Unfortunately, summer will soon be coming to an end. I know, don’t rush it! Enjoy the last days of summer. Perhaps you have a vacation planned, or want to just stay at home and relax. But fall will be here before you know it. So, take some time now to plan your back to work strategy for fall now. Hopefully, the following tips will help get you started.

  • Get Through That Dreaded Email Inbox. I know that many of you still have tons of emails sitting in your inbox. Summer does not mean a hiatus on email. So take the time now to get through that inbox. Delete like crazy, move important or active emails into folders, and reply to those that you have left for far too long.
  • Sort Through Your Paper Inbox. You probably have a pile of paper on your desk that you call your “inbox.” Sort through it now so you can start the fall season seeing the bottom of it! If you don’t have an effective paper management system, get some stacking paper trays and label them with categories of paper that make sense to you. For example, Inbox/Unprocessed Paper, Action, File, Shred, Scan, Read. Use a desktop label maker or a portable one. I personally like the label makers by Dymo for the way they marry technology, design and functionality.
  • Sort Through Your Files. Go through your files quickly and efficiently, pulling out anything that is obsolete, can be scanned for future reference, belongs to someone else, etc. The less paper you have in your filing system, the more likely you are to file the new stuff coming in! So get to it.
  • Create Templates and Systems. On a going forward basis, create templates, systems, work flow charts and samples that will help streamline your office and work life. The more work you do up front to delegate to yourself (or better yet, to someone else), the more you will be able to reap the rewards of these systems long term, especially in the fall when everyone is so busy.

Follow through on these tips and you will be well on your way to a productive autumn season! Meanwhile, if you have a great office (home or work) productivity tip, email it to info@getbuttonedup.com or share it on their Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/GetButtonedUp for the chance to win a free Dymo label maker. The winner will be chosen randomly.

Full disclosure: This is sponsored content and I have been compensated to do this post. That being said, I do not blog about anything I do not believe in and Dymo did not edit this post or direct the content in any way.

“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.” ~ George Gershwin

Ah… nothing like summer. And I know you want to make lemonade, jump in the pool, go for long walks, and read some good novels. I plan to join you.

But not so fast. Summertime is also a perfect time to organize your office. Yes, I am serious! Many people experience slow times at work or in their business in the summer. Put that down time to good use. Here are some quick and easy organizing tips to organize your office this summer:

  • The Dreaded Inbox – Go through that dreaded, piled-high-with-paper-inbox once and for all. Yes, until you see the bottom of it. Sort papers into categories of Action, To Scan, To File, To Shred, Recycle, and Belongs to Someone Else. Then take action on each category as the summer progresses, so come fall, you will have dealt with all of the inbox backlog. Make sure to keep up with the incoming paper so the inbox doesn’t get piled high again this summer!
  • The Overstuffed Files – Go through all of your files quickly and efficiently to pull any papers out that are no longer necessary to keep, can be scanned instead or can be given to someone else to act on. This will make room for any papers that need to be filed from the inbox.
  • The Backlog of Phone Calls – Return all of those phone calls you have been meaning to return. Everyone will be much more relaxed over the summer anyway, and perhaps not too busy to take your call.
  • The Overstuffed Calendar – Take a look at your calendar for the coming weeks, months and rest of the year. Answer any invitations that you did not get to, plan ahead for any major events coming up, and say no to a few obligations that you now realize you jumped at too hastily.
  • Label Like You Mean It – Take the time to finally label all of your files once and for all. I highly recommend you use a label maker to label these files so they look clean and crisp, and are easy to read. The more professional your filing system looks, the more likely you are to use it! Check out some of the fantastic label makers and printers by Dymo so that you produce professional looking labels every time.

Full disclosure: This is sponsored content and I have been compensated to do this post. That being said, I do not blog about anything I do not believe in and Dymo did not edit this post or direct the content in any way.

I was recently asked by Buttoned Up to review The DYMO® LabelWriter® 450 Duo. I have reviewed several Dymo label makers now, and put them to the “professional organizer” test. The 450 will be the only one on my desktop going forward, which says a lot as my desktop is precious real estate and is not cluttered up by unnecessary gadgets. So to win a coveted spot on my desktop is a big deal!

I will start by sharing what I love most about the 450 Duo – its compact size. In organizing, we teach our clients that in most cases, going vertical is a smart space-saving idea as it uses less horizontal space in a room or on a desktop surface. Dymo seems to understand this, and created a compact product that still performs on a high level. The “Duo” stands for the fact that it prints labels and postage. It does so by having the postage print out on the top of the device from a horizontal opening, and the labels print out underneath from a vertical opening. Trust me, this is a brilliant design because it keeps the 450 Duo small enough to politely sit on your desk and spit out labels and postage when you need them, without taking up tons of space!

So, what can it do exactly? Print impressive address labels, shipping labels, file folder labels, name badges and more, at speeds up to 71 labels per minute. You use the included DYMO Stamps® software to print precise USPS-approved postage directly from your desktop – without fees, contracts or monthly commitments. I am so excited to start using it to ship out my books as the orders come in — it will save me from many trips to the post office! It also prints permanent DYMO D1 plastic labels in a variety of sizes and colors – perfect for when you need durable labels for your office or workplace. Like all LabelWriter printers, the LabelWriter Duo printer never needs ink or toner, and includes software you can use to print labels directly from text in popular software programs, verify US addresses and ZIP+4 codes, and much more.

But did I mention that my favorite feature hands-down is the 450’s compact, lightweight design (yes, I know I am repeating myself, but this is really a plus in my book!). I like my gadgets streamlined, attractive and compact, and the 450 delivers! It is perfect for any office or workspace. It can be left out on display on your desktop for you to use it when needed. And when not in use, it won’t take up much space and will be a sleek and stylish addition to your office. The Dymo LabelWriter 450 Duo will appeal to a busy professional that not only wants to stay organized, but look organized too!

Love this labeler so much that you want one for yourself? You can win one! ButttonedUp is running a contest for a free labeler. To enter, either email your best labeling tip to  info@getbuttonedup.com with the subject line: Dymo, or visit their Facebook page and post a tip on their wall www.facebook.com/getbuttonedup. The winner will be chosen randomly.

Full disclosure: This is sponsored content and I have been paid to do this post. That being said, I do not blog about anything I do not believe in and Dymo did not edit this post or direct the content in any way.

So, if you played your cards right, you filed your taxes on time this year. If so, good for you! But was it an organized and painless process? Or were you scrambling through files, drawers, shoe boxes and your briefcase or tote bag to find the papers to document and back-up those deductions? There is a better way!

Most tax advice centers around how to make the most of your deductions and ignores the problem that sabotages a large number of people each year: finding the proof to support those deductions. Most people hate the dreaded task of keeping track of receipts and other documents throughout the year. Yet, that is exactly what will decrease the stress come tax time and increase your chances of getting more deductions!

The best time to prepare for tax season is right after you file your taxes. Why? Because you are in “tax” mode. You just filed and, therefore, have a copy of your tax return handy. Or you still have the  Turbo Tax software loaded onto your computer.

You need to create a system for filing all of the tax-related paperwork throughout the year. Take a look at the list of deductions you took, as well as the ones you did not qualify for. Start a hanging file folder labeled Current Year Taxes, using the plastic file tab as the main category. Now, create several cut folders to place within the hanging file folder. These should be labeled to match the general tax deductions you take.

For example, you can create a cut folder named Income. You would keep your pay stubs, W2, 1099s, and dividend distribution statements, gain an loss statements and annual statements from financial institutions in that file. You may also have a file labeled Charitable Contributions where you keep evidence of donations made. If you qualify for a medical expenses deduction, then keep a file for all of that paperwork. If you own a business, keep a file for Business Expenses Deductions. You get the point!

I highly recommend you use a label maker to label these files so they look clean and crisp, and are easy to read. The more professional your filing system looks, the more likely you are to use it! I use the Dymo LabelManager 260 because it is light weight, easy-to-use and produces professional looking labels every time!

Even if you pay your bills online and are a very active electronic user with regard to your financial life, you will still get certain papers in hard copy form that have to be maintained in order to fully support a tax deduction. Take the time to set up a Tax Center in your home and drop papers in their categories throughout the year. Come tax time next year, you (and your accountant if you use one) will be in a much better position to get those taxes done with the least amount of stress while maximizing your financial savings!

Full disclosure: This is sponsored content and I have been compensated to do this post. That being said, I do not blog about anything I do not believe in and Dymo did not edit this post or direct the content in any way.

I was recently asked by Buttoned Up to review The DYMO® LabelManager® 360D. I have reviewed several Dymo label makers now, and put them to the “professional organizer” test. The 360D is my favorite one, which says a lot, as it has some stiff competition from its co-label makers!

The 360D eliminates the inconvenience (and waste) of AA batteries as it is powered by a lithium-ion battery – the same technology used to power cell phones and laptop computers. Just charge and go, and voila – labeling power whenever you need it. Plus, new features – inspired by consumers – make it faster and easier to get the results you want. For example, you can see what your labels will look like before you print them on a new, larger 1.5″ x 2.75″ screen that displays two lines of text. This “preview” feature is ultra-handy for an office environment where labels may be seen by clients and visitors, and need to look professional every time.

The improved user interface displays all menu commands without scrolling, and includes easy-to-read icons for formatting options. Don’t underestimate the power of this feature! For any of you that have used a label maker in the past that does not allow you to see the commands or icons, you will love this new feature.

Customization features are plentiful. You can choose from 3 fonts and 7 text styles, and highlight your text with 8 box styles or underlining. You can print up to nine copies of the same label and prevent repeated work with a 9-label memory and “save text” feature. This is one of my favorite features of this label maker! If you are working on a big office project, and need to print the same types of labels over and over, this feature saves you the lost time and effort of retyping.

The LabelManager 360D uses DYMO D1 labels in 1/4”, 3/8″, 1/2″ and 3/4″ widths, which gives you a wide range of choices. You can enter text quickly and naturally with the familiar computer-style keyboard layout (I love a real QWERTY keyboard!), and use special function keys for fast access to punctuation marks, currency, and other special symbols — another nice feature in a work environment.

But my favorite feature hands-down is the 360D’s compact, lightweight design. I like my gadgets streamlined, attractive and compact, and the 360D delivers! It is perfect for any office or workspace. It can be left out on display on your desktop for you to use it when needed. And when not in use, it won’t take up much space and will be a sleek and stylish addition to your office. The Dymo Desktop Label Maker 360D will appeal to a busy professional that not only wants to stay organized, but look organized too!

Full disclosure: This is sponsored content and we have been paid to do this post. That being said, we do not blog about anything we do not believe in and Dymo did not edit our post or direct our content in any way.

What is it about labels that makes any environment, especially an office, more organized? Well, for one, labels look good! They are neat and orderly, and visually appealing. When I walk into an office and see labels, it automatically gives me the impression of being an organized place. It tells me that the people that work in that office took the time to categorize and name items, and then affix labels to them. If you want to instantly look more organized at the office, add labels!

But let’s face it — labels don’t only look good, they help an office environment function better and be more productive. It is easy to identify items, find them, store them, etc. An easy-to-use labeler, like the ones made by Dymo, works wonders in an office environment.

So, for 2011, here are ways to use a labeler at the office to get more organized:

  • Postage meter – Dymo makes a labeler that also prints postage. How cool is that? I plan to use this feature a lot in 2011 to save me the trip to the post office!
  • File folders – If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know how much I love labeled file folders. Yes, I know I sound like a broken record, but there is nothing more professional looking than file folders with labels on them. It beats messy, handwritten labels any day!
  • Print labels from your computer – Labels are easy to print using a Dymo labeler that synchs with your computer. You just type what you want the label to say on your computer screen, hit print, and voila — a professionally looking label every time.
  • Name badges – Have a meeting or other event coming up? Use a Dymo labeler to print professionally looking name badges. A bonus — if you misspell someone’s name, you just run back to your office and print off a new badge.
  • DVD/CD labels – You can use labelers to print labels for DVDs or CDs. That way, you can easily identify what the DVD or CD has on it. In the event that you share the DVD or CD with a business colleague or client, it looks professional and will more likely make its way back to you if the person knows its yours!
  • Boxed lunches – If you host events at the office and often serve a boxed lunch, you can easily label each lunch with the contents so that people can easily identify what’s inside. For example, I am a vegetarian, so I appreciate when I can see which boxed lunch is a veggie option!
  • Address labels – If you want professional looking address labels for your mailings, you can use a Dymo labeler to print them out and affix them to your envelopes. This makes mass mailings a lot easier and more efficient when you use the labeler software and print them out from your computer.
  • Bar Code Labels – If you sell products for your business, you will love the ability to easily print bar code labels from a labeler. You can change the label every time you have a price change or sale.
  • Inventory Labels – If you take inventory at the office, you will find the ability to print inventory labels extremely handy! It is easier to track inventory and, therefore, be more organized, and possibly save money too!
  • Add your logo to labels – With many labelers these days, including those by Dymo, you can add your business logo to the labels. Now that looks professional!

Take the time to label your office, and harness the power of today’s new labelers. Your office will then not only be more organized, but will look it too!

Full disclosure: This is sponsored content and we have been paid to do this post. That being said, we do not blog about anything we do not believe in and Dymo did not edit our post or direct our content in any way.

Okay, folks, I know I sound label happy. To be honest, I am! I love using labels in an office because they are so neat looking, and the visual cue is a powerful one that helps you to see what the contents of an item are. So here are 10 ways to use labels to get organized in your office. Grab a few and have fun while boosting your productivity. And be sure to check out the great line of label makers by Dymo . They have a label maker for every type of office environment and need.

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I love being organized. Yes, you would expect that from a Certified Professional Organizer, but let’s face it, not everyone practices what they preach. But I really do live my life and run my business in an organized way because I truly believe that being organized makes your life and business run more smoothly in every way imaginable.

Continue Reading…

I was recently asked by Get Buttoned Up to review The DYMO® LabelWriter® 450 Twin Turbo. And I am calling this one the “Mother Ship” of Professional Label Makers, as it is really cool, my friends.

If you are a busy professional working hard in your office, you will love the Dymo 450. Why? Because the Dymo LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo increases your labeling and mailing efficiency in the office. How? It holds not one, but two, label rolls, allowing you to get more labeling and mailing done in less time.

Yes, you read that right. Labeling AND mailing. You can print address labels and United States Postal Service approved DYMO Stamps® postage without swapping label rolls. Wow! You can also print large batches faster by loading two rolls of the same label – the DYMO LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo automatically switches to the second roll when the first runs out.

It is also fast! You can print up to 71 labels per minute. And it even pays for itself in a short time, as you can say goodbye to expensive ink and toner — it doesn’t need any! It uses direct thermal printing.

The Dymo 450 Twin Turbo packs a powerful productivity punch in a small attractive device that easily fits in a small space on your desktop. It comes with software to print labels directly from text in popular software programs, verifies US addresses and ZIP+4 codes, and much more.

As an added bonus, Buttoned Up is doing a contest! Anyone who emails them a tip for labeling info@getbuttonedup.com or posts one on their Facebook page (facebook.com/getbutonedup) will be entered to win a $50 AMEX gift card.  Send in your tips to enter!

(Full disclaimer – I am receiving a $20 Target gift card from Dymo as a thank you for trying out their product line, which I will use to buy . . . What else? Organizing products to give away during workshops to my participants!)

So if you want the Mother Ship of label makers, with a postage printer thrown in, take a look at the Dymo 450 LabelWriter. You won’t be disappointed, trust me!