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Brainstorming is out. Brainwriting is in.

Oh Hiya, Meg here!

Every company needs to meet the challenge of keeping up with ever-changing consumer interests. While meetings and brainstorming sessions can prove stressful, brainwriting or silent brainstorming may be just what your company needs to stay relevant. In order to create a positive and effective brainwriting session, you need the appropriate materials, so I’ve put together a few of my favorite supplies and techniques to get you started.



Sure, brainstorming can be a great opportunity to find new ideas for a project or company but at times I find it’s a good idea to work on my own before a big meeting. Sometimes it’s best to write and let the ideas flow, rather than waiting for someone to shout a thought out during a brainstorming session. I can find the pressure to blurt out an idea makes me want to speak out a little less, which is really saying something for me!

I’m a real advocate of brainwriting. It gives me the freedom to think creatively about the issue or task at hand without the pressure to get it all out during a meeting. That being said, it is important to set aside some specific time in your schedule to focus on brainwriting. It’s still a vital part of your day to day, even if it doesn’t require a full team meeting. I have a few tried and true ideas for keeping my brainwriting ideas separate from my regular work and notes.

I love keeping a set of giant sticky notes at my desk to jot down ideas. They’re so different from my smaller notes and notepads that they never get lost in the shuffle of desk papers. I can also stick them on a notepad to take to a team meeting to share, without worrying about sorting through a stack of papers to find my notes. These giant sticky notes are worry free and easy to keep track of when it comes time to present a big idea.

When it comes to brainwriting, it’s hard to tell when inspiration will strike! Sometimes when I’m working on a different project, I’ll get a sudden thought and need to jot it down. I keep a whiteboard on my desk, just for those times. It’s so helpful to be able to quickly write down the beginnings of an idea, then return to my current project. I’m able to focus on the task at hand without worrying about my inspired idea passing by.

Brainstorming may be a tried and true office tradition, but I say it doesn’t hurt to change things up a bit! Brainwriting is a great way to challenge your team members to bring some unique creativity to the table, and that’s always a great thing. If you’re looking for more ideas on brainwriting and the positive effects it can have on your team, I recommend this article from fast company.

Until next time,
Meg

Send a Professional Report

Oh Hiya!



Meg here and as we prepare for a new season outdoors, we also prepare for a new season in business. We provide a variety of weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports to our clients and partners that are critical to our growth. In order to make these reports organized and professional, we use a variety of tricks and tools.

To start, we keep a list of all the reports and due dates handy to be constantly updated during stages of work and completion. Nothing is worse than working through a document that’s already been finished by another member of your team. Our running list is on a white board, but you can start a workable spreadsheet online for your team or you can even use a good old paper to-do list. No matter the method, the most important thing is to stay on task and organized when it comes to producing reports.

Each report has quite a bit of data to keep track of, especially the quarterly reports. As the analytics roll in for our reports, I like to keep it all organized in specific folders using my Smead SuperTab Notes Fastener Folders. With their extra large tabs, I can personalize each folder down to the specific report and nature of the data with plenty of space to spare. Keeping the folders organized with easy to read information makes for a huge stress saver when it’s time to organize it all.

For those times when I need to re-label a folder I always turn to my Avery® Permanent File Folder Labels. They’ve got some great sticking power so I never have to worry about the labels coming off the files getting out of order.

Another great idea is to keep the analytics and data up to date on a running cycle. Whether that means a quick rundown on the information every couple of days or a weekly check in, it will save time in the long run if you keep a continuous eye on it. Some data may not be ready to check during that time but for the reports that are ready, this is a great system. Rather than spending a long few days compiling data and analytics, you can simply pull the information you’ve kept track of for easy and quick access.

Finally, you’ll be ready to present your reports! Make sure that your hard work comes through visually by creating a professional hard copy for your clients using the Fellowes® Galaxy Manual Comb Binding System. All those hours your team has put in organizing data will be ready to show off in a hard copy bound booklet.

No matter how you present it, organizing data and analytics for reports can be a bit time consuming. With the right system you can make it out with less stress and here’s hoping my tips will help you and your team. For a few extra pointers in office organization and productivity, take a look HERE.

Good luck with those reports and until next time,

Meg

How to Run a Successful Fundraiser

Oh Hiya!

Meg here, and as a company, we believe in corporate social responsibility and getting involved in our communities. This can be done in so many great ways like raffles, volunteering, or fundraisers! If you have a charity close to your heart or to the mission of your business, use these tips to make your next fundraiser as a successful as possible:



• Choose a Charity- Of course you need to select the charity of your choice before any planning can begin! If you have a committee put together, have each member bring one or two ideas to the group and vote from there. Keep in mind the charities that will be closest to your employee’s hearts and the mission of your company.

• Set a Goal- When you’ve chosen the charity that you’ll be fundraising for, set a specific goal for your company. It may also help to set incentives for different levels of fundraising. Not only will it give your employees the joy of giving to charity but it will bring a little extra excitement to fundraise to the highest level. A great incentive is a cookie or cupcake day for the office or even a lunch to celebrate the fundraiser.

• Pick an Event- How will you be fundraising? Will you participate in a charity run, a fundraising party, or a raffle? For more great inspiration you can take a look at this list and see if any events sound like the perfect option for your company: https://www.24fundraiser.com/corporate-fundraising-ideas/ .

• Spread the Word- You want your fundraiser to be as successful as possible, so each and every member of your company needs to be on board! For our fundraisers, I like to print out posters and banners for the office to keep everyone up to date on the details. Make sure you’re all stocked up on ink with HP 201A Black Original LaserJet Toner Cartridge before you begin printing. Depending on how long your fundraiser will last, it’s also a good idea to laminate the posters, to keep them looking neat throughout the whole event. I like to use the Fellowes® Venus 2 125 Laminator. It works so quickly and every single one of my posters comes out picture perfect.

• Get Started- When you begin raising money for your fundraiser be sure to keep track of each and every donation. I keep funds and fundraiser details separate and organized in my HON® 600 Series Two-Drawer Lateral File. I love the size of the cabinet and all the space I have to be extra organized. I like to keep the money raised and the details and contacts for our events totally separate and with this filing cabinet I have plenty of room for every single folder.

With these tips and ideas your company will definitely put the fun into a fundraiser! No matter what type of fundraiser you choose to do, I know you’ll see success.

Happy fundraising and until next time,

Meg

5 Must-Haves for Your Office Kitchen

Oh Hiya!



Meg here and one of my favorite things about the office is our social environment. Talking and getting to know my coworkers on a personal level is very important to me and our office kitchen is the perfect place to do just that! Here are some must-haves to make your office kitchen a social and productive environment.

  • Coffee Bar- Chances are; your office has a supply of coffee already but sprucing up the coffee zone can be a quick conversation starter. Create a small area for cream, sugar, stirrers, and whatever else your coworkers take in their coffee. You can use cute containers and organizers to keep your items neat and in place. Not only will it be a place for employees to chat, it will keep the coffee supplies in order and make it easier to restock when supplies run low.

  • Dirty Dishware-No one likes to have a sink piled high with dirty dishes, least of all in an office space. Keep the sink area clear with a dish rack to store clean dishes and easily accessible dish soap and scrubbers. We use the Scotch-Brite™ Heavy-Duty Soap-Dispensing Dishwand. The long handle makes it easy to use and our office dish pile doesn’t stack up the way it used to. Sometimes a reminder note can keep your office mates in check when it comes doing the dishes as well.

  • Personalized Décor- The kitchen doesn’t need to undergo a full makeover, but sprucing up the decorations can do wonders for the environment. Whether you bring in some easy-care houseplants, new chairs, or brighten up the paint scheme, small changes can go a long way. Another simple idea is to decorate with photos. Have you gone on a company retreat or had a volunteer day recently? Put up a few photos from the event and encourage the office to bring in a few more. Not only will they add a personal touch but everyone will feel a part of the team to see their shining faces up on the wall or fridge.

  • Make a Note- An organized kitchen is a happy kitchen! We use our Quartet® Prestige 2 Connects DuraMax Magnetic Porcelain Whiteboard to keep track of upcoming office events and announcements. It’s any easy way to reach nearly everyone in the office without sending extra emails. But be sure to update the board every few days to keep the message fresh and encourage the entire office to add a few notes in as well. Even if it’s an ever running grocery list, an interactive note board is a great way to get the office in conversation.

    Whether you’re just stopping in for a coffee break or holding a team brainstorm session, the office kitchen is a great place to catch up with coworkers and brush up on office events and announcements. With a few quick changes, your office kitchen can be the place to be. For even more great tips check out these essentials for a break room.

    Until next time,

    Meg
  • The Makings for a Great Company Outing

    Oh Hiya!

    Meg here and I am super excited for our annual company outing this summer! Getting to know my coworkers outside the office is one of my favorite things. Since this event is one of my favorites, I volunteered to help plan this year and here are some of my tricks for making it go off without a hitch!



    First, always start with a theme. Every great party needs a great theme and your company picnic is no different! When it comes to picking out a theme, keep in mind the personality of your company. It’s so fun to branch out a little and have a creative theme. Some of my favorite options are:
    • Luau Party
    • Christmas in July
    • Tailgate Party
    • Old Fashioned Picnic


    When you have your theme picked out, planning can move pretty quickly. If you have a party planning team, it’s a great time to delegate tasks like making and purchasing decorations, organizing the meal, and entertainment. As when planning any office event, lists are so helpful! To keep track of all the things to do before the big event, I always keep my notebook and my BIC® Brite Liner Highlighter at the ready.

    What’s a party without a meal? Whether you’re having a potluck in the park or having a meal catered in, it’s important to think about dishware. Since we hold our company outings in a park, I like to keep our dishware low maintenance by using Eco-Products® Renewable & Compostable Sugarcane Plates. Even at our company picnic, I want to be sure that we’re keeping the environment in mind and these renewable plates work perfectly.

    Keep the fun flowing at your outing with a few games! Everyone from my company is welcome to bring their families to the picnic and we have a bunch of kiddos (and adults!) ready for entertainment. A few tried and true games to have at your picnic are:
    • Giant Jenga
    • Ring Toss
    • Hula Hoop Contest
    • Three Legged Race
    • Lawn Checkers
    • For more great backyard games and ideas check out this great list


    Since we have so many games during a company picnic, it’s best to be prepared for accidents. I always keep my Saunders US-Works Emergency Survival Kit at the ready, should anything happen during the party. It’s small enough that it fits right into my bag without taking up too much space. Better safe than sorry!

    Planning a company party may seem overwhelming at first, but once you get started it will be a breeze! I have every confidence that you and your company will enjoy a fabulous outing this summer.

    Until next time,

    Meg

    Add Color to the Office

    Oh Hiya!



    Meg here, and summer is swiftly approaching! When the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming we all want to bring an extra burst of color into the office as well. Here are some of my favorite creative ways to bring a little pop of color to any office space.

    An easy way to brighten up any space is to start by organizing. Start the process by neatening up your desk and taking care of the clutter. It’s a quick step to start opening up desk space and it will serve a dual purpose of keeping you organized and prepared. If you find you need a few more organizers, look for bright colors to keep your things neat and in style. Once your desk is open and clear of clutter you can start adding in some other bright décor!

    I just love my Scotch Flower Tape Dispenser. It brings the perfect sunshine cheer to my office space and it looks so much cuter than a plain dispenser. Why not bring a little personality to your office supplies? While you’re switching out your plain tape dispenser, trade out your stapler as well. My Leitz 5504 Full-strip Stapler is another excuse to show off some color. I have the bright orange stapler but they come in so many cute colors that you can match to almost any office theme!

    It may seem like a small step, but I like to switch my coffee mug every so often. Whether you crave a caffeinated cup of joe or prefer to sip hot tea in the morning, a bright new mug or tumbler can bring a smile to your face while you check your morning email. Pick one with an eye-catching design or pick-me up quote and you’ll have a great conversation starter as well.

    Sometimes my black pens can be a bit dull when writing notes so I like to bring some color to each meeting with my Zebra Zebra Z-Grip Basics LV Ballpoint Stick Pen. I love the pop of blue ink, it makes my to-do list so much more exciting. Whatever color you prefer, spring is the perfect time to switch out your every day pens for some brighter shades.

    Do you have any photos on your desk? Take a tip from home design and change out the frames around the pictures for the new season. It’ll give your beloved photos new life and bring some bright personality to your workspace. You can also use this time to switch out the photos or bring in a few more! Another easy idea is to exchange the frames for cute decorative tape and make a little gallery wall. What better way to show off your personality?

    With summer coming up right around the corner, now is the perfect time for a little desk redecorating. Whether you’re looking for a dramatic change or just want a little extra spring color, our list has got you covered. You can check out our full range of office and desk items on our website. If you’d like a little more visual inspiration for your spring desk decorating check out these adorable ideas.

    Until next time,

    Meg

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