July 2012 - Posts

More with Less: Clever Repurposing
Thursday, July 26, 2012 8:08 PM

Forget "America's Got Talent." "America's Got Stuff" could be the title of a reality-TV show starring the American people. We buy, store, sort and toss oodles of goods, mountains of things. Even avowed minimalists probably have at least one drawer of useless doodads hidden away somewhere.



Do you have any neglected items cluttering up your home? Rather than tossing, take stock to see if they can be given new life. Clever upcycling, http://bit.ly/NCLurr  that is converting useless items into a new use or product, makes smart environmental sense. Plus it saves money. Why empty your wallet and clutter up a landfill by tossing items when they can be put to good use?

Curiously Awesome Repurposing

Would you ever think you could enjoy summer grilling on a barbeque made out of a discarded Altoids tin? Talk about curiously awesome! This clever repurposing idea comes from Inhabit.com,  an unparalled resource of upcycling projects. Click here  for more great ideas.

We also like the "aha!" ideas from RealSimple.com. In New Uses for Old Things Hall of Fame, you'll find creative ideas such as turning relics such as cassette tape cases into ear bud holders and terrific repurposing notions like using a colander as a party ice-bucket.

Reuse, reduce, recycle: your wallet and the planet will thank you.

Do you have any clever ideas for repurposing old items? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

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Slow Summer Days? Organize Your Cube
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 8:05 PM

Has the office summer slowdown hit yet? As tempting as it is to use summer's quiet days for long lunches and other indulgences, savvy employees squeeze extra productivity out of the summer work lull.



When projects move to the back burner and office colleagues decamp for vacation, use the found time to take stock of your office and get organized for the hectic post-Labor Day pace.

Clean Sweep: A simple clean up is the first order of business. Toss old newspapers, magazines, coffee cups, unused office accessories and clutter in the trash. Look around, you are more organized already!

 

Sort Your Desk Drawers: Next, take time to tackle your desk drawers, tossing unnecessary items and grouping like supplies (i.e. post-it-notes, pens, staples) together. Something as simple as a clean, well-organized drawer provides a sense of accomplishment. Ride that feeling as you move on to bigger projects.

 

Piles to Files: Filing is not just an end-of year chore. Move those piles into files for greater productivity, more breathing room and a calming sense of order. Set up a desktop file organizer for frequently used files; all other papers need to go into archival files or be tossed.

 

Eliminate e-clutter: Does your overflowing email box stress you out? Schedule blocks of time each day to get through the email. Once the in-box is empty, work to keep it that way with weekly maintenance.  

 

Summer Lovin':  Odds are good you spend more time in your office than just about anywhere else. Don't you want to love it a little more? Improve your relationship with your office space by adding personal accents. Consider a fun task lamp for your desk: a kicky color - bright yellow, hot pink - or one with a decorative lamp with a shade can cozy up your cube. And personalize your space with photos, fresh flowers, wall art or an attractive throw rug. While the mood should remain professional, a more personalized space adds up to a more welcoming work environment.

Do you get a charge out or cleaning and organizing your work space? How often do you take time to reorg and straighten up? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

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Where’s My Lipstick? Tips for Taming A Messy Handbag
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 7:59 PM
Tired of toting around a disorganized handbag, brimming with clutter? Do you have better luck finding needles in haystacks than a lipstick in your purse? If so, read on for five simple steps for taming handbag chaos. Lighten Your Load: The ideal weight...
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Why Be Ordinary? How Unconventional Resumés Get You Noticed
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 9:11 PM

Hoping your resume gets a second look? Consider building an unconventional resume to stand out from the pack. Gone are the days when career success was easy to chart: start at the bottom and work your way up.

Now, the world's economy is increasingly global and volatile. Knowledge rapidly becomes obsolete and experience often isn't as prized as the ability to be nimble and flexible. In this economy, an unconventional resume can trump a predictable, linear path.

Wondering what exactly constitutes an unconventional resume? We've rounded up some eye-opening resources on the benefits of taking the career path less traveled. Enjoy.

Has your career path been unusual? What are the benefits (and drawbacks) to taking the road less traveled? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

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Delete the Weekend: Tips for Managing Your Online Rep
Monday, July 23, 2012 9:13 PM

 

Dear Monday:

Who tagged me in all the pictures from the weekend's beach outing and other assorted festivities? Time to delete those unwanted bathing suit photos, stat. But who has the time to untag every unflattering photo? Any ideas for a time-saving short cut?

Your friend,

Not Loving My Weekend Beach Look

 

Dear Not Loving My Weekend Beach Look:

We all have snap-happy friends who document (and post online) every minute of the day. We feel your pain. But you are in luck; we have a solution to your online photo woes. Check out the Pendaflex Tag Tamer: a free, user-friendly app for finding and removing unwanted photos.

The Tag Tamer streamlines the search process, letting users search for photos by month and year as well as by others tagged in the same photo. Plus, the Pendaflex Tag Tamer is faster, and more efficient, than the Facebook default method for removing pictures.

So consider your unflattering beach photos history.

Your Pal,

Monday

PS- For more ideas on keeping your online image squeaky clean, read Home/Work: Blurring Personal and Professional Identities. 

 

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Avoiding Resumes Don’ts
Thursday, July 19, 2012 9:04 PM

In a crowded job market, standing apart from the pack is a must. But there's a not so-fine line between eye-catching and straight-up crazy. Major resume don'ts would seem obvious: skip the rainbow-hued paper and scantily-clad photos. Yet recruiters see these glaring mistakes and more on a regular basis, says the author of Think Twice Before Sending That Crazy Resume! 

Want to avoid resume don'ts that will sand-bag your attempts to rise to the top of the hiring pool? Read on for mistakes to avoid.

Biggest Resume Don'ts:  Resumes should be short and sweet; but be careful not to leave out crucial information. Hiring managers see glaring absences as red-flags, so be sure to explain any gaps in work history. Other advice? Skip distracting graphics, type treatments and photos.

Avoid the Top 10 Resume Mistakes: This helpful punch list ticks off common pitfalls including typos and grammatical errors, poorly worded objectives and using a generic, rather than targeted resume.

14 Fatal Resume Mistakes: Never fail to send a cover letter with your resume is the number one piece of advice in this thoughtful round-up. And make sure the letter is well-written, addressed to the appropriate recipient and error-free. Other useful tips? Avoid resume templates and cookie-cutter lingo. Hiring managers, who see a kajillion resumes, will spot these shortcuts in an instant and write you off as lazy and unimaginative.

Finally, we leave you with an amusing selection of jaw-droppingly awful resumes mistakes to avoid: 150 Funniest Resume Mistakes, Bloopers and Blunders Ever.  We know you'd never make these mistakes, right???

What is a major resume pitfall in your book? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

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Make Your Resume Pop
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 9:01 PM

Job hunters know that a top-notch resume is crucial in this tough job market. Ensure yours stands out from the stack with these tips for making your resume pop.

Go Paper

The rise of LinkedIn  and digital portfolios  may have job hunters thinking the paper resume is going the way of the mimeograph machine. Not so, says a recent Wall Street Journal article.   Paper still rules so smart job hunters should invest in premium paper stock: old school is still cool.

Add Punch

Resumes should convey professionalism, so stick to classic fonts and white or cream paper colors. But you can still amp up your attention-grabbing quotient with a personalized QR Code,  that directs users to your online digital portfolio, blog or web site.

Be Digital Friendly

Paper is king but digital is a close second so make sure your resume is easily uploadable, downloadable and scannable by skipping formatting with bullets, boxes and indenting. Pepper the resume with rich key words that pop for both computerized searches and in-person.

Tweak Titles

Resumes typically are scanned by hiring managers in a nanosecond. So take time to create eye-catching job titles. We're not talking resume inflation here which is always a no-no, but if your title at your newsroom job was Assistant Production Manager, consider amplifying the information with a title like Assistant Production Manager for News Video. Now your title tells a complete story.

Double Check

Ensure your resume is error-free with exhaustive proofing. Check, check and check again; consider enlisting either a resume pro or an eagle-eyed friend to help you out.

 

What makes a winning resume in your book? Do you rely on any online resources for resume help? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

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Giving Your Instragram the Wow Factor
Tuesday, July 17, 2012 8:47 PM

Instagram made headlines this spring when Facebook acquired it for a jaw-dropping $1 billion dollars. Talk about a wow factor. A billion dollars sure turns plenty of heads, but you can make the most of your Instagram photos with considerably less cash.

We've rounded up tips for using Instagram like a pro. So get ready to get snap happy.

Amp up your photos' wow power by learning from others: This roundup of the top 15 Instagram users  showcases people operating at their creative best. And we love seeing how inventive some brands are with their Instagram accounts. Tiffany & Co. shows of the exquisite artisanship that goes into each piece of jewelry. The images of craftspeople at work are not only lovely, they help the brand convey the message that Tiffany's high-end prices are a small price to pay for a work or art.

How do you make the most of Instagram? What is your most creative Instagram photo? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

 

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Deal? Done! Effective Online Shopping
Tuesday, July 17, 2012 8:43 PM

Whoever said there's no such thing as a free lunch obviously never stumbled across the web site absurdlycoolfreebiefinder.com.  In case the name isn't self-evident enough, the site aggregates offers of free stuff. How awesome is that?

The zeitgeist these days may be all Instagram, all the time, and app this and app that. But don't forget what first made the web explode in popularity. Yup, online shopping. Ah, the joys of skipping lines at the mall to make a purchase with one simple click.

Why pay high prices for gas and deal with mall parking when the web makes finding deals and steals easier than ever. Comparison shopping is a snap with sites like PriceGrabber.com,  which searches and compares prices from popular online retailers. Sign up for alerts and never miss a great sales price again.

Bargain hunters will also love Dealspl.us, which integrates social bookmaking features that allows popular deals to rise to the top of the homepage. The site also lets users submit and vote on favorite deals. Never again wonder what's the hottest deal in town.

In search of a bargain in a particular category such as clothes, tech, toys, etc? Look no further than Dealnews.com  which organizes "Black Friday" style deals, every day in a variety of categories. The easy interface and simple search function makes this site particularly user-friendly for the casual bargain-hunter.

For more great sites, read 15 Web Sites for Finding Deals Online.  And underwrite the cost of your high-tech smart-phone with the money you save shopping with the bargain-hunting apps found here.

 

Happy shopping!

 

What is your favorite deal-web site? How do you save money while shopping online? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

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More with Less: Major Summer Fun for Free
Monday, July 02, 2012 7:49 PM

Summer is officially here, swooping in with a blistering heat wave. We've conjured up some cool fun for hot days with these fabulous, free ideas for making the most of summer. 

House Swap: Check with relatives or close friends about swapping homes for the weekend or longer durations. Saving on hotels can free up funds for dinners out, theater tickets or other outings. And numerous websites such as www.homeexhange.com provide international house swaps in more than 150 countries.

Staycation: The high cost of travel (plane tickets, high prices at the pump) can put far-flung travel out of reach. If budget is an issue, save travel costs by enjoying a staycation at home. While time at home may not hold the allure of a getaway, you can make the most of a staycation by taking a break from all technology and chores. Put naps, books and recreation on the agenda and let work wait.

Kid Stuff: Raising children may be an expensive undertaking but providing summer fun doesn't need to be. These fun (and free!) activities will create a lifetime of great memories. Big brands like Barnes & Noble and Pottery Barn offer programs encouraging summer reading; learn more here  and here.  Home improvement giants Home Depot and Lowe's  offer building workshops sure to delight young builders. Crafty kids will enjoy The Knack programs operated by national arts & crafts chain Michael's. And culture mavens can access passes to 150 museums across the country with a program run by Bank of America.  Finally, DIYers will love this creative passport program that lets kids curate their summer travels: DIY kids' summer passport (includes free printable stamps).  

Being frugal has never been this fun!

What is your favorite, free summer activity? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

 

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About Beyond Folders™

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.

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