Friday, November 13, 2015

Order Labels for Holiday Shipping and Receive a Gift Card!

As the holiday season kicks into gear, everybody will be sending packages. Shipping volume sees a sharp increase in these final months of the year, with FedEx and UPS hiring thousands of seasonal workers to try to keep up. If you're putting gifts or other items on the truck this year, you'll want to have labels you can print on clearly to make sure your package ends up going in the right direction. Avery, always the choice name for labels, wants to help by offering a gift card for your purchase.

Order $75 or more of qualifying Avery products and you will qualify for a rebate netting you a $25 Pottery Barn gift card. That means that while you prepare to send presents to loved ones, you'll be able to claim something yourself! The rebates runs until the end of the year and there are more than just shipping labels eligible. You can find neon labels, labels that print all the way to the edge, and Avery's newest creation- self-laminating labels.

These print normally, but include a laminate film that applies easily and turns normal paper into a heavy-duty label. Once applied, it will resist weather, harsh conditions, and other wear and tear. Laminating ID labels are available in many sizes and compatible with any printer.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Automatically Setting Clocks Built By Not-For-Profit Chicago Lighthouse

We're all used to checking our phones for the time these days, so in many places, clocks have become as much a piece of decoration as an essential device. That's not the case everywhere, of course, as schools, factories, and other facilities still use clocks in their hallways and shop floors. You can imagine that these days, wall clock technology has improved to the point where the clocks set themselves. What you may not know is how one company is using clockmaking to train and offer jobs to people with certain disabilities.

Atomic radio controlled clocks rely on a radio signal that can reach across the continental United States. The clock receives the signal and makes daily adjustments so the time is always correct and never runs too fast or slow. All you do is pop in a battery, set the time zone and find a place that works. Since it does need to receive the signal to work, some locations with a lot of electrical equipment (like hospitals) or buildings with metal roofs may not work right (and depending on where the signal comes in, it may need to be switched to a north-south wall or an east-west wall or vice versa), but the general rule is that if you get cell phone reception in a location, the clock will work there. This is important for large facilities, as keeping clocks accurate and changing them twice a year can be a huge burden on maintenance staff. Even if a radio-controlled clock doesn't work for your location, Chicago Lighthouse does offer several clocks that are programmed to automatically go forward or back an hour when Daylight Savings Time begins and ends (which November 1, by the way).

Chicago Lighthouse is one of the leading manufacturers of radio-controlled and selfset clocks, and is a worthy company to support due to their mission. It's a not-for-profit agency that offers job training skills to people who are blind or visually impaired. All of their products are made in the US, and their line of clocks are produced by employees with disabilities and serve as a major part of their vocational service and training operations.

Friday, September 25, 2015

New NFL Team Staplers

A new football season is upon us and we now have more ways than ever to show your love for your favorite team with the items on your desk. Our newest series will not only show off your colors, but even offer a rebate that will let you get even more of your favorite NFL merchandise!

NFL Scotch Tape dispensers and Post-It Note dispensers are still around this season. The Scotch Tape dispenser takes the form of your team's football helmet while the Post-It dispenser puts the logo on a teed football. Get these products while they're still available!

Our newest NFL product is a Swingline stapler featuring team colors, logo and name. These are the popular metal Swingline 747 model, decorated in NFL glory. Only about half of the teams are available at this time, but more popular teams like the Steelers, Cowboys and Packers are in stock.

Even better, the NFL staplers are part of a larger rebate with Acco Brands! These, along with other great items like Quartet dry-erase boards, At-A-Glance planners and GBC presentation materials, are eligible for a rebate that will get you a gift card for You could earn up to a $100 gift card, so check out all the details here. The rebate runs through the end of the year.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Get a Free Glass Marker Board By Buying A Swingline Shredder

The importance of having a paper shredder handy at your desk can't be understated. Privacy laws require certain companies to destroy sensitive information. Even when it isn't a legal issue, the risk of identity theft and corporate espionage means slicing up old credit cards and personal data offers peace of mind. Many offices don't have enough shredders to go around or overwork the shredders that are present. More shredders to accommodate more desks or departments are always a good idea, and now there's a way to get something to else to help the office- a free glass marker board!

Acco Brands is running a promotion in September and October where purchases of a qualifying Swingline shredder are eligible for a rebate for a Quartet glass marker board. Shredders that qualify range from small office use to heavy-duty Stack-and-Shred units that can accommodate entire departments, shredding entire reams of paper on their own while you go back to work.

Glass marker boards are some of the trendiest office products around. They're stylish and aren't as susceptible to ghosting the way melamine boards are. Put up marker boards to promote collaboration among employees or replace outdated or worn out boards in your conference room. The better the shredder purchased, the bigger the marker board you'll get!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Finding the Right Privacy Filter Just Got Easier

Work happens everywhere nowadays. We're not just getting things done on a desktop computer in the privacy of our own offices. We're in open office environments with nosy co-workers walking by. We're on laptops in coffeehouses, parks, or trains. We're on smartphones and tablets pretty much everywhere. What we do on these devices is still as personal and sensitive as it has always been, maybe moreso with the rise in corporate and identity theft. At the same time, it's increasingly likely that the wrong people will be able to see what we have on our screens.

Privacy filters have been around for a while and the technology hasn't changed much. They've been simplified and streamlined down to fit LCD monitors, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, but it's still the same concept. The filter keeps the screen clear to someone directly in front of it, but anyone at an angle only sees black.

They're available for screens of all sizes, no matter how old. That leads to the biggest reservation people have when shopping for privacy filters- finding the one that fits their screen. Not everybody knows the right way to measure a screen, or factor in ratios, frames, and tabs to the equation.

First off- diagonally. Every screen from the old clunky CRT to the tiniest smartphone is measured corner-to-corner starting and ending at the part that actually emits an image. The frame doesn't count, and the horizontal/vertical measurements don't help unless you feel like applying Pythagorean theorem.

There is now a simpler way to do it. Presenting our Privacy Filter Finder!

We've worked with 3M to provide the easiest way to find the right privacy filter for your device. This will provide a listing of all compatible 3M privacy filters and screen protectors with minimal input. If you'd like, you can still enter the screen size and ratio for your LCD monitor, laptop or Chromebook. Or you can enter the model of your device (including tablets and smartphones) to instantly return all the right filters. When it's this easy, there's no reason not to ensure the safety of the information of your screen and keep it away from prying eyes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Back to School Products Now as Low as a Penny!

Doesn't it feel like summer just started? It's almost August already and it's time to start thinking about picking up school supplies. For yourself, for the family, even for the classroom. When factoring in all the notebooks, pencils and folders, it can add up to quite a lot. But smart shopping can make a dollar go far. With the prices available here, a quarter, a nickel, even a penny will go a long way!

This year's Back To School page is full of some amazing deals that cover a wide range of school essentials. Calculators are going for three dollars, notebooks are fifty cents, and a dozen pens are yours for five cents. Everything from pencils to folders to art supplies like scissors and glue are listed. Though they may be more than a dollar, check out the savings on helpful technology items like a USB drive or a graphing calculator.

We want everyone to take advantage of this deal, so quantities are restricted for each item.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

New Chemical Labels Make It Easy To Comply With New GHS Regulations

Starting this summer, new regulations regarding how companies identify hazardous chemicals are going into effect. This is an effort to make chemical labeling consistent around the world in accordance to the UN's Global Harmonization System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. This current phase applies to chemical manufacturers. Distributors must begin to comply with this new labeling system by the end of the year. By next June, any workplace that stores chemicals must give them proper labels.

These labels will need to be everywhere, and workplaces will soon be required to maintain the accuracy of these labels, or add them to other containers if a container is being transported or divided (using the ol' fire diamond is acceptable as long as the data stays consistent). As you can see, the new labels have many more required details, including the exact name of the material, identification of the hazards it poses (complete with a new set of pictograms), information on who supplied it, instructions on handling it, storing it, and what to do in case of an accident.

This new labeling standard has many implications for businesses, especially hospitals, factories, construction sites, restaurants and food production plants. Labels need to be clear, consistent, and accurate. Equally important, they need to be reliable no matter the surface or conditions. Avery is making the process easy by introducing a new series of labels specially designed to be GHS-friendly.

Avery's GHS Chemical Labels are available in several sizes and make GHS compliance easy in two ways. One is their design template software, which is pre-formatted to GHS standards. Forms ask you for information, and pictograms and safety instructions are placed automatically based on your input. GHS labels feature a high-performance adhesive and a surface that resists chemicals, scratches, water, UV rays and tearing. You won't have to worry about the labels fading away or falling off, even in rough conditions.

These GHS regulations may be cumbersome for companies, but the amount of information on the label, and its clean presentation, makes them worthwhile for workplace safety. As this standard becomes the norm around the world, it will make employees everywhere more conscious of the hazards around them and better prepared to avoid or treat any accidents involving chemical materials.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

New Sanford Products Make Writing On Difficult Surfaces Easy

As one of the leaders in writing products, Sanford's brands are often the first ones that come to mind when thinking about a specific product. Permanent marker? Sharpie. Dry erase marker? Expo. Label printers? Dymo. Their range of brands has something for every writing need. They aren't just sitting tight either, with two of their brands introducing products designed for some particularly stubborn surfaces.

Sharpie markers are plenty versatile and leave bold marks on most surfaces, but the Sharpie Extreme is here to fill in some of the gaps such as warm weather. The Extreme is designed to resist fading in the sun, with protection against ultraviolet exposure. It also adheres better to tricky surfaces such as plastic, with better adhesion that holds up longer than traditional markers.

Meanwhile, Uni-Ball is rolling out the 307, a continuation of its popular 207 line. Like its predecessors, the 307 is a smooth, reliable gel pen. What it adds to the table is a remarkable ability to dry on glossy paper. While it isn't instantaneous, it dries much faster than other gel pens we tried. Glossy paper has never been friendly to ink (including printers), so this is a big step forward.

One more Sanford update to make your life easier- Dymo is running a promotion where buying a specified number of labels can net you a free printer. This is great for expanding printing operations, registration tables or other places where Dymo printers come in handy.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Stock Up On Safety Essentials During National Safety Month

June is National Safety Month, aimed at promoting accident prevention and precaution at work, at home, or on the road. This month, we're encouraging everybody to look around and identify potential accidents and either find ways to reduce the risk, or have a set plan of action and the tools necessary to handle mishaps that do arise.

There are several deals this month to save some money while investing in safety. 3M is promoting several products for National Safety Month that are necessary for facilities, factories or other workplaces with potential hazards. Consider hard hats for head protection, safety glasses and plugs for the eyes and ears, and particle respirator masks that filter out dust and other dangerous particles that could cause breathing problems. Some special items include corded ear plugs that are less likely to be lost when removed, and glasses with built-in LED lights that will illuminate dark places while shielding your eyes.

Physicians Care is another brand riding the National Safety Month wagon (safely seated and belted in, of course). Check out this page to find many products designed to help keep you, your household and your office in good condition. This includes first aid kits (along with refill packs), small pre-stocked first aid cabinets, packets of over-the-counter medicines, and disaster preparedness kits that include a blanket, a flashlight, and other emergency essentials.

That's not all that's available for safety supplies. Check out our full range of safety equipment and gear, products that include smoke detectors, protective gloves and caution signs.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Buy American, Win a National Parks Trip (Plus Free Ice Cream!)

Buying products made in America should be reward enough. It demonstrates a commitment to companies that keep their manufacturing jobs in the country. From now through the end of July, however, you can also get free ice cream. And at the end of the day, what's more important?

Acco Brands are putting their American-made products front and center, offering a rebate for a Dairy Queen gift card that's worth up to 10 percent of the original purchase! The brands cover a lot of ground, so there are many products to choose from- Quartet whiteboards, Wilson Jones binders, Cambridge planners, Acco paper clips, and Five Star and Mead wirebound notebooks. See their rebate page for full details.

That's not all, because Acco has a Facebook page where you can enter for a chance to win a $2500 Backroads gift card to use towards a trip to a national park. First prize in the drawing is a $500 gift card for some fine Omaha Steaks for your next grillout.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Post-It Notes Bring An Office To Life

We've always been big fans of using office supplies for art materials (or as the canvas itself). We're also fans of taking steps to make an office your own. Some people do this with expressive desktop items like staplers or tape dispensers. Some equip their workstations with stylish organizers instead of drab plastic. Some use Post-It Notes. Eight thousand Post-It Notes.

Over one weekend and with the help of 8,024 Post-Its, a San Francisco designer gave his office a complete makeover, turning boring walls into murals of his and his team's favorite superheroes.

It's worth pointing out that this project uses the Super Sticky notes, which has almost the entire back covered in adhesive rather than a small strip. That's necessary for keeping the notes in place, and recommended for anything where the Post-Its are meant to have a mostly permanent home.

The designer also emphasizes pulling the sheets from the pad so that they don't curl, as that reduces their ability to stick long term. Sage advice with any adhesive products that should be applied to labels as well.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Has The Toilet Paper Roll Debate Been Solved?

A while ago we stuck our noses into the debate between whether restrooms should have paper towel dispensers or air dryers (verdict in favor of towel dispensers). At the time, we mentioned the eternal debate over the proper way to position a roll of toilet paper. There hadn't been much reason to butt into this argument, as it's clearly a matter of personal preference. What sort of empirical evidence could exist that gives more credence to one side over another?

That is the 1891 patent for the toilet paper roll, clearly showing that the original inventor of the product is the founding member of Team Over. Side note- 1891?! The telephone was patented before that! Ponder the implications.

So after a coup like that, all that's left for Team Under is to concede defeat and resignedly switch their rolls over, right? Somehow we don't see that happening. Even as the debate is settled, personal preference will still win out, no matter how wrong one side is. That or Team Under refugees will all gravitate towards center-pull dispensers.

As of press time, there is no word on whether the patent addressed the problem of cats, or if special dispensation is granted to allow cat owners to continue going under.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Emergency Charger For Your Phone... And Your Car

Nobody can get anything done with a powerless mobile phone. If the battery dies, so does your productivity. Thankfully, power banks and portable battery packs are now available, offering a way to take a few extra hours of life with you wherever you go.

These battery packs are potential life-savers. Smartphones aren't always able to get through the entire day without a recharge, especially if you do a lot of work away from your computer. So it's easy to see the benefit of carrying spare power around. There is another place where extra battery power can make the difference between a productive day and disaster- your car. It doesn't happen as often, but the effects of a dead car battery are expotentially devastating.

Without an auto service or the combination of a helpful friend with jumper cables and the knowhow to use them, you're stuck. Now imagine if supplying your car with emergency power was as easy as charging your phone.

That's right, Weego now has battery packs that charge both electronic devices and engines! Not only your car or truck, but also your boat, motorcycle or ATV as well. All three of the Jump Starter models will recharge phones, laptops and tablets, but depending on the engine of the vehicle you want to keep charged, you may need to upgrade beyond the standard pack. This comparison chart will help you determine whether you need the standard, heavy duty or professional pack.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Get Free Stuff From Acco and Enter To Win a Trip to Florida!

Acco products cover a wide range of office needs, representing major brands like Swingline, Quartet and At-A-Glance. Acco also wants to give you free stuff, possibly even a free trip!

Let's start with the free gifts. For qualifying purchases of $125, you can get a rebate for a free red Swingline stapler. For $250, it's a 24” x 18” glass marker board. For $500, you can get a free Stack-and-Shred Shredder. So what qualifies? There are plenty of products to choose from. You can order any combination of these Quartet boards, Wilson Jones binders, At-A-Glance planners, Cambridge notebooks, or Swingline staplers, hole punches or shredders.

Acco is also giving away a trip for two to Fort Myers Beach, Florida! To enter, all you need to do is go to their Facebook page and upload a photo or video showing how you get your work done using Acco products. Add a caption, fill out the information and you're in! The best entry gets to spend three nights relaxing on the beach. You've got until April 15 to enter the contests or take advantage of the free gifts.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Taking Post-It Notes Digital with the Post-It Plus App

Post-It Notes have been easy, versatile means of communication for decades. Their small size makes it easy to have some handy, and when they are it allows you to put down your thoughts instantly before they leave your head. Add in the ability to position them anywhere and the bright colors and these thoughts can be transmitted to yourself or anybody who needs to see them. They're sort of a primitive, short-range prototype of Twitter when you think about it.

As a collaborative tool, Post-It Notes have incredible value. Imagine brainstorming sessions where every suggestion is written on a Post-It. Imagine a single note representing an individual idea that can be organized with other ideas until a full plan starts to take shape. The applications would be endless if not for one problem: at the end of the day, all these ideas are still stuck on one wall. Nobody outside the room can play with them and nobody can take them with when they go. It's a limitation of putting things on paper. At least it was...

The Post-It Plus App does more than capture pictures of Post-Its. Any camera will do that, but any camera wouldn't be able to identify what parts of the picture are 3x3 Post-Its, much less realize that the text on them is what's important. The free app does this. Take a wall following a productive, albeit slightly scatterbrained, brainstorming session that might include some actionable items.

Standard iPad Camera Photo

Send a picture of it and people scratch their heads. But one snap of the app returns this:
Same Scan with Post-It Plus App

Clean, enhanced images of all of the Post-Its, which can then be manipulated and grouped.
Post-Its Arranged and Categorized

These can be shared and exported to other formats, allowing access to everybody that needs it. This app is currently available for the iPad and iPhone, and Android support is expected in a couple months.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Writing On The Wall To Improve Efficiency and Promote Collaboration

Outside of technology, two of the most significant innovations to hit the office in the last half-century might have been the Post-It Note and the dry erase marker board. This is evident in the way both have endured through, and integrated with, the wave of technology in the modern office. For all of the e-mail, instant messaging, and remote conferencing that happens, every desk still has a stack of Post-Its and every conference room either has a whiteboard or seriously needs one.

Truth is, whiteboards are useful anywhere. Thanks to Post-It's new Dry Erase Surface, now they can actually be anywhere. On one side is a removable adhesive that can be applied to many surfaces. On the other is a quality dry erase surface that resists ghosting better than a standard melamine board. This allows companies to put the sheet anywhere they want, horizontally or vertically. A wall can become a whiteboard, a table can become a whiteboard... an old chalkboard can become a new whiteboard!

Since the sheets can be cut to any size, the applications here are endless. Factories and warehouses can use them anywhere for communication and direction. Conference rooms can be outfitted with new dry erase surfaces or have their old ones repurposed. The most exciting prospect is collaborative flexibility. Collaboration happens everywhere at the office; minds do not always meet in meeting rooms. Whether at a desk, a set of cubicles or just the hallway, two or more people can start hammering out ideas anywhere. Having more whiteboard space available in such locations allows employees to write their ideas down, work off each other and come up with solutions and breakthroughs more easily.

Take a look at the linked videos and see how the Post-It Surface can help your company.