June 2012 - Posts

Why Read Alone? Get Social with Your Hobbies
Friday, June 29, 2012 7:55 PM

Think of reading as a solitary pursuit? The explosion of social media makes this hobby, and many more, something you can pursue with a community of like-minded people. So take your hobby to another level by getting social.

Read Social

Atlantic Magazine teamed with journalism professor and author Jeff Howe  to launch a Twitter book club (@1book140)  that has nearly 67,000 participants. Every month, the participants vote on book selections and engage in lively, free-wheeling online discussions. Howe has even lured several authors to tweet in to discussions on their works. Finding someone to talk with about your favorite book or plot twist has never been so easy!

There's a Group for That

No matter your hobby, there's a social network out there for you. Social media communities like Hobeze, offer users more than 700 hobby social networks ranging from stamp collecting to windsurfing. The site not only allows users to find fellow enthusiasts, it provides forums for buying and selling gear as well as information on improving techniques with videos and articles.

For more hobby-specific social networks, check this comprehensive list. 

Do you use social media to enjoy your hobbies? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.



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Where's the Sunblock?: Organizing for Summer Fun
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 8:28 PM
Nothing derails summer fun faster than forgetting your sunblock for a day at the beach. And arriving at the pool party sans bathing suit? A definite buzzkill. Take time to organize yourself for maximum summer fun; a well-stocked pool bag is worth its...
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Commencement Speeches to Inspire
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 10:44 PM

Who says commencement speeches are just for students? The 2005 Stanford commencement address  where Steve Jobs famously said "stay hungry, stay foolish" has attracted nearly 7 million views on YouTube. And why not? Good advice is good advice no matter what age you are.

In search of a dose of inspiration? Consider putting on a virtual cap and gown and listening to the advice dished out by the crop of 2012 commencement speakers.

In The Comprehensive Guide to The Best, Most Inspiring Commencement Speeches Of 2012, luminaries such as President Obama  and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg  as well as television personalities Katie Couric and Brian Williams share wisdom. Television writer Aaron Sorkin gives some hilarious advice in his Syracuse University address and Glee-star Jane Lynch  taps into her sketch comedy roots to give an equally amusing, yet tender speech. Late-bloomers take note: Lynch talks about coming into her own professionally and personally after 40.

Another great round-up of remarks can be found at web site Brain Pickings;  we particularly like the speech by poverty crusader Jacqueline Novogratz. To live a life of purpose, Novogratz offers four pieces of advice:

1) Focus on being interested, not on being interesting;
2) Don't worry about what others think of you;
3) Avoid cynicism and
4) Build on what came before.

Sage advice, and not just for the 21-year old set!

Finally, why stop at 2012? Great minds have been giving excellent advice since as long as commencements have had speakers. Time Magazine rounds up its Top 10 Commencement Speeches  with remarks dating as far back as Winston Churchill's 1941 speech at the Harrow School to a more recent Stephen Colbert address

Did you hear an inspiring commencement address this spring? What is best piece of advice you've heard in an address? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.



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Crowdsource Your Summer Vacation
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 10:40 PM

What do you mean you haven't booked a summer vacation yet? Time to pack up the sun block and beach reads and get on the road. If you're still looking for getaway ideas, crowdsource  your vacation plans this summer for easy, innovative vacation planning.

Don't let the trendy name put you off; crowdsourcing is just good old-fashioned checking in with your network for trip ideas and recommendations. But social media now makes takes this brainstorming with friends to a whole new level. Not sure where to go? Consider polling your friends, literally, with a Facebook poll that you can create here.  Or visit Pinterest for inspiration; the online bulletin board is a vast repository of exotic (and local) trip ideas. Spend some time surfing around and getting inspired. Click here  and here for a few examples.


Once you have a few destinations in mind, turn to Tripadvisor.com  to vet hotel choices, flights, tour packages and more. The user-reviews amplify your own networking, allowing you to hear numerous reviews on virtually any destination around.


And the feedback doesn't need to end, even once you're happily at your destination of choice. Vacationers using Foursquare  and Facebook "check-ins" can get feedback on everything from restaurants, to bars, to can't-miss sights. And more and more, businesses offer discounts or promotions to customers who check in. So get your network on it! Vacation awaits!


Do you crowdsource your travel info? Do you like to get recommendations from friends? Do you vet your travel choices online? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.



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From To-Do to Done: Managing Your To-Do Lists
Wednesday, June 06, 2012 10:01 PM

Like death and taxes, to-do lists are an inescapable part of life. But sometimes it can feel as if the to-do list never quite gets done.

We've rounded up some tips, and some tools, that will have you happily checking off your action items in no time flat.

Get from to-do, to done, with these three simple steps:

  • Write a short and specific list: Craft a list that prioritizes what truly needs to get done. If you swamp your list with too many items, you run the risk of running out of time. Each day, focus on no more than three items at a time and keep a running list of smaller, less consequential items that can wait for a later date. Once a week, knock off that running list.
  • Create a realistic action plan: Once you've honed in on three items to focus on, establish a deadline for each task: some may take an hour, others may take all day, and still others may require a few days to knock off. Setting a deadline keeps you honest and on track. Next, determine what steps you need to take and then start to schedule the blocks of time required to move the ball forward. Determine if you need to enlist help, or obtain certain resources, for success. Having a realistic action plan gets you across the finish line.
  • Reward Yourself: Nothing motivates like a fabulous reward. Pick something that will make finishing the list gratifying. Link the reward to your labor when it makes sense. Decluttered a closet? Treat yourself to a new accessory. Cleaned out the kitchen pantry? Order in dinner that night so you can put your feet up. You can also use rewards to help you move through your list: take a short-break when you cross off a specific item or treat yourself to coffee or snack when you get half-way done.

Finally, we have some tools that can help you put the "list" into your to-dos. Whether you're a digital list making convert or an old-school pen and paper fan, the round-up of resources in The Best Online & Offline Tools for Managing Your To-Dos has something for everyone.

How do you manage your to-do lists? Is your go-to tool digital or paper and pen? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.


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Organizing Gifts for Dads and Grads
Tuesday, June 05, 2012 9:57 PM

June is all about dads and grads. Celebrate a special someone this month with a gift that never languishes in the box or goes out of style: the gift of organization.

Professional Organizer: Consider gifting your loved one with sessions with a professional organizer. If dad would love a spic and span garage but doesn't have the time or inclination to do it solo, consider outsourcing the job to a pro. Professionals can often work faster and more effectively than home-owners. Plus they are savvy about resources and tools needed to best tackle a job. College grads could also benefit from tips on handling their new adult lifestyle: job hunting, bills, and setting up and maintaining a first-home all require effective organization systems. To find a professional organizer in your area, visit the National Association of Professional Organizers. 

There's an App for That: Organizing is easier than ever with all the digital devices and apps on the market. Consider splurging on a lap top or iPad for your loved one. CNET has a great 2012 gift guide of must-have tech tools here. You can even pre-load many with useful organizing apps which you can find here and here.  Or gift them with iTunes cards so they can buy apps for devices they already own.

Old School, Still Cool: Sometimes the old way, is the best way. For jotting down notes, lists and capturing brainstorms, gift your grad or dad with one of these stylish moleskin notebooks accompanied by  one of these classic pens. We also think nothing says "I love you, and I know you will love being organized" like the gift of an amazing, high-end label maker. 

Do you know a dad or a grad who would love an organizing gift? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.


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Organize for Memorable Summer Vacations
Friday, June 01, 2012 11:30 PM
Summer's here and school's almost out: time to make summer vacation memories! Before you hit the open road, or pack for a flight, or even decamp to the local pool for a staycation, get organized for maximum fun. There's nothing like a missing...
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