Three Things to Do Every Morning to Create a Better Day

Three Things to Do Every Morning to Create a Better Day
Create a Better Day

The way your day starts sets the tone for everything that follows. That’s why it’s very important to be intentional about your morning routine. While we know that you don’t have much time to spend on intricate and unrealistic wellness practices, there are a few short and simple things you can do each morning to ensure you find a better footing to take on the rest of the day with ease.

1. Get some natural sunlight first thing in the morning.

Would you believe that there’s something totally free you can do each day to boost your happiness hormones and energy levels? Get sunlight! Natural sunlight, that is. Our bodies and hormones get a lot of information from the light that we’re surrounded with, and that’s why it’s important to spend a little bit of time, anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, in natural sunlight, without sunglasses, within about 30 minutes to an hour of waking up.

This time in the sunlight will signal to your brain to release serotonin, which is a feel-good hormone that also makes you calm and focused. In addition to that, starting your day with some natural sunlight and vitamin D can actually help you sleep better at night, because it resets your circadian rhythm to follow the natural pattern of light and dark, so your body will be ready to power down in the evening time.

2. Drink 16 to 32 ounces of water as soon as you wake up.

During the night-time while you are sleeping, your body is going through a ton of processes, and it also isn’t taking in any liquid. That means that when you wake up, you are technically dehydrated and in need of fluid intake. In addition to that, when you drink water first thing in the morning, it actually helps to flush all of the toxins through your system that were accumulating over night.

Try keeping a bottle of water next to the bed each night, then you can down those 16 to 32 ounces as soon as you wake up. (Quick tip: Room temperature water is actually a lot easier to drink than cold water, so it’s better if it sits out all night.) From that initial drink, you’ll get a boost of energy from the hydration, your brain will feel more focused — as it’s mostly made up of water and always needs fluids to function — and you’ll also feel full, so you don’t have to run to the kitchen for breakfast right away. Hydrating throughout the day is important for everyone, but that first glass of water is perhaps your most beneficial one of the day, so don’t skip it.

3. Spend a few minutes of quiet time meditating or being mindful.

It’s very common to wake up and immediately check our phones for emails, messages and other incoming requests from other people, thus setting us off in a reactive mode. Yet, focusing on other people’s issues can fill us with stress and worry, and this isn’t the best way to begin a day. That’s why, it’s beneficial to take anywhere from 3 to 15 minutes in the morning to sit quietly and be alone with your thoughts before consuming any technology or social media. If you’re not comfortable sitting alone in silence, you can also try out a guided meditation app, like Calm or Headspace, and let the narrator tell you what to do.

Meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress, enhance self-awareness, improve attention span, as well as a host of other perks. And one thing it definitely does is make sure that you go into the day with a more mindful approach. While it may seem like meditation is a fluffy practice just for those who teach yoga, it’s growing in popularity in the mainstream as more and more people understand its powerful benefits for daily life.

The right morning routine can do wonders for your day, so choose at least one of the above and give it a try tomorrow morning. Good luck!

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Valentine’s Day Creative Crafts and Special Gift Ideas!

Valentine’s Day Creative Crafts and Special Gift Ideas!

Your friends and family will feel love with hand-made Valentine’s Day Gifts like these. Check out these creative crafts and special gift ideas!

Swingline Low Force 1-Hole Punch

  • From our heart to yours, Happy Valentine’s Day!
  • Punch your heart out this Valentine’s Day with Swingline’s Low Force Punch!

Swingline Fashion Full Strip Stapler, Swingline 1-Hole Punch, Swingline Smartcut Trimmer

  • Have fun and celebrate Valentine’s Day with Swingline!

Swingline Red 747 Business Stapler

  • Happy Valentine’s Day!
  • For the office thief in your life…Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler!

Swingline Quick Touch Full Strip Stapler, and Black n Red Ruled Business Journal

AT-A-GLANCE Standard Diary

  • Get inspiRED this Valentine’s Days with AT-A-GLANCE!
  • Don’t ever forget a Valentine’s day again!

Swingline Red High Heel Stapler

  • Kick off your heels this Valentine’s Day with Swingline’s High Heel Stapler!
  • Whether you are using in your home office or in a corporate setting, Swingline’s High Heel Stapler sure to raise your office desk’s profile just like a good high heel!
  • A Valentine gift for the fashionista in your life!
  • Dress up her desktop on Valentine’s Day with Swingline’s High Heel Stapler!
  • Whether at home or in the office, this stylish High Heel desktop stapler will demand the same attention as any trendy wardrobe accessory on Valentine’s Day and every day!

AT-A-GLANCE Harmony Collection

“Take Note” of that special person on Valentine’s Day!

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Verbatim Technology you can trust

Verbatim Technology you can trust

If you’re going to spend a lot of time on your keyboard, it might as well be a comfortable one.

Verbatim has the perfect keyboard for you!

Are you still using the mouse and keyboard that came with your computer? Or maybe you’ve tried something new, but you’ve got some nagging RSI strain, cords tangled everywhere, or a lagging mouse that’s left you unjustly fragged into oblivion? If your mouse and keyboard aren’t working for you, it’s time to buy new ones.

Our office tried out several different brands of keyboards and mice. In the testing, Verbatim came out the clear winner. We gave their keyboards and mice 5 stars. Find out why…

Verbatim Slimline Corded USB Keyboard and Mouse-Black
Looking for an affordable keyboard that still provides a better typing experience? Try Verbatim’s Slimline Corded USB Keyboard – it’s sleek, yet sturdy, with convenient plug and play USB connectivity. The Slimline Corded Keyboard features low-profile keys and adjustable tilt legs for quiet, comfortable typing. The layout features a full numeric keypad and full-size function keys, all within a slim, efficient design that frees up space on your desktop. Compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems, the Slimline Corded USB Keyboard is a great addition to any corporate or home office workspace.
Order Yours Today:
VER-99202

Verbatim Silent Wireless Mouse and Keyboard – Black
Say goodbye to noise and hello to silence with the Verbatim Silent Mouse and Keyboard. Using new Silent Technology, silent click switches, and rubber covers, these Verbatim products are truly silent. The nano receiver is small enough to plug in and leave connected and the 2.4GHz wireless performance allows for a lag-free connection. The Silent Mouse features Blue LED technology, allowing users to point and click on more surfaces than other mice – from a glass table to the granite kitchen counter! The Silent Keyboard features a full numeric keypad and full-size function keys, all within a slim, efficient design. The Verbatim Silent Mouse and Keyboard are backed by a 1-Year Limited Warranty.

Order Yours Today:
VER-99779

Verbatim Corded Notebook Optical Mouse
If you want a stylish mouse for your desktop or notebook computer, try the Verbatim Corded Notebook Optical Mouse. This mouse has been ergonomically designed to fit your hand comfortably. With its high-resolution optical technology, the Verbatim Mouse also offers smooth, precise tracking and a precision scroll wheel for easy scrolling. It’s ideal for your notebook, ultrabook and desktop computer. This mouse is also compatible with PCs and Macs. If you’re looking for the perfect companion for your computing needs, try the Verbatim Corded Notebook Optical Mouse.

Available in Black, White (VER-99740), Silver (VER-99741), Red (VER-99742) and Blue (VER-99743)

Order Yours Today:
VER-98106

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Shouldn’t your notebooks should be noteworthy?

Shouldn’t your notebooks should be noteworthy?

Make Sure Your Bright Ideas Are Seen, with the Astrobrights Collection.

Why settle for a plain, boring notebook, when you could use this gorgeous Astrobrights Flex Journal instead?

The bright colorful pages with contrasting rules make sure your ideas jump off the page and get noticed.

We love the contrasting stitching on the spine, which adds elegance to your journal. The super durable covers withstand everyday use. This is one long lasting journal!

This elegant journal will add color to your day, and fits neatly in most totes, purses and backpacks.

Order Yours Today:
NEE-99724

We absolutely love Astrobrights Twin Wire Journal. It features 180 pages, and includes a Black Super-Soft-Touch Cover. At 6 ½” x 8 ½” it’s large enough to take lots of notes, but small enough to travel easily.

We appreciate the elastic closure, which prevents the pages from becoming exposed when traveling or when stored away.
The colored pages with contrasting rules make sure your ideas are noticed.

The twin-wire binding allows pages to open completely for effortless writing.

Order Yours Today:
NEE99728

When it’s time to show appreciation, Astrobrights Foil Enhanced Certificates are just what you need.

In gorgeous “Fireball Fuchsia” Card Stock, these 8.5″ x 11″ certificates get noticed. Each sheet features foil enhancements, and are compatible with your inkjet/laser printers or copiers.

Order Yours Today:
NEE-91103

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Brighten Up Your Everyday Organization with Avery!

Brighten Up Your Everyday Organization with Avery!


This Back to School Season, we are absolutely loving these fresh florals and bright colors from Avery’s new collection of organization tools. Trendy, contemporary designs to organize in style!

They are perfect for back to school or for brightening your workplace.

From brightly colored Florals to Damasks, they are a beautiful collection of style meets function.

Take a look at this beautiful collection and order your favorites today!

Durable Binders with Round Rings
Available in 8 ½” x 11” and in Mini 5 ½” x 8 ½” Version

Durable_Binder_with_Round_Ring_Mini

Durable_Binder_with_Round_Ring_Floral

Durable_Binder_with_Round_Ring_Damask

Reversible Big Tab™ Write-On Dividers
CornerLock_Folder_Damask.jpg

Damask Big Tab™ Plastic Pocket Insertable Dividers
Damask_Big_Table_Plastic_Pocket_Insertable_Dividers

Corner Lock™ Four Pocket Plastic Folder
Corner_Lock_Folder_Floral

Damask Tabbed Bookmark Plastic Dividers
Damask_Tabbed_Bookmark

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Got Snax? Summer Snacks that Travel with You!

Got Snax?  Summer Snacks that Travel with You!

Summer is the best time to spend outdoors with family and friends. We love camping, hiking, pool parties, picnics, outdoor concerts and watching fireworks.

The more spontaneous these events, the better! That’s why we keep delicious treats from Office Snax on hand for any occasion.
You already know that Office Snax items are great in your office breakroom, but did you know that their convenient, non-breakable containers are ideal to keep in the car, boat or camper?

Here are a few of our favorites:

Salted Pretzels
Great for a day at the beach, on a picnic, out in the boat or around the fire pit. Choose your favorite! Resealable tub maintains freshness and travels easily.
• Giant Sourdough
• Sourdough Nuggets
• Mini Twist
• Giant Pretzel Sticks
• Peanut Butter Pretzels

New! Honey Wheat Braided Pretzels
These delicious braided pretzels will easily become your new summer snack favorite.

New! Peanut Butter Pretzels
Salted pretzels, nugget style filled with peanut butter. Resealable tub goes where you go!

New! Generations Mix
Something for everyone! Carry a mix of candy appealing to everyone from your toddlers to their Great Grandparents. This assortment of popular candy comes in a reusable, resealable tub to maintain freshness.

Soft & Chewy Mix
Classic Favorites like these make road trips happier. Assorted candy Airheads, Now and Laters, Bit-O-Honey, and Tootsie Roll. All in a resealable liner.

Doggie Snax
While you’re enjoying summer snacks, don’t forget Fido! We keep a box of Doggie Snax on hand for all our outdoor adventures. Handy to have in the car when we go for hikes, we also use them for positive reinforcement training with our ten month old lab. She gobbles them up!

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TOP 6 TIPS FOR WRITING A BUSINESS NEWSLETTER

TOP 6 TIPS FOR WRITING A BUSINESS NEWSLETTER

A good business newsletter is an effective tool for reaching your audiences with important information. Our partners at International Paper/Hammermill Paper understand this, and have shared their knowledge with you in this blog.

You can use your newsletter to expand your customer base, keep existing customers excited about your business, or attract new sources of funding. It can be strategic by demonstrating your business plan in action or it can be pragmatic and introduce new products, services or capabilities. Or it can do both.
There are a few things to keep in mind when putting your newsletter together to make sure it is as effective as possible. We’ve put together some pointers to help make it easier.
Ready to create your newsletter? Check out our Business Newsletter Templates.

Jacobs_Hammermill_Newsletter_Blog_2018

Define Your Audience

Who are you trying to reach with your newsletter? Make sure you have a clear idea of your audiences, then try to organize your newsletter contents to reach them in order of priority. In other words, speak to your most important audience first and then secondary audiences after. You can dedicate an entire newsletter to a single audience and reach a different audience with the next one or you can try to reach as many audiences as possible in each newsletter.

To reach each of your audiences with the information they value, it’s a good idea to develop an editorial calendar. Think through who you are trying to reach and how often you want to speak to them. This will help you decide what each newsletter needs to accomplish, as well as how often you need to send them out.

Be Customer-Focused

Your newsletter should provide your audience with information that is valuable to them. A newsletter that speaks only to your accomplishments or capabilities isn’t really customer-focused. Take the extra step to show how your accomplishments or capabilities can help your customers achieve their goals.

The headline for each section of the newsletter should present a customer benefit. For example, rather than saying “X Corp. Achieves New Milestone in Y Acquisition”, try something like “Deliver Your Products Faster, Cheaper”. A subhead can be used to provide important details, such as “X Corp. has reduced shipping time and cost with the strategic acquisition of Y company.”

Premium-Hammermill-Paper

Figure Out Your Call-to-Action

What do you want your audience to do after they’ve read your newsletter? Visit your website? Contact a representative or salesperson? Join your mailing list so you can initiate a conversion process? Be clear about what you want your audience to do, and tell them. “For more important details, call us at 1-800-555-9999,” or “To pre-order our new SuperFast Everythinger, visit us at SFeverythinger.com. “

Prioritize Your Information

Begin with stating the customer benefit in the headline, then provide a summary explanation in the subhead. The body copy can go into more detail as needed. This helps audiences pressed for time get the most important information quickly while also allowing anyone who is interested the details that are important to them.

Show It

Good imagery can generate interest by showing people what you are talking about. Remember that quality is important. A quick shot with your phone camera is probably not going to show your product in its best light. Take the time to use good imagery, but remember…too much of a good thing can work against you. If your newsletter has too many images, the imagery can distract from your messaging and what you want your audiences to know and do.

To make all of this easier to put into practice, we’ve developed some useful Business Newsletter Templates that will help you organize news and information in a way that is easily read. It’s a good idea to check your work by printing it out first–we recommend using a quality paper like Hammermill Premium Multi-Purpose 24LB. printer paper.

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“Spring” Into Action With Organization & WIN Your Own UColor Two-Pocket Coloring Folders

“Spring” Into Action With Organization & WIN Your Own UColor Two-Pocket Coloring Folders

We are happy to share C-Line's recent blog post with you, and offer you a chance to WIN their new UColor Two-Pocket Coloring Photos. C-Line Products are available at Penny Wise Office Products.

It is finally officially Spring! As the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” At C-Line, if you “shower” your classroom or office with our new colorful products, they will “bring” you a year of an organized lifestyle.

Teachers, let our Classroom Connector School-to-Home Folders rain down puddles of communication between you and your student’s parents. When you, your students’ and parents are on the same page, life between school and home becomes a smooth transition. The Classroom Connector makes communication between home and school efficient with the imprinted interior pockets. Plus, the variety of color selection could spark students’ interest in learning, which in turn, brings communication to an enhanced level.

You can also bloom your student’s creativity by using our UColor Two-Pocket Coloring Folders. Students can use a rainbow of colors on these folders, allowing them to show their individuality as well as keeping them organized. In addition, these coloring folders are not limited to just students or children, adults can have some fun too! Take a mini break during the hectic day and quickly fill in the intricate designs with unique color patterns. Not only is it relaxing, but it also helps sort papers. Also, by creating different colored folders you can color coordinate in your own way.

Spring is all about being fun and colorful. Don’t let the April showers bog you down. Show your organization skills and be playful!

To WIN Your Own Two-Pocket Coloring Folders, comment below, or on our Facebook Page.

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The Lost Art Of Listening

The Lost Art Of Listening

Do you ever wonder if you are really being heard? All of us want to feel that what we have to say is important. Even in casual conversation, we expect to receive the courtesy of our listener’s attention.

In business and professional settings, being heard can be even more important.

Active listening can be defined as concentrating completely on what a person is saying and confirming that the message is both received and understood. Common courtesy dictates that we owe anyone that takes the time to speak with us the courtesy of our complete attention – to actively listen.

We have all experienced the frustration of saying something which we feel is important to someone who doesn’t seem to be listening. We instinctively know what poor listening looks and feels like. So, if we reverse what a poor listener does, we can easily see then what a good listener SHOULD do.

     A poor listener provides little or no verbal feedback. Good listeners nod their heads and provide some vocal confirmation that the speaker was heard.
     A poor listener might assume a very relaxed posture. Good listeners sit up and even lean forward to hear better.
     Poor listeners will ask few pertinent questions. Good listeners want to make sure that they understand and might ask a lot of questions.
     Poor listeners come without a pad or pen. In business settings, it is very important to be prepared to take notes.
     Poor listeners leave the speaker wondering if the message was really received. Good listeners always re-cap what they heard to confirm the message.

"It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is privilege of wisdom to listen." – Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Spring Cleaning – 3 Steps to Declutter Office Paper

Spring Cleaning – 3 Steps to Declutter Office Paper

Your “mess” may be comfortable to you, but it might make others in your office very uncomfortable!

You know where everything is and you can find that important piece of paper quickly. Still, if it looks like the paper is winning the battle for control of your work area, you may be losing face with your co-workers, and more importantly, with your boss!

We’ve heard that we would someday be working in a “paperless office”. But, computer reports, printed e-mails, high-speed copiers and technology in general have all conspired to increase paper in the workplace. Sometimes it seems that most of it ends up on your desk!

Some people may feel that their job is more secure if they “look” busy. But clutter can signal a lack of control. A cluttered desk equals a cluttered mind. Employers view clutter as inefficiency, so if you appear too busy, maybe you are just inefficient. Inefficiency costs money and that is not a good way to get recognized.

Here are some simple ways to get the paper under control. After all, no one is really prepared for the endless supply of paperwork that attacks us all:

1. Get rid of the piles. Dump anything that you might, possibly, could, maybe use, read or act on “someday”.

2. Set up five files as follows:

    a. A “tickler file” by date of future work – items you can’t do this week. Move next week’s tasks to active each Friday.
    b. An “active file” for current work – all due this week in priority sequence by day. This is the basis for your daily “TO DO” list.
    c. A “meeting folder” for topics pertinent to specific meetings or for articles you want to read while you wait for the meeting to begin.
    d. Create “The Boss” folder for issues that concern your employer.
    e. Folders for subordinates or colleagues by name – for regular meetings with your people – not confidential material.

3. Label anything that is on, in or around your desk. You should be able to go on vacation and be comfortable that your boss or subordinates can find important information – easily.

Your desk is now organized, labeled and task oriented. Take care of urgent issues as they come up. Don’t waste time filing them. If possible, put all of these files away at the end of each day so your desk is clear of paperwork.

There is another benefit to clearing the mess and organizing your work area. When you are in control of your space, your mind will be more alert, confident and creative. You will impress those around you, including your boss, with your command of your job. You will be ready for your boss’s questions, prepared for meetings, and able to complete tasks on time. You might even have time to think! Who would dare “mess” with you?

How do you manage your paper clutter? Let us know!

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