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Showing Posts Tagged: Rexburg Office Supplies

Blue Cow People: Cindy Hall

I’ve been in customer service and retail for 41 years.  During this adventure, I’ve been a Receiving Manager, Cash Office Manager, Department Manager and Front End Manager.  I started with Porter’s in 1992 at Ben Franklin in St. Anthony, ID., I managed the store till we closed in 2001.  I was transferred to Porter’s Office Supply as Purchasing Manager.  In 2003 I took a leave of absence, to care for some family members.  I have recently moved back to ID. and I am currently in Accounts Payable.

I was born and raised in NJ and my husband is from WY.  We have settled down here in ID to be closer to our 2 sons and their families.  In my spare time, I enjoy crocheting, cooking and scrapbooking.  I love 70’s music and reading late at night.  Also, every now and then, I get back to the beach and ocean-for peace and tranquility.

4 Fall Organizing Projects

4 Fall Organizing Projects

When summer is over and everyone’s returned from vacation, it’s time to get your office in order. Your first priority is catching up on some basic business administrative chores before the end of the year sneaks up on you – all those little bookkeeping paper management tasks you just haven’t gotten around to yet. Once your finances are straightened out, then it’s time for any last-minute tax adjustments that will allow you to minimize your liabilities. And when the work is all done how will you celebrate? Have you decided what to do about the company holiday part this year? Let’s tackle each issue one at a time, with these handy business checklists:

Bookkeeping Chores

  • import and input information from all of your company accounts into your automated bookkeeping software
  • reconcile your general ledger to your bank statement balance
  • review your assets, liabilities, and payables for accuracy
  • catch up on your invoices, then review your outstanding accounts receivables for those bad debts that need to be written off
  • create a profit and loss statement from the current year, review it for mistakes, and use it to develop a budget for the coming year
  • collect social security numbers and other taxpayer ID on those contractors you paid this year and for whom you will need to file a 1099 with the IRS

Year-End Tax Planning

  • meet with your accountant and financial adviser to review possible strategies for minimizing the taxes due
  • review upcoming income for receivables that can be delayed into the new year to lower your current-year tax bill
  • consider prepaying for professional membership dues, subscriptions to journals, or career development courses
  • plan and budget to make any large purchases of equipment or supplies for your company before December 31st
  • make sure that you’re on-target to maximize tax deductions for your company retirement plan or your self-employed retirement plan if you are an entrepreneur
  • gather documentation related to any 179 deductions/depreciation for tangible personal property purchased for use in your business

Archiving Inactive Files

  • monthly/annual financial statements
  • personnel and payroll records
  • retirement and pension records
  • bank and credit card statements
  • investment trade confirmations and stock records
  • employment applications
  • expired insurance policies
  • invoices and expense receipts
  • supporting documents for tax returns
  • property records and improvement receipts
  • income tax payment checks and returns
  • important correspondence and legal records
  • CPA audit reports
  • corporate documents — incorporation, charter, by-laws, etc.
  • licenses, patents, and trademarks and registration packets

Holiday Party Planning

  • are spouses and families invited, or just employees?
  • how and when will you send out invitations?
  • will you focus on business issues or just have a party?
  • will employees contribute to the cost of the party? bring food? help set up?
  • do you need to accommodate any special dietary requirements?
  • what is the most appropriate venue — on site or at another location?
  • what will you need in terms of parking, disabled access, supplies, equipment, amenities, etc.?
  • what sort of decorations will you want — banners, flowers, centerpieces, balloons, etc.?
  • how will you go about purchasing or requesting donations for raffle prizes?
  • what will your schedule for the evening look like — time for speeches, presentations, etc.?
  • will you hire caterer and serving help or do the work yourself?
  • will you hire entertainers or arrange a sound system and select recorded music?


Blue Cow People: Mike Carr

I have a bachelors degree in Business Management with an emphasis in Marketing from Brigham Young University Idaho. I have experience in marketing strategy, social media, and print and digital design. All these skills have been acquired over several internships and fulltime jobs.

Columbia Falls Montana is where I called home most of my life. I loved my childhood that was spent in the mountains, lakes and streams in the wild country of Montana. I spend a great deal of my time outside hiking, rock climbing, fishing and disc golfing. I also enjoy playing racquetball with my wife.

Snacks Worthy of the Office

Looking for a way to stay focused and productive throughout the day? There are a lot of things you can turn to in your time of need as the blood sugar levels drop off and your breakfast or lunch power runs out. But what we naturally feel drawn to in these times of need are usually what we don’t need. The potato chips or candy bars and soda pop will dump us quickly feeling slower and more useless then before we had them.  Unfortunately those sugars and saturated fats are just going to hurt us. Even though they may taste good going down they don’t give you the boost you need. Not to mention the negative effects on blood pressure, weight gain and a whole host of other health issues these snacks can bring. But don’t despair! There are heroes in the snacking industry. Just waiting to save you from that lull at work and bring you back to your best!

The key to successful snacks is to remember that they are SNACKS not TREATS. A candy bar or soda pop is a treat not a snack. The other thing to remember is that the portion of a snack is not the same as a meal. You don’t need a lot of food to satisfy that need you’re feeling and boost your blood sugar up where it should be. This is about what you need not what you think you want.

So what are good snacks? Let’s cover some of the headliners that will give you the most return on your snacking investment.

  • Nuts: all kinds of nuts are really good snacks but the all time champion is the almond. With the least amount of fat for the most amount of protein there is none better.
  • Plain Yogurt: it may be a slight adjustment but plain yogurt is the best for you and won’t be packed with sugar like the
    flavored kind is. Also consider Greek yogurt which contains more protein but again go plain and regular.
  • Whole Grains: these can be found in a variety of ways. Some of the best are a slice of whole grain bread with some honey drizzled on top, whole grain granola bars, and oats with berries and a little water.
  • Raw Vegetables: a bag of baby carrots or some celery chunks and a small container of peanut butter to dip in are great
  • Dark Chocolate: a chunk of the dark side can be a good source of antioxidants.

How to Select the Perfect Lamp

Picking a Lamp

Two Important Things to Consider


The size you need in a lamp has a lot to do with the space you are working with. Most office lamps will be for the desk area. The most productive and helpful way to use a lamp on a desk area is to concentrate light at the work you are focusing on. This could be a document, a book, or any number of other things. Ideally the over head light will be strong enough to move around and use things in your environment but not strong enough to focus on things like reading. So the larger the on hand working material the larger the lamp light area will need to be.



Your lamp can have three different special kinds of bulbs: fluorescent, incandescent and halogen. Fluorescent is too harsh for concentrated work like reading so that’s not your best choice. Incandescent is inexpensive but doesn’t have the focus effect that you need. The bulb that offers you the best results is the halogen. It concentrates and focuses you in on your work without being too harsh and it’s bulbs lasts a long time.

Which Mouse is Best

Picking a Mouse

There are two main concerns when choosing a mouse for your computer. The way in which you hold the mouse and whether a wireless mouse or corded is best for you.

Getting a Grip

There are three types of mouse gripping types. The palm grip, the claw grip, and the fingertip grip. Some one that uses the palm grip will have their whole hand on the mouse, all the way back into their palm. For this kind of user you will want a mouse with a longer sloping back that fits comfortably into your hand. The second type is called the claw grip because your fingers are more raised up or arched then the palm grip and because of that raised action in your fingers you will need a shorter mouse with a more raised back. This allows for the natural form for your hand to happen without fighting against the mouse. The last kind of grip is all about the fingertips. You will find a shorter mouse more to your liking because the control you exert over your mouse comes from your finger tips and thumb. You won’t need a long back on it.

Cord or Cordless

Once you have found the right shape mouse you have to decide if you want to go wireless or if your needs are best met with a cord attaching you to the computer. If you are always working at the same desk and have plenty of space then there are benefits to keeping the cord. You won’t have to deal with the hassle of keeping batteries in the mouse. Also there can be some lag in the responsiveness of a wireless mouse compared to its corded counterparts.  This doesn’t mean that a wireless mouse wouldn’t be a wise choice for the desktop computer at work. There are just some down sides that have to be accepted before saying it’s the right choice for you. If you are mainly using a laptop on the go and want a mouse for that device then the wireless makes more sense because it has no cord to tangle and snag on things.

The main take away is that when choosing a mouse you have to find the right fit for your style and preferences. It’s about knowing your own habits.

Fostering Team Work

Team work

A lot can be said about the effectiveness and benefits of working in teams. The power of synergy and the potential for creativity are forefront.  There are three specific benefits to those two items that this post will highlight along with some tips to maximize those benefits.


1. Leveraging Strengths of Individuals and Minimizing Weaknesses

The old adage, “you’re only as strong as your weakest member” is only true if you let it be true. Bring together a group of people, all strong in different areas and have them focus where they are strongest in the group. Even though each member on their own could be mediocre over all you will have an all-star team.


2. Keep the Focus on the Groups Objective

If every member of the team has the group’s objective as the number one priority higher results will be achieved. One member should not be able to consider the project a victory if they accomplish their task but the project ultimately fails to succeed. The only success should be found in the group’s objective. If this is their attitude then every member will be doing all hey can to make sure each member is succeeding. In a team people should build off each other’s efforts, that’s what synergy is.

3. The Environment must be Positive and Open

A lot of silly concepts proceed the really genius. If people are mocking and nay saying ideas then the really brilliant ideas will  ever surface because the team will be unwilling to take risks. There is such a thing as a bad idea but not until the right idea has  been found. Let the creative juices flow naturally and undisturbed. Have ways to illustrate the ideas. Large post-it notes and a bare wall are perfect for this. When done correctly ideas are preserved and individuals can express their thoughts more clearly with scribbles, arrows, text and yes even pictures! Smaller sticky notes can be attached to the large thoughts as comments and suggestions come in on the original idea.


Maintaining the Break room Fridge

Refrigerator: Pressed for time? You can still fight slime with our easy fridge-cleaning tips.


It can be amazing how a fridge that is only used part time to hold peoples lunch or snacks can become so dirty. Lucky for us Clorox has given a quick guide to maintaining a healthy, clean fridge.

Use Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes daily to clean commonly touched areas like the door handle, as well as to wipe up small spills in the fridge.

Search the refrigerator for any expired items and toss them. You might be surprised by what is hiding out in the back of the bottom drawer. Afterwards, spray down with Clorox® Anywhere® Hard Surface™ Daily Sanitizing Spray, using it as directed.

Wipe doors, including edges, and top of the refrigerator with Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner with Bleach.


Refresh the Carpets


Carpeted areas can be some of your highest traffic areas. Did you know you can use the power of Original Pine-Sol® Multi-Surface Cleaner to remove that stubborn carpet or rug stain? It also leaves your entire room smelling fresher and looking brighter.

For spot treating, rub in a splash of full-strength Original Pine-Sol® Multi-Surface Cleaner on grease spots or heavy dirt marks with a sponge or cleaning brush. Then, wipe or rub plain water on the spot and dry thoroughly.

For a more all-around cleaning and deodorizing, you can apply this same process across your entire carpet. If you have area rugs, they can be cleaned In Your Washer with Pine-Sol®cleaner. You may also be able to use Original Pine-Sol® Multi-Purpose Cleaner in your steam cleaner, though you should check with the instructions for your device first.

If you’re not sure your carpet is colorfast, be sure to test an inconspicuous area first. And remember to avoid using scented Pine-Sol® varieties on fabrics, laundry or carpets.


Project Management Tips

Project Management Plan: 5 Steps to Organizing and Managing any Project

A project management plan is a must-have for anyone with project-based work to do. Following a project management plan will help you reduce stress while producing quality work. Project management is a lot like taking a journey. You have some idea of where you want to go, but you’re unsure what steps will get you there. As with any trip, project management becomes a snap when you invest a little planning time up front.

1. MAP: Set up your project management plan

The first step to creating your project management plan is starting a roadmap. Try examining the project and asking a few simple questions:

  • What are my goals? What end result am I trying to accomplish?
  • What is my deadline?
  • Who will I need to include in this project?
  • What supplies / resources will I need to get this done?

This is a grounding exercise that is designed to help you get a basic idea of what this project will require of you. This is the important foundation for your project management plan. You will now find it a lot easier to break these “big picture” ideas into smaller steps to follow.

2. ORGANIZE: Keep your project paperwork organized

The key to any successful journey is organizing your travel paperwork – a project is no different. Just as you do with your hotel reservations, plane tickets and tourist brochures, you need a system for storing all of your project files in one location so you never have to waste time searching. Like travel paperwork, project files are temporary. These files will only be used until the project is completed. Assign a separate drawer or hanging file box for your project paperwork. Of course, the best possible project organizing system is portable so that you can take them with you wherever you go on.

3. IMPLEMENT: Put your project management plan into action

They say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – and the same is true of your project. You have to start somewhere. The creation of your Project Management Plan should always be the first on your list. Maybe your second step will be working out a schedule or drawing up a list of tasks. Or perhaps you want to have a meeting to brainstorm with your team. Don’t spend too much time worrying about exactly which step to take – any move forward is a good one. You may feel stuck at the beginning of your project, but just getting started often provides the momentum you need to keep you moving in the right direction.

4. RECOGNIZE: Pay attention to progress with your project management plan

Most long journeys actually involve a series of smaller trips, stopping to see this site or visit this town along the way. This is also how a project management plan works. Every project, no matter how large, is just a series of smaller tasks – and your job is simply to figure out what those tasks are. Each one of these steps constitutes a “milestone” which gets you a little closer to your end goal. While you never want to lose sight of your final destination, your project will be a lot less overwhelming if you simply focus on your next milestone (bit sized is always easier to swallow!) Once you accomplish that task, move to the next – in no time, you will find that you have systematically worked your way to the end of the project.

5. COMPLETE: Make sure you are meeting your project management plan deadlines

On any journey, you have some idea of how long you plan to spend in each location and when you will need to arrive at your next destination. The same is true while executing your project management plan, but instead of scheduling from your departure date forward, you will schedule from your arrival (or deadline) date backward. Ask yourself when each previous step must be completed for the next step to happen on time, as well as how long each step will realistically take to complete. These can each be plugged into your calendar. This will help you to create a schedule you can live with, allow you to see progress along the way, and prevent a lot of last-minute rushing (which keeps your stress levels down).

With a project management plan and the steps above you should be well on your way to many successful and enjoyable project management experiences.

by Ramona Creel