good-bye to summer, and buckling down once again to a full slate at work, can
be bittersweet. But consider that it takes just as much effort to have a good
day at work as bad one. Looking to love your work day? Read our round-up of look-on-the-bright-side-of-life
advice for making the most of your days.
Tricks for a Fabulous Workday:
Fabulous sounds good doesn't it? This article ticks off ten tips for making
your day more enjoyable (and productive too!). Ideas include: staring your
morning with inspirational reading or tapes and ending your day with 15 minutes
of gratitude. And the eight excellent ideas for the hours in between will also
put some pep in your step.
Happiness at Work: 12 Simple Steps to Make it
take breaks and switch off when you leave work, are just three of the concrete
tips in this Lifehack.org piece, which posits that specific steps to increase
daily enjoyment are well within our own control. So seize the day!
Top 10 Ways to Be Happy at Work: In a nutshell, this
piece reminds readers that they are in charge of their own destiny. Seek out
the information you need to work effectively, take charge of your own career
advancement, and tend your own flame of energy, making sure not to burn your
candle at both ends. At the end of the
day, you are your own boss.
are your tips for enjoying each and every day? Share your thoughts here and on
the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.
days, cooler nights: fall's sweater weather is here. Create room in your closet
for bulky cold weather clothes and boots with our simple steps for a
So Long Summer: Free
up room for cold weather fashions by saying good-bye to seasonal items until
next summer. Retire flip flops, sundresses and bathing suits from your closet
into off-season storage. By editing your closet to house only seasonally
appropriate items, it'll be easier to dress each morning.
Assess the Dress:
Give all fall items a through onceover asking yourself three questions: Does it
fit? Do I wear it? Do I love it? If the answer to any of these questions is no,
the item needs to go.
Move On: Gather
unwanted or ill-fitting clothes into groups: one to donate, one to pass along
to friends and another to trash. Consider enlisting a friend to help you assess
your closet; their unbiased eye will help you weed out what no longer works. Be
sure to keep receipts for any items donated to charity.
Identify Transition Items:
Find a spot in your closet to house transition items, such as tees or
lightweight dresses that can be worn with tights and belted cardigans. While some
summer items can transition through a cool fall, they often must be retired
during a cold winter. By grouping these items in one spot, you can keep track
of them and ensure they eventually make it into storage rather than cluttering
up the closet.
Color Code: Once
your wardrobe is edited down to seasonally appropriate items, it's time to
color code like items. By grouping items by color, specific items can be found
more readily. Also, consider grouping items into zones: low rods for shirts,
tops and folded pants, and a higher rod for dresses and long skirts.
Embrace Order: Opening
the door to a tidy, well-organized closet each morning can be a moment of Zen.
Arrange your hangers in the same direction and banish sloppy piles by storing items
that require folding draped over hangers. Keep a small trash can to corral
dry-cleaning bags and wire hangers. Aim for clutter free calm.
Tame Odds & Ends: Corral
accessories and small items which can easily take over a closet. Use bins to
capture handbags and larger accessories. Think vertical, using closet walls to
display hats or favorite bags. Belts and scarves can be stored on the back of
the closet door or in specially-designed hanging units.
we leave you with two articles that will help make your closet a shining temple
of organization: How to Organize Your Closet from Lucky Magazine and Clothing Closet Organizing Checklist
from Real Simple.
do a fall closet reorg? Or do you suffer a closet stuffed with summer gear
until next Memorial Day? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter
Your tan hasn't even faded but you are back to work big time. Hello
September, time to get busy.
If your post-Labor Day mojo is in need of a reboot, read our five tips
for making your reentry from the slow summer pace painless.
for a Smooth Return: Returning to your office Monday morning from vacation to
face a kajillion e-mails is never fun. Take some time Sunday evening to triage
your email inbox, deleting what's unnecessary and sorting remaining e-mails into
an "immediate action" folder and a "later in the week" folder. Likewise, clear
your Monday calendar so that meetings and conference calls fall later in the
day or even mid-week. By scheduling in an initial block of meeting-free time,
you can catch up on what you've missed before new demands overwhelm.
Schedule an Update: After a vacation, schedule
time for key work colleagues to update you on projects statuses, new deadline
and other important considerations. By selecting key people to spearhead your update,
you minimize information overload and the time-drain or hearing from too many
Build in Fun: Returning from vacation can be a bummer. Ward
off the post-vacation blues by booking a lunch date with a good friend or a
trusted colleague mid-week. Connecting with friends keeps the post-vacation
glow going just a little bit longer. Research
shows that the happiest workers are those who feel connected to their coworkers
Engage in Goal Setting: While returning to work means diving in to must-do projects,
take time to focus not just on the nuts and bolts of work but on your career big
picture. Passionate, successful employees are those that are always growing and
adding new skills or experiences. Look at September as a fresh start, and dive
into career building.
Book another Vacation: Saying good-bye to summer Fridays and a leisurely vacation pace
isn't easy. So consider scheduling your next getaway now. Knowing that you have
a fun vacation to look forward down the road takes the sting out of returning
to the 9-to-5 grind.
Finally, we leave you with one of our past posts to help ease the
transition from summer BBQs to sweater weather: Top 10 Reasons to be Excited its Fall.
Enjoy your fall!
you ease the post-vacation blues? What are your tips for making your return
from vacation as productive as possible? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex
Facebook and Twitter
We are huge fans of the magazine Real Simple. Their
motto of "life made easier, every day" could be our own. At Pendaflex our
mission is creating innovative products that let you work smarter, not harder,
each and every day. So we were thrilled that the latest issue of Real Simple features
folders as one of their top six products to
simplify your life.
We designed our Divide-It-Up Multi-Section File
Folders to do more,
just like you do. One folder offers three sections, making it a snap to
subdivide files for multiple or large projects. Managing a busy household?
Assign each child a section of the folder. Have a student tackling a large
project? Teach her to designate the separate sections for notes, drafts and
resource materials. One folder, three pockets: endless possibilities.
We know the
back-to-school season puts your need for organization and productivity into
overdrive. That's why we made this fuss-free folder extraordinarily simple to
use. Each folder offers an oversize tab for easy identification and three
smaller tabs, making sorting simple. Heavy-duty documents are not a problem; the
folders are sealed on all sides for maximum security. And the deep pockets
easily capture and secure multiple or thick documents.
designed the folders in standard-letter size to integrate seamlessly into your
existing filing systems: use them in either a hanging or desktop system. The
folders also come in assorted colors so users can color-code documents for easy
filing and quick retrieval. Who doesn't love a folder that works as hard as you
do? Yup, Divide-It-Up simply does more.
would you use a multi-tasking folder like Divide-It-Up?
Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook
and Twitter pages.
Back-to-school used to mean stocking up on new
pencils and notebooks. Now you can better your back-to-school organization with
apps that do everything from track time logged on homework to providing free
access to costly textbooks. See our round-up of A-plus apps for more useful tools.
10 Back-to-School iPhone Applications:
This selection of apps features the cost-savings app CourseSmart which
lets you save mucho dinero on 7,000 textbooks, all offered for free. Not ready
to read on your iPhone? You might be persuaded after spending time on Stanza, an
app that lets you track reading progress and boosts font size. It also provides
links to 30,000 free classic titles such as the complete works of Shakespeare,
Dickens and a host of other must-read writers.
Back-to-School Apps: Students will like free app MyHomework which lets them track tests and assignment dates and helicopter parents
will like iStudiezPro which lets them track all
their kids' test dates and assignment deadlines on the down-low. Never be
caught off guard by your slacking student again. Other apps include ones to help
with note-taking and to make virtual flashcards.
These Back to School
Apps Get Straight As: Put the fun in fundamentals with apps like ChalkWalk, iStory and NumberLine. These apps help grade-school aged kids make the
grade and more.
Good luck in school
back-to-school app makes the grade in your book? Share your thoughts here and
on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.
Back-to-school shopping signs are everywhere
signaling summer's end. Before you know it, cool weather will spell retirement
for boogie boards, beach umbrellas and other summer gear. Start your fall on an
organized note with our tips for storing seasonal summer items.
Before storing beach chairs, umbrellas and
sand toys, give each item a cold water rinse and a good scrub. Next, allow items
to thoroughly dry in the sun to avoid mildew and prevent sand and salt from corroding
items during the off-season.
Likewise, hose down patio furniture and clean
outdoor pillows with a mixture of water and mild detergent. Scrub mildew stains
with a stiff brush; allow all items to dry in the sun, then store indoors in a
garage or basement.
Once the summer BBQ season is over, it's time
to thrill your grill. Dismantle and clean all the gunk off, finishing up with a
light coating of oil spray to repel winter moisture. Then store your grill in
an indoor, protected environment such as a garage. The exception to this
storage rule? Propane tanks: safety dictates well-ventilated, protected outdoor
storage versus indoors.
Maximize storage with creativity. Think vertical
and use your garage or basement walls to hang lightweight items. Mark off the
beach chairs, umbrellas, and surf and boogie
boards along the wall. Next, add eye-hold screws along the measurements'
perimeter and use bungee cords to affix items to the wall. You can also reduce
the number of bulky items to store by deflating all beach balls and inner tubes
and storing like items in a plastic storage bin.
Keep in mind that
not all items need to be stored for next season. Kids grow like weeds so don't waste time storing outgrown
summer clothes and bikes, etc. Organize a swap with friends whose kids are
older or younger to pass along outgrown items and inherit what your family can
use the following year. Give all items a careful onceover; sometimes an item is
past its prime and is ready to toss. That slip 'n slide that is more slip than
slide? Toss. Rusty gardening tools? Toss. Inner tubes that constantly lose air?
Toss. You get the idea.
Be sure to free up closet space for your fall goods by storing
all beach towels and bathing suits in plastic storage bins in the garage,
basement or attic.
If you still don't
have a place to store all your summer items, hit the stores: storage items are traditionally on sale in the
fall as stores court back-to-school shoppers looking to get organized. Evaluate
your current storage needs and stock up on what you're missing.
Repair and Retire
Finally, get a jump start on next summer's
warm weather fun by tackling needed repairs and restocking seasonal items now,
while prices are at rock bottom. By repairing summer sports gear such as tennis
racquets and swim goggles before storing, and replacing must-have items now,
you'll be ready to dive back into summer fun the minute Memorial Day rolls
you store summer gear? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter
Saturated summer sunsets have
got us thinking, is it possible to interject color elsewhere in our world?
Regular readers will know we love a color-coded file. Our past post, Crack the Color Code: Tips for Better Filing
shows how easy, breezy filing can be when you commit to color coding. We went
in search of other ways to incorporate color coding into our daily life and we
found a number of colorful ways to bring order (and zest!) to our days.
Color Coded Clothes: Want an answer to the "what to wear?"
dilemma you face daily? Consider color coding your closet. Not only is it
easier to find your clothing, you'll get a happy charge every time you open the
door to see a Crayola Crayon box of options. Read How to Color Code Your Wardrobe for tips and feast on this visual eye-candy for inspiration.
Bright Bookshelves: Adios Dewy Decimal System, we're organizing our books by color! While
alphabetizing works best for libraries, at home you have more freedom, so consider
expressing your inner Mondrian by color-blocking your bookshelves. Visual
thinkers may find the color code helps them locate books more effectively and man, does it look great!
Color Coded Kids: Have a big household? Consider color coding
your kids for easier organization. By assigning each child a color, and using
it for common household items such as towels, toothbrushes, and laundry
baskets, busy parents can tell at a glance who is keeping up with chores and who
needs a gentle reminder to return their items to their rightful spots. Read How to Color Code Life with Kids for more helpful ideas.
Easier Studying: Make studying and schoolwork easier by
incorporating color coding. We like the advice in Organize Your Homework with Color Coded Supplies and older
students who need to writie reports and papers will benefit from the tips in 5 Ways to Use Color Coded Index Cards.
Color Code Email: Optimize your email productivity with color
coding. Did you know that Gmail lets you apply color filters to specific
emails? You can assign a color to a specific sender (or topic) making it easy
to see at a glance what type of emails need your attention. Check out the Gmail blog for more helpful tips on color coding your
organize by color? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter
There are two kinds
of people. Those who love a to-do list, and those who don't. We're firmly in
the to-do list camp: Nothing makes us happier than getting from to-do, to done.
If you are a fellow
list lover, you won't want to miss the organizing eye-candy we've rounded up.
Who doesn't love a little pizzazz with their productivity?
Mad for the Pad
Classic: Billed as a "stylish reinterpretation of a stressed-out
classic," these to-do list pads from Knock Knock will have you knocking off those to-dos in no time flat. From a
classic list to a packing list, there is something for everyone.
Sarcastic: Appreciate the tongue in cheek? You might enjoy the "Crap I Need to Do" pad or its sarcastic sister, "The Freakin' Never
Ending To Do List."
Renewable: This Etsy seller offers a downloadable PDF that lets you print and reprint the classic take on a to-do.
And these stylish dry-erase boards let you organize your to-dos over and over again.
everyone loves paper. For you high-tech list lovers, check out the findings
from ABC tech correspondent Joann Sterna.
She examines three popular digital to-do list apps and favors Wunderlist over Remember the Milk and
attractive design and useful collaborative functions puts Wunderlist at the top
of her list.
Finally, we leave you with something decidedly non-digital: this awesome chalkboard from another creative Etsy seller which reads, "Keep Calm and
Keep a List." Fabulous advice, fabulous chalkboard.
Happy list making!
your favorite, zippiest to-do list accessory? Share your thoughts here and on
the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.
We know the beach beckons and your
summer reads are calling you from the hammock. But the summer slowdown is the
perfect time to squeeze in one of the organization projects that never seem to
get done during the busy fall and winter months.
Summer has a few more weeks left, so time
to get cracking. Come September, you'll be happy you did!
One and Done: Pick a project that
will really and truly provide a sense of accomplishment. If you feel like you
ought to clean your messy garage but would prefer to spend time sorting photos,
go with the photos. Devote yourself to whatever project will provide the most
Limit Chaos: Ensure summer fun still stays on track
by choosing projects in spaces that won't limit your ability to function. By
tackling the spare room or attic first, you can use those newly organized spaces
as a staging ground for future projects in high-traffic zones such as the
kitchen or home office.
Bite-Sized Pieces: Plan carefully to
make the project stress-free from start to finish. Plot out all steps: If you want to empty an attic, the first step
might be tossing broken and outdated items, next, giving unneeded items to
family members and then finally donating the rest to charity. Defining success
before you dive in also helps you determine when a project is successfully
Get Equipped: Carefully consider
all your needs before launching a project and then stock up on needed tools. Filing
projects require files, moving projects require boxes. Running out of hangers
half-way through a closet reorg is as much fun as a rainy beach day.
Enlist Helpers: Many hands make for
light work so enlist family and friends. Make the project fun (filing while
listening to music!, garage cleaning with Popsicle breaks!) and you better your
odds of getting helpers to pitch in.
Reward Yourself: Reward yourself
for getting through your project and link your reward to your project if you
can. Did you tame a cluttered guest room? Treat yourself to new throw pillows
or a duvet cover. Did you tackle a mountain of paperwork? Reward yourself with
new desk accessories. Print and frame all those family pictures? Host a BBQ to
show off your new home décor.
Making August all about one major project betters your odds of
getting it done. Who knows? The glow of accomplishment may even carry you
through another project or two.
have a major project in mind? What is the one area of the house you never seem
to get to? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter
Optimizing productivity, and doing
more with less, fuel our days at Pendaflex. So we were intrigued when we stumbled
across the eye-catching title: Debunking Three Productivity Myths. First bit of wisdom the article
discredits: "Surfing the Internet is bad for productivity." Given that our surfing turned up an
eye-opening article that inspired this blog post, we'd have to agree: sometimes
aimless surfing bears fruit.
What's more, the article cites a study that says that workers
who take breaks to surf the web return to their tasks with greater focus and
concentration. Hmmm. What other productivity myths may need to be
"Faster is better" and "You can catch up on work by eating at
your desk," also come under fire. Turns out that better
decision-making is linked careful, methodical thinking, not faster turn-around.
Ditto taking time for lunch: short breaks refuel energy and decrease stress. Both
are necessary for true, sustained productivity.
Looking to reexamine other common productivity claims? You'll enjoy 10 Productivity Myths that Hold You Back and 10 Productivity Myths.
productivity claim to you think is the biggest myth? Share your thoughts here
and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.
Paper may eventually go the way of papyrus,
but for now, it's here to stay. Paper bills, taxes, receipts, school work,
business cards, not to mention, your overstuffed mailbox: dealing with paper is
a part of the day-to-day. Tired of watching papers pile up? Read on for six
tips for taming that paper tiger.
The Circular File: Open mail over the trash. Discard junk mail,
catalogs and envelopes. You'll be amazed at how much paper you cut out.
Buh-bye Unread Mags: Do you have magazine or newspaper
subscriptions you never get around to reading? Put an end to the wishful
thinking and cancel those items. Likewise, cancel the catalogs that fill up
your mailbox. Online sites like catalogchoice.com will help you fend off unwanted catalogs.
Watch your recycling pile shrink.
Create a Mail Station: Keep envelopes, stamps, pens and a checkbook
handy in one central location so bills can be paid quickly, without building
up. Consider going digital with as many bills as you can.
Once a Day: Just as you empty your sink of dirty dishes each day,
commit to a daily review of incoming paper. By spending even a few minutes a
day managing the paper flow, you ward off the massive paper pile ups that cause
stress and disorganization.
Get a System: You don't need to have an OCD filing system to
successfully manage paper. Sometimes a system as simple as Act Now, File for
Action Later This Week, and Archive is all that's needed. Just be sure to
develop a system that doesn't have you hanging on to every slip of paper than
enters your home. Which brings us to our
Let Go: Not everything needs to be
saved. Work hard to distinguish what's important from what's not. If you don't
reconcile your ATM slips with your bank statements, why are you holding on to
those paper slips? Are you truly keeping each piece of children's art? Choose a
few to hang in a rotating art gallery in your kitchen and get rid of the rest.
Not sure what to keep, what to purge? Our past post File or Toss? A Handy Guide
for Assessing Your Paperwork helps you decide.
Do you have any tips or tricks for managing
the paper flow? Share
your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
For many, organization
means never fruitlessly searching for a crucial document that has somehow gone
missing. But did you know that the benefits of being organized extend far
beyond merely retrieving a slip of paper in a snap? Being organized can lead to
a happier, more productive, and even longer life.
Yup, you read that right. Being
organized can extend your life, posits Howard Friedman and
Leslie Martin, authors of The Longevity Project. Martin
and Friedman conclude that the key factor in living longer is
"conscientiousness" which they define as being organized, responsible and
landmark study of 1,500 hundred people, spanning more than 90 years, concludes
that the people who live longest:
hard. Successful careers and habitual engagement in "pursuing
goals" were hallmarks of people with long lives.
active lives. Time devoted to hobbies, leisure pursuits and enjoyable
activities also characterized lives of longevity.
socially connected. Happy marriages and strong friendships, which all require
time to nurture, are also hallmarks of long lives.
In our busy, 24/7
always on world, carving out time to nurture careers, lead active lives and to
nourish our critical relationships, requires extraordinary time-management
skills, the ability to prioritize and nuts-and-bolts organization.
Our Beyond Folders blog
offers a host of resources to help hone these skills. The following posts offer
a good starting point for those in search of an "organizational" overhaul.
Do you derive
satisfaction from being organized? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
"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.
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
Curiously Awesome Repurposing
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.