This week our Beyond
Folders Facebook page and Twitter profile was renamed to reflect our
premium, most recognized brand of organizational solutions: Pendaflex. Most importantly, they will be rejuvenated
and will incorporate more fun, more giveaways and more of your point of view. Keep
reading to find out more!
Already following us?
Great! Thanks so much for your support! We're keeping the same pages you already
follow and just renaming them, so you don't have to do anything to stay on
board! Easy. We took a look at what you do, what you like,
and what you don't like, so we think you're going to love the new developments
we have planned.
Why join now?
We understand. You're busy!
That's why we're going to work hard to prove to you that we are worth
your time. Also, our changes come from
what YOU say you like and do. We're
going to keep listening to you, we're
going to offer you solutions based on what YOU
post on our wall and we're going to have a fun conversation that includes
chances to win cool stuff and share your stories with other people like
yourself- organized, successful and on
So, what's new?
FREE STUFF - We're
starting off by offering you a chance to win an I.Organize starter kit every Monday! We're also giving away other cool stuff you
can't even buy, like our I.Organize caribiner thumb
YOUR VOICE - This
is your community, not ours. We realize
this and encourage you to join the conversation, ask us questions, post your
photos and share ideas with other people like yourself.
LEARNING ABOUT YOU
- We also want to learn about you so we can change the way we do business to
meet your ever changing needs. Tell us
what you need, tell us what you want- we're listening.
USEFUL TIPS - We're going to do our best to think
ahead of the curve, scour the blogosphere and offer you the most helpful and
timely tips we can brew up. Also, we
want to hear your tips, too!
A BIGGER, MORE FUN
COMMUNITY - We're making a push, so this is going to get big, and FUN! Join us now and be part of the community as
it grows. We can't wait to see you
Where will you find us?
ON FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/pendaflex
ON TWITTER: www.twitter.com/pendaflexTweets
Forget spring cleaning. January's clean slate
mojo often provides a wonderful impetus for closet cleaning and re-organizing.
Hoping to purge unnecessary paperwork and fine-tune your home office files for
2011? While it's not always easy to tell if your documents have reached the end
of their useful life, most documents, just like milk, eventually expire.
Consult our handy list, assembled courtesy of
ConsumerReports.org, for advice on what to save for now, what to keep forever
and what can (happily) be tossed.
Short timers: Keep
for a year or less
Depends on You: Time frame varies
Seven Years: The magic number for tax
Long Haul: Essential records to be kept permanently
Keep in mind that if you've gone paperless,
storing photos, bank statements and even scanned copies of vital records on your
computer, your challenge lies not in purging physical clutter but in ensuring
that your files are adequately backed up.
How do you back up important digital records?
What type of fling system do you use to keep vital records at your fingertips?
Share your thoughts here by posting a comment.
by Bradley Eggers
What's that you say? You want to file, but
don't know where to begin? We have a comprehensive overview of what a well-executed
filing system looks like to get you started.
The hallmark of an effective filing system
is being able to easily retrieve what you need, when you need it. Filing
systems generally fall into two broad categories: 1) working (or temporary)
files and permanent (archival) files.
which can reside either in a desktop file system, or in a nearby filing
cabinet, include documents frequently in use such as:
Permanent files should be kept separate from
working files, either in a separate filing cabinet or in archival cardboard
boxes in storage. When a project is finished, or a document is complete and no
longer needed (i.e. old taxes), it's time for permanent storage.
in mind that not all completed projects or documents need to be saved
indefinitely, so assess what you have, purge what's not needed and set up a
retention schedule for documents you do keep, specifying how long each file should
the retention schedule separately from the archived files and synch it to your
computer or paper calendar for a year-to-year review. Purging archival files
after they've outlived their usefulness keeps your paperwork from growing into
Love Your Labels
filing systems make effective use of labels. Be sure to use broad, generic
headings that are meaningful to you and comprehensible to others if the filing
system is shared. Think thick, not thin: files shouldn't be subdivided to the
point where it's difficult to keep track of categories, (i.e. design your files
to capture about two-inches of material, rather than say, two sheets of paper).
Consider color coding your files if doing so makes sense to you.
The Art of Arrangement
your files, decide on your organization strategy. Design your system, with
headings and subheadings on paper, before you beginning labeling. Choices include:
To Cabinet or Not?
all filing systems need to be kept in a cabinet. Consider using a desk-top
holder or wall file similar to a magazine rack to keep daily or to-do files
close at hand. One idea is to keep a desk-top folder with files that contain
all the general categories in your larger filing cabinet, so you can keep
documents at your finger tips before moving them into their corresponding
category at the ends of each week or month.
every item is easily filed so consider using boxes or bags to store unwieldy or
oversized items. Cardboard or metal boxes can capture magazines or fabric
samples, and keep tubes handy if you often need to store maps, prints or other
make it easy to add new files to your system. Keep labels and files on hand so
you can quickly add a new file rather than starting a new pile!
does your filing system work? If you make clever use of color-coding or
unorthodox filing set-ups, please share your thoughts or photos with us here by leaving a comment!
by Carly Fadako
Pendaflex, we love organizing tools that do more with less. Consider the binder
clip. Commonly used for clipping together files or stacks of papers, a job the
binder clip handles beautifully, the clip can also multi-task as an organizer
in the closet, your purse and even your fridge. Yes, the fridge!
desk top to display, the binder clip holds with the best of them. Witness Real Simple Magazine re-purposing a few colorful binder clips as display stands for family photos.
The magazine also recommends using a clip as simple wallet, a linen closet organizer and a device to clip window treatment cords away from small
children. So simple, yet so effective!
the Unclutterer also has clever
recommendations for getting the most out of your binder clip. Label a few clips
"to do" and "to file," etc., attaching papers to the corresponding clip and
then mounting the clips on a peg board or bulletin board as a visual to-do list. The Unclutterer
even recommends organizing your closet with clips, by combining binder clips
and coat hangers to safely stow boots away.
most inventive use for the binder clip? Creating a
beverage organizer in your fridge.
Take a look,
I'm betting you'll say, "I never would have thought of that!"
more great ideas for binder clips, including corralling your computer cables,
check out Nine Great uses for Binder Clips
house we use binder clips to close half eaten bags of chips or pretzels. How
about you? Share your thoughts here by leaving a comment!
January is almost over but 2011 is still in its
infancy. With literally hundreds of work days between now and the 2012 ball's
drop, you have plenty of opportunities to grow your career. Interested in being
in a different place next January than you are today? Good, let's get started!
Begin by reviewing your career goals. Are you in search
of a raise or
you working towards adding a new skill set to your repertoire? Are you in a
field that marries your interests and abilities? Did this past year move you
any closer to your goals?
Next, review your past year. What concrete goals did
you achieve that you can list on a resume? Were there opportunities that you
seized? Missed? Can you chart growth from where you were last year?
Now you're ready to do some
goal setting. We're talking big picture time. Ask yourself what do you want to
be doing more (or less) of in your career. Set lofty goals. Envision your dream
job. What trajectory do you want your career to take? How would you define
success or achievement?
Then begin to drill into
the details. How will you realize that dream job? What concrete step such as networking, job changing, additional education
or training, do you need to undertake? Develop a concrete list of action items.
Finally, share your career
path with others such as a trusted mentor or industry peer. Get feedback on
your strategy. You may have overlooked something and an outside perspective
Every Monday is a fresh
start: make 2011 the year you focus on your career path.
Are you working towards any new work goals in the
New Year? How important is goal-setting to achieving career advancement? Share
your thoughts here by posting a comment.
well into January. What do you mean you still need a calendar? Relax, we're
here to help. Calendar and day planner options have exploded in recent years. The
more we have to organize and schedule, the more ways there are to do it. Paper
or digital? Planners for an individual or a family? Whatever your needs, we
have an array of options, and while no one list is exhaustive, we've found all
these tools to be personally useful.
hot holiday gift of 2011, the iPad is for more than killing time with the
addictive Angry Birds. Make your tablet a
calendar/task manager with Pocket Informant.
devotees love its killer apps; maximize its productivity to track your daily
tasks and events with the 15 Best Calendar Apps for
jumped on the iBandwagon? No worries, Android smartphone users have plenty of great calendar apps as well and in
fact, Android provides better syncing with Goggle Calendar than the iPhone.
Google Calendar has much to
recommend it: its free, easy to use and allows for publishing and sharing of
calendars so it's a natural for keeping track of a family's schedule or members
of a club or work team. For a more complete overview
Apple's calendar, that runs on the
Mac operating system. Like Google calendar, it's free and fairly simple to use.
best known as Microsoft's personal information manager and mainly used as an
email application, Outlook also includes a
calendar, task manager and contact manager.
Paper Day Planners
such as FranklinCovey, Day-Timer, DayRunner and At-a-Glance all offer user
friendly paper planners. Two other brands that are less well known also offer
truly unique organization options worth considering. WeekDate, has a cleverly constructed calendar
allowing standing appointments to be written only once, yet remain in view
week-to-week, while other one-time-only events are penciled in. The Planner Pad organizes events by priority: on a two-page spread it
lays outs high priority tasks and daily activities within a visual "funnel"
making it crystal clear what's the best use of your time.
Calendars for Moms
are busy people: not only do they manage their schedule but those of their
off-spring and occasionally, if they are extra nice, their husband's. Multitasking
moms will appreciate calendars designed for keeping track of multiple
schedules. Out of the many options that exist, we like two in particular, the Mom Agenda, which offers a
suite of products including a paper day planner and an iPhone app and the Oprah
-must-have the WhoMi, which comes in
compact, purse-friendly sizes.
underestimate the value of the traditional wall calendar which generally occupies
a place of honor on the kitchen fridge or wall. No mere relic of yesterday, a
wall calendar can deliver both beauty and information. What could be more au
courant? For gorgeous examples, check out iVillage's
list of the top calendar of 2011.
What is your favorite calendar or organizer? Share
your thoughts here by posting a comment.
by Candie Harris
have your resolutions fared this month? The first few weeks back to work after
the holiday break can be tough, but if you found your resolve faltering, you
are not alone. Statistically, most people don't stick to their
to beat the odds? If you've already fallen off the wagon, or are afraid you
might do so, increase your chances of sticking to your
resolutions with a buddy.
Why a Buddy?
of the buddy system as positive peer pressure. When you team up with a spouse,
friend or even a group of co-workers, you make your goals public and build in
accountability. Hitting the snooze button in the morning is harder when you
know your work-out buddy is waiting at the gym.
creative in working with a buddy on your resolutions. If financial organizing
is a goal, schedule a monthly wine and cheese session with two to three friends
and deal with paperwork, filing and bill-paying while you catch-up. Is finding time for fitness a challenge?
Enlist a friend or spouse for hikes or gym visits rather than your usual dinner/drinks
Outside the Box Buddies
outside the box in setting up a buddy system. Buddies don't need to be a
one-on-one duo. They can even be pets. Yes, pets!
Animal lovers may want to team up with a
beloved pooch on a fitness campaign. For more on this idea read A New Year's Resolution for You and Your Pooch: Get
Fit with Your Dog.
members are natural resolution buddies. Many popular resolutions such as saving
money, exercising, or taking up a new hobby, are easily tackled when a family
agrees to work as a team. Kids can be especially enthusiastic participants and
they're buy-in will help make family budget cuts workable. Read 8 Tips for Making Family New Year's Resolutions.
consider enlisting a "virtual" support group. Start a Facebook page or blog
about your weight loss/decluttering/exercise goals. Posting about your progress
will encourage you to stay on track, and charting your progress will give you a
needed boost if your resolve flags.
lifestyle changes is not easy; working with a buddy or support group can
provide the boost you need when your willpower falters. And who doesn't want a
cheering squad when there are successes to savor!
Have you made use of the buddy-system for
resolutions? How do you and your buddy inspire each other? Share your thoughts
here by posting a comment!
If you are like most of America, you make the same
resolutions year in and year out. Tired of making and breaking the same
resolutions year after year? Don't give up: turn resolutions into reality with
our round-up of expert advice from across the web.
Worry, Be Happy
Author of the best-selling book The Happiness Project Gretchin
Rubin knows a thing or two about sticking to resolutions. Rubin spent an entire
year adhering to a self-designed program to boost her overall happiness. Top
tips for stick-to-it-ness from the happiness guru include holding yourself
accountable (by publically sharing your resolutions with others) and only
making pleasant resolutions, aka, commit to doing what you love and are
passionate about. For more of Rubin's resolution tips read How
to stick to your New Year's resolutions - 12 tips.
Oprah.com contributing health
writer and author of Smoke Free in 30 Days Dr. Daniel Seidman turns
the art of resolution making into a science, with four concrete steps for
smoking cessation that can be applied to goal setting generally. Resolutions
that require lifestyle overhauls need a concrete plan, not merely wishful
thinking. For Seidman's four steps read Putting More Resolve
into New Year's Resolutions.
Planning, Take Two
Financial writer and Wall Street Journal reporter Brett
Arrends echoes the notion that achieving resolution success requires planning
in his recent article How to
Get Financially Fit in the New Year. Arrends lays out a 12-month plan that
requires equal parts big picture thinking and small bore tweaks. While Arrends
concentrates on finances, the overall organizational model could apply to other
Psychology of Success
Why is it that some people can make resolutions
stick and other can't? NPR host of Talk of the Nation Ira Flatow sat down with clinical psychologist Dr. John Norcross to
learn how some people make resolutions work year after year. Norcross cites
realistic goal setting as one criterion for success, another is using the buddy
system. For more tips, listen to their conversation at the hyperlink How To Make New Year's Resolutions Stick.
Looking for Inspiration?
Still feeling ho hum
about your chances of sticking to your resolutions? Perhaps you need some
resolution inspiration to get you fired up. Inc.com takes an interesting look
at the resolutions of seven CEOs running cutting edge companies and brands.
Read on for resolution inspiration: 7 CEOs Share
Their New Year's Resolutions for 2010 .
Best of luck with your resolutions in 2011!
face it, bosses may be people too but sometimes chitchat with the corner-office
occupant can feel a tad strained. You may be comfortable talking to
your boss about work-related mattershttp://bit.ly/gkXDi9 but find that casual conversation throws
you for a loop. If you need help finding conversational common ground with your
boss for work outings, the holiday party or those awkward elevator rides, we
have some tips.
Listen: This may seem counterintuitive but if you are a careful
listener, you will always have something to say. Good listening skills will
reveal interesting information about a person - their favorite hobby, a recent
vacation spot, their hometown - that will provide fodder for conversation.
Warning: No Googling and revealing overly-intimate knowledge of your boss'
Ask Questions: People like to talk about themselves. Artfully
asking questions will help conversation flow. You can ask specific questions
such as "It's been ages since I've seen a good movie/play, do you have any
recommendations?" or more open-ended questions such as "Have any good ideas for
holiday activities for the kids?"
Don't Panic: If the conversation falls into a lull, try not to
panic and say the first thing that pops into your mind. Lulls in conversation
are natural; don't rush to fill the void.
Put the Ball in Their Court: Once you've gotten the ball rolling, turn the
conversation over to your boss. Saying "what do you think?" about whatever you're
discussing, makes your boss a partner in the conversation.
Know When It's Over: All conversations eventually run out of steam; know
when call it quits and make a graceful exit. Leaving on a high note will leave
both parties willing to re-engage the next time an opportunity presents itself.
For more on the art
of conversation read How to Talk to Anyone at a Party and When Work Involves
Socializing: Knowing What's Appropriate...and What's Not.
How do you keep conversation flowing with
higher-ups? Share your thoughts here by leaving a comment.
you rack up enough travel miles each year to score free round-trip flights to
Bora Bora for the extended family, this post is not for you. In fact, you could
probably write this post so feel free to chime in with your road-tested
expertise. But if you hop only the occasional flight for work, read on to
upgrade your road warrior skills.
Low Tech Tips
term road warrior conjures up ultra-modern imagery but certain low tech tips
will make your travel immeasurably more pleasant. Make use of the humble zip
lock baggy to corral like items (i.e. cords, batteries, chargers) and to safe-guard
against leaking toiletries.
Invest in a wheeled bag that
comports to overhead bin sizing as well as a few wrinkle-free dress items such
as non-iron shirts, trousers or wrap dresses. Switch up your look with
different ties, scarves or jewelry. For additional dress-for-travel-success
advice, read Fast Company's Work/Life: Business Travel Vagabond - Fashion Edition.
book flights that have free WiFi so you can work on the plane and always travel
with reading material for the inevitable delays or power-down times when
electronic devices cannot be used. For more, read our past post When Your Office is a
Starbucks (or a Safari): Tips for the Digital Nomad.
High Tech Tips
technology. A smartphone doubles as a personal computer so load up on apps that
make travel seamless. TripIt is an
all-encompassing itineary organizer requiring zero data entry. Just forward all
flight, hotel, restaurant reservation e-mails to TripIt and it sorts out an
itinerary that can be shared with colleagues or your spouse.
can also provide GPS and mapping through Google Maps
for navigating unfamiliar cities and review site Yelp
makes you feel like a local by providing recommendations on restaurant, salons,
bars and other attractions. For more high-tech tools, read these tips from the Travel
Insider and Inc.com's Road Tested Technology.
Finally, we also like the first-hand advice
in The Secrets of a
Road Warrior: How entrepreneur Jeremy Shepherd of PearlParadise.com keeps his
sanity on long flights.
Have any road-tested travel advice to share? How
do you stay in touch and stay productive when traveling for work? Share your
thoughts here by posting a comment!
Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates
passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization. Believing in "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.