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Tired of rooting through your desk drawers to find that old business card or a decent working pen? If your desk drawers look more like junk drawers overflowing with sticky notes, hand sanitizers, ketchup packets, and tangles of paperclips, it’s time to get organized. Orderly drawers make it easy to find exactly what you need when you need it, making the day run smoother. Best of all it takes just a few simple steps to de-clutter.

Step One: Empty
What You Need: Cleaning Solution, Paper Towels, Drawer Liners
Remove the entire contents of each drawer one at a time onto your desktop, table or floor. Every random staple, crumpled shred of paper and file must come out. This is the only way you can see exactly what’s in there and assess how much the drawer can hold. Now clean them completely with cleaning spray and a towel. Replace ripped drawer liners with nonslip liners to keep items in place once finished.

Step Two: Purge
What You Need: Trash Can, Storage Containers
Now’s the time to be ruthless. Toss anything that doesn’t work like dried up markers and pens. Can’t bear to part with some things? Put them in storage containers and stash on a high shelf or closet for later use. If after six months you haven’t used them, toss, recycle or donate.

Step Three: Plan
What You Need: A Small Box
There’s no one “right” way to organize, so first plan your drawers based on how you use them. Keep items you need regular, quick access within close reach, typically your top desk drawer. To help determine what those items are, empty the drawer and place the contents in a small box. When you need an item, remove it from the box and place it in your top desk drawer. At the end of the week review the items placed in the drawer and organize them in a way that works best for you.

Sort through the items that remain in the box and store in a lower drawer those things you still need but use infrequently. Toss, recycle, or pass along to a co-worker any leftovers.

Step Four: Organize
What You Need: Drawer Organizers of Various Sizes
Once you’ve got your plan in mind, now you can make the arrangement permanent and neat. Choose drawer trays, organizers, and small boxes in various sizes so you can change up the configuration as your needs change. Your local office supply dealer specializes in offering an enormous variety of organization tools for your drawers. With lots of colors, shape and sizes to choose from, you’re sure to find just the thing that strikes your fancy.

The more appealing your drawers, the more likely you’ll be able to maintain them and you can find what you need at a glance. A little time spent today means a less stressful day tomorrow. Organize now!

Article is courtesy of our friends at biggestbook.com

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pink ribbon
October is breast cancer awareness month. It seems that every company and group is looking for ways to support breast cancer awareness. There will be walks throughout the month, fundraisers, and even TV shows about breast cancer. You may be wondering what you can do in your little corner of the world to support this important cause. A great idea is to build an entire month of awareness at work. You can support breast cancer awareness month at work by taking these simple steps. Make sure to get the approval of your supervisor before you do any events at your work. You will want to make sure that none of your activities for breast cancer awareness month go against any of the company policies before you proceed.

Step 1 – Have your coworkers donate $5 dollars to support breast cancer awareness month to be able to wear jean or perhaps a pink T-shirt on Fridays. If your work already has a casual Friday dress code, you may want to go for the pink T-shirt route or even pink baseball hat for breast cancer awareness.

Step 2 – Set up a special morning bake sale to raise even more money for breast cancer awareness. You can have all your coworkers bring in their specialties when it comes to baked goods. You can take the money that you raise from your activities and donate to your local chapter of breast cancer awareness organization.

Step 3 – Give out pink ribbons to all of your coworkers that they can wear throughout all of breast cancer awareness month. This will help your coworkers to spread the information that you are sharing with them about this important month.

Step 4 – Post breast cancer awareness posters in the break area of work. This will give coworkers vital facts about breast cancer and what they can do to help the fight.

Article brought to you by our friends at biggestbook.com

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article is courtesy of our friends at USSCOSpeaks

10 facts about Labor Day and its history from Forbes…
1.Labor Day in Canada began in 1872 in Toronto but quickly made its way south to the U.S. Originally it began as a significant demonstration demanding rights for workers.
2.The first U.S. Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, planned by the Central Labor Union. The Labor Day parade of about 10,000 workers took unpaid leave and marched from City Hall past Union Square uptown to 42nd street, and ended in Wendel’s Elm Park at 92nd Street and 9th Avenue for a concert, speeches, and a picnic.
3.Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day a holiday in 1887.
4.On June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.
5.What are we celebrating? The contributions and achievements of about 155 million men and women who are in the U.S. workforce.
6.In the late 1800s the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks to eke out a basic living. Children as young as 5-6 years old worked in factories and mines.
7.The year in which the 8-hour day was firmly established was 1916 with the passage of the Adamson Act. This was the first federal law regulating hours of workers in private companies.
8.Traditionally people did not wear white or seersucker clothes after Labor Day as it unofficially marked the end of summer.
9.The football season starts on or around Labor Day and many teams play their first game of the year during Labor Day weekend.
10.Labor Day is viewed as the unofficial last day of vacation before the start of the new school year.

Have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend!

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Mom was right to tell you to stop slouching and sit up straight. Not only does good posture make you look taller and more confident, it also increases energy, improves breathing and keeps your back pain free. Good posture ensures that you’re placing the least amount of strain on muscles and tendons. Whether sitting in front of the computer, standing, walking or lifting, always practice good posture.

1. Standing. Keep your feet a comfortable distance apart, typically no more than the breadth of your shoulders with equal weight distributed on each leg. Imagine a vertical line drawn from the center of your head through your shoulders and down to your pelvis. This is your perfect standing posture.

If your job requires you to stand for prolonged periods of time, consider using a foot rest to ease strain. If you need additional back support, steady yourself with a table or countertop, remembering to keep your head raised and spine straight. Individuals standing in the same spot all day should use a rubber mat on the floor to improve comfort.

2. Walking. Notice how people walk and you’ll see that many of us lean forward, creating stress on the back. Walk without tensing neck muscles, while keeping your pelvis straight and head level. With good posture, your head should almost feel weightless. Avoid flat-footed, “stomping,” but instead land softly on the heel, transferring weight onto the ball of the foot and finally the toes. Use purses, bags and backpacks designed to minimize back strain.

3. Sitting. With so many of us sitting at a desk all day, it’s natural to get tired and start slouching without even noticing it. To counter that, take full advantage of the chair’s features with your buttocks pushed all the way to the back of the seat. Once your pelvis supports your weight, you’ll notice how much easier it is to maintain good posture. Your knees should bend at a right angle and be about the same level as your hips. Use a small foot rest under your feet to achieve proper position if needed. Avoid unbalanced postures such as crossing legs unevenly, leaning to one side, hunching the shoulders or tilting the head. Give your shoulders and back muscles a break by using the arm rests.

4. Lifting. Incorrect lifting can contribute to severe, long-term debilitation. With that in mind, always plan before you lift. Keep objects close to your body rather than carried with outstretched arms. Even with light objects, maintain a straight back and use knee-bending actions not back-bending actions. Tighten your abdominal muscles for extra support. If lifting is part of your regular daily routine, invest in a back support or other related equipment.

5. Working at the Computer. In addition to practicing good sitting posture as previously discussed, working at a computer requires you to keep your arms and wrists aligned as well. Unnecessary strain is placed on the spine unless your chair, keyboard, mouse, and computer screen are all correctly positioned.

Place your monitor away from glare and at a distance of about an arm’s length when seated comfortably in front of it. Position the screen to your natural, resting eye position and avoid tilting your head forward. Use a book or stand to raise it if needed. Adjust your monitor’s brightness, contrast and font size to comfortable levels. When typing, keep your arms parallel to your legs with good support under your wrists. Relax your upper arms and shoulders. If possible, place your documents directly in front of you. Unfortunately, poor posture can easily become a habit, causing chronic discomfort. The good news is, the main factors affecting posture and ergonomics are completely under your control. By following the advice above you can prevent the problems associated with poor posture and stay healthy, productive, and most importantly, pain free all day long.

Article brought to you by Biggestbook.com

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Article courtesy of our friends at Smead®

There are about as many different filing systems out there as there are types of personalities. Some function fairly well; others just sort of work and then there are the ones that are a jumbled mess. But there are filing systems that make it easy to find what you are looking for, and easy to return it to its proper place when you are finished. These are the Smead Organomics filing solutions. And what they have in common is that all of them optimize the three basic components of a good filing system:

1. The Finders
2. The Keepers
3. The Storage

Component 1: The Finders
The whole purpose of a filing system is to provide a method for finding a specific document among many. No matter if you are managing hundreds of thousands of records for a large company or simply organizing your personal documents, you need a way to quickly find the one you want. The Finders are the indexing element of your filing system. They are what identifies each file, and give it its own unique place in the filing system.
Indexing methods range from simply writing names on folder tabs to computer-generated strip labels complete with names, numbers, color codes and bar codes for electronic tracking. In most cases, filing systems are either indexed alphabetically by a file name, or numerically using an account or transaction number. Both indexing methods work well and your choice depends on the types of records you use, and how they are used.

Component 2: The Keepers
Keepers are what you keep your documents filed in. More than just a folder, the keeper serves as the individual storage device for documents, and is the central unit of the filing system. In its simplest form, a keeper may be a manila file folder with a name on it. But keepers can do much more to help users find information within the file itself. Fasteners and dividers can sort papers into categories, keep them secure and in proper sequence. Colored folders within hanging files can group records for quick reference. Expanding pockets can hold lots of bulky paperwork. The color of the file itself can be used to signal different types of records. Look at the kind of documents you use, and choose a keeper that enhances your work processes and saves you time.

Component 3: The Storage
Your choice of filing equipment has a significant impact on the effectiveness of your filing system. Standard vertical file cabinets are fine if you have a relatively small amount of files that you want to keep near a desk. Lateral file cabinets provide a little better access and use less space. Large filing systems are most efficient when stored on file shelving with keepers whose tabs are on the side instead of the top. Shelf filing systems make the best use of office space, provide the fastest access to records and are the least expensive to set up and use.
Take a look at the Finders, Keepers and Storage of your filing system. By examining how each of the three components works together to create an efficient filing solution, you can create a system that is easy to use, and will save you time and money.

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What’s new?

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. recently announced the launch of the bizhub® C554e/C454e Series of Color Multifunctional Products (MFP – print, copy, scan and fax all in one system). Featuring Konica Minolta’s award-winning INFO-Palette design, these high-speed, high-volume print/copy/scan MFPs are considered enhanced versions of their predecessors (bizhub C554/C454) and offer broader accessibility, more effective communication, improved information sharing and energy savings.

The series is ideal for a broad range of users, including medium to large businesses; healthcare, education and legal customers with customization needs; and corporate environments with high-quality color output needs. With output speeds of up to 55 ppm and built in print control, this new series provides high-volume printing with pro-quality inline finishing options. The series also incorporates the latest evolution of INFO-Palette design with enhancements including: improved swiping; drag and drop; tap and toggle; pinch in and pinch out; as well as image rotation operations. The control panel offers direct access to downloadable apps from the Konica Minolta bizhub MarketPlace®, and security has been expanded on these models, making them one of the first bizhub MFPs to comply with the IEEE 2600.1 international standard for MFP and printer information security as well as ISO 14001 international environmental standards.

To reduce energy consumption, the series incorporates a wake-up function, which enables automatic answering for network communication. The result is a larger power shutdown area that reduces power consumption in sleep mode so that electricity is only provided to the area needed to wake up the device. This new platform consumes less than 1.0 watts during sleep mode and also improves TEC values.

Contact your McShane’s representative today for more information.

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Time to get out and enjoy the weather. Best of all, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to do it.  Here are a few low- or no-cost ways to have some fun.  

Go Attend free workshops at your local craft or hardware store. Many retailers regularly conduct free classes on everything from knitting and floral arrangement to gardening and basic home repair. It’s the perfect time to learn something new and ask questions without embarrassment. Some retailers even hold special Saturday clinics for children.
Go on a picnic. Pack some sandwiches, fruit and snacks and head over to your local park with a blanket, books and games for an afternoon of fun and relaxation.
Check out local events. You’re probably not aware of all your town has to offer for free – antique car shows, art fairs, historic re-enactments, band concerts, film festivals in the park, and more. Check your community calendar online for a listing. And don’t forget museums, science centers, zoos, and even bowling alleys. Most have a free or reduced admission one day a week.
Visit a state park. Each state has several, so it’s likely there’s one in your neck of the woods. For a nominal entrance fee – sometimes even free – the park is yours to explore.
Fish in a local pond. Even if you don’t catch anything, fishing lets you enjoy nature, teaches patience, and creates summertime memories.
Go to the library. If you haven’t been to your local library lately, you’ll be surprised to learn it has more to offer than books. Most have extensive audio, video, and newspaper collections along with a weekly story time for children, special interest clubs, genealogy rooms, book discussions, and music lectures.

Do Camp out. Go to a local state campground or pitch a tent in the backyard. Make s’mores and watch the stars.
Set up a neighborhood field day with races for running, jumping, cycling, ball throwing and other competitive games.  Reward the winners with gold, silver and bronze-colored ribbons.
Rediscover your neighborhood by taking digital photos of anything you find interesting – flowers, sidewalks cracks, lawn ornaments. Take lots of them using different angles and settings. At home see what you’ve captured. Great images make unique greeting cards and artwork.
Clean up your neighborhood. If you’re tired of seeing empty soda cans and papers on the side of the road, this one’s for you. It’s good exercise and beautifies your street. Others may even join in or become more aware of their own littering habits.
Join a book club. Some are informal affairs held at a coffee house and some are sponsored by the library. A book club gives you the discipline to consciously read and finish a book.
Start a nature collection and keep a journal on your observations. Put on your hiking books and spend time outdoors studying rocks, leaves, trees, or birds. Jot down notes, dates and observations.
Volunteer your time. There’s no shortage of need. A day spent volunteering makes a positive contribution to your community and rejuvenates your spirit. 

Play & Make Sign up for community sports. Many towns have community sports for both adults and children. If you enjoy being around the sport, but aren’t much of an athlete, volunteer instead.
Play board games, cards, dominoes. There’s a reason games like Monopoly, Pictionary and Yahtze have stood the test of time – they’re fun!  Crossword puzzles and card games like bridge, pinochle, hearts and spades are intellectually challenging as well.
Hold a craft day. Get supplies from your local dollar store or use what’s in the house – paper plates, cups, popsicle sticks, empty jars, glitter, wrapping paper to make greeting cards and holiday gifts. Find creative ideas online or make it up as you go.
Bake up some cookies, make lemonade and set up a stand. Good for hours of fresh air and for meeting the neighbors you typically only wave to.
Have the kids put on a talent, skit or magic show for the adults. Create a stage with a cardboard or wooden frame and hang a sheet for a curtain. Encourage friendly competition and vote for the best.
Don’t let a tight budget keep you from enjoying all that summer has to offer. By simply taking the time to come up with new ideas or recycling some favorites from your own childhood, you can create memories that will last for many years.  Get out and have some fun!

Brought to you by: biggestbook.com

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While it may be easy enough to find the perfect holiday gift for friends
and family, it’s an entirely different matter when it comes to business
associates. You want to get them something memorable, but not too personal,
something high quality, but within a budget.

1. Calendars. According to a recent survey, nearly 50 percent of small businesses plan to send cards or calendars. If you choose to do the same, make yours stand out by using a unique size or design, possibly using photos you or your employees have taken.

2. Gift cards. As long as you’ve chosen an appropriate restaurant, store or online retailer, this allows your recipient to select what they want. Be mindful of company and IRS limitations, typically $25.

3. Food. Who doesn’t like a special treat? The key is to know what they enjoy. Chocolate, coffee, bagels, cookies, and other pastries are among the top choices.

4. Charitable donations. If you make a donation on your client’s behalf, select one that’s not controversial and one that your recipient feels an affinity towards. Popular options include medical research, nature conservancy and disaster aid.

5. Books. Readers can never have too many. Match the book with their interests whether that’s business, cooking, gardening, or travel.

6. Pens. Despite our electronic world, there’s still room for a beautiful writing instrument. There’s nothing like the feel of a high-end pen. For a special touch, have it engraved with a meaningful message.

7. Desk Items. Crystal paperweights, business card holders, desk caddies, mouse pads, coasters, clocks, or picture frames are popular items and will be a top-of-desk reminder of you all year long.

8. Travel Items. The globe-trotter will appreciate unique luggage tags, a travel alarm clock, compact umbrella, or document holder.

9. Personalized Stationery. Lots of people write individual thank you notes and special messages to co-workers and clients and will appreciate personalized cards and envelopes.

10. Plants. Consider a seasonal bouquet or planter to brighten up their office. For recipients with a green thumb, select plants or herbs they can transfer to a garden in the spring.

Business gifts can help cement a business relationship and leave a favorable impression of you all year long. With a variety of options, you’re sure to find the perfect gift and within your budget too. Give us a call at McShane’s for more great ideas on how to create a memorable impression that will last well past the holiday season.

Author:  BiggestBook.com

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Long hours, being underpaid and unappreciated are just a few typical workplace complaints. But while occasional grousing may help ease tension, if negativity dominates your daily thoughts it’s time to swap it for an attitude of gratitude. And there’s no better time than Thanksgiving to do it. Here are the top ten reasons to be thankful you have a job.

1. You get paid
The truth is that most of us show up every day for the money. We have financial obligations to meet like a mortgage, car payment, loans, kids in diapers, kids in college, as well as everyday living expenses. Under the economic climate that we currently reside, simply receiving a regular paycheck ranks high on the list of reasons to be thankful at work, for work. Whatever your income, you have a job that pays you for your time and effort, often with benefits like paid holidays and vacations.

2. You develop friendships
In addition to a regular paycheck, enjoying your colleagues is a key contributor to a positive work experience. The conversations, support and shared interests you develop with co-workers often lead to lifelong friendships. Take time to get to know the people around you. Besides making a friend, they may even help you with your next career move.

3. You get to laugh sometimes
There are some organizations that have a stigma associated with laughter, because it may appear you’re not taking your work seriously enough. Lighthearted moments, however, break up the monotony and help you bond with coworkers. Whether it’s the prankster down the hall or a creative brainstorming meeting, it’s good to laugh and have a little fun. The happier you are, the more productive you are.

4. You have a sense of accomplishment
It doesn’t matter if you’re sweeping a street or managing your own multimillion dollar corporation, a job well done brings satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. Reaching a goal builds confidence and encourages you to set and reach new ones.

5. You have the opportunity to share your unique talents
You’re one-of-a-kind. In the entire world, there is no one who thinks like you, has your experience, talents and personality. Celebrate and share your uniqueness.

6. Your competitors challenge you
Someone is always nipping at your heels. As much as you may want competitors to go away, they also challenge you to get creative and try new approaches you might not otherwise. Thank them for keeping you on your toes.

7. You make a difference
In large corporations it’s easy to feel like a small cog in a big wheel. But without the cog, the wheel won’t run near as smoothly. Always know that whatever you do, it’s part of a bigger picture and that your job matters or it wouldn’t exist.

8. You keep your mind sharp
Working keeps you mentally stimulated and challenged as you learn new skills and deal with new people and situations. This keeps your neurons and synapses firing on all cylinders.

9. You probably enjoy certain tasks
If you’re one of the few people who enjoy every aspect of every project; you’re one of the lucky ones! Most of us like certain tasks more than others. Whether you love leading a meeting or writing a report, relish those moments and try to do them regularly.

10. You solve a problem
Your job exists because there was a problem to solve. The receptionist solves the problem of how to field phone calls. The job of inventory manager exists to solve the problem of ensuring the company does not run out of widgets. No problem, no job. We see this more and more as email has replaced postal workers and self-checking registers have eliminated grocery store clerks. Be thankful for the problem your job solves.

Work is not always a bed of roses, nor is it all thorns. Instead of longingly dreaming of future retirement, be thankful for what’s good today. You’ll be healthier and happier for it.

*Article derived from biggestbook.com

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With Thanksgiving a week away, the time has come to prepare for the 2012 holiday season. There is so much to do.  We shop and cook, decorate; spend time with loved ones, plan trips and parties, packing activities into a very limited amount of time.  It is also the time of year to think about those who do not have food to cook, let alone a home to decorate.  McShane’s would like to recognize organizations that support these members of our community.  Sojourner Truth House is a community resource and a day shelter for homeless and at-risk women and children.  Women who come to Sojourner Truth House are often caught in a cycle of addiction, mental illness, and poverty.  Many arrive hungry, physically and emotionally fragile.  Others have just lost a job or a house.  Sojourner Truth House provides food, personal items, counseling, as well as resources and job assistance.  Every month they serve about 1,498 people in need.  So for the past four years, McShane’s is proud to be able to help by collecting immediate need items for this wonderful organization.  Below is the list of items that we will be collecting, please take a look and see how you could contribute.  Have a safe and wonderful holiday season!

  • Toilet Paper
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Bar Soap
  • Conditioner
  • Women’s Socks

Contact Erin (erhodes@mcshanes.com or 924-1400) if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a pick up.  Every little bit helps!  Thank you!

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