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The Anatomy of a Paper Jam

What exactly makes a paper jam happen? When you use your shredder, you may wonder why paper jams suddenly occur when everything appears to be working properly. Paper jams are essentially blockages to the shredder cutters and are not at all random. In fact, you probably sense as you are feeding paper into the shredder when you about to experience a paper jam and just hope that it doesn’t happen. Along with having a shredder with jam prevention technology,  a better understanding of how paper jams occur can also help you avoid them. Paper jams are classified in three ways: mis-feeds, overfeeds and fast feeds.



Inserting paper that is folded, creased or wrinkled can also cause a paper jam. Mis-feeds usually happen when stacks of paper become jostled when shredding and end up being drawn into the shredder at an awkward angle. You may even see a misfeed happening, which by that time is too late. A shredder with the best jam prevention can power through mis-feeds so this mistake doesn’t become a bigger problem.


Too much paper fed into a shredder at one time can cause a paper jam. Knowing how many sheets your machine can handle, or sheet capacity, can help prevent jamming. Also, having a shredder equipped with a jam proof system or with jam blocker can manage an overfeed electronically by sensing  when too much paper has been fed. A jam proof system can then pause the machine and reverse out the feed so the excess paper can be removed.

Fast feeds

Fast feeds are caused when a stack of paper is feed into the  machine before the shredder has finished shredding the previous stack. Shredders that can detect fast feeds can pause the shredder, allowing you to remove the excess paper before your fast feed turns into a paper jam.


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Home Office Makeovers Made Easy

Is it Time for a Home Office Makeover?


Working at home can lead to the dilemma of “getting used” to your surroundings. You may not realize how issues of comfort , lighting, noise and organization are affecting your performance.  Much like reading in dim light, you don’t realize how much easier it is to read the page until someone flings back the curtains.


Making your home office comfortable may seem like a no-brainer, but we are far too likely to compromise and adapt to uncomfortable chairs and awkward work spaces.  Make sure your chair fits you and not the other way around, and  take the time to notice if back pain or leg pain are becoming too common. Choosing the proper foot and back support for home office work stations can help. If you work at a laptop, setting it at the proper angle can prevent strain in wrists and hands. Even excessive use of your tablet can cause strain on your wrists. Use wrist and keyboard supports if you are working long term at the computer.   Use document holders so you are  not peering down at papers on your desk while typing.


Poor lighting can cause you adapt by squinting. Lots of sunshine may seem like a good thing, except that it may be causing screen glare on your computer without you realizing it. Make sure  you have adequate lighting for both day and night work.  Also, be aware of your environment throughout the day  to see if the change in natural light is not going from gorgeous to glaring.

Noise Issues

Keeping a quiet work area can be difficult at home, especially with kids home for summer.  Making quiet time rules during your work hours helps you not only get work done in peace but also helps structure your time with the kids.


Staying organized can sometimes be harder at home where expectations of organization are not as strict as in an office setting. Ensure your files and desktop don’t degrade into clutter. Take time at the end of each work day to evaluate your clutter ratio and fix it then and there before it gets worse.

Breathing Room

Comfort sometimes can be invisible. Like the air in your home office. Make sure you are not situated under a vent circulating dusty air in an enclosed space.  This is especially important if you suffer from allergies. Change your air filters and use air purifiers if necessary so you are not contributing to a sick office at home.

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Choosing the Right Binding

Your Choice in Binding Can Make a Difference

 What binding to use for your presentation, scrapbook, book report  or any other binding project may seem like an arbitrary choice. But different bindings have different advantages, depending on your needs.


Coil binding

The traditional coil or spiral binding is perfect if your bound document needs the flexibility to be opened 360 degrees. Use coil for creating directories, presentations or sales reports or any situation where you need the bound document to up take minimal desk space when opened.  Also, because your document can be opened fully, it prevents any information printed near the binding from getting lost . Coil binding is also great for creating custom cookbooks (takes up for little countertop space while following a recipe)

Comb binding

Comb binding provides the most economical binding method for the money. You can choose between metal and plastic combs. The biggest advantage of comb bound documents is the ability to edit the document after it has been bound. Pages can be added or removed easily with comb binding for last minute changes to sales proposals and book reports.


Wire Binding Machine

Thermal Binding

Thermal binding delivers the most impressive look for presentations. Perfect or book bound documents are essential for annual reports, corporate overviews and any other situation where presentation matters most.

Your Custom Journal Binding Machine

Thermal Binding Machine

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Small Business & Identity Theft

It seems reasonable to assume that large companies with mountains of customer data  in their possession are the most likely targets for identity theft.  However, new research reveals identity thieves tend to target small businesses more often because their security defenses are weaker and access to information is easier to obtain.

In a recent survey by the Ponemon Institute,  55% of small businesses polled experienced at least one breach of their private records. Thirty-three percent of that 55% did not notify victims that their personal data had been exposed.

The Risks of Outsourcing

At least 85%  of small businesses polled shared customer  and employee records with third party services. Most of the small businesses surveyed also believed this to be the most “at risk” information when it came to identity theft.  Though outsourcing may be essential for many business functions, maintaining as many in-house services as possible can help minimize the risk to customer identity theft.

Shredding and Small Business

Shredders for small office use meet the shredding frequency and run time expectations of small business.  If your business has greater shredding needs, commerical shredders can meet those demands with longer run times and larger capacity bins.

Use the shredder selector to find a shredder that meets your small business needs.


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Cubicle Cleanliness: Impact on Impressions and Well-Being

How Clean Is Your Cube, and Your Image?

A clean cubicle is certainly healthier and can lead to greater productivity, but did you know it can also improve your image at work?

Research by the staffing firm Adecco found  that nearly 60 percent of U.S employees judged co-workers on how clean or dirty they keep their work space. More than 40 percent have judged their colleagues more negatively if their workspace is messy, while 45 percent have looked at them in a more positive light if their personal area is tidy.  Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed agree employees are most productive when their desk is clean.


Taking a few minutes each week to ensure that your workspace is tidy can improve your spirit and your image around the office. Creating a place for everything also prevents clutter and loss productivity due to misplaced items.

Cleaner Office Products


Aside from an increased feeling of well-being, you may also be a lot healthier if you clean up your desk.

Researchers who took swabs from office equipment in New York, San Francisco and Tucson found more than 500 types of bacteria, most of which normally live on our skin or in our nasal, oral and intestinal cavities. Chairs and phones accumulated the most bacteria, followed by desktops, keyboards and computer mice.

Along with sanitary wipes and hand sanitizer, using office products with Microban antimicrobial protection can be another level of defense in keeping the products you use every day much cleaner.



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Tax Time Solutions for Tax Preparers and Do-It Yourselfers

Tax pros and amateurs face some of the same barriers: handling confidential documents and staying organized throughout the whole taxing process. There are some solutions to make the process easy and safe.

Tax Pros

Even though many returns are submitted electronically, paper documents still play a role in the tax office. Paper based ID theft breaches for the first half of 2012 accounted for nearly 15% of known breaches. As you handle scores of tax returns with social security numbers and bank account numbers, having a consistently performing shredder available ensures the ID security of your clients.  In addition, a commerical paper shredder that is visible  to your clients and in use while you are preparing their taxes gives them a higher level of trust and confidence in you and the practice you run.

Do It Yourselfers

Tax time may also be a purging period of old returns–something id thieves are fully aware of. You make feel your current return is perfectly safe because you filed electronically, but those old returns carry the same confidential information that can fall into the wrong hands when you are disposing of them. A reliable household shredder can make cleaning out your tax records a lot easier. If you do a lot of shredding in your home office, consider a home office shredder for longer run times and shred capacities.

Tax Pros

Helping your clients get their documents done may not be the only way you can help. Consider offering them methods for long-term tax organization. Suggest a Tax Organization Kit.  It can help your clients keep records clearly organized throughout the year for easier processing during tax time–making their life and your job a lot easier.

Do it Yourselfers

Sometimes the worst part of the tax process if you do it yourself is remembering where you put this form or that receipt from eight months ago. A tax organization kit with flip top boxes and color coded reference labels can really help staying organized throughout the year. Without guidance from a tax professional, do- it-yourself organizational help can reduce the stress of the tax time process.

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Hot Desking: The Wave of the Future, or Just a Positive Spin on Downsizing

Hot desking essentially means creating one central office workstation for multiple employees, or in some cases an open plan office-no cubes or private closed door offices; instead a  cluster of communal workstations becomes the hub. This kind of an arrangement works well with alternating shifts and limited office space. Hot-desking also saves money by minimizing the work footprint and maximizing the output of a few workstations.

For entrepreneurs and many startups, hot-desking is the future of office work. Creating a hot desk location helps many small business owners get their businesses up and running when there are limited funds for office space and when operating costs need to stay low. If they have employees, they distribute the workload between home office, mobile technology and hot desk locations.

For any hot desk, the needs are simple:

  1. Maintain office supplies at the workstation and keep it organized.
  2. Make sure the station is comfortable for everyone who needs to use it. That means including well-being and ergonomic features that are adjustable and flexible to fit the needs of multiple computer users on a single computer.
  3.  Aside from a PC, copier, fax and printer, equip the hot desk workstation with other essential business machines including a shredder, binding machine for presentations, and a laminator.

As exciting as hot desking may seem for some, others see the trend as nothing more than an opportunity to downsize the office environment: limiting the comfort of the workplace, while expecting the same productivity.  Though there are no hard numbers on the trend, there are consistent complaints. The “odd couple” syndrome is by far the most common: a highly organized, very tidy individual sharing a desk with the complete opposite. For those situations, good management skills come in handy, matching the right workers at the same workstations.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hot Desking

What’s Good                                                                  

1. Saves money                                                             

2. Better work/life balance                                       

3. More interactive work environment               

What’s Not So Good

1. Nothing personal about your workspace

2. No sense of permanence

3. One workstation+ multiple workers=lots of germs

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Bound for Success: A Post-New Year’s Resolution Journal

If you haven’t already, you may soon-that is, breaking your New Year’s resolution. The typical resolution lasts roughly one to two months, leading to 60% in unused annual gym memberships. The reason for this phenomenon is that very few people can change their habits overnight. That doesn’t mean change is impossible. Taking small steps with realistic goals is attainable with a conscious, regulated modification of behavior.

A Bound Resolution Journal Records Gradual Change

Creating a resolution journal helps you be aware of gradual change. Record daily successes. Reinforce positive emotions that come with maintaining success, and if you slip, don’t beat yourself up. Forgive yourself and record in your journal how you will get back on track the following day.

Customizing Your Journal

The advantage of creating a customized journal you bind yourself, is that you can add personal comments that work specifically for you. Having a “Slip-Ups” Section on every page of your journal reminds you when you didn’t have any slip-ups, and compels you to record what feelings or events caused you to fall back on bad habits when you do.

Your Custom Journal Binding Machine

Your Custom Journal Binding Machine

A Rewards Page

Only with a customized bound journal can you create a rewards page for yourself. Every 14th page of your journal (every two weeks) you don’t have to record an entry. It’s a day-off to reward yourself for your long-term success. Of course, the reward shouldn’t relate to the habits you are trying to break, rather an alternative, healthy choice that helps remind you it’s not all about sacrifice.

Whether it’s weight loss or the desire to quit smoking, change shouldn’t come once a year. Your everyday resolution journal takes the pressure from overnight change and helps you gradually and effectively make improvements in your life.

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Santa’s Workshop Increases Productivity for 2012 Holiday

 As the Christmas season grows more demanding each year, Santa’s Workshop strives to continually improve efficiency and productivity. New products have been introduced to minimize fatigue and injury in the workshop, as well as streamline the operation overall.

 Elves suffer from ailments and lost productivity associated with long hours spent at a computer workstation.


“With a lot of toys, comes a lot of data,” says Santa. “All that information has to be processed.”  In the administrative offices of the workshop, elves complained of back and wrist pain, and neck strain, leading to lost productivity and days out of the workshop recovering.  Santa implemented company-wide back supports for all admin elves along with keyboard managers to reduce incidents of wrist pain.  New monitor risers put screens at the proper height to prevent neck strain.

 Archiving Past Holidays-Storing Records On-Site at North Pole


As a global one-night only distributor, Santa found reviewing past performance crucial for future productivity. Storing all past archives off-site lead to long delays in records retrieval, “especially when you are headquartered at the North Pole,” indicates Santa. “It got to the point where we were just stuffing records in stockings and toy chests. That’s no good.” Converting to on-site archiving reduced costs and made records readily available for review.

Naughty List Record Destruction


Santa’s Naughty & Nice spreadsheet is an ever-changing dynamic.  “Those who were once naughty and now are nice don’t deserve that bad record following them around.” Santa explains.  “We keep cross-cut shredders at every list review station for maximum identity theft protection. They are jam proof, so time is not lost dealing with paper jams, which increases productivity.”

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Holiday Gifts for the Home Office

Completing that perfect home office can mean finding the one thing that you really need, but never got around to buying.  Add these home office perks to your holiday wish list, or consider someone who needs that one office item they have been talking about buying for months.

Fundamental Identity Theft Protection

From unwanted credit card applications to old tax returns, your identity on paper is vulnerable to theft and fraud. Keeping a shredder in your home office is one of the simplest measures you can take for ID theft prevention.

The 79Ci cross-cut shredder features the 100% Jam Proof System to eliminate paper jams and power through tough jobs. The SilentShred feature ensures quiet performance. Especially important for the home office where kids and pets are present, SafeSense shuts down the shredder when hands touch the paper opening, preventing accidents and injury.

Must Have for Home & School Projects

Many times the home office becomes the place to finish projects for the classroom. When kids need help, usually its where you keep the computer and office supplies that they end up heading. To create great projects for class, a Cosmic 2 laminator comes in handy.  Laminating creates an impressive and protected finish for maps, artwork and dry erase diagrams.

There is even an idea center where you can download free templates for lamianting projects for home, school and office uses.

The Gift of Comfort

Even in the home office, long hours at the computer can lead to pains and aches. For those suffering in the home office chair, comfort gifts such as a climate control footrest can keep feet toasty warm or cool during the summertime. The footrest also  adjusts as needed to keep feet comfortably elevated. This unique gift will be appreciated long after the holidays!


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