Stationery items are crucial for the day to day operations at work and therefore stationery shops excel at providing different and unique ways to organize work.  Walking into a stationery shop or the stationery section of any store expands the horizons of any obsessively compulsive person.  The different types of papers, pens, book ends, posters, calendars, and so forth are just a few.  You end up buying things you never thought you needed and, surprisingly, end up using them (unlike clothes which usually reside in the cupboard for a few years before being discarded recklessly.)  The beauty of organization can only be seen with color coding, neatly binding, and beautifully filing paperwork in box files using the correct dividers.


There is a vast array of dividers and, as you all know, each serves a purpose.  We are introduced to dividers early in our school years and it becomes second nature to us how and what we can use them for.  The horror of meeting someone who doesn’t know exceeds all horrors and the horrifying experience is intensified when the person uses them WRONG.

The story:  we are organizing customer files at our workplace and want to introduce dividers in each to distinguish different pages from one another.  Simple?  It should be.  I delegate the matter (this is probably where I went wrong) and expect the file to come back perfect.  A few days later, I look at a file with a divider – 15 sections- and a list of silly useless headers.  So I scratch the useless, merge the similar, and end up with 6 sections.  I left the issue at that and expected (my second mistake) that the 15 section divider will be carefully removed and stored away for another upcoming folder that needs 15 parts.

Are you still following me?  So I changed the 15 divider to 6 and asked for the file back.  I get this:


Do you see 1-6?  Now do you see where 7-15 should have been?  Where are the 7-15?  How and why and in what sense can they be used at a later stage?  Would we have another file with 7-15 dividers?  What is that?  Can that even be called organizing?  And to top it all off, I had to explain that this is not the way to use dividers.  Because of the carelessness that accompanied where the 7-15 dividers would go, I chose to answer in a not-so-polite way that this is not right.

To sum up, how to use dividers:

1- Identify the papers you want to file.  How will you arrange and organize them?  Take note of the number.  Would it make sense to file the papers chronologically?  If so, buy a monthly divider, it not, buy the one with numbers.  You could even get dividers color coded only.

2-  Add 1-2 more dividers just in case

3- File the papers and write the sections

Do not remove half the numbers.  If you are mistaken, you can always buy a new set and store the wrong one for use at a later stage.  Do not divide dividers, they are like a family.