One of the first decisions you must make when designing a filing system is whether it will be a “top tab” system or an “end tab” system. Top tab, or drawer filing is the most familiar. File folders have tabs on the top with file headings that can be read while the folders are in a drawer. End tab, or shelf filing uses folder that have tabs on the side or end of the folder. The tabs are readable when folders are placed on shelving, such as in a central filing area or in overhead bins at a workstation.
The tab style you choose depends on a number of factors within your office. Both top tab and end tab have distinct advantages. Consider these criteria as you plan your filing solution: