“What are you doing?” I asked in horror.
My better half was writing itsy-bitsy letters on itsy-bitsy strips of paper that he planned to insert in itsy-bitsy clear pockets on the right margin of three-ring binder paper. He was going to use those sheets as divider pages in a guide he was preparing for work.
In any book you use a lot, tabs are terrific. They help you flip easily to the section you need. The tabs he was using helped him create them. But if he persisted in creating his tabs with those tiny strips of paper, what would happen if he needed a new section, or he decided to re-order the tabs he had?
If he wanted his tabs to run down his book in order, he’d have to pull every itsy-bitsy strip of paper out of every itsy-bitsy pocket and put it in the proper pocket. This can take so long that he’d rather not make tabs at all.
Those were state-of-the-art back in 1977. But this is 2017. I introduced him to the Post-it Tab.
It would’ve offended his masculine pride to show real enthusiasm about an office supply. He stifled his amazement as I demonstrated how he could write the name of the section directly onto a plastic tab. With extra-strong adhesive I attached the tabs directly to the paper. Then I discreetly left him alone to quickly and easily create tabs for his book.
I use tabs for a lot of my projects. For instance, I read a bible. Deluxe bibles include tabs. Thanks to the Post-it Tab, so does mine. I can easily find the book I need.
I have over 400 carpet cards. With tabs I create dividers so I can file them by region. If I decide that I want to store them in a new order, no problem. Though the adhesive sticks firmly, I can easily lift off the tabs and move them to a different place on the divider card.
They work just as well for recipe cards. If I have recipes for main dishes, but then I find I need a special section just for vegetarian main dishes, I just add a new Post-it Tab. Voilà! New category.
And I use them in my day planner. Many planners come with tabbed divider pages. Those dividers are better than nothing. But my planner works better for me if my sections run in a different order, and if I create custom sections. For example, I have a section for my check registers, and it has its own attractive tab.
A few things to know about Post-it Tabs:
- First, they’re not as sturdy as the tabs that come pre-printed with your day planner. If you carry your planner around with you constantly, as you should, after a few months the tabs will crimp and look dog-eared. Of course, they’re easy to replace.
- Second, they stick firmly to the page. You might think that they’d lift off easily like ordinary Post-its. Not at all. You don’t need to worry about losing your section dividers.
- Third, because they’re slick plastic, most inks don’t absorb into them. Gel, ball-point and felt-tip marker ink all smear. You need to use an indelible marker like a Sharpie marker.
You can make good use of your planner without fancy accessories. But I find that Post-it Tabs allow me to use mine more effectively, and I encourage you to try them, too.