Binders vs. Expanding File Folders

Without a doubt, binders are a great organization tool to use, but are they the best option available? What if there is something that has so much more to offer and is easier to use? Let’s have a dive into the pros and cons of binders and their fairly new competitor — the accordion folders (also known as expanding folders).

A closer look into binders

While binders are the most common tool for keeping papers organized, they also cause a lot of issues. Yes, a great advantage of a binder folder is that the three rings make it secure and can hold many accessories in the pencil pouch. If it’s a zipper binder, it has many compartments and pockets and usually comes with a durable covering that does a great job even if dropped regularly.

However, many disadvantages come with binder folders. The rings never stay aligned for very long, which makes it impossible to turn papers and find what’s underneath. Also, when Pee Chee folders are used in the rings, the holes easily rip, and the entire folder falls out. Another thing to add is how much time it takes to open those rings so you can take out just one sheet of paper. What’s worse is closing the rings, which is always accompanied by a loud SNAP sound.


●    When appropriately used, the three rings provide a secure storage space

●    Ability to hold pencil pouches, accessories

●    Secure and durable


●    Problems with the three rings

●    Pee Chee folders rip out from the rings

●    Time-consuming and noisy

Expanding (Accordion) Folders

The expanding file folder is the new kid on the block for many students but professionals working in law agencies, for example, use them all the time. The most obvious benefit of the accordion folder is the lack of the three rings. When there are no rings to deal with. It allows people to slip any paper in and out easily quickly.

You can also use a clear view to put a weekly/monthly calendar with important meetings/tasks that need to be done. The pockets fit in a compact way, which reduces wasted space and weight in your bag/suitcase/backpack.

The only disadvantage with expanding folders is that they break a lot easier than the binders. Also, they don’t hold zipper pouches, but unless you’re a 5th-grade student, that could be a victim of pranks, this shouldn’t bother you. And if you are an adult, you should be able to keep your expanding folder safe and not drop it constantly.


●    Quick-and-easy access, slip papers in and out

●    Expanding folders save space and weigh less

●    A clear view of all folders without turning documents on the three rings


●    Less storage space (there is no space for accessories)

●    Inexpensive accordion folders usually break very easily

Without a doubt, both types of folders have advantages and disadvantages. However, it seems like binders are more suitable for students in need of well-protected and spacious organizer to keep all their pencils and other accessories. The expanding folders, however, are the best choice for older students and employees that need a better organization system for all their papers.

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