

Just to test it out, I put some papers inside the Secure Pocket with Easy Grip. I placed the straps over the top of the folder, threw it up in the air and the papers didn’t fall out. I knocked the folder off my desk–no papers fell out.

With the SMEAD Secure Pocket with Easy Grip you’re practically guaranteed that your papers won’t fly out of the top and that you’ll get an upper body workout as well. Who could ask for more from an office product?

SMEAD – Super Tab Folder

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Last month, I started blogging about products from a company called SMEAD. If you haven’t heard of them, just walk into your local office supply store and check the shelves. They create products for document management. If you have paper, you’ve probably seen or used one of their products.

In August, I talked about SMEAD’s ‘My Organizer’ Products/MO File System. Today, I’m going to give you a tour of another one of their helpful products…the Super Tab Folder.

Have you ever started filing your papers and realized you didn’t have enough room to write what you wanted to on the folder tab?  I know, I have. You can squeeze just so many words in a small space! I guess the people at SMEAD heard that complaint a million times and decided to do something about it.

Here is a photo of SMEAD’s Super tab folder. (The reflection is of my light fight fixture and of me taking the picture.)

This isn’t any ordinary file folder. When you open it up–it’s also a folder with two pockets! You may be asking–what is that doohickey is at the top of the folder?

That doohickey acts as a clamp to hold your papers in place while the folder is being carried or filed in your file cabinet. Here it is open:

With a stack of papers in it…

The doohickey at the top of the folder is perfect for those prone to the ‘dropsies.’ If you accidentally drop this folder, your papers aren’t going to fall out all over the floor like they would from a regular file folder. That’s great news–especially for those who never put page numbers on their documents…
By the way–if you haven’t figured it out already, THIS is why they call it the SUPER TAB folder… 
That writing area is almost twice the size of a tab on a regular file folder. Ever try and fit everything you want to write on a tab but you’d run out of room? Not anymore with the Super Tab folder! I could write a novel on that tab!
I think the concept is great–the file folder is a 2-pocket folder with a built in paperweight. The only drawback to this product is its glossiness. After handling it for a while, my fingerprints were all over it. Maybe the cast of CSI should use it to file their papers and catch criminals!
Check back in October for my next SMEAD product post! I don’t know what it will be but I’ll be sure to let you know about more of SMEAD’s helpful paper organizing products as they come through my mail slot.

SMEAD – ‘My Organizer’ Products

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While at the NAPO Conference in Baltimore this past Spring, I got to meet a lovely representative from SMEAD at our Product EXPO. She and I chatted about office products, ‘liked’ each other on Facebook and a few months later, she asked me if I would want to review SMEAD products on my blog.

What organizer can say no to checking out new organizing products?

A few weeks later, I received the MO File System.  MO stands for ‘My Organizer.’ There are three parts to the MO File system: a folder kit, a file case and a case wrap. Here’s a video with all the details:

I received three pieces: the File Case, the Case Wrap, and the Financial Kit. They come in different colors but I got the green pattered one which coincidentally fits in with the decor of my home office.

Besides the Financial Kit, the other kits sold are the MO Medical Kit, the MO Project Kit and the MO Starter Kit. According to the SMEAD website,

“MO file kits provide all the help you need to get organized. Each kit contains 9 letter size SuperTab folders, one label sheet with pre-printed and/or blank labels and a detailed instruction sheet.” 

The My Organizer system can be found at most office supply stores and on Amazon.com.

Why consider the My Organizer File system for your paper organizing needs?

– It fits easily into a letter-sized file drawer
– It is easily transportable
– It’s a great way to organize papers for a particular project or aspect of your life

I haven’t started using it yet but here’s what I like about My Organizer File system so far…

– It’s compact
– The File Case slides out of both sides of the Case Wrap
– The Super Tabs on the file folders are huge! Plenty of space for writing file descriptions.

I have a lot of business and family-related papers that always need action or are pending so I’m going to explore the features of he My Organizer File system and give it a try on my desk. I’ll keep you posted!

What area of YOUR life needs organizing?

Contact Stacey to Get Started!

Professional Affiliations

NAPO Golden Circle  Bergen Health and Life 2015 POWR
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