Office Supply Tips

When it comes to Office Supply, we've been there, done that, now serving 126 tips in 12 categories ranging from Additional Office Furniture to Workstation Accessories.

An Alternative to Papers on your Desk

You probably get current project files on your desk, but you probably then also know what a hazard this is to your productivity. Office supplies to the rescue! During my monthly Office Depot trip to buy my office supplies for the month, I bought color file jackets. File jackets are a much, much better method for keeping current project files on your desk.

File jackets are:

-color coded (easy and fun to sort visually)

-able to hold manila folders (I'm talking about expandable file jackets, not file envelopes)

-good to keep on your desk

-easy to grab when you're on the go

-a secure solution: papers don't fall out of them unless you shake them upside down

-a money-saving solution: put current project manila folders in there and don't color-code them: use the color file jackets to color code

You can buy a pack of five color file jackets for about $12 from your local Office Depot or from the Office Depot website, and you won't regret it!

Disclaimer: Office Depot is the exclusive sponsor of the tip site. As office supply guru, I can tell you this is fortunate, because they have a boundless selection of office supplies to please any office supply shopper. The content of this tip has not been dictated by Office Depot, and is brought to you from the guru's expertise.


Choosing from All the Calendar and Planner Options

Search office supply store online for calendar and you'll be confronted with the fun page full of options:

There are plenty of options available, as you see, for fulfilling your organizing needs. But time management methodologies abound, do's and don't's propagate the workplace and article in print and online and from your past experience. Overall, it can be very, very difficult to know just how you should keep yourself organized.

Calendars, whether wall calendars, appointment books, or organizer books house them or they are standalones, are absolutely vital in staying organized. They serve as a storage center for all of your tasks and commitments, ready to remind you at any time of what you need to do and to house new information.

So, to gain footing in the quest of organizing yourself, your office, and your commitments, you know you need a calendar. Let me make your next office supply shopping trip just a little bit easier with three quick questions to serve as your shopping guide, a sort of rubric for your calendar options.

  1. Will you be the sole user of this calendar? If not, try a wall calendar so that no one needs to go through your papers or get to your desk: the wall is a much more accessible option. If so, consider appointment books and organizer books. Office Depot has plenty of options, online and in-store, that will mesh with your budget and your style.

  2. How much are you writing on/in your calendar? A few quick jottings per day means a small or all monthly calendar option will suit you just fine, but more than that (especially detailed to-do and appointment lists) require larger blocks on a monthly calendar or a weekly or daily option in an organizer book or appointment book.

  3. Do you need to save your calendars / archive your planning pages? If you do, you probably don't want to put a wall calendar on your shopping list unless you'll invest in poster tubes to store them or you'll painstakingly fold the pages to file them (and take special care to be sure they aren't violently tore off in celebration of a new month).

So, whether shopping online or visiting your local Office Depot, shop savvy for your next calendar tool.

Got questions? Ask them atop this page and they'll be answered every Thursday.

Disclaimer: Office Depot is the exclusive sponsor of the tip site. As office supply guru, I can tell you this is fortunate, because they have a boundless selection of office supplies to please any office supply shopper. The content of this tip has not been dictated by Office Depot, and is brought to you from the guru's expertise.


Beware of Fraudulent Checks

Many credible businesses use Versa Checks in order to help them effectively do business and process checks on an as needed basis. Because versa checks are so widely available and easy to use, they can be used to lure someone into a false sense of security. Just because you see what appears to be a valid looking business check, be wary of any business you have never dealt with before. White-collar crime is on the rise with the continued advanced in technology and despite the fact that the versa check could appear valid with a logo and security features, it could still be a fake. A versa check system is a great system for businesses to use to create their own checks but because of its ease of use, it can be a potential tool for scam artists.

When dealing with an unknown entity for the first time, you may want to require a certified check or let the check clear before releasing goods or services to someone

Always thoroughly research a company prior to doing business with them, especially if they are newly in business or overseas. The further away the company is from you, the more difficult it can be to validate them so trust your instincts and have a policy in place for doing business with companies that you don't already have a relationship with.

What can I do with old, yet still useable office equipment?

Donating Old Office Equipment to Charity

When upgrading your internal office equipment such as computers, monitors, laptops and printers, consider donating your old equipment to charity. There are many charitable organizations that will benefit from using your older, but still useable equipment. Public schools, local libraries, daycare centers, community recreation centers, community job search offices as well as other charitable organizations can benefit from using your computer office equipment and you, as a company, can benefit from the tax write offs as well as building a positive community profile.

Many charitable organizations will pick up your donations and issue a tax receipt. It's very important to be sure that when you donate old equipment such as a personal computer or server that you completely erase the hard drive to protect confidential information. There are special software programs available to help you, as simply hitting the delete key may not be enough.
Some companies rarely upgrade office equipment but others upgrade on such a constant basis that they are often spending more money on their IT budget than necessary. Ask for a technology evaluation from your IT supplier to help you keep pace with your infrastructure needs while not overdoing it and spending money needlessly.

How can having a webcam benefit you at work?

Webcams and the Work Environment

If you need to be in video teleconferences with other webcam users then you shouldn't have a problem getting authorization to have your own webcam at your desk. Use caution however, as one inappropriate video conference could cost you your job.

What type of frames should I look for to put on my desk?

Choosing the Right Picture Frames for Your Workstation

Boring two dimensional frames don't say much about the person inhabiting the cubicle. Look for deals and you may be able to pick up a nice three dimensional frame or better yet, you could get an electronic frame that swaps out photos every few minutes.

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Patricia Walters-Fischer