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Paper clips are to an office supplies list what the wheel is to industry and commerce. Both are indispensable. Today's clips have come a long way from their simple silver-colored metal coil past. Some of the most popular versions are plastic paper clips, which come in a variety of colors, as well as vinyl-coated and lacquer-covered clips, also available in a range of bold, bright or shiny hues. Clips also have many fastener cousins, including butterfly binder clips, push pins, staples and even rubber bands -- but it is the paper clip that remains an essential part of any professional business supplies needs.

Standard Paper Clips Do a Good Job of Keeping Sheets Together
The basic 1-inch steel paper clip has the key job of attaching sheets of paper together so that subject-specific material or chronological content can be grouped accordingly. Business and home offices should always have ample numbers of these basic clips on hand, particularly for fastening together reproductions of bulk documents.

Paper Clips Are Useful for Color-Coding Documents
Today's vinyl-coated and plastic paper clips come in the array of colors you need to highlight individual sheets of paper that contain important notes or content among all the rest of the paper in your notebook or inbox. You can also use single colors to designate individual sheets specific to certain subject matter, which is particularly useful if you have to prepare indexes or tables of content.

What Shapes and Sizes of Paper Clips Are Available?
Besides the standard 1-inch coiled steel wire clip, many paper clips come in different shapes and sizes for sheer functionality or for a unique look. Jumbo clips, at 2 inches in length, can keep up to 20 sheets of paper together securely. Large triangular folded clips can hold even more. Mini clips, at less than an inch long, help keep smaller sheets of paper together, like those torn from a 5 x 8 inch notepad, without making the attachments unwieldy. For fun, circular eye-style clips or bow-tie shape clips are available as well, and they hold as many sheets of paper together as the standard varieties.

What Kind of Paper Clips Should You Use for Special Documents?
Some of your documents might be delicate or particularly prone to marks and indents. Plastic paper clips are lightweight, so they'll keep delicate sheets together without bending or creasing borders or corners. Vinyl-coated paper clips are a good idea when you are concerned about overexposure to moisture or a lot of handling. They're rust resistant and sturdy enough to keep important pages grouped together securely.

What Else Can You Do with Paper Clips?
In addition to colorful vinyl and plastic paper clips, you can also get clips with shiny metallic coatings, both silver and gold, and in colored lacquer finishes. On days when your young kids are at home and you're trying to get work done from your home office, let the kids make paper clip necklaces. It's easy to attach one clip to another. Just give your kids a small pile, and let them occupy their time in creative pursuit. Of course, paper clips are one of the many standard items that appear on most back to school supplies list.
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