The 10 Best Storage Clipboards
This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in October of 2015. Ideal for keeping all your pens, pencils, documents, and even your mobile devices organized and handy, these storage clipboards make working from anywhere extremely convenient. They come in a variety of colors and designs that are suitable for everyone, from students who have to traipse back and forth across campus to contractors keeping up with paperwork on a job site. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 24, 2020:
We are happy to include the Dexas Slimcase 2 with this update, which takes the place of the Dexas Slimcase and beats out the Dexas Clipcase 2 for the top spot. The Slimcase 2 is less bulky than the Clipcase 2 since it doesn't have the large handle; for many users, this construction will make it easier to stash in a backpack or briefcase. Not only that, but it comes in more colors, including eye-popping neons and plain, business-appropriate black. As for other models from Dexas, we retained the Dexas Clearview on the strength of its writing surface that's appropriate for dry erase markers.
A new addition of particular note is the DeWalt TStak. This handy model is just as perfect for those already using the TStak line of toolboxes and organizers as it is for those who are not. Unlike most, it has a handy light and an organizer pouch that's sturdier than the plastic compartments found on many others.
Finally, for those who are worried about security, we kept the Vaultz Locking, even though the security it provides isn't perfect. A truly determined person could get into it, so you probably shouldn't fill it with your most important documents and leave it lying around any old place. But it should keep nosy coworkers from taking a peek at your paperwork as they walk by your desk.
November 29, 2019:
Although we like the design of the Officemate Triple File, we've ultimately decided to remove it, as its clasp is not known to be particularly durable. Those who'd like a similar item, one with plenty of storage compartments, might check out the Officemate Portable or Saunders DeskMate II. For something a little less bulky, we still like the Geila Padfolio or Mymazn Conference. These are hybrid clipboard-padfolio choices with a sleek, professional look. You shouldn't expect to carry huge stacks of paper in them, but for a handful of documents, they're fine. Finally, we've opted to add one transparent option, the Dexas Clearview. After you slip a sheet under the clear lid and close it, you can annotate the document with a dry erase marker — without having to write on it at all. Note that it doesn't actually come with any markers; you'll need to provide your own.
Any Promo Office If you'd prefer that your employees all use the same clipboard, you'll want to check out the Any Promo Office. You can have it screen printed with your business's logo, but keep in mind that you'll need to buy in bulk, which can be a little pricey. anypromo.com
Uline Aluminum Top Opening For warehouse use, the rugged and reliable Uline Aluminum Top Opening is a go-to, especially since it offers a calculator built right into the clip on the front. It latches closed securely, which keeps all of the important forms inside clean, dry, and at the ready. uline.com
The Surprisingly Useful Clipboard
As it turns out, the term is a holdover from the analog world.
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 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.
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 for every budget, from the limited to the ample.
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.
If you are considering purchasing a storage clipboard, you should not be concerned about budget.
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.