In her Motion to Organize weekly column, lawyer Jennifer Gumbel talks organization, productivity, and more.
Tabs are nerdy. I associate using tabs with hyper-organized people. The kind that have binders for everything. The Leslie Knopes of the world. The kind of people who bullet journal to let off steam. And, while I enjoy office supplies and organization, I am not that far gone and I didn’t always use tabs.
But tabs are way more useful than I gave them credit for. The reason is obvious. A stack of paper becomes something you can visually break down and label. Instead of a mass of information that somewhere, contains what you need at any given time, your data is quickly and easily located. Whether you use a ring binder or a folder system, tabs can help organize data and keep it organized as you add to it. A color-coded, ROYGBIV system isn’t half bad either.
Tabs work great for office management, like separating outstanding and paid bills by vendor. If you’re researching a complicated topic, tabs can help you locate needles in the haystack and give you a constant visual reminder how a complicated topic breaks down. I find them indispensable for organizing court filings. That way, I can see and confirm what the court has at a glance. And, on those rare occasions I’m in front of a judge, I can immediately flip to what they’re referring.
Tabs might be nerdy, but sometimes, they can be indispensable.