Folders or binders?

binderAs I revealed in the post To Print or Not to Print?, I have a penchant for printing out documents I find online. I’m trying to get myself to download, rather than print online documents, but for the moment, I’m doing both. (I consider this a transition period.)

In any case, when you’re in the habit of printing papers out, you have to figure out how to store them so you can find them. When it comes to organizing genealogy papers, there are two popular options: file folders or binders.

I’m curious, if you’re a paper person, which do you use–and why?

I fall squarely in the file folder camp. This is true for me for all my papers, and here’s why. I think it’s just so much easier to file into a folder than it is into a binder. And the easier it is to file, the more likely it is you will file.

If you’re using binders to organize and store your papers, there are many steps:

  1. Pull the binder off the shelf
  2. Open it to the right place
  3. Open the rings
  4. Either punch holes in the paper or put in a sheet protector
  5. Close the rings
  6. Move all the open papers in front of it over the new paper
  7. Close the binder
  8. Put away the binder

By contrast, with file folders, there are fewer steps:

  1. Open the file drawer
  2. Locate the file
  3. Open the folder (which might or might not entail taking it out)
  4. Drop the paper in the folder

In my experience as a professional organizer, papers meant to go into binders tend to pile up. (Actually, I do that–I keep my dog’s vet records in a binder, for some reason, and I have a large stack of papers that need to be punched and put in the binder.)

But I know some people love to use binders for genealogy research.

Please share: What’s your favorite way to store and organize your genealogy papers?