Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Shoplet.com Review: Avery EZD Heavy-Duty Reference View Binder & Avery Custom Binder Spine Inserts & Avery Note Tabs

This is a review of the Avery EZD Heavy-Duty Reference View Binder, Avery Custom Binder Spine Inserts, and Avery Note Tabs. These office supplies were sent for review by Shoplet.

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The second office supply I am reviewing for Shoplet is the Avery EZD Heavy-Duty Reference View Binder. From afar, it looks like a regular binder but in fact, it is covered with plastic that is securely crimped at the edges. This particular binder is a clean white and the plastic is clear. Inside, the rings are attached to the back cover, with a black rubber knob to open them. There are four stacked plastic pockets inside - two on each cover.
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What do I like?
The binder feels sturdy and it is certainly heavy duty. With most binders, they feel flimsy and I always have concerns that the edges would tear easily but this ring binder is high quality and it can handle being shoved in and pulled out of a backpack in a rush, which would inevitably destroy the edges of most binders - the heavy duty cover will last much longer. 

The One Touch EZD locking rings really do open with ease! One finger on the little rubber button pops them open with very little effort, and when it snaps back shut, it’s not loud and terrifying, and closing them is just as easy - just closing the little button - I wasn’t worried about catching my fingers in the rings!  Avery says this 1.5” binder can hold up to 50% more pages than the same-size of round rings - so approximately 400 pages. I don’t have 400 pages hole punched available to stuff in here, so I put what I had - including plastic sheet protectors and dividers. Everything fits with ease. The design of the rings really does lend itself to holding more paper, and still being easy to close because of the added flap on the lid. 
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The Gap Free feature of the rings helps prevent that most-hated space that develops from opening and closing repeatedly (or being sat on), where papers slip through and get ruined. Speaking of papers and rings, it’s a joy to turn pages in this ring binder. The action is so smooth, there’s no catching or struggling to align the pages in the rings. It’s easy peasy. 
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By the way, I am thrilled that the chipboard is made of 100% recycled content and the plastic is PVC free (it also doesn’t smell funny, like plastic sometimes does). The plastic is also non-stick and archival safe so if you put something really important in the pockets or cover, it’s not going to get lifted off by the plastic pressing on it. You’d be surprised at how often this happens and how annoying it is. It ruins your documents and it ruins the binder. 

The spine has a plastic slot as well where you can pop in an Avery Custom Binder Spine Inserts for labelling. This is a wonderful feature for those of us who like to be tidy and organized. 

I really wish these Avery EZD Heavy-Duty Reference View Binders http://www.shoplet.com/Avery-EZD-Heavy-Duty-Reference-View-Binder/AVE79795/spdv were around when I was in school. Although they seem expensive at first glance, I considered how many binders I went through in a year - not only was that a waste of my money to keep replacing binders because they were of shoddy quality, it’s terrible for the environment. Good quality products almost always last longer, and in this case, the heavy duty ring binder is a good quality product!  

What don’t I like?
There is nothing I don’t like about this binder. Seriously. It’s well made, it’s tough, I can label it for easy findings, it has pockets and rings that won’t pinch my hands, and it looks good (come on… everyone hates ugly binders).

Avery Custom Binder Spine Inserts - $4.25 per pack (5 sheets) 
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These custom binder labels for the Avery EZD Heavy-Duty Reference View Binder are the second office supply I am reviewing for Shoplet

They come in a pack of five sheets, with five label inserts per page, all of which are easy to separate via perforations. You can go to Avery to find templates for this particular product and you can design and print something fun for your ring binders

What do I like?
Back in the day, I used to cut my own spine inserts out of regular paper and I was terrible at it. I didn’t have the patience or the dexterity to cut nice and clean lines so I ended up with warped papers in the spines of my binders. It looked terrible. These are way more fun. For $4.25, with 25 spine inserts on cardstock paper, it’s much easier to label your ring binders! These binder labels certainly complement the Avery EZD Heavy-Duty Reference View Binder
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What don’t I like?
It's tough to pull these out of the binder spine once they're in. They're a perfect fit and slip in easily but to get them out is a challenge - you can't stick your fingers in there because you'll ruin the plastic. It's not often you'll need to edit/change your binder label but when you do, you can just use a post it flag, stick it to the top and slide it out. That's the best method I've come up with so far.

The packaging! These inserts came wrapped in plastic as well as with a cover page ( neither of which appear to be made with recycled material). I think the plastic should be recycled and recyclable plastic and the cover page should be on recycled paper. Otherwise, it’s just more garbage for the landfill and as stationery addicts, we have to do our part to reduce, reuse, and recycle in order to offset the carbon footprint of our hobbies!

Avery Note Tabs - $3.74 per pack (10 tabs)
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These binder tabs are the third office supply of this Avery package I am reviewing for Shoplet

They come in a small pack of 10 tabs. They’re little squares of 3 1/2” x 3” of translucent, adhesive plastic that is easy to write on with a variety of writing utensils (though I personally prefer Sharpies for this kind of thing). There is a little tab on the side that acts as a divider/label. But it’s really cool that the entire surface of these binder tabs can be written on. 

What do I like?
It’s a simple, easy to use product with proper adhesive that isn’t gross, gooey, or tacky, and bonds strong enough that you can use the divider to turn pages. You can still move it around if you want and the film material doesn’t lift prints off your pages nor will it leave residue behind.
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What don’t I like?
I think at ~ $0.37 per tab, these are a little expensive, despite the fact that Shoplet offers some pretty good prices and quantity discounts. . I think they shouldn’t be more than $0.10 each, $0.15 at most - so packs of 20 - 25. And, once again, the packaging. While the packaging for these little binder tabs are minimal, the plastic should be recycled and recyclable. Little things add up! I also think offering some more sizes would be convenient as well - perhaps a bigger size and a smaller size, so these could be the “medium”. 

Overall
These three products - the Avery EZD Heavy-Duty Reference View Binder, Avery Custom Binder Spine Inserts, and Avery Note Tabs - complement each other perfectly. They each are well designed and are high quality products that will last. My only complaints about the binder labels and binder tabs is the lack of recycled and recyclable material in the packaging, though I am very pleased to see Avery has incorporated recycled materials into the ring binder. I would like to see Avery add some more sizes to the binder tabs.

Disclaimer and reminder: These office supplies were sent for review by Shoplet. I was not paid to write this review, but I do get to keep these cool products.

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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