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Ergonomic document holder stands are essential tools for those who spend massive (or even a little) time working on the computer. If you want to avoid neck pain and back strain at the end of the day, consider using some type of document holder. Even though we work largely in a digital workplace, almost all work requires some paper and pencil work. Whether you research topics and take notes or scribble notes to remember on a piece of paper, you will often refer to some non-digital product.
Now, I am definitely old school. So, I take copious notes and jot down reminders frequently while I work. I refer to articles I have printed or look at diagrams that I have sketched out. And, if I don't use a document holder to hold those notes while I use them for work, I very quickly feel a twinge in my neck that ends up in screeching pain hours later. Keep in mind – if you don't use a document holder, you are looking down a lot. And looking down a lot quite simply ends in pain in your neck.
Luckily, an abundant variety of document holders in a huge variety of price points are available. Whether you want monitor mounted, desktop mounted or standalone document holder, you can easily find an option to meet your needs. This post will review a variety of document holders available at different price points.
Desktop mounted document holders
Desktop mounted document holders are just that – holders that mount to the edge of your desktop. These versatile document holders clamp onto the edge of your desk – on either side, the back or even the front. They have pivoting arms which allow you to position the holder where needed. Many of the desktop holders can also be used to hold your tablet if you use that for taking notes/researching instead of paper. Take a look at the options below from Amazon:
Gooseneck Tablet Holder, Lamicall Tablet Mount
This goose neck tablet holder is pretty cool, in my opinion. It will hold cell phones and tables such as the iPad mini, iPad Pro iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, Galaxy Tablet and Samsung Galaxy Tablet. The clamp can be mounted to your desktop. Or as some users do, to the headboard or even a chair. If you are a reader or movie viewer at night, this will save your neck! With a clip, this could be easily modified to hold documents, although it is made for phones and tablets. While it will hold the device steady, if you are going to be typing on it, you will have to brace it with one hand while you type. Click the image below to purchase.
TrenDesks Document Copy Holder and Tablet/Cellphone Holder 2-in-1
This versatile holder actually rotates 360 degrees, so no matter where you place the holder, it rotates to a position best for you. It moves to a variety of heights and angles thus allowing the material to be at eye level. The weight capacity is 2.2 pounds so it can easily handle an iPad, which runs around 1.3 pounds. Or a phone, which weighs even less. Because it can be rotated, the device can easily be viewed in either landscape or portrait mode.
The nice thing about this holder is that it easily converts to a document holder. It is mounted using a C clamp that is included in the product along with a one-year warranty. This multi-purpose document holder gets high ratings from users. Click the image below to purchase.
Aidata CH012A Metal Arm Copy Holder
The copy holder below also attaches to your workstation with a C-clamp. Metal arm has overall reach of approximately 20″. This document holder has a sturdy plastic based and adjustable clip that allows you to easily view documents of varying sizes. It also contains a removable and see through guide. That helps us folks with dyslexia or astigmatisms! Click the image below to purchase.
Documents mounted on your monitor frees up space on your desk top. Because they are positioned on your monitor, documents are held at eye level if your monitor is positioned correctly. Generally fairly light, many of them are placed on the monitor with Command strips or rubber lined clamps. Document holders can generally be mounted on either side of your monitor. Sometimes they can be top mounted and some are light enough to be used on your laptop.
3M Monitor Mount Document Copy Holder (DH455)
This monitor mounted document holder maintains the document in an upright position making it easy to read at eye level. It can be mounted on either a flat panel or on a traditional CRT monitor. The document holder uses 3M command adhesive strips to mount on your monitor. So, it can be moved or re-positioned leaving no sticky residue. The holder uses documents in either landscape or portrait orientation. Click the image below to purchase.
NoteTower Monitor Mount
A spring mounted clamp allows you to position this holder on a monitor or even a laptop. The clamp is lined with soft rubber so that it will mount securely AND protect the monitor surface. Being spring mounted, you don't have to worry about adhesive removal if you want to move it around. To use it, simply slide paper into the flexible clips for direct viewing at eye level. This document holder mounts to laptops, tablets and thin desktop monitors either on the side or top. The folding support arms extend to hold paper in either landscape or portrait orientation. Click the image below to purchase.
Free Standing Holders
3M Desktop Document Holder with Adjustable Clip (DH340MB)
This tried but true document holder from Amazon sits upright on your desktop. Documents in landscape or portrait orientation are easily viewable at eye level. A grooved ledge at the bottom and spring action clip will hold up to 150 sheets of paper. A line guide slides up and down to mark your place on the document as you work. This document holder folds up for easy storage when not in use. Click the image below to purchase.
Page Up in Grey Crystal
Definitely another tried but true document holder that indeed has a teeny tiny footprint!!! While often given away at trade shows, you can purchase one from Amazon. It keeps paper upright while you type from them or view the materials. Position it about anywhere on your desk when you need it and tuck it into a drawer when you don't need it. Although it only holds a few pieces of paper, it nevertheless does the trick when you need to position a document on your desk. Honestly, I am not sure how it works. But, the first time I used one, I stuck in paper and voila – it stood up. Since it is so small, it is a very handy office accessory. Comes in a variety of colors. Click the image below to purchase.
DIY Document Holder
If you want to try your hand at DIY, then Dollar Tree offers the tools to create your own document holder. Although not as compact as some of the fold away ones offered at Amazon, it nevertheless provides a fun project costing less than $5.00. Take a look at the tutorial if you want to take a break away from your monitor and do a little hands on.
I hope you have an opportunity to explore the different types of document holders to find the one that will best suit your needs. I really can't stress enough how important it is to your long-term health in the office to ensure that you maintain proper posture in front of the computer. Looking down for hours leads to pain – plain and simple. Whether you use notes, transcribe documents, or use your tablet or phone for research, a document/tablet holder will ensure that you are looking ahead at work.
If you start to feel a twinge in your neck during the day, you will probably experience headaches and outright pain by the end of the day. Continuing to do this over the long-term can lead to spinal cord damage. Speaking from experience (unfortunately), it is much harder to correct damage than work ergonomically from the beginning. Document holders are a relatively inexpensive way to correct a potential problem in the office. Once you begin using them and notice how much better your neck and back feels, you will never do without again.
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