Managing paper is part of all of our lives. We all have important documents we need to keep on hand. For some of us, they are assignments, handouts, and homework. For others, they are medical bills, insurance forms, and benefit statements. For others still, they are invoices, receipts, and schedules. Regardless of what types of documents you need to organize, a great way to sort them out and keep them tidy is through the use of index tab dividers.

Index tabs are used to divide documents into manageable sections, allowing you to quickly locate the page you’re looking for. They also help others (who may not be familiar with the document) to find their way through documents you have created. When you begin to think about index tabs and how they can help to organize your document, you should think about how the document will be used. Ask yourself what users of the document will be looking for, what questions they will seek answers for as they look at your document. Index tabs are designed to help people find information quickly, so you should choose your section names with care. As a rule of thumb, it is more helpful to err on the side of too many index tabs than it is to have too few. The fewer index tabs you have, the longer it will take users to find the information they need. In business situations, this type of delay can mean upset customers and definitely means decreased productivity.

These days index tabs come in a variety of styles and sizes. Index tabs are available in 4 different colours (buff/C stock, Ivory, Manila and White), and come with or without clear or colored Mylar (a plastic type coating on the tab itself that makes it sturdier). You can even print professional looking tabs right from your copier or you can have customized tabs professionally printed for you. There is no longer a one-size-fits-all approach to index tabs. Index tabs can be selected based on the needs of you and your readers.

Potential uses for index tabs include:

Accountants

  • Invoices
  • Receipts
  • Contact lists
  • Payment calendars

Managers

  • Training manuals
  • Employee records
  • Attendance and behavior records
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Contact lists

Salespeople

  • Client lists
  • Contact calendars
  • Product information
  • Pricing sheets

Teachers

  • Lesson plans
  • Grade books
  • Attendance and behavior records
  • Club records
  • Student portfolios

Students

  • Notes
  • Assignments
  • Correspondence

Individuals

  • Health records
  • Academic records
  • Financial records
  • Receipts
  • Manuals
  • Warranties
  • Maintenance records for home and auto