I'm new to paper crafts so I've been researching everything available, especially designs I can't even imagine aspiring to create and accessories that might make life easier. I was delighted when the ScrapRack system was introduced. Of all the organizing schemes, this system seemed to cover most of my needs. I could dismantle my project pieces into sections of a plastic storage page and when not working on that project, set it aside, either in a desk top base, a cardboard magazine-like holder, a portable take-with binder, etc. Photos were given their own organizational showcase in ScrapRack photo boxes. So I eagerly bought several of the storage pages and they arrived earlier this week. I took the parts of one of my projects and attempted to insert them into the SmartRack page protectors.
The key word here is "attempted." As noted for the single page protector, additional room was added so 12" pages would fit easily into those protectors. Well, that doesn't exactly happen with the multi-size page protectors. Not enough room was calculated for a page protector full of papers, stickers, etc., of various sizes, making for a tight fit all around. Take this 5 size protector, for example. In theory, I should be able to get all of my card kits into no more than two page protectors (I still haven't found use for that 2x2 section). But I can barely fit half (and a third would be a better fit) of a 6x6 pad into its designated space, which is actually not 6x6; it's 8x8. (In fact, none of the protectors has a 6x6 section, which is a common paper pad size. [If you find a 6x6, please post. I'd like to have one.]) The same happens with any of the bulky paper pads. So my dream of devoting one page per project disappeared. And I also have to slightly bend the card stack to wrestle it into the pocket. Doing that repeatedly gets very annoying. It appears the solution is to take what you need out all at once and then repack it all when finished for that session. This was not the way I had envisioned the system would work. And the "envelope fold" over a full pocket doesn't cover the contents--forgeddabowdit. The top edge of your materials are exposed when the pocket is even less than fully packed, and given the size of standard paper pads, unless you use 3 or 4 protectors just to accommodate ONE pad (when you make cards, for example, you use much fewer 12x12s than the smaller sizes), you are wasting a lot of page protector space in the 3rd and 4th piece.
And although they are certainly reasonably priced, that's not my beef. It's the inconvenience of actually using the product to insert and remove papers, especially when you don't know how far down in the pad the paper you need might be. So I'm committed monetarily to the page storage part--for now. I haven't invested in the go-withs (the desk base (2 sizes: 7 and 4 spindles), a tote (offered in various colors), and various storage boxes--I did invest in one photo storage box. Right now you'd have to fit your pix in a storage page to incorporate them with your project And it's not clear whether the 6 way protector for photos is environment proof as it should be (I'm not a photographer so can't comment on this). I am waiting for page dividers but with no "binder" these would be useless to me at present.
This is an equivocal endorsement. If the system eventually is resized to hold the paper sizes and amounts that it should, it will be worth your money and time to reorganize your stuff. Right now, not so much. If you have a system that works, stick with it. If you want to use if for small stuff or 12" cardstock, go for it. But trying to put your entire project into a set of these protectors may be frustrating until further notice from SmartRack.
I'm posting this in a couple other product review areas since the likelihood of this one review being seen is small. I hope I hit some areas that most people actually view.