From Cluttered to Productive – Organizing Your Home Office

More Americans are operating home offices or are working remotely, and they are doing so for longer periods, according to a recent Gallup survey. While it may seem wonderful to avoid the commute to the office, working from home has challenges. Distractions and disorganizations can prevent you from getting any real work done.

Interior with creative business drawing and books on modern yellow chair. Success concept. 3D Rendering

Albert Einstein famously quipped, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” We believe that neatness and organization are two keys to making your home office productive.

Here are a few tips we think are solid advice, and they’ve been backed up by customers we come in contact with every day:

  • In your home office, keep home and office separate. It’s not wise to mix work papers with your miscellaneous home paperwork. When you need to find a sales report you shouldn’t be distracted by a bill from your dentist.
  • Keep a calendar for work events, and once again make sure they’re not combined with your PTA meeting on Thursday night.
  • Keep a separate desk for work, and keep it neat. We’ve known a few people over the years who have ridiculously messy desks and yet they know precisely where everything is located. These people are weird, and they are very rare. Just commit to neatness – all the time – and in the end it will pay off.
  • Straighten up at the end of each day. Even if dinner is cooking on the stove, take a few minutes to do a recap of the day’s events and make a list of tomorrow’s tasks. Make sure everything is filed away and neat because the next morning you can hit the ground running, and not begin the day frustrated.
  • Lay out a schedule for every task, every day. Even if you are going to do a personal chore like laundry, write it down in a block on your schedule. For example:
  • 9:00 to 10:00      Make follow up sales calls
  • 10:00 to 11:00 Laundry
  • 11:00 to 12:00 Forecast income and expenses for next week

It may seem to be over-doing it, but any successful person who works a home office will tell you it’s the best method.

Because of the nature of our business, we believe large, visual aids are helpful and once again we can back that up based on experience. A wall calendar makes sure that when you get pre-occupied with a personal project you have the work side of your life right there, reminding you not to forget.

Whiteboard In A Box is a great tool for home offices, and that’s probably why it is our most popular product. It is a self-stick dry erase surface that can be applied to any smooth, clean surface. Self-stick grid lines or chart tape can be used to create a calendar that works for your specific needs and you’ll likely find it is a big help. Shop for Whiteboard In A Box by clicking here.

Designing an Effective, Attractive, and Practical Conference Room

It’s More Than a Table, Chairs, and Whiteboard

If you’ve ever worked for a company that has a lot of meetings, you might not be surprised to learn that a recent study shows most people don’t like meetings and feel they’re unnecessary. When a group of people were asked to use one word to describe meetings, the most popular answers were “boring, unproductive, pointless, and annoying.”

There are books and videos about how to make meetings more interesting and effective, but what about the rooms where meetings are held? Can anything be done to at least make the environment more acceptable? Perhaps more energizing and invigorating? Maybe even conducive to creativity? Many educational studies have shown that students are more alert and creative in bright, colorful classrooms.

Office space designers are changing the way they plan new conference rooms, and we’re sharing some of them here, as well as some of the ideas we have seen help our customers.

The first thing designers recommend is to determine the purpose of the room. Will it hold large meetings with everyone working together? Or will the room function better if it has the ability to be split into sections so small groups can work as teams?

Will the room be used to make presentations to clients, with an audience on one side and a team of presenter on the other?

Furniture and Equipment

  • Is one large table appropriate or several smaller tables that can be pushed together?
  • Are meetings likely to long, which necessitate large, comfortable chairs? Short meetings can usually get by with smaller, less expensive chairs.
  • If meetings will likely involve participants with laptop computers, make sure there are adequate power supplies.
  • Lighting, colors, carpet, window treatments all combine to give a room balance and a feel. It’s a good idea to get professional help from an experienced decorator if it’s not your forte.
  • One of the issues many people reported about meetings is that participants can’t see the speaker or the board, (or monitor) and they don’t have the ability to participate or respond as effectively as they wish they could. This is where one of our most popular products, Whiteboard in a Box, works very well in conference rooms. Office space planners are laying out more offices and conference rooms with large dry-erase surfaces so people aren’t searching for an available whiteboard.
  • Almost everyone can relate to the experience of going into a conference room for a meeting and finding a single black marker. And it’s out of ink. Argh! Always make sure you have an ample supply of bright, colorful markers on hand. If you buy in bulk, you’ll save money.

Finally, get input from employees before you plan a new conference room or a renovation. Two heads are better than one, and lots of opinions will help put together a room that will hopefully make meetings more enjoyable for everyone!

Overcome Your Presentation Fears with Preparation and Practice

Everyone has at least one fear, some people have many, and that’s ok. Doctors say if you understand your fears and work to overcome them, they’re not harmful.

Some of the most common fears are:

  • Acrophobia: fear of heights.
  • Pteromerhanophobia: fear of flying.
  • Claustrophobia: fear of encloseed spaces.
  • Ophidiophobia: fear of snakes.

And we think every child has this one: Trypanophobia, the fear of needles.

But the most common fear in people is Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking.

If you’re not accustomed to giving presentations on front of people it is not strange at all for you to have some apprehension about doing it. But there is hope!

Just prepare, and practice. Like everything else in life, repetition breeds success.

Here are some tips for building your confidence as you get ready to deliver a presentation.

  1. Successful presenters have a clear sense of the purpose of their presentation. They know what their goal is and they explain that goal to the audience right at the start. Making a concise outline of the presentation and having it in front of you at all times is essential.
  2. Successful presenters do a thorough homework about their audience. Understanding who you will be speaking to is a good step to feeling comfortable with them. If they have common interests, learn about that subject and use it as an ice-breaker so they feel comfortable with you.
  3. Successful presenters appear comfortable with their sense of being. Practice and use smooth gestures with your arms and hands. And move around. You don’t want to trap yourself, hands gripping a podium. You’ll likely be using a PowerPoint on a screen or a whiteboard, so practice pointing to each portion as you calmly explain what each point means.
  4. Successful presenters rehearse many times and are prepared. Arrive at the presentation site at least one hour prior to the start. Set everything and do a few run-throughs in front of empty chairs. Once again, repetition breeds success.

Whiteboard Dry Erase SuppliesFinally, remember it’s normal to be nervous. It’s how you handle it. Tell your audience you feel a little nervous because they’ll understand. They’ll probably laugh if you make a little joke about it. “I practiced this presentation in front of my 2 year old daughter 25 times so I wouldn’t be nervous, but I don’t think she got it.” You’ll laugh, the audience will laugh, and the presentation will go very well.

“I think it’s healthy for a person to be nervous. It means you care – that you work hard and want to give a great performance. You just have to channel that nervous energy into the show.” Beyonce Knowles

Everything you need for a whiteboard presentation is available at www.godryerase.com including our most popular product, Whiteboard In A Box.

Whiteboards as Art Mediums

We are pleased to serve people involved in many different industries and pursuits, including businesses and educational institutions. Our customers use Whiteboard In A Box, our markers, erasers, and other supplies to teach, organize, display presentations, and sometimes just to express themselves!

Our motto since the beginning in 2003 has been “Unleash Your Creativity” and we were thrilled to learn about an artist, Brandon Doak, at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. He is creating masterpieces on dry erase boards!

From the News Tribune: For more than a year, the 20-year-old from Vancouver, Washington, has been painstakingly mastering his craft on whiteboards around campus. Using the tip of dry erase markers, he creates patterns of dots to form his interpretations of landscapes, movie posters, album covers and superheroes.

You may not believe some of his work could actually be created on a dry erase board, but they were:

Read more about Brandon by clicking here.

So, please continue using our products to build lists, create schedules, deliver presentations, and teach children how to solve math problems.

But every now and then take a few moments to unleash your creativity. Create some art, you might become famous!

 

How to Safely Store Your Passwords

“Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don’t let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months.”  – Clifford Stoll

How many passwords do you have? Do you keep them in your head? Do you write them down? Everyone has a different way to make up passwords and store them, but you better think about your methods because hacking is getting worse as cyber criminals devise new ways every day to get into your private accounts.

The key is organization, one of the main themes running through our product line, many of which are great for helping people stay organized. But no, you don’t want to write your passwords on a dry erase board!

Storing Passwords on Your Computer or a Flash Drive

Many people have a list on their computer with all their passwords. If that is your decision you obviously don’t want to give access to your actual computer to anyone else, but there is also the danger of hackers getting in to your computer remotely. Always make sure your virus software is running because it will usually detect any threat from out side.

Also remember that when you delete a file it goes to the recycle bin, and that should be cleared out on a regular basis.

If you store passwords on a flash drive and you plug that drive into another computer there is the possibility the passwords will wind up stored on that computer!

Online Password Storage

Many people store their passwords “in the cloud” with one of many services that promise to keep passwords secure with encrypted data systems that are very reliable, including:

1Password covers Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS, and it will set you back $5 a month or a one-time fee of $64.99.

Dashlane can remember your passwords, fill out online forms, and act as a digital wallet as well. What’s more, it’s free, though you can sign up for a premium account ($39.99/year) to get web access to your password vault and sync your login info across multiple devices. Dashlane works across Mac, Windows, all the main browsers, Android, and iOS.

Many people rely on their browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc.) to securely store their passwords and they do a nice job of that but remember, if someone has access to your computer or other device they may be able to access all your passwords.

Finally, if you’re going to write you passwords on a piece of paper, make sure that paper is safe. A fireproof lock box is not going too far. We have heard the harrowing stories of people who have lost passwords and been locked out of accounts permanently.

Finally, change your passwords at least every six months. Many people do it every time they change their clocks and that’s not a bad idea. But once again, stay organized. Changing your password and then losing it does no good. Choose a reliable platform for your private information and stick with it.

Organizing other aspects of your life is important, and we recommend our Whiteboard In A Box product because it’s so versatile. Click here to shop!

 

 

 

 

 

Dry Erase Cleaner that Really Works – and it’s Non-Toxic

Have you ever marked up a dry-erase board with tons of brilliant ideas and clever concepts when you realize it’s time to let it go. Time to erase.

Where’s the eraser? A dry paper towel? Your shirt? Some water will work with the kitchen sponge. Nope, that made a huge mess!

Let’s fix this situation now! Attitude Dry Erase Board Cleaner and DryEraseCleanerRestorer.

Removes shadow tracings, ghosting and hard to remove markings with out toxic fumes

A light mist is all it takes to remove even the oldest marks and tracings

Here are a few of the benefits:

– Safe for the classroom
– Non – toxic
– Biodgradable
– User friendly
– Non – adrasive
– Environmentally safe
– No toxic fumes
– Soy based
– Made in the USA
– Refillable spray bottle.
Clean with ATTITUDE! Dry erase board clean is concentrated, use a light mist to clean and restore your whiteboard and give it a new ATTITUDE! Tough on the job. Easy on the Earth.

Click Here to shop now for all your dry erase supplies.

College Students: Stay Organized for Maximum Success

In school, information comes at you at increasingly faster speeds. With the explosion of social media, 24-hour news cycles with seemingly relentless scientific and technological breakthroughs, entire new fields of study for you and access to more information than ever, you’ve got to be able to organize the content to filter out what you need to retain and what you can discard. To keep up with the flow of information you receive in college, you must stay organized.

staying organized in collegeOrganization is the glue that keeps our lives together. Even without realizing it, you are practicing it in a daily basis. Just think about it. As a young child you had to learn to organize the basics such as reserving your bodily functions for the washroom or putting your toys away neatly. Overtime we all had to allow our lives to be segmented into schedules. Waking up on time to go to school, doing your home work or simply setting time aside for leisure; it’s all a part of living within a society. Yes, whether you’re spontaneous and laid back or a minute miser of OCD proportions, you gotta admit, organization is vital.

One of the single largest steps towards great organization is being willing to prioritize what is important and what is not important. Tackle this step first, and getting organized will become a great deal easier.

Many people rely on their computers or mobile devices to keep track of appointments and other to-do items, and that’s great. But there is something about posting some reminders right on the wall, where you can’t miss it that works well for a lot of folks.

A dry-erase board is also a great way to write something for someone else. If you rarely see your roommate because of different schedules, a note on the wall works great!

Whiteboard-in-a-box is perfect for students, especially living in a dorm. You can stick it up on a wall and it won’t do any damage. When it’s time to move on, down it comes.

Please visit our website at http://godryerase.com/ to shop for whiteboards, markers, and other supplies. We promise fast delivery, quality products, and very reasonable prices.

To be Human is to be Creative

Whether you are a professional dog-walker, accountant, teacher, or nurse, the benefits of exploring and expanding ones creative energies is a worthy pursuit. Creativity is often a term associated with lofty and unreachable aspirations. This idea that it takes a special side of the brain and a natural-born talent to be creative garners fear. While there may be people who are naturally creative, the trait itself is innately human. People may scoff at this notion because as a society we have created a mythical ideal of creativity around chosen ones who get to have it and be praised for it. The truth is, being creative is hard. People dont like things that are hard, they tend to do things that are easy and comfortable. The idea of being creative is intimidating when the range of what this skill can bring is called to mind. The images of great masterpieces of all types of mediums flash through the minds eye, which have enriched the eyes of humanity. But, the small wonders such as, a post-it note or paperclip are just as monumental and full of beauty in their own way. Creativity demands problem-solving at a higher, more open field where ideas are allowed to be bad or nonsensical. The question is, how does one get to that open field?

How To Develop Your Innate Creativity

1.    Play Around

            To sharpen the creative sense one must choose something of interest to have fun with. There are endless options, some traditionally creativepursuits such as painting, writing, or photography are called to mind. But there are also options such as cooking, journaling, scrapbooking, playing an instrument or wood-working. The idea is to do something you always wanted to do but never felt adequate enough or had enough time to consider. It only takes a small committed increment of time everyday to dedicate.  If it feels strained to begin or the thought of the activity is draining, choose something else. Keep trying until there is an action that allows the logical side to take a back seat. Creativity wants an open mind, the activity is beside the point. As long as it is not an obligation. In Big Magic, her book about creative living, Elizabeth Gilbert says, Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.

2. Keep a Notebook

Get a small, portable notebook and start making lists. Instead of pulling out the phone while you are standing in line waiting or during any interlude when the phone comes out, take out a pen instead. The lists can be about anything; books to read, movies to see, songs you like. Or people from 5th grade, words that begin with G, favorite cars or favorite paintings. Overthinking is not useful, just list. Austin Kleon, writer of Steal Like an Artist, recommends a swipe file. This can mean taking almost anything, from images torn from magazines to quotes, and stashing them in a file. Doodle in your notebook, scribble and let the pen on paper slow down your busy phone fingers.

3. Develop and Keep a Routine (be boring)

All creatives who have reached some amount of success will give testament to some kind of routine. Back to common misconceptions that creative prowess must be struck down from some muse; all artists will speak to a daily practice. Gretchen Rubin author of the best-selling, The Happiness Project, says, Progress is reassuring and inspiriting, panic and anxiety set in when you find yourself doing nothing day after day.  Small increments build up over time into something substantial  Keeping a daily habit of your artistic pursuit will have its dividends, in more ways than one. It becomes less daunting to take the pressure off of you set a timer for 30 minutes and write, paint, journal, or make mind maps of ideas. At the end of the week, or month the collective work can be the start of something great or lead to an idea that didnt exist before.

            Being creative may not be a part of your job description but creative pursuits sharpen all of the senses that contribute to a richer life. An open mind that explores ideas, questions the world and is curious about things is a mind that will create. Playing around and giving the mind a a break from expectations usually reaps huge benefits for the imagination.