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Vertical vs. Lateral Filing Cabinet Systems

Maybe your office is growing, or maybe your company needs to shore up its organizational practices. When it’s time to choose a filing system, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options. The Office Pros has hundreds of filing options to suit your needs; which is best for your office?

Vertical File SystemVertical Filing Cabinets Vertical filing systems are by far the most common. When you imagine a traditional wooden filing cabinet, you’re probably imagining standard vertical files. Here are a few things to remember about vertical filing systems.

  • Vertical systems require pull-out drawers, often at depth, to “hang” the files
  • Vertical files are labeled and identified by tabs place on the top opening edge of the file
  • These systems make sense for vertical spaces and are easy to operate and use at low levels
  • Vertical filing systems are the easiest solution for adding new files within an alphabetical system

Lateral File CabinetLateral Filing Systems What are lateral filing cabinets? Lateral files are identified by labels on the side edge of a file, and they’re organized horizontally rather than vertically. They don’t always require drawers but instead can sit inside open shelving systems. Files are pulled in and out of the shelves by their edges. Here’s what to know about lateral filing:

  • Lateral files are more space-efficient than vertical files; you can get more files in the same amount of space
  • Lateral filing is faster to operate and identify in general
  • There are no drawers to operate which makes lateral files simultaneously more exposed but easier to see
  • TUB or “coathanger” files can help keep lateral filing systems organized and in-place

Which is right for your office? Your filing needs will greatly dictate the kind of filing cabinet you purchase. If you’re a doctor’s office with thousands of files that need to be accessed quickly, a fireproof lateral filing system might make perfect sense. If you’re a family attorney with just a handful of clients, a secure vertical filing cabinet made of attractive wood will probably work well in your office.

Need help deciding? Your friends at Office Pros of Georgia know filing, and they’re ready to help. Come by one of our three showrooms today to see our options in-person.