Think Beyond the Big Box...

Office Supply Hacks to Organize Your Home

Office supplies are great home organizer products! Yes, you heard me right. Office products are the organization hack nobody knew about. They provide solutions to the tangled cords, messy cupboards under the sink, scattered food storage items, cluttered make-up and hair essentials, and the list goes on. Let’s go over a couple examples to visualize the benefits and simplicity office products can offer.

 

 

  1. The magical cord un-tangler: It is so simple! Take some binder clips that fit around the side of your desk or night stand. Then slide the charging ends of the cords through the silver loop and presto! Ultimate organization! Sometime the cords can be too large to fit through the loop. In this case, take a pair of pliers and open the loop wider to fit your cord then close it to make sure the cord will not fall out.
  2. Organizing food storage: The food storage closet can look so messy with cans piled on top of each other and opened bags of rice, flour, sugar-you name it-are asking for a tip-over disaster. To solve this, take a magazine file and place your cans in the file on its side. Then start stacking your other cans horizontally. To add some fun, get some labels to decorate and write the contents of the cans! For the bag problem, your solution is our favorite, versatile-use item-the binder clip! Roll up the bags like you would a bag of chips and clip one or two binder clips on the folded seem. Voila, your risk of a sugary mess is gone!
  3. The Make-up and hair heroes: To save space and avoid messes in your bathroom drawers, we suggest a couple, simple ideas. Make-up can get everywhere, so what you need is a place that is easy to manage, separate from everything else and used only for make-up. A desk organizer is the perfect place to put your make up with compartments for brushes, eye products and face products. When you want to clean the desk organizer, take out the drawers, remove contents, wash, rinse then put it back! So easy! For hair products, use a raised or upside-down metal letter tray as a cooling rack for your recently used straightener or curling iron. This can be placed in a drawer, where you can add the hot products and keep the cords out of the way, saving space on your counter top.

It is amazing how versatile office products can be. Get your creative juices flowing by visiting www.portersop.com to see what you can get to make your home more organized and efficient!

Deck the Office Halls

 

 

Happy holidays!!!

How are you keeping the festive holiday spirit alive in the office? It can be tricky sometimes to decorate with a limited space or a limited wallet.

Here are some of the office ideas we have done here around our Porter’s Office Products work station!

Our furniture specialists pop onto the retail floor several times a day. They decided to hang some garland up with some fairy lights intermixed for some holiday glow!
Photo Dec 20, 10 16 39 AM.jpg

What brings the holiday spirit better than a fully decorated Christmas tree? We have loved having this tree in on our retail floor so that everyone always see it. We even stored our employee Secret Santa gifts for one another underneath it for the time before our party!
Photo Dec 20, 10 16 59 AM.jpg

A great and inexpensive way to decorate is hanging Christmas ornaments around the office. We hung them from the shelves on the retail floor. It glistened the place up a great deal.
Photo Dec 20, 10 17 27 AM (1).jpg

Something else we enjoyed doing this holiday season was displaying our holiday cards we received from fellow business friends on our warehouse door.
Photo Dec 20, 10 19 11 AM.jpg

Of course, we couldn’t do any of this without the Blue Cow stamp of approval! Our little buddy has certainly enjoyed the holiday season thus far!!
Photo Dec 20, 10 18 18 AM.jpg

There are also many ideas we have seen that we love to share as well!

One of our absolute favorites is this rendition of Elf on a Shelf! They created Elf bodies out of construction paper and attached their own photos on as well! They move them all around the office and have them act out hilarious winter scenarios. Great idea coming from Seema Adnani

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another great and simple one is turning your door into a present! We love this idea coming from Nap Time Decorator. It will make anyone feel the holiday spirit as they walk into your “presents”!

Front Door Wrapped Present.

There are so many fun ideas and decorations you can use in your office space. Let us know if you have another idea or something you have already tried!

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers?

This season of giving can be a whirlwind. What to give all the people you love without breaking the bank is an overwhelming question! Well, never fear. We have gotten your shopping list covered. These gifts are guaranteed to make anyone’s season that much brighter!

Things that are small with a big impact:

Cross Sheaffer Resin Barrel Pen/Pencil Set

– http://shop.portersop.com/Product/CRO/E93211151/1035844823

Fidget Cube in Assorted Colors

-http://shop.portersop.com/Product/POP/RD096/219660563

Reusable

Pacon Reusable Self-Adhesive Letters

– http://shop.portersop.com/Product/PAC/51621/1011230905

Fun for All

Matchbox Mattel Gift Pack Collectible Set

– http://shop.portersop.com/Product/MTT/X7111/1036029734

Panasonic Lumix TS30 16 Megapixel Compact Camera – Red, Blue, or Black

– http://shop.portersop.com/Product/PAN/DMCTS30A/1029923650

 

Together We’re Thankful

A great way to being a sense of unity into the workplace is around the time of Thanksgiving. Everyone is grateful for something!

Something that we like to do here at Porter’s Office Products is to make a gratitude wall. We cut out lots of yellow leaves and leave them in the breakroom for people to write on at their own time. During lunch hours, after work, before work, stopping in for a drink of water, we let people write on these leaves. We were pleasantly surprised that the leaves started filling up the bulletin board and the surrounding wall within the hour! It is continuing to fill up more and more every day.

This has been a great chance for us to reflect on the aspects of our life that we may take for granted. We are especially grateful that we are able to serve those in our community and interact with customers like you each and every day. We wish that you all have a great Thanksgiving and that you will be blessed. You have certainly blessed our lives! Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Porter’s Office Products.

 

Showing Gratitude in the Work Place

I think we can all admit that in some job we have felt the “hum-dum” repetition. Everyone wants to look forward to something when heading into work! If you are feeling up for the task, change up the pace and mindset of your work place by showing your coworkers that you are grateful for them.

Here are some ideas of how to do that!

  1. Do a little survey or poll to get to know your coworkers a little better! Take your conversations from “how was your weekend?” to the next level ! From the pole, you can have an idea of something to get them talking.
  2. Send a group email or chat with some work appropriate jokes to bright up everyone’s day! It may even get a stream of jokes going so you can look forward to that every day! One of my favorite places to look for jokes is http://www.laughfactory.com/jokes/clean-jokes
  3. If you have some time to spare or you are in need of some unity in your workspace, try a team building exercise! Here are some of our favorites here at Porter’s! http://levymarketingawards.com/2015/08/3-teamwork-games-to-engage-employees-at-work/
  4. Boost their confidence with some motivational messages in places that they frequent. I like to post mine on the bathroom mirrors, computer screens, the water station, and the time clock! This is a great way to make everyone in the office feel great!

               

         

Try it out! When you reach out to brighten others’ days, yours will be brightened as well.

Best Organization Apps

Do you feel like you have a million things to do and keep track of?  Thankfully many people have decided to get over that feeling and make something to help!

Here are the two top rated websites for organizing you work life or your personal life. I used each one for at least a week and took notes on what I liked and disliked about them.

 

 

 

Todoist

  • Premium features comments, alarms,
  • Available with mobile and desktop – syncing to one another
  • Simple looking and allows you to panel them. All tasks, Today, or the Upcoming 7 Days
  • You can set a task to be reoccurring. There is no limit. It can be every Monday, every 15th of the month, every 3 months, etc.
  • You can’t share the list, but you can assign projects to other people. This might be helpful if you are a group leader or team leader. You can keep track of what you assigned to people…but you have to make sure you tell them you assigned them to this task.

 

 

 

 

Wunderlist

  • Share lists with others
  • Not limited and works with multiple platforms like Android, Windows, Linux, Blackberry, etc.
  • Available with mobile and desktop – syncing to one another
  • You don’t have to have premium to add comments, alarms, etc.
  • There are background images on your lists that make it a little prettier to look at
  • You can share this list and have conversations with those group members

 

There are many pros to both apps. I personally prefer Todoist because it fits my work and personal life needs a little better. Let us know what you think! Send us a message on any social media platform or comment below! We’d love to hear what you think.

 

Now, if you are one that likes to keep track of tasks on something tangible and not electronic, we have the goods for you!

Calendars – http://shop.portersop.com/Search?keyword=AAGG52000%2C+AAGPM91707%2C+AAGG52014

Highlighters – http://shop.portersop.com/Search?keyword=highlighters

Tab pens – http://shop.portersop.com/Search?keyword=flag+pens

 

How Can You Support the Cause?

Photocredit: Breast Cancer Wisdom

 

How Can I Support the Cause?

 October is a wonderful month for many reasons. One of my favorites is that everyone draws a little closer together with Breast Cancer Awareness. I wish we were always aware and supporting the cause, but I am grateful for October being the focus month.

 It’s safe to say 8/10 people probably know someone who has spent time fighting cancer. It is very near and dear to us that know someone or if we are that person. Knowing someone and not knowing someone, both can be a blessing. Cancer allows many lessons to be learned in the times of hardship. Families, friends, and communities unite together.

 If you know someone struggling with cancer, here are a few ways you can help them and support the cause:

  1. Be a Listener
  • Sometimes a listening ear can make the world of difference. It is very beneficial for people to just talk out their feelings to someone they trust, even if it doesn’t make sense or is not even related. Being there for someone you love and listening can help them make new discoveries about themselves or situation.

      2. Open Ended Invitations

  • Most fighters don’t know how they will feel by tomorrow or even the end of the day. Let them know whenever they want to, they can come watch a movie or go grab a bite to eat. This lets them know you are their support.

      3. Connect those you know with Breast Cancer to a survivor

  • Many fighters will say they don’t want help or need it. Again, present the opportunity. They can think about it and reach out when they need it.

      4. Offer to buy groceries for them

  • Many fighters have special diets or restrictions. As much as they would appreciate a homemade lasagna, they would appreciate it more if you came and got their grocery list from them.

 

Now what about us that don’t know someone who is fighting against cancer? There are still may ways to help!

  1. Participate in the Cancer Walks
  • These events occur more than you know. Just research to find one in the local area and go walk! All the funding of this event goes to researching for a cure. You are making a wonderful contribution just by walking. Who knows, you might even meet some new lifelong friends!

     2. Donatations

     3.Volunteer

 

Whether you know someone one fighting cancer or not, you have all the power to make a difference. The greatest thing is you can start today! Help support the cause! Fight Cancer with us.

Camera Hacks Tested and True

Each day there is a new “life hack” video on social media. People are loving this idea of cheap and easy ways to get the same result. I have seen a great deal of “hacks” regarding photography. I myself have done photography for many years and was curious about the legitimacy of these tips. Of course, I had to put them to the test.

I have a Canon t5i Rebel camera. This week, I put each of these hacks to the test both on manual mode and automatic mode.

I’ll show you what my camera looked like with the “gear” and the results from the shot.

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Hack #1: Get a sandwich bag and cut the bottom off. Wrap the bag around your lens with a rubber band or hair tie and shoot on either manual or automatic mode. It will create a haze glow around your subject.

I was actually very surprised at how much I liked this tip. Sure, you had to readjust the bag several times around the frame of your subject. I liked it with and without the flash on manual and the automatic mode. I give this one a thumbs up!

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Hack #2: Finish up your can of chips and cut the bottom off. The shiny interior creates a perfect place to bounce light. It will create perfect studio look, even if you’re just in your living room.

I doubted this one the most out of all of them. However, I was pleasantly surprised again and how much of a difference it made. The light was targeted directly around my face giving the spot light effect. My next attempt is going to be in a darker room.

Note: When I think of studio shot, I think of indoors. I don’t know what kind of effect this might have outside at night. Try it yourselves and let us know what you think!

original                            result

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Hack #3: Grab a pair of old tights and gently stretch them across your lens. Wrap it with a rubber band to keep it in place. The tights will help soften the light in your shot. Tip! Use different colors of tights to get some fun images!

Don’t count me in for using this one again. The tights made it very hard to focus on the subject on either manual or automatic mode. It just looked like you had something covering your lens as a mistake. It may possibly be better with something significantly thinner like panty hose. The tights did not do well.

original                           result

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Hack #4: Sometimes the flash on a camera can be annoying to the subject’s eyes or showing up in the wrong place in the image. To fix that, take a business card and cut two little slits on the bottom short side. Netsle that onto your hot shoe or the flash popper while its up. Now that light will be redirected upwards!

Honestly, I am not 100% sure how I feel about this. With a few more tests, I might find a good opportunity to use it. I wanted to demonstrate this trick on inanimate objects to show you where the reflections and light ended up. It certainly did its job redirecting the light. However, I think with how much it redirected, you might as well just not use the flash.

original                            result

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Hack #5: If you are playing around and are looking for something fun. Try adding some self-made vignettes to your image. Take black card stock paper and create a lens cover. Cut a shape out of the center of you newly made lens cover. Hold it up and snap away!

This was kind of a fun variation on framing and adding that vignette. In many of the examples, they recommended you tape your newly created lens cover to the body of your camera. Personally, I liked being able to move it back and forth to better my image. The only thing I didn’t love about this trick is how much black is in the image. I think I would cut a bigger shape next time.

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Overall, I was very impressed with these tricks and hacks! These are great ideas to add a little something extra to your images. Try them out and let us know how they worked for you!

 

Computer Mouse Tricks You Need to Know

 

If you don’t already know these tricks, this is going to be a major time saver for you! I found one by accident and realized, “Hey! There must be more out there!” I have compiled a list of some that will help you significantly. These tricks are applicable in web browsers as well as many programs like Microsoft Word.

Using the left button of your mouse:

  • Double click on a word and it highlights the whole word
  • Triple click and it highlights the whole paragraph
  • Put your curser over where you want to start, click, and let go. Now, move your cursor to the end of where you want to select, hold SHIFT and click! It highlighted everything in between!
  • If you want to copy a whole paragraph, highlight it and hold CTRL and drag it to where you want it to go!
  • Same concept, if you highlight and hold SHIFT

Using the Wheel of your mouse:

  • You can use this for scrolling AND clicking! The wheel is a button that you can use when browsing the internet. If you click the wheel on a web link, it will open up a new tab automatically with that link rather than using the tab you’re already in!
  • Hold down CTRL and scroll the wheel at the same time, and you can zoon in and out.
  • Instead of scrolling a up or down a million pages, click the wheel, slightly move your mouse, and viola! You are zipping to the top or bottom of the past faster than you know!
  • Middle click on a tab in your browser to instantly close it.

I hope you learned at least one new trick today. Go ahead and test them all out! It has helped me during my work day to effectively navigate my browsers and documents.

Five Things Every Office Work Space Needs

Everyone has that one item that makes their work day more productive. It may be your favorite pen, a ball of rubber bands, or maybe even a jar of candy!

There are countless items that can improve your productivity. Here are the top five that other people say that can’t work without:

 

5.  Snacks

Everyone has that one hour in the day that their body wants to take a nap. When your at work, that is not a possibility. You got things to do and people to help! But your eyes are still getting heavy. You need a little bit of a pick me up! Chewing gum can help keep your brain chugging along. Chocolate can give you a sweet burst of energy to carry you through. Whatever your preference, get a couple packages of them and store them in your desk drawer for when it is really needed!

http://shop.portersop.com/Search?keyword=candy

 

4. Cleaning Wipes

For some people, your workspace is your home away from home. Areas such as your keyboard, phone, and monitors can collect a lot of dust and particles. Just like keeping your house clean, you often need to do a routine clean up of your desk.  It’s a good chance to take a breath, clear your head and your workspace.

http://shop.portersop.com/Product/CLO/30112/1021069987

 

3. Framed Photos

Again, this is your space! You should take care of it so you feel at home. Bring in a few photos of your family or your puppy to give you a smile throughout the day.

Plus, here at Porter’s we believe the bigger the better. If you want a poster sized photo of your puppy, we got you covered!

http://shop.portersop.com/Product/DAX/2863U2X/1010067079

 

2. Stress Relief Items

Sometimes the best ideas come when you are thinking hard and keeping your hands busy with a stress ball or a fidget spinner.

Check out the ones we have here at Porter’s Office Supply!

http://shop.portersop.com/Product/POP/BLUECOW/217627169

http://shop.portersop.com/Search?keyword=fidget

 

1. Calendar/To Do List

The key to productivity is to be productive of course! There is a lot to remember and events can sneak up on you! It is important to have something to keep track of dates whether it is pocket sized or desktop size.

http://shop.portersop.com/Search?keyword=calendar

http://shop.portersop.com/Product/AAG/7003505/11957845

 

Don’t let your workspace be a place you don’t want to be. Add some flare, personality, and flexibility to it! These items will help you be more productive and feel better about your work day.

 

photo credit: Julie Bonner