October 2012 - Posts

Regret Not: Tips for Avoiding the Should’ves
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 7:43 PM

What's your biggest regret? We all have them and a recent article in Forbes.com lists 25 examples that will make you think. Take a look: you may see one of your own regrets listed.

While many regrets focused on missed opportunities - in jobs and in love -we noticed that many are linked to time, specifically how we choose to spend it. Many lamented the failure to devote time to deep relationships, or for over committing hours to work and career, at the expense of meaningful time with children and spouses.

While there's no silver bullet for avoiding regret, our take away from this Forbes piece is to carve out the time to do what you love with the people you love.

Finding time in a busy life isn't always easy, but it is doable. To find more time in your day, read our past posts Tackle Your To-Do List with Time Blocking and Nine Ways to Leave the Office by 5:00. And make sure your weekend time is sacrosanct with the tips in our post, Work-Free Weekends. 



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Reconnecting with Mentors
Monday, October 29, 2012 7:41 PM
We all know we're supposed to nurture our network . So when was the last time you reconnected with one of your mentors? Mentors are a crucial source of information and inspiration: finding the time to connect with key mentors keeps your job hunting...
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Preparing your Business for Hurricane Sandy
Monday, October 29, 2012 2:53 AM

As Hurricane Sandy creates havoc across a wide swath of the U.S., we are reminded of the harsh toll weather disasters can exact on people and businesses.

Most of us know how to prepare our homes when crazy weather hits: we stock up on water, non-perishables, flashlights and batteries. But how many small business owners know how to prepare their business and employees for the disruptions of a storm? Be sure your business can survive a weather related disaster with a few simple steps.

Business owners should take following precautions:

Get Checklist Smart: Create checklists that address plans for data back-up, crisis communications and any necessary office relocations. Prepare a list of any documents and equipment necessary to ensure business continuity and research relocation options ahead of time.

Double Your Docs: Store copies of your insurance policy and financial records in a safe, fire-proof place away from your business. All digital files should be backed up daily and stored off-site.

Operating Instructions: Take the guesswork out of emergencies by providing employees with instructions on what they should do when a crisis develops. Institute a chain of command system that allows all employees to be quickly briefed on business resumption and recovery plans. Fine-tune the plan bi-annually to keep up with personnel changes and new logistics.

Keep in Touch: Regularly update all contact information for employees, customers and vendors and store in a remote location.

Know Your Insurance: Review the fine print on your insurance policy. For example, hazard insurance doesn't necessarily cover floods so be sure to know exactly what is and isn't covered. Identify what documents are required by your insurer in the event of a disaster. Have those records on hand and store duplicates off-site.

Get Shipshape: Make sure your physical workplace is sound. Regularly check that all possible hazards, such as gas lines, water heaters, etc., are secure. Likewise, make sure that bookshelves and other fixtures are securely braced. Check that the roof is sound and able to withstand wind and water damage.

For more resources, check out the sound advice in  4 Steps in Preparing For  A Disaster and Prepare Your Workplace and Employees. 

Be safe, everyone.


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Organizing for Wellness
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 10:21 PM
When it comes to your health, some things are beyond your control: genes, governmental health policies, cravings for chocolate. Okay, the siren song of chocolate is actually something you do need to manage, but other much easier steps can guard your health...
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Life Lessons: Teaching Kids Organization 101
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 10:20 PM
This school year, teach your children one of life's most valuable lessons: how to be organized. While algebra and Latin declensions may be best left to the pros, no one is better equipped to teach Organization 101 than a parent. After all, the basics...
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Finally, A Notebook For the Modern Multitasker
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 1:46 AM

You multitask like nobody's business, juggling work, home and family demands all week long. You've perfected the art of the juggle and you need organizational tools, both at home and in the office, that multitask just like you do. Meet the Ampad® Versa™ Crossover Notebook,  which offers a crossover design that takes the best of a notebook, binder and dividers and puts it all in one.

Just how versatile is the Versa?

  • Write in it like a notebook; move pages around like a binder.
  • Built-in dividers provide easy sorting and categorizing.
  • Dual poly dividers separate and capture loose papers.
  • Mark key notes with 105 stick-on flags for labeling and highlighting.
  • Track to-dos with a lined stick-on task pad.

We've heard your message: paper pads still rule for note-taking but managing and finding notes in a paper pad can be challenging. Now, the Versa lets you reorder and reorganize your notes, again and again. The built-in dividers let you manage multiple projects or subdivide one large project into smaller sections. And the highlighting flags make finding and organizing notes easier than ever.

One notebook: countless possibilities, the Versa™does it all.  You can buy the Versa™ Crossover Notebook on our facebook page. 



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Three To-Dos for Better Breast Health
Monday, October 22, 2012 1:39 AM

Pink is everywhere in October as National Breast Cancer Month takes center stage, but breast health needs to be a year round focus.

Put your breast health front and center year round with these three to-dos:

Focus on Early Detection

Did you know that when breast cancer is detected early the survival rate is 98 percent? Make monthly breast self-exams a priority and schedule regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.

Now, you can create your own personalized early detection plan with an app from the National Breast Cancer Foundation  that sends you reminders to do breast self-exams and to schedule your clinical breast exams and mammograms. If you need help finding a place for a screening, visit the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. 

Eat for Health

A healthy diet, rich in fruits, veggies and antioxidants is linked to lower breast cancer rates and cancers in general. Try to eat seven or more servings daily and include nutrient dense superstars like cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower; dark leafy greens  such as collards, kale, spinach; and carrots and tomatoes. Round out your diet with superstar fruits including citrus, berries and cherries.

Also, consider minimizing or avoiding alcohol which can increase breast cancer risk by as much as 20 to 25 percent.

For more ideas on healthy diets, read 9 Foods for Breast Cancer Prevention and Foods that Fight Breast Cancer. 

Exercise Often

 Regular exercise provides powerful protection against breast cancer. No need to become a gym rat:  As little as 30 minutes or more of moderate aerobic activity (brisk walking) five or more days a week is enough. The key is consistency and duration, not intensity, so lace up your sneakers and head out the door!

For more on aerobic activities and the link to health, read here for materials from cancer organization Livestrong.com.




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Note to Self: Time for a Writing Pad That Offers Better Organization and Customization
Saturday, October 20, 2012 1:36 AM
Note-Sorting. Evolved.

Ampad® SimpleSort™

The classic writing pad gets a makeover thanks to our new Ampad® SimpleSort™ Crossover Writing Pad, with open-and-close binder clips and repositionable papers that lets users reorganize notes easily.

Why reinvent the writing pad?

We've heard your message: paper pads still rule for note-taking but managing and finding notes in a paper pad can be challenging. You want the ability to reorder and reorganize your notes, again and again. Now, each new pad makes finding and organizing notes easier than ever.

  • Three dividers make sorting notes simple.
  • Add and subtract papers as needed.
  • One pad can manage multiple projects.

The Ampad SimpleSort™ Crossover Writing Pad provides exceptional, personalized organization without sacrificing portability and ease. Finally, a pad that lets you reorder your papers (and your thoughts!) with ease.  Note-taking has evolved.

For more intelligent office products evolved to adapt to today's increasingly competitive business environment, visit our Pinterest  page for additional products, tips and inspiration.



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Is it Time to Switch Jobs?
Friday, October 19, 2012 8:26 PM

Switching jobs in an uncertain economy may seem unwise but sometimes it's just time to move on. But how do you know when the time is right to leave the security of your current gig for the unknown?

Know When It's Time to Go

Look closely at your current role. Are you growing? Adding skills? Moving successfully along your career path?  If you're in a holding pattern because moving on seems too daunting in this economy, you are doing your career a disservice.

Moving on provides the possibility of finding a role which is a better fit for your abilities and sets you up for future growth. As a bonus: switching jobs can also be more lucrative.

Before you whip out your resume and start cold-calling your network, take a minute to assess your readiness to move on with the Monster.com "Are You Ready for a Career Change Quiz." 

Other Factors to Consider

  • How happy are you in your current job? If the answer is not very, it's time to start looking. Life is too short to be miserable over a paycheck.
  • Do you have the time and energy to devote to the process of job hunting and starting afresh in a new role? Job hunting and onboarding in a new role takes mountains of time and energy. Be sure you are not distracted by health or personal challenges.
  • Is your current job imperiled? If your company or role is in jeopardy, job hunting is a no brainer. Don't hang in hoping that something will change; be proactive now before the ax falls.
  • Have you changes jobs recently? Do you have a history of job hopping? The average American will have 3 to 4 jobs or more in a lifetime, but if you've had that many in as many years, it may be time to hit the pause button and stay in your current gig awhile.


For more food for thought, read 8 Signs You Should Think About Quitting and its follow up piece Yes, You (Probably) Can Change Jobs Now. 



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Be More Productive with Better Active Files
Monday, October 15, 2012 3:26 PM

Everyone wants to be more productive. When you move through your work quickly and easily, you experience less stress and greater efficiency. (Heck, you might even be able to end your work day a little early!) To manage your work optimally, create a simple system for handling your active, day-to-day files.

Create just such a go-to system with the Pendaflex® Poly Desktop File Box. Designed to hold letter-sized files, the Pendaflex Desk Top File Box combines a sturdy design and streamlined footprint that easily captures crucial files while preserving valuable desktop real estate. When active papers are well-organized and close at hand, you eliminate frustrating searches and wasted time.

Active files are documents frequently in use such as:

  • Action items requiring immediate or regular decisions
  • Project items related to current tasks
  • Reading items intended for immediate consumption

Tips for Success


Ensure that your desktop box only houses current files by syncing your filing categories with those in your larger filing cabinet: when your desk file is no longer needed on a daily basis, you can easily archive it in your main cabinet.


Maintain order by making 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.


Also, the Pendaflex Desk Top File Box offers terrific storage flexibility; the collapsible file boxes are easily stored flat until needed. Just pop one open when you need more storage, collapse and store when you need fewer files.


Happy filing!



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The ABCs of Organizing for Students
Tuesday, October 09, 2012 3:17 PM

This school year, teach your children the most valuable lesson they will ever learn: how to be organized. Long after state capitals and algebraic equations are forgotten, the ability to organize one's time and belongings will serve your student well.

Why Get Organized?

Being organized increases productivity, improves student achievement and reduces stress. Being organized also increases free time for leisure pursuits. Other benefits include:

  • A (relatively) neat desk, book bag and room
  • A workable system for tracking assignments and managing a weekly schedule
  • The ability to tackle big projects that require planning over time
  • Decreased stress; feeling in control, rather than overwhelmed
  • The ability to make healthy lifestyle choices such as time for exercise and a decent bedtime

Getting Started

Students aren't born organized, they need to be coached on the basics of organization just as they would any skill. Equip your student for organization with the right set of tools:

  • Three-Ring Binder: The linchpin of organization; ensure it can hold papers for a particular grading period.
  • Folders: Three-holed pocket folders corral paperwork. Encourage your child to think about what kind of paper comes home from school, label each folder accordingly.
  • Calendar or Day Planner: Provides a big-picture view of schedules and helps with time-management. Parents should let children manage their schedules, but can offer guidance. Demonstrate how you manage your own calendar.
  • A stack of 3×5 index cards: A cheap, portable means to create lists, notes and study guides. Index cards are perfect for test review.
  • Designated Study Zone: Designate a distraction-free place for work. Work in a quiet, low-traffic area and set boundaries for desk use: i.e. storing books on the desk is okay, while electronic games are not.

Make it a Habit

Good study habits are created with repetition. New habits take time to become routine; parents should monitor initial progress and then slowly, give a child room to manage on their own.

Parents can help by:

  • Going over the child's list of homework assignments
  • Asking your child to create a to-do list of priorities, then vetting the list
  • Building in time to proof and review work
  • For long-term projects, demonstrate how to break the work down into a series of steps. Have your child plot out a timeline for completion.
  • Encourage your student to check off each item on the to-do list

Effective Time-Management

Parents can help their students manage homework and sports schedules by teaching students about time-blocking: the process of designating specific blocks of time each day for tackling particular activities or tasks. Students should examine their daily schedule and homework to-do list and establish timelines for all tasks.

Other time-blocking tips include:

  • Keep it real: Set realistic time-blocks; allow time for snacks, transitions and breaks.
  • Interruption-free zone: Schedule blocks of uninterrupted time each day. Close the bedroom door; turn off the phone and keep younger siblings away. Students should tackle tasks that require deep concentration during this time-block.

Finally, remember that organization must be learned and practiced to become a habit. Parents can and should guide their students but should ultimately allow their students to take the lead. 



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PileSmart is Your Passport to Working on the Go
Monday, October 08, 2012 2:43 PM

We know you work on the go. We do too. We all log hours away from our desk; sometimes it's the airport, other days, the conference room down the hall. Heck, we even do work at home (hello bill-paying!) in front of the TV or at the kitchen table.

Make working on the go as hassle-free and methodical as time spent at your desk with the Pendaflex PileSmart Project Sorter.  This multi-tasking tool lets you corral piles of papers in a secure, durable poly case. Go ahead and sort your stacks; PileSmart's ten color-coded sorting tabs keep documents separate and distinct. And the color index sheet can be removed and customized so you can reorder and re-sort as your needs shift.

Despite the promise of the digital revolution, paper is still a major part of our day-to-day. Conferences, meetings, back-to-school night: paper handouts keep piling up. Use PileSmart to quickly capture and sort those papers into color categories so you never need to wonder where the heck that document went again. Designed for on-the-go organizing, PileSmart has an elastic-tie closure that keeps papers in place when you're on the move. And the durable, poly construction is moisture and wear-and-tear resistant. So PileSmart can work as hard as you do.

To learn more about the Pendaflex PileSmart Project Sorter,  visit our Facebook shop.



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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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