At 150 million members strong, the LinkedIn bandwagon is verging on standing-room
only. But are you more of a bystander than a LinkedIn leader? Time to grab the
baton and lead the charge to get your profile noticed and networked. Make the
most of LinkedIn with these simple steps.
The tips in 10 Things to Do Immediately on LinkedIn will get you up and running-stat. Start by posting a professional photo and then dive into
industry appropriate groups, cultivating a wide network by participating in
threads and chats. Other tips include making frequent updates and actively
LinkedIn's recommendation features allows users to fully
showcase their talents and abilities. According to a recent Forbes.com article Everything You Need to Know About LinkedIn Recommendations, hiring managers do actually read and consider recommendations
when vetting candidates.
Best practices for LinkedIn recommendations are similar to
offline ones: recommend only those whose work you truly know and when
requesting your own recommendation, it's best to do it person by phone, rather
than sending a generic LinkedIn request. For more, read 7 LinkedIn Recommendation Best Practices for Your Job Search.
Savvy LinkedIn users understand that the platform is
more than just a chance to list resume skills. In The
Five Best Practices for LinkedIn Profiles: Network Ahead of Your Job Search,
author suggests using your profile to share your own expertise learn and from
others. This type of organic networking will serve you well in future job hunts.
Also, create a profile that showcases your "voice" and avoid dull resume-speak.
Other tips include documenting your experience using multimedia, links and
other options that just aren't possible with conventional resumes. Finally, read Get
Noticed: 5 Steps to Writing a Perfect LinkedIn Profile for more ideas.
How do you make the most out of LinkedIn? What
catches your eye or impresses you about LinkedIn profiles you've seen? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex
Staying organized is simpler than you think: it's all about
daily maintenance. Too many of us expend energy and time creating filing
systems or cleaning closets and then hang up our organizational hat. Little
wonder things fall apart. But by committing to a simple daily regimen, you may find
yourself in the enviable position of never being disorganized again!
Embrace a Schedule: Commit to a block of time daily to restoring order. A 10-15
minute window each night makes the most sense: recharge cell phones, check and
update your calendar and return scattered items to their rightful spots. On
weekends, schedule two longer 30-minute blocks for bigger projects such as
filing paperwork from the past week and organizing the coming week's schedule
and to-do lists.
Create a Donation Station: Keep a bag or box handy for donation items. When you have a
spot to stash no-longer needed items, you increase the odds of successfully
donating it to a cause or person in need, rather than allowing it to languish
in your home as clutter.
Create a "To-Go" Spot: Designate a highly visible spot near the front door for items needed to run
errands. That way when
you're heading the door, you can easily see what needs to be returned, mailed,
purchased, repaired, etc. and chores don't get overlooked.
Designate Helpers: Enlist family members in
your maintenance program. Assign each family member to a specific task, rotating
tasks to keep interest fresh. Deputizing family members makes them stakeholders
in the process and betters your odds of maintaining order.
Reward Success: Incentives work so reward
yourself, and your family members, along the way. Small rewards like an extra
TV show or a later bedtime can be used at the end of Week One, and bigger
rewards such as a family outing or a new purchase, can mark a successful month
of maintaining order.
Keep in mind that experts say new habits take
at least three weeks to form, so be diligent about practicing your
organizational upkeep until it becomes second nature.
How do you preserve an organized home and a sane schedule? What
daily activities keep the trains running on time in your world? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex
What do your
weekends look like? Are they two days of rest and relaxation, allowing a chance
to recharge for the busy work week ahead? Or are they jam-packed with chores,
kids' sports and various commitments?
We know the
laundry needs to get done but downtime is critical to your well-being. This
weekend make a must-keep appointment with yourself: schedule a chunk of
downtime just as you would any other important commitment. Time to get serious
Go Mental: Sometimes a mental break is all that's needed. Meditation, or relaxation
techniques, can clear your head and provide relief from stress, anxiety and
even mild depression. Not sure how to get started? Guided mediation tapes can
be found online that walk you through the process. Practiced regularly, these
moments of silence will recharge you for Monday's hectic pace.
Move It: Exercise is the best form of stress release bar none. Take a brisk walk,
run with a friend or take a morning yoga class. Getting the blood pumping
releases the physical stress that builds up during our desk bound work week. Start
your day off with exercise to ensure it gets done before the day's activities
Unplug: Take a mini vacation by unplugging all your devices. Ignoring phone
calls and e-mails during the week is a luxury that is next to impossible, so
use the weekend to disconnect and savor the free time created from your self-imposed
Give Back: The work week is dedicated to advancing the cause of your company and
career. Make the weekend a time to focus on others; giving time and energy to
others in need is incredibly rewarding and renewing.
Reconnect: Life is busy, work days are hectic. Chances are you don't have enough
time Monday through Friday to connect with your spouse, spend time with your
kids or hang out with friends. Reconnect with the people, and the pursuits,
that matter most during the weekend.
How do you recharge for the bust week work ahead? Do you carve
out time to reenergize during the weekend or are you on an endless chore
treadmill? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex
Twitter is the perfect example of a crazy, improbable idea-only 140 characters for communicating?!?-that caught fire, making early skeptics look positively antediluvian.
But for every crazy idea that becomes a monster hit-Twitter is nearing 500 million users-any number fizzle into major flops. So how does one know when a big, over-the-top idea is destined for Twitter-style success or is destined to go the way of business dinosaurs like the Edsel, Betamax and Pets.com?
We've rounded up some reading from across the web that examines what Harvard Business Review writer Michael Schrage calls "Goldilocks" crazy: not insane, not conventional, but "just right" crazy.
We also look at articles that challenge readers to think outside-the-box, jettisoning clichéd ideas and conventional thinking. Use these tactics to come up with your own fresh and novel ideas.
How do you harness out-of-the-box ideas? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
When do you get your best ideas? Does lightening strike when you're alone, either working solo or caught up in a day-dream? Or are you most inspired by the energetic give-and-take of a room full of smart, collaborative peers?
We fall into the hybrid camp: sometimes inspiration strikes unexpectedly: surfing the web, commuting, or dare we admit it, hitting the snooze button again and again. Other times, we require the collaborative spark that comes from bouncing ideas around with bright, imaginative colleagues.
So we were intrigued by a recent New York Times piece, The Rise of the New Groupthink which asserts that the trend towards workplace collaboration is actually counterproductive to creativity. The author even goes so far as to say, "Brainstorming sessions are one of the worst possible ways to stimulate creativity." Instead, the article cites privacy, freedom from interruption and solitude as the keys to innovation.
Not surprisingly, the article stirred the pot, generating a number of counter responses. Keith Sawyer, an academic and author of "Group Genius" and "Explaining Creativity" rebuts the notion that creativity is best left a solo endeavor, saying, "Decades of scientific research have revealed that great creativity is almost always based in collaboration, conversation and social networks - just the opposite of our mythical image of the isolated genius."
For more on this debate, read Fast Company's The Fortunes of Solitude: Susan Cain On Introverts, The "New Groupthink," And The Problems With Brainstorming and The New Yorker's Brainstorming Doesn't Really Work.
At the end of the day, we believe that both methods of harnessing creativity and spurring innovation have their merits. If you favor the collaborative, group approach, you might like the tips in our past post Light it Up: Brainstorming Techniques That Work. For those more apt to fly solo, read Sometimes, It's Better to Brainstorm Alone and the Wall Street Journal piece, Brainstorming Works Best if People Scramble for Ideas on Their Own.
Do you favor group brainstorming or do you get your best ideas when working alone? Have you had any luck with particular brainstorming tools or techniques? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
If your daily routine has become humdrum, shake it up in as
little as five simple steps. You may have caught the blogosphere buzz over a Fast
Company post, 5 Things to Do
Every Day for Success, that quickly went viral last year. The steps themselves are hardly revolutionary-wake early, follow the news, reach out to a work contact, an old
friend, and send someone a hand-written note. Simple indeed. So why the major
If the self-help shelf at your local bookstore is any indicator,
people love advice on overhauling certain aspects of their lives. And five
simple steps, practiced every day, falls into the category of manageable
change. Too many items on a to-do list generally means some items never get
crossed off. Five items? Well, that's doable.
Consider the tips in the Fast Company post as a way to jump start a stalled
engine: rising earlier, keeping abreast of industry trends and news and
interacting with smart colleagues and cherished friends creates a frisson of
energy. Harness that momentum and you're off and running!
We've rounded up other great resources touting five-no more, no less-steps
to reinvigorate your daily routine.
Get the Big Picture
We all have goals, but do
we all achieve them? The wonderful post Five Golden
Rules for Successful Goal Setting breaks goal setting down into what five concrete steps; we think the first is
key: set goals that motivate you. When you truly have a reason that gets you up
and going every day, the rest will fall into place.
No time for the gym? Reinvigorate
your fitness routine with five easy exercises that
can be done at your office desk. Yep, you read that right. Push-ups, leg lifts,
simple stretches, even simulated jump roping are all possible, right in your
very own office. What are you waiting for? Time to try those desk chair lifts.
Wish you had more money in
your pocket at the end of the day? Trim your daily overhead with the tips in 5 Ways to Save Money on Everyday Expenses. Ideas
include buying generic goods and comparison shopping for insurance plans. Other
money saving ideas can be found in 5 Simple Ways to Cut
Your Spending - And Still Enjoy Your Life!
Tips include canceling unused subscriptions and limiting window shopping (and
its online equivalent, window surfing) to prevent impulse buys.
Finally, what's the point
of overhauling your daily routine if you forget what's important in life? Focus
on what matters with the advice in the Top 5 Daily Tips
for Better Living. These tips are no-brainers: sharing a smile or laugh every day and doing a good
deed for someone else is a surefire way to reap personal satisfaction and
What does your daily routine look like? Can you
see incorporating any of the above steps in your daily routine? Or do you have
others that work for you? Share
your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
Have you jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon yet? The social networking
site is exploding in popularity and "pinning" is now giving "tweeting" a run
for its money.
If you've only vaguely heard of Pinterest, its time to upgrade your social
media smarts. Facebook isn't the only game in town you know.
Pinterest: An online "pin board," Pinterest
lets users "pin" images from across the web to virtual bulletin boards on its
site. Pinterest now has 11
million users, and unlike many other social
networking sites, is most popular among women ages 18-34. For users, the site makes
aggregating images, recipes and other content simple to collect and search.
Businesses, particularly retailers, need to be paying attention; Pinterest is
now driving more traffic to retail sites than Google+. This post provides a succinct overview of the
site, why it's useful and describes its business model. See what Pendaflex is doing on our Pinterest boards here.
Google+: If you're a Gmail or Chrome user,
you may be wondering what's the deal with Google's latest initiative Google+? Google's foray into social networking was strong out of the gate
last June but is now
languishing behind the big three: Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. The Wall Street Journal goes so
far as to call it a "ghost town" in a recent article. Still, the site offers options that
others don't such as "Hangouts" which allow for video conferencing for up to 10
people at a time. Google says it's in for the long haul, so the site may get a
chance to become more relevant. For more, read Time Spent on Google+ Dwindles While Pinterest Draws
Growing User Interest.
Instagram: In a little over a year and a half, Instagram has grown to be the most popular mobile
image sharing application available. Translation: if you took a cell phone
picture in the last year and a half, odds are good you shared it via Instagram.
For users, Instagram offers users the ability to experiment with the high
quality images and filters that mobile devices now offer, in a simple, easy to
use interface. For businesses, Instagram offers more than just a chance to showcase
product pictures, the platform provides opportunities to deepen brand building,
so go ahead and post photos of products on the assembly line, provide a sneak
peek behind the scenes of a fashion show, or share images of celebrities or
regular customers interacting with products. For more read, Instagram: 10 Tips to Tell Your Brand's
Story 1,000 Words at a Time.
Foursquare: Never again wonder where everyone is
hanging out without you: geo-location social networking site Foursquare lets you track the people in your
life. The site provides more than a virtual peek at where everyone is at any
given moment, it offers user generated recommendations, coupons and other
freebies from nearby businesses. For more, read Foursquare CEO: Not Just Check-ins and Badges.
So consider upping your social media
ante by giving some of these up-and-comers a try. And if you aren't yet a
regular user of the major players-Facebook, YouTube, Twitter
and LinkedIn- it's time to jump in and see just what
Facebook's other 800 million plus users are up to.
What is your favorite social networking site? Are
there some sites that make you think "no way, not for me" or "heck yea, sign me
up." Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex
Want the secret to being happy at work? Silly question
right? When you consider how much of our day is spent at our desks, it's clear
that if we aren't happy at work, we're discontent the bulk of our time.
Time to crack the happy code.
The secret to being happy at work (and in life) is simple:
choose happiness says author and journalist Geoffrey James in his Inc. com
article How to Be Happy at Work. Could it truly be that easy you may be wondering? James seems to think so and makes
a compelling case that happiness (and unhappiness)
stem entirely from how individuals evaluate events. James argues that
while certain circumstances may be out of our control, how we react to events
is firmly within our grasp. So read on here for three steps to cultivate happiness.
Happiness must be nurtured says Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage.
Individuals can cultivate happiness for
themselves by adopting positive habits such as journaling, meditating and
exercising and practicing them over a period of time. Next, pay it forward by
investing in those around you. By developing strong social support networks and
investing in their happiness (i.e. thank people for work, nurture their
professional development) you multiply your own happiness. Turns out the more
you give to others, they more you get yourself in terms of personal satisfaction
Did you know that the U.S. didn't make a recent Gallup poll list of the 10 happiest countries? Short of moving to Denmark, is there a way of
ramping up one's happiness quotient?
According to this Harvard Business Review blog post, greater happiness can be achieved by
practice. Brain scientist Jeffrey M. Stibel says simple steps such as smiling
more and taking a regularly scheduled break during the work day can actually
retrain the brain to be happier.
Do you think it's possible to be happy at work? How do you work
to shore up your happiness quotient at work? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
We all know
we're supposed to nurture
our network. And while there's nothing wrong with
the old school advice to cultivate and nourish your network with lunches and
e-mails, handing over business cards at industry events and scheduling drinks with
colleagues can have a whiff of the ho hum. Reinvigorate your networking with
these outside-the-box ideas.
handing out business cards at industry events, one creative networker instead
passed around a brand new volleyball and sharpie. You can bet he had some
interesting conversations. In Start
Focusing on New, Creative Networking Ideas
the volleyball idea vies with other inspired networking schemes such as
interviewing colleagues for a blog post or creating a contest for a gift card
drawing and soliciting cards from fellow event attendees. Bottom line: getting
creative can get you noticed.
Timing is Everything
Make time for
networking with creative time-management suggests Patti DeNucci, author of The Intentional Networker. We like her walk-and-talk idea, where networking conversations are
combined with hiking, running or walking. DeNucci also recommends taking a "how
about now?" approach at industry conferences and seizing the moment for an
immediate 15-minute-coffee-and-chat sidebar rather than swapping cards and
agreeing to get together down the road. Bottom line: there's no time like the
present for networking.
Hello, Old Friend
overlook an important existing network as they cultivate new industry-specific
networks. Look to your college and graduate school networks as valuable
resources. Best of all, universities and colleges are set up to help with
networking, contact your alumni office to get started. For more ideas, read Don't Wait for a Reunion to Network with
Former Classmates. Bottom line: turn old memories into
Just Go For It
writer Scott Ginsburg of the blog site hellomynameisscott.com offers seven fantastic tips for networking that will have you
saying "why didn't I think of that?" Ginsburg channels his inner moxie,
bringing a "go for it" approach to networking. He approaches big shots when
possible and cold calls for speaking engagements. He also practices the
personal touch, responding to e-mails by picking up the phone within minutes. This
speedy, personal response in an age of impersonal communication gets noticed.
Bottom line: people err on the side of caution too often; go for it to get
What is the most unorthodox, yet effective networking tool
you've ever tried? Share
your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
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.