Three Durable Phone Case Solutions Designed for Tradesmen

phone cases for contractors

Choosing phone cases is usually based on your device first, color second. But when you work in industries like plumbers, electricians and construction workers do, protecting your phone is essential. Specially designed BodyGlove phone cases are perfectly suited for durability, as well as providing color choices and device compatibility that any tradesmen needs from the ideal phone case.

Taking into consideration, the rough environment of construction sites, BodyGlove created a line of impact resistant phone cases. The ShockSuit, phone cases ToughSuit, phone cases and the specially designed waterproof  Optrix phone case deliver ultimate protection for a contractor’s phone in three different shock-absorbing models.

The ShockSuit design provides three times the protection of the average cell phone case. The gel material absorbs the impact of everyday drops and bumps for roofers and workers on ladders. Constructed of 3 layers, a built-in screen protector, and covered buttons and ports, this phone case meets military drop test standards.

The ToughSuit is equipped with a hard polycarbonate shell that snaps around the device and provides an additional gel layer for a combination of hard and soft protection that keeps your phone intact. Ideal when your phone comes into contact with heavy equipment. Keep your device secure and easy to access with the included holster, which clips onto belts.

Choose the Optrix  for iPhone for when you are working in the rain or drop your smartphone in a flooding basement. The ideal phone case for plumbers or sanitation crews cleaning up after a flood. Even submerged to 33 feet your iPhone is safe. Also your iPhone is fully protected from impact. Optrix features ultra-rugged iPhone housings including polycarbonate Unibody technology which is vastly stronger than plastic “clam-shell” style cases, providing complete protection against drops, bumps, scratches, rain, snow, dust, dirt, sand and more.

Learn more about waterproof capabilities of the Optrix: Protecting Your Phone from Water

Three Easy Steps to Year End Records Organization

bankers box year end organizing

As the new year approaches, tax time may be the only thing on your mind, but taking the chance to reorganize can help you feel more in control and ready to take on your taxes. Here are three steps  you can take to get yourself organized and ready for 2017.

Review the complete line of year end storage solutions: Storage Boxes for Year End Organization

Purge

Files becomes disorganized mostly because we are afraid to throw things away. To make this step easier, make two piles-definitely throw away and maybe throw away. Any files 7 years or older can be thrown. If you are not sure about a particular document, keep it in the maybe file for now.

Restructure

The structure of any file system is not set in stone. We all have special areas of our business that need files and no set template is going to be completely satisfactory. After the purging stage, your current filing structure may be just fine. However if you do need to rethink your system here are some questions to ask yourself:

 Are Current File Categories Growing too Big?

For example you may have started a file entitled employees, only to find that current employees and past employee records were making the file too massive. Breaking down a single category into sub files can take the burden out of one file.

The same question can be asked in reverse. Are there some sub-category files that you thought would grow, but may only contain a few documents. You may want to merge this file with another smaller category to keep things  from getting too complex.

Remember that maybe throw file? Go through it now to reconsider the documents you may want to keep. In light of a new file structure, some might get filed in new categories or simply tossed once see with more organized insight.

Archive

Finally, it’s time to archive your files from around two years ago. Clearly label your boxes or drawers with the date.  Leave out last year’s documents to get ready for tax time. You will feel a sense of relief knowing you are not only ahead of the tax season, but also completely organized before the first Christmas party invitation.

 

Organizing for Empty Nesters

 

organizing for empty nesters

If the last of your kids has gone off to college, the silence that you so longed for now seems deafening.  But this is just a shift in your household flow. Now, rather than focusing on a high school student’s needs, you can focus on your own. To help make this shift easy, you need to get organized. Start Here to Create Your Keepsake Box and Your To-Do Box: Boxes for Empty Nesters

Create a Keepsake Box

Fill a box with everything that you want to keep from your child’s growth through graduation. Childhood drawings, favorite toys and diplomas can go in this box. Label it and put it away for now. This will help you make the transition away from feelings of sadness. Your child has made the transition to a new life; it’s time you do the same.

Create a To-Do Box

This box is not one you will not put away. In this box you can put objects that represent what you want to do in your new stage of life. Fill it with objects of aspiration. Sure you could make lists in notebooks, but having a physical object in a box takes up space and reminds you everyday of where you want to go, want you want to do.

  • Travel: find objects that will always remind you of the destination you want to visit.
  • Hobbies: starting a hobby that you never had time for can finally happen with objects in your To-Do box that stimulate your inspiration for gardening or writing
  • People you want to visit. We make lots of visits to family and friends throughout our life, but many times they are uninspired. Think of the people you want to spend some quality time with now that you have the time. Fill your To-Do Box with reminders from photo albums or personal mementos that will get you going!

 

 

Organizing a Christmas Scrapbook

holiday scrapbooking

A scrapbook made with a binding machine is a fun way to remember the holiday season creatively. You can make a new scrapbook each year and store them away as keepsakes when the kids get older.  Print all the photos you take at Christmas-time and set them aside along with other mementos such as greeting cards and even the holiday crafts the kids make in school. Tell a story with your scrapbook, designating sections of your memory book with different events throughout the holiday.

Christmas Decorating

Take photos while you decorate the inside and outside of the house. Get snapshots while picking out your Christmas tree and decorating it. Also, after Christmas, rather than putting away those  homemade ornaments the kids hung on the tree, glue them into the decorating section of your scrapbook as a lasting memory.

Holiday Parties

Whether you host Christmas dinner or invite the neighbors to an informal get-together, photos of the festivities make for laughs years later. Also include party invites and even a guest list of signatures to create an impressive artifact of the event.  These items, along with recipes you served up,  create a collage that will stir fond memories when you turn to these pages in the future.

Snow Fun

Though some Christmas seasons may be a little light on snowfall, that one white Christmas makes an inviting section of your scrapbook. Snap photos of the kids building a snowman, everyone having a snowball fight in the park or the kids sledding. Don’t forget photos of those snow angels in the yard.

Opening Presents On Christmas Day

Set aside a section when the kids dig into their gifts on Christmas morning, snapping shots of piles of wrapping paper on the floor and photos of all the gifts everyone received. Include gift tags and scraps of gift paper on the pages of this section as well.

Assembling Your Scrapbook

After the busyness of the holidays has come to a close you can settle down with all the items you have collected. Select different colored papers for each section of the book and begin gluing the photos in each section. Use glitter and other notions for page décor. Give titles to each page and cut out stenciled letters to give each page charm. When you have all of your pages completed, use your binding machine to punch holes in the organized scrapbook pages. Then bind the pages. Your holiday scrapbook is complete!

For tips on binding, refer to this helpful video:

Holiday Home Office Buying Guide: Four Unique Gifts

For those on your gift list who take their home office seriously, here are some great ideas to provide comfort and productivity.

Home office

Upgrade to an Automatic Shredder

automatic shredder for home office

Enhance productivity in the home office by automating  everyday shredding needs. The AutoMax 200C Auto Feed Shredder gives that special someone on your gift list  versatile shredding performance with 200 sheet automatic shredding and 10 sheet manual shredding. The AccuFeed Technology lets them shred hands free with a 12 minute run time. They can also shred paper clips, staples, credit cards and junk mail. A great gift for anyone who needs a better shredder.

Add Professionalism and Save Money with Personal Laminating

versatile home office laminator

End the days of expensive laminated projects at the local office center. The Saturn 3i 125 Laminator is a simple DIY laminating machine that makes durable handouts, laminated business cards and dry erase charts that bring productivity to the home office for less money. This home office laminator is the ideal gift for someone who needs occasional laminating projects and also needs to save money for their home business. The Saturn 3i 125 provides rapid one minute warm-up and  a 12/1/2″ entry for versatile document size, as well as a supply kit to get them started.

 

Improve the Air of the Home Office

home-office-air-purifier

With the winter months, the home office can get stuffy and with cold and flu season, germs circulate throughout the heating system. Time spent in the home office can make anyone sick, even when they try to sanitize surfaces and wash hands. After all, cold and flu germs linger in the air for a long time, making a home office air purifier a thoughtful gift. The AeraMax DX95 Air Purifier provides hospital type filtration, effectively cleaning the air in large rooms 300-600 square feet. Also the AeraSmart™ Sensor monitors the air quality and automatically adjusts the fan speed to keep air purified all the time. Look for the certified asthma and allergy friendly™ by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America stamp of approval if someone on your Christmas list needs extra protection from allergies and asthma.

 

Toast Toes in a Chilly Home Office

8030901_climatecontrol-footrest

 

Sometimes a home office can be too warm or too cold, or both depending on the weather. If you have someone on your Christmas list with complaints of cold feet, this Climate Control Footrest will be deeply appreciated. This comfy footrest fits easily under the desk and features three temperature settings: cool fan, low heat, and high heat-so it also works great on sultry summer afternoons. The fan lets you adjust workspace airflow to suit your preference and the auto-off feature prevents overheating. They will also enjoy the surface massage bumps to help soothe their feet while they work.

AeraMax Professional Air Purifier Wins Editor’s Choice Award at Rooms to Restaurants Show

hotel air purifier

The new AeraMax Professional AM II won the 2016 Editor’s Choice Awards for Best New Product in the Technology category while at the Hotel Experience Rooms to Restaurants show. Judged by editors of leading hospitality magazines, the Editor’s Choice Awards single out notable products and achievements that serve the hospitality industry, and awarded the AM II for its innovations in air purification.

The AM II was introduced earlier this year as a complement to the other commercial air purifiers in the AeraMax Professional line. Ideal for spaces up to 300 square feet, the AM II employs the same hospital-type filtration found in the larger commercial units. The AM II was specifically designed to address indoor air quality issues in commercial spaces such as restrooms and waiting areas, small offices and medical examining rooms. For the hospitality industry, the AM II’s slim, compact design fits air purification needs for hotel and motel rooms and business and fitness areas where the constant influx of guests can contribute to poor indoor air quality.

Learn more about the AeraMax Professional AM II

See how the hospitality industry is applying air purification in this article in Lodging Magazine:Industry article

AeraMax Professional is manufactured by Fellowes Brands.  For more information visit: http://aeramaxpro.com/

Fellowes Launches GIVE Mission to Dominican Republic with Opportunity International

The U.S. Fellowes team of Jim Lewis, Jenny Schenck, DeAnna Krejci, Jim Absolon, and Juan Aguinaga visited Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where they joined Opportunity International for the week visiting schools and communities afflicted with poverty, but who are also being given opportunities for a brighter future through Microfinance, Educational, and Agricultural initiatives.  Follow their journey on their  Blog

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SONY DSC

 

More About Opportunity International

Opportunity International is working to end global poverty by creating/sustaining 20 million jobs by 2020. We believe that enabling individuals to create dignified and sustainable work is the foundation for transforming their lives, their children’s futures and their communities.

Opportunity International was founded in 1971 by two visionary leaders who were inspired to take action by their experiences with people living in extreme poverty.

Al Whittaker, former president of Bristol Myers International Corporation in the U.S., and Australian entrepreneur David Bussau sought a solution that would help people transform their lives. They entered unchartered territory when they launched what we know now as Opportunity International, which was one of the first non-profit organizations to recognize the benefits of offering financial services for people living in poverty in developing countries.

Today, Opportunity International serves 14.3 million hardworking entrepreneurs in 24 countries around the world. We have big plans for the world: a world without poverty where people can live with dignity and purpose. Our clients have ambitious dreams for their futures, but lack the opportunities needed to make those dreams a reality.

We go where others won’t to give these inspiring people access to financial services including loans, savings, insurance and other financial services and training—all which empower these entrepreneurs to work their way out of poverty and build a new sustainable future for themselves and their families.

To date, we have created or sustained nearly 16 million jobs by giving entrepreneurs the tools they need to thrive. With your support, we will reach millions more clients—and those clients will change the world.

BYOD: The Risks and Rewards of Personal Digital Devices in the Workplace

using privacy filters in public

As the lines between personal life and work life blur, so too do the usage of our digital devices for both.  Many companies are embracing the BYOD trend (Bring Your Own Device) for its many benefits, including the reduction of inefficiencies that come with juggling corporate and personal devices.  Digital technology supplied by employers mean doubling the number of devices an employee may have to carry with them, along with the inconvenience of having to switch from corporate devices to personal as needed. Employees using their desktop or laptop computers  on work-from-home days to check emails and follow up on assignments improves productivity. And business travelers using their personal phones and tablets to conduct business on the road improves the efficiency of communication between on-the-go employees and the home office.

BYOD Policy Basics for Business

  • Implement cloud platforms for remote business operations so lost or stolen devices do not compromise important data
  • Provide privacy filters to help prevent visual security breaches
  • Provide and train employees on remote data management applications, including software that allows for remote wiping of data, scanning for malware and data leakage and archiving company information

Studies including Harris Interactive, Osterman Research and  Gartner Research have revealed key details to the BYOD trend.  In a study by Harris Interactive, it was revealed that nearly two-thirds of companies have no policies regarding the use of personal mobile devices at work, and 33% tolerate personal devices for business. In a Osterman Research white paper, the majority of both iPhones and Android phones used for corporate business were owned personally rather than by the corporation.  And Gartner research estimated that almost half of the world’s companies will no longer provide computer devices to employees in the near future, 40% will offer a choice between corporate or personal devices and only 15% will remain outside the BYOD model.

Why Companies and Employees Like BYOD

Companies save when employees use their personal devices. The average cost of supplying mobile computing devices is estimated to be $600 annually per employee. Also employees are more likely to upgrade their personal devices to the latest and greatest technology, offering faster performance and greater security.

Employee prefer their personal devices. A Unisys report found that 44% of employees find a job offer more attractive if they can use their personal devices on the job.

Risks to the BYOD Trend

With rewards come risks. When defining their BYOD policies, companies need to take in account the potential hazards of personal devices. The Harris survey revealed the following:

  • 31% of employees connect to their company’s network from an unsecured free or public Wi-Fi
  • 46% share their personal devices with others
  • 25% have been victims of hacking or malware on their personal devices
  • 52% of laptop users are simply ignoring the problem of shoulder surfing, potentially exposing sensitive, corporate information when accessing their devices in public

As it appears that BYOD may become a business practice more than a trend, companies need to review and implement policies that both protect sensitive company information while still offering the flexibility of the modern work/life balance.

Sources

http://www.welivesecurity.com/2012/04/04/byod-infographic-for-security-not-a-pretty-picture/
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2036980/half-of-companies-will-require-byod-by-2017-gartner-says.html

 

Turn Your Child’s Artwork into Gift Calendars

Does your child love to create artwork? Here is a creative way to turn those paintings and drawings into a calendar for friends and family, or just for your home office.

artwork for laminating

All you need  is:

  1. Twelve pieces of your child’s artwork on 8″x11″ paper (scan and print duplicates depending on how many calendars you need to make)
  2. A personal laminator
  3. Letter size laminating pouches
  4. Home comb or wire binding machine
  5. Comb or wire bindings ( number depends on how many calendars you need to make)
  6. 2017 calendar printouts from CalendarLabs ( number of printouts depends on how many calendars you need to make)

 

Laminating Instructions

laminator for kid's artwork

1 Decide what artwork piece fits for each month of the calendar

  1. Print each month of 2017 on high quality paper
  2. Insert each piece of artwork into a laminating pouch
  3. Insert each calendar month printout into a laminating pouch
  4. Run all 24 sheets through your home laminator

Binding Instructions

comb binding for kids artwork

  1. Organize artwork and calendar month sheets
  2. Punch and bind with your home binding machine

 

Repeat the process as needed to produce as many colorful and creative calendars you want for grandparents, other family members or friends.

calendar page

Whether to Choose Metal vs. Corrugated Filing Systems

metal file cabinets

Deciding how to set up your filing system for your business can depend on numerous factors that need to be considered, not only for the current status of your company , but also how long-term developments in  your file management process may impact your system.

Metal Filing Cabinets For Durability

By far, metal filing cabinets offer the most durability. However, as a records manager, you must be confident that little will change in your business when it comes to the records you keep in them. Because of the unpredictability of business dynamics, metal cabinets may be too rigid for your needs. For example, a sudden increase in business may mean an increase in records, which may require additional metal filing cabinets. The added expense is only the beginning, as you now need to find a space where these cabinets are to be installed. Just as easily, business may swing in the opposite direction, a reduction in filing needs, leaving giant metal cabinets taking up space yet filled only with air.

Flexibility in Corrugated

The advantages of corrugated records storage is the flexible solution they provide for the dynamics of business. Due to the reasonable price of corrugated storage, boxes can  be purchased at a low cost to accommodate new files and with downswings in business, easily recycled like paper when no longer needed.

Also, corrugated file storage is lightweight and most boxes feature handles so when files need to be moved into outside storage facilities, the process becomes much easier, especially when you have to do it yourself.

Bankers Box storage

Corrugated Maximizes Office Space for Small Business

Most small businesses have small offices, so records storage can be an annoyance. Often a business owner will need to fill waiting rooms and personal office space with bulky metal filing cabinets as the need for file storage increases. However, with corrugated storage, less space is required as record storage boxes are individually smaller than full size cabinets and they stack nicely in a vacant corner.

The Durability Issue and Long-Term Storage

If records-keeping in your business stays fairly consistent, then  many records managers may choose metal cabinets for long-term endurance. Many may point out the “crush factor” of corrugated. Even though Bankers Box has designed their boxes with double wall construction for lasting strength, stacked boxes may still over time begin to compress and collapse. However, if corrugated is the preferred choice over metal,  there are options to prevent this from happening based on the type of corrugated records storage box selected.

For example, basic duty boxes should only be used for light stacking. They are best for temporary files or quick access files kept in the office.

Medium duty boxes have greater strength, and are ideal for small storage room stacking.

For long-term storage, however, heavy duty strength is essential for stacking boxes high with full contents in long-term storage facilities, whether on or off premise.

Corrugated Drawer Systems

An additional option, a sort of middle ground between cabinets and boxes, is corrugated drawer systems. They vary in size for different office layouts, offering the central organization that cabinets provide, while also maintaining the flexibility and lightweight movability that makes corrugated storage boxes ideal.