New Smead Organized Up Folders Stand At Attention

Posted on: May 17th, 2013 by Julie Bestry | 2 Comments

Like many professional organizers, I can be methodical and ritualistic. Sure, I like spontaneity as much as the next gal (OK, I really don’t, but let’s leave that aside), but when I go to the National Association of Professional Organizers Annual Conference and Expo, there are a few rituals I like to follow. After checking into the hotel, I like to head to the conference registration booth right away, pick up my conference bag and separate the read-and-recycle materials from the goodies and information I’ll need for the blog and organizing clients.

I have another ritual, related specifically to the Expo. As soon as it opens, I bypass my usual Shopping Mall Method for moving methodically through conference booths; that always has to wait until one essential task is completed.



Like a kid set free in a toy store, I make a run through the Expo until I find my personal North Star. That would be the Smead booth, occupied by my NAPO Expo boyfriend, the redoubtable Jim Riesterer!






















Jim always makes sure that I get the low-down on the newest of the new Smead products, and in return, I share my opinions…loudly and with wild gesticulations. (Ignore the facial puffiness and flat hair. 2011 was a weird year.) Smead always knows I’m ready to offer my feedback.

Jim’s a stand-up guy, so I was delighted when he delivered the colorful and (literally) stand-up filing products in Smead’s new Organized Up™ line. Take a gander at the video and the new upright goodies.

The basic elements of the Organized Up™ system start with the Organized Up™ heavyweight vertical file folders. Since you read most papers in a portrait (uppy-downy) instead of landscape (lefty-right) orientation, doesn’t it sometimes make sense to file them that way, especially when you want to keep folders on your desktop without using up too much prime real estate?

It’s also helpful for students and others on-the-go to be able to tote file folders in backpacks, affix them to clipboards, or store them in drawers too narrow for letter-sized hanging folders. A vertical folder just makes sense in so many situations!

The Smead Organized Up folders impressed me with their durability. Paper Doll is a sucker for a heavy-duty folder, one that won’t flop over if you hold the bottom with just one hand. (Have you ever had a “dead-fish” handshake? A floppy folder disappoints in the same manner.) The heavyweight, water-resistant files should stand up to extensive, repeated use, and though the folder decor isn’t as fancy as some might prefer, Smead has a secret weapon — dual tabs!

The dual tabs let you label any folder for both vertical and horizontal use — assign labels to both edges up front, or be comforted that you can easily change the folder orientation if you want to switch to use them in traditional hanging folders vs. on your desktop, in a backpack, or in narrower, non-hanging file drawers.

The Organized Up™ folders also have a fold-down front. About two inches down the vertical front surface of each folder, there’s a crease, allowing you to fold the edge towards you and get a close-up look at the folder contents.

Each 9 7/8″ x 12″ coated stock folder is made of 100% recycled content, 30% post-consumer waste, and holds up to 25 sheets of paper. The Organized Up™ folders are closed on the bottom and on one side for extra security.

The Organized Up™ heavyweight vertical file folders come in two color schemes: Earth Tones (which I find dismal and depressing–leek, nutmeg and stonewash? Seriously?) and Bright Tones (Fuchsia, Orange & Peridot, which make me want to dance around my Paper Doll HQ office).




The folders may be found at various office supply retailers and on Amazon. While this is a nifty launch, prettier colors and a wider variety of patterns/styles would be nice once the line has gotten its footing. Also, I’d like to be able to buy the folders in 25-count boxes, rather than packages of six (two folders per color) as currently available. (A six-pack runs about $5-6.)

For those less likely to use a file riser, clipboard or notebook and who might be seeking an official file-box solution, the Organized Up™ folders can be used with Organized Up™ MO® Vertical File Cases. The brown diamond-themed case hold up to 600 sheets of paper. They’re made from a durable printed corrugate material and have die cut handles to allow for easy lifting and transporting. I must admit that the brown leatherette pattern isn’t my cup of tea. The color schemes and patterns for the horizontal Smead MO® system cases are much snazzier. This brown is just snoozier.


It should be noted, Smead wasn’t the first out of the starting gate with vertical file folders. That honor belongs to the Doyenne of Domesticity in her Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery Vertical File Folder line. (Whew, that’s a mouthful!)

Martha’s 1/2-cut, portrait style folders measure 9-1/8″ x 12″ and have a left-side seal to maintain paper security. (Understandably, vertically-arrayed papers are a bit more floppy than traditionally horizontally-positioned ones.) Martha’s folders were surely lovely, coming in 6-pack assortments of black and blue-green damask, aster and wave patterns, as well as a blue, grey and cappuccino solids with interior linen patterns.


Martha won points for being first, but not necessarily for being sturdy. Her vertical files are pretty, and nice enough for home and light office use, but lack the powerhouse sturdiness of the Smead Organized Up™ folders. Martha’s line also lacks fold-down flaps and dual-tab writing surfaces.


Smead’s vertical assault on the filing realm didn’t stop with file folders. The Organized Up™ line includes the 9 3/4″ x 11 1/2 Smead Stackit™ One-Pocket folders


and the Smead Stackit™ Three Pocket Organizers


for when you need your presentation materials to be extra-secure on-the-go.

The Stackit™ One-Pocket is made from textured stock (in black, blue, green or red) or heavy-duty linen stock (in black, dark blue or grey) and comes five to a package for about $7. It can hold up to 100 sheets of paper.

The Stackit™ Three-Pocket Organizer has three tabbed divider-pockets, suitable for labeling, and each pocket holds up to 50 sheets each. It comes in (dark blue, grey or black) linen. Two organizers come in each package, for about $6.50. Both items include business card slots and a straight-cut flap that can be tucked in for securing contents.

File folders or presentation folders, heavy-duty or light-hearted patterns, I think we can all agree to stand up and cheer for more variety in our file folder options.


2 Responses

  1. I may be in love!!!!! How do you like them??? I may have to try these for my little dilemma!!! Man, you rock!

    • Julie Bestry says:

      I’m glad you think they’re spiffy, Suzanne. (And I’m sure our friends at Smead are happy to hear it.) I think they’re gorgeous and I appreciate the sturdiness of them.

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