New office products: Antimicrobial file folders and bookmark index cards

My friend and professional organizer Julie Bestry recently headed to Office Depot to see what is new in the back-to-school supplies section. Her recap of the adventure introduced me to two new types of organizing products I wanted to pass along to you.

First up are Pendaflex Antimicrobial File Folders, which protect “against the growth of mold, mildew and odors.”

Pendaflex and Smead makes a similar product. These folders are perfect for businesses and homes when you expect to store a file for decades. Any business that puts documents into long-term storage would also benefit from folders such as this. If you’re not planning to store copies of printed documents for 20 or 30 years, these are probably overkill. However, they’re perfect for birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.

The last product I want to bring to your attention are index cards with small cut-outs in them to use as bookmarks:

Oxford makes these Book Mark Cards and sells them exclusively in Office Depot brick and mortar stores. Mead’s version of the product can be found online and in many non-Office Depot office supply stores.

These bookmark index cards are great for writing in books that aren’t yours without the fear of sticky residue being left in the book, like you might experience with Sheer Colors Post-It Notes.

Have you found any great new office products in the back-to-school aisles? If so, let us know about them in the comments.

17 Comments for “New office products: Antimicrobial file folders and bookmark index cards”

  1. posted by Sandman on

    If I plan on storing a file for decades I would probably scan it and store it digitally. That is unless I really needed the original. There are precious few of those sorts of documents.

  2. posted by carla on

    Sandman..that was my thought as well. The only document I know I can’t ever lose is my daughter’s report of birth abroad. Everything else can be from a scanned file or I can get another copy somewhere else.

    I clearly remember the consulate person telling me, more than once, that form cannot be replaced. So far, so good (18 years, 8 houses and counting)

  3. posted by Pammyfay on

    The document that your placing inside these special file folders is, in itself, not archival quality, so I can’t understand why the folder is going to keep it protected from the natural degradation process. My gut instinct tells me it’s another way to capitalize on “antimicrobial” marketing (antimicrobial soap, cleaning cloths, mattress pads)–microbes are all around us, and many times for good reason. (My birth certificate is nearly 48 years old and still in OK shape, enough to present it to any officials if need be).

  4. posted by WilliamB on

    Since digital media deteriorate faster than paper, not to mention become obsolete, I can easily imagine storing paper records for decades. Before I buy this product I want assurances of product satisfaction. How well does it work, for how long, under what circumstances, and details on the guarantee.

  5. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Sandman and @Carla — Your Will should be in paper form, signed and notarized contracts, birth certificates, divorce decrees, death certificates, immunization records, final loan payment statements, insurance policies, and other legal papers must be in paper form.

    @Pammyfay — Most birth certificates and other state-generated and court-generated documents are on archival paper.

  6. posted by Kay Chase on

    I don’t even understand the “bookmark index cards”. How do they function as a bookmark, and how are they superior to a normal lined index card?

  7. posted by Lola on

    This overuse of antimicrobial products only leads to resistant germs. The microbes aren’t going to eat your documents; I think archival-quality paper and an acid-free folder are fine for most people’s needs.

  8. posted by Anon on

    Microbal growth on paper is down to environmental conditions and control, not the lack of fancy packaging!These files are not something an archive charged with preserving documents for centuries would bother with, so why should you? The main criteria for packaging is that it should be acid-free, and preferably allow some air cirulation.

    However, paper (even standard everyday paper, though acid-free is better) is currently much better for medium and longer term storage than digital media.

    The two main problems with digital media are with software and hardware becoming unsupported and uncompatibile. Think of floppy discs as an obvious example, but as another one, what about the lack of compatibility of file formats? Will your MS word files from 1998 work on your version of Word in 2038, unlikely. What if MS word no longer exists?

    As for manufacturers “guarantees” for things to be of archival quality. CDs and DVDs that were claimed to last for over a hundred years are already decaying, with loss of data.

    Paper preservation and conservation is a long-established science and professional discipline. Digital preservation is a newer area but a massive problem and one that governments, companies and records professionals all over the world are struggling to deal with.

    Sorry for the rant. Seeing companies try to sell anti-microbial files to consumers is just painful!

  9. posted by Dorothy on

    For a minute I thought this was the Unitasker Wednesday post! C’mon, Erin! “Bookmark” index cards? What’s wrong with a plain, old index card?? 😎

  10. posted by wch on

    I bought the new liquid pencils – in short, not ready for prime time.

  11. posted by Lee on

    I wonder (not having a scientific cell in my brain) if touching a file folder used by someone else could spread germs. I really don’t worry about that, but today’s Kansas City Star has an article on the front page about the germs on reusable grocery bags. Researchers tested 84 bags and a little over half were contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria and 12% had e.coli (possible fecal matter and more dangerous pathogens).

    Please don’t blast me on this. I’m just curious, and will be rethinking how we use and care for our reusable grocery bags.

  12. posted by Miss Lynx on

    I think a lot of the commenters are missing the point. No, “germs” won’t eat your papers, but mold will!

    I could really, really have used mold-proof file folders a few years back, when water leaked into a friend’s storage unit where I had some boxes of old papers. A lot of what was lost due to the resulting mold damage wasn’t important, and would have been consigned to the recycling bin during a thorough uncluttering, but some of it was irreplaceable – like my only copies of some of my early short stories and my first attempt at a novel, from before the days of computers (or at least before *I* had a computer).

    I agree people are way too paranoid about bacteria, but mold and mildew can be a real hazard to paper products. Obviously, it’s best to just keep water from getting in there in the first place, but sometimes things happen that you didn’t expect.

  13. posted by Katrina on

    I think that the folders are a good idea for businesses, maybe not for homes unless it is for the mold issue (which I agree, they would have been worth their weight in gold to me a while back when we had some water damage and I hadn’t realized that the moisture got into the wood filing cabinet). I use the anti-microbial interoffice envelopes here in the office and will probably purchase some of the folders because of sharing things with co-workers, etc.
    Remember that episode of “Seinfield” when George read the book in the bathroom and they wouldn’t let him return it? You never know what people are doing or where they are when they are looking at your files that then have to be returned to you……

  14. posted by coco on

    looking forward to trying the liquid pencils!

  15. posted by Julie Bestry on

    Kay, Dorothy, et. al., I’ll take the “blame” off Erin, as I was the one who found the bookmark cards. Because of the tabs, they hold fast to the page (kind of like *paper* paper clips), which if you’ve ever dropped a stack of doctoral dissertation resource texts, you’ll know would not be the case with regular index cards or standard bookmarks. While I suspect these cards were particularly designed for academic research at the highest levels (and thus are not for everyone), they do have practical uses outside of academia.

    Two of my clients are (non-academic) authors and were delighted to learn of this product; when you’re out in the field with primary source material, getting cards to stay where they should and getting to link notes with sources without fear of “flutter”. Is it suitable (or even useful) for everyone? Nopeynope. But for scholars, it’s a boon.

  16. posted by J in the UK on

    These are clutter and an ecological menace. If you have a mould or mildew problem, deal with it at source – don’t think an antimicrobial anything is going to protect your paper in a damp environment. Scrap card or paper makes a fine (recycled!) bookmark and I’m sure people are capable of cutting their own slit in it if they are so inclined.

  17. posted by SueB on

    I thought for sure this was a “silly items I don’t really want you to spend your hard-earned cash on” items … I mean, antimicrobial folders?! Does it seem to you as tho it’s a bit extreme? You weren’t jesting, were you?

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