The 10 Best Storage Clipboards
10. Business Source Plastic
- available singly or in a 2-pack
- plastic page protectors on corners
- not the sturdiest option
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
9. Saunders DeskMate II
- calculator is solar-powered
- multiple internal storage areas
- pen compartment is quite small
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
8. Officemate Triple File
- business card pocket
- made from recycled plastics
- can't hold a lot of paper
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
7. AbilityOne Skilcraft
- easy to open with one hand
- lightweight and highly portable
- not a ton of interior space
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
6. Officemate Slim
- inconspicuous metal clip
- ergonomic finger grips along side
- does not open or close easily
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
5. Dexas Slimcase
- plastic is tough and hard to break
- strong steel clip
- bottom clasp is a bit flimsy
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
4. Dexas Office Clipcase
- resistant to wind and dust
- 10 color options available
- 2 small accessory compartments
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
3. Officemate Portable
- comfortable hand grip
- 3 small outer pockets
- one compartment is magnetized
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
2. Vaultz Locking Storage
- choose key or combination lock
- 3 size options available
- shoulder strap for easy carrying
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
1. Saunders Cruiser-Mate II
- made from recycled aluminum
- strong self-locking latch
- made in the united states
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
The Surprisingly Useful Clipboard
Before we talk about the actual physical object known as the clipboard, let's first talk about its veritable successor, the computer clipboard. When given a moment of thought, the fact that we call the virtual "space" in which our computers hold a file prior to its being pasted into a new location, a clipboard doesn't seem to make much sense. There's no board involved, and nothing is being clipped to anything else in any real sense.
As it turns out, the term is a holdover from the analog world. Clipboards were often used by graphic designers creating a layout for an advertisement, a magazine spread, or to create a piece of artwork. An image or selection of text that had been physically cut out of one sheet of paper and was awaiting actual pasting with glue onto another would often be stored on a clipboard for safe, easy access. We rarely use scissors and glue to create graphic spreads these days, but we still use the terms clipboard and cut and paste all the time.
The first clipboards that were patented and subsequently mass produced came out in the early 1870s. The precise identity of the clipboard's creator is lost to the ages, but by the end of the 19th Century the clever, simple devices were in widespread use across myriad fields.
Clipboards make it easier to perform many functions when a desk, table, or other flat, stable writing surface is not available. A clipboard can make it easier to jot down notes or record observations when you are in the field or it can help you keep track of inventory coming in or shipping out as you survey a loading bay. Clipboards are useful tools for schools, military planners, and everyone in between. In fact, the versatility of the basic clipboard and the convenience of the storage clipboard variety merits a closer look in terms of who can benefit from its use.
People Who Benefit From Storage Clipboards
When you think of a storage clipboard, there's a good chance your first thought is of the coach of a sports team. Indeed it seems that almost every coach watching his football team from the sidelines, his runners on the track, or his protege on the tennis court is carrying a storage clipboard. When statistics come quickly as they do with sports and when later data analysis can lead to altered practice techniques and improved performance, it's important for coaches to be able to quickly jot down and store notes. Thus the stereotype of the coach with the clipboard makes sense.
Law enforcement officials are also often known to carry storage clipboards. These clipboards are a wise choice for policemen and women because they allow for the easy recording of statements and logging of observations, and also provide a place to store evidence that might play a role in the forensic part of an investigation.
Researchers, such as a scientist studying an animal population or checking in on various types of plants, on water health, or who is conducting any other sort of field work, can also benefit from storage clipboards for just the same reason: ease of note taking and a spot to store any small specimens collected.
Then of course the student can benefit greatly from using a storage clipboard. The interior of the unit makes it easy to organize and safely store papers, while the flat surface atop the clipboard is perfect for taking notes, reading handouts, or for working on a draft of that term paper.
Storage clipboards can also prove helpful with events such as bake sales or garage sales, where a person wants a way to track sales easily on paper and also needs a convenient place to store some cash and coinage to make change after each sale.
And finally, these tools can also be immensely helpful to an artist who wants to sketch or paint on location, in the vain of the original Plein Air Impressionists, by storing paper and a limited assortment of pens, pencils, brushes, and other artist's tools, and by offering a firm place on which to work anywhere and any time.
Choosing Right Storage Clipboard For You
If you are considering purchasing a storage clipboard, you should not be concerned about budget. There are storage clipboards available that cost around twelve dollars. And the most expensive, "fancy" storage clipboards rarely cost more than thirty dollars, if even that.
Rather you must think in terms of function, not value. The coach looking for a place to write and store notes will be well served by the traditional metal storage clipboard, as it is ready to stand up to the dents and scratches that come with a lifetime of use in an active field.
The hunter or field researcher should likewise consider a durable metal storage clipboard, and especially one that features a camouflage finish with non reflective hardware so as to minimize the attention attracted from wild animals.
For the student, there are many storage keyboards that can not only hold many sheets of eight inch by eleven inch paper, but that also have space set aside to store pens, pencils, and other small sundries. These are a great options for reducing the overall amount of stuff you need to tote to and from your classes. Why carry a separate bag when the accoutrement of your studies all fit in your clipboard?
As for a clipboard that opens like a book or one that opens across its vertical axis, that's entirely a matter of preference. So too are the colors of your storage clipboard, which can range from muted metallic or black all the way to playful purple or bright blue.