Guest post by: Alesia Netuk of primarylearning.org
We live in an age of growing opportunities for children to utilize technology to create their writing. From typing, to stylus pens, to voice-to-text software, there are many ways children can write other than picking up a pencil. While technology can be efficient and also provide accommodations for children who struggle with traditional pencil and paper tasks, there is still value in learning to write.
Writing helps develop visual motor skills. This is the communication between the eyes and the hands that allows us to write. These skills are necessary for other tasks as well, such as reading or catching a ball.
Writing by hand is also believed by some to slow down our thought process and allow us to dedicate time to areas such as spelling, punctuation, and grammar. These skills can be supported by technology but ultimately, rely on our own knowledge of how to use written language correctly.
January 29th is National Puzzle Day! Celebrate by exercising your brain with our office supply crossword puzzle and see how well you know your office supply trivia!
Whether it’s a crossword, jigsaw, trivia, word searches, brain teasers or Soduku, puzzles put our minds to work.
Studies have found that when we work on a jigsaw puzzle, we use both sides of the brain, and spending time daily working on puzzles improves memory, cognitive function and problem-solving skills.
Word searches and crossword puzzles have the obvious benefit of increasing vocabulary and language skills.
Sudoku, a puzzle sequencing a set of numbers on a grid, exercises the brain as well. By testing memory and logical thinking, this puzzle stimulates the brain and can improve number skills.
The bottom line is, puzzles stimulate the brain, keeping it active and practicing its skills.
See how well you did!
Many times when we talk with small offices about their office and janitorial products, they tell us they just send someone out to pick them up. Running out to a big box store to take advantage of the flyer price for BIC pens might save you a few cents, but it will cost you in staff time and potentially expose you to risks associated with having staff on the road rather than in their place of work. The prices at the dollar stores sure are hard to beat…but what do you know about the quality or source of that box of highlighters that just saved you $2?
Given enough time and resources, you can eventually find a lower price on almost any given item. But we have to ask – at what cost? The time and expense is obvious, but the associated risks are no less troublesome, and questions abound. What happens if your employee is in a car accident while shopping? What is the cost or risk of them being away from their assigned duties? What do you know about the origin or quality of those impossibly cheap supplies? Are you really saving anything when you have to replace your whiteboard markers three times as often? And the phenomenon of impulse buying is real – how much are you spending on unnecessary items because they were well displayed in a store?
To have a more realistic picture of the true costs, we have calculated the labor costs below depending on what the employee makes per hour. - see our chart below.
Paper grows trees...quite fast!Submitted by: Phil Riebel 03/10/2017
In North America, it takes less than 2 seconds to grow the fiber needed for a standard #10 envelope (on 100 acres of managed forests).
For many years, International Paper's "Go Paper. Grow Trees." campaign and "Print Grows Trees" operated by the Printing & Graphics Association MidAtlantic have been promoting the vital link between paper / print and the long-term retention of privately-owned (including family-owned) forest lands. In short, a strong market for pulp, paper, lumber and other forest products, does grow trees.
In North America we grow many more trees than we harvest. Forest area in the U.S. increased by 5,800 NFL football fields per day between 2007 and 2012, or a total of 14 million acres.[ii] In Canada, the forest cover has remained stable over the last two decades and, in recent years, Canada’s actual harvest has been 44% of annual growth.[iii]
To illustrate the powerful renewable features of well managed North American forests, we calculated how much time it takes to grow some well-known paper products: a standard #10 envelope and a ream of office copy paper (500 sheets). The results may surprise you!
Our calculation methods
It is possible to estimate the time needed to grow wood fiber for certain paper products on a given forest area. The results depend on which tree species are used to make these paper products and the age and growing conditions of the trees. Soil fertility and moisture, drainage conditions and the number of trees per acre all affect tree growth rate. Tree species also vary widely in their wood density: a higher density wood will produce more fiber for the same weight than a low density wood.
The necessary data and fiber growth rate calculations were obtained from the literature for nine tree species used in pulp and paper production and occurring under different growing conditions in the U.S. and Canada. The objective of this exercise was to develop estimates of the time it takes to grow the wood fiber necessary for the given paper products.
Click here to see our detailed data table.
The time required to grow the fiber needed for a #10 envelope is 0.3 to 1.9 seconds per 100 acres of managed North American forest.
The time required to grow the fiber needed for a ream of 500-sheet office paper is 0.3 to 2.2 hours per 100 acres of managed North American forest.
The fastest growth rates were for Loblolly Pine and Hybrid Aspen, and the slowest for Black Spruce, with climate and temperature playing a large role in growth rates.
Given the above, a forest land owner or tree farmer who has 100 acres of commercial pulpwood could produce enough wood fiber for the following products, with just the new tree growth achieved in 1 year:
Given the progress of sustainable forestry in North America, environmental claims related to forest products such as paper must consider the renewability and growth of well managed forests. In other words, claims such as “go paperless – go green” or “save trees” mislead consumers into believing that paper is a cause of deforestation (permanent forest loss) when it clearly is not. Well managed forests provide a multitude of environmental, social and economic benefits to thousands of North American communities. They are also key to helping mitigate climate change due to carbon sequestration, and promoting biodiversity compared to other land uses.
Forest products such as paper can support a vibrant and renewable forest cycle that can be sustainably managed for the long-term.[i]
For more on these features of paper, see our Two Sides Fact sheets or our Myths and Facts series.
Office supplies may seem like a minor expense compared to the other costs of doing business, such as equipment or employee salaries. However, over time, the costs of office supplies can add up, especially as your company grows in size.
According to a study by United Stationers, businesses spend $186 to $544 on office supplies per employee per year depending on the size of the company. No matter what size your company is, reducing unnecessary expenses will help streamline your operations and increase your bottom line.
Here are 7 ways to save money on office supplies.
1. Buy Generic
Instead of buying name brand supplies, consider using generic or store brand products, particularly for office supplies such as sticky notes, folders, and staples where any difference in the quality of the products won’t have much consequence.
For example, a set of 3×3″ brand name 3M sticky notes with 12 pads of notes retails for $19.99, while the generic version is 36% cheaper at $12.71.
2. Refill supplies before they run out
Proactively replenish your supplies so that you can reduce costs by buying in bulk. It costs less per unit to buy 10 boxes of paper towels, than to buy one roll at a time. Buying in bulk will also allow you to place fewer orders, saving both time and delivery. Pick a specific day every month, such as the last day of the month, and make a habit of placing orders for office supplies on that day so that you are regularly restocking.
3. Buy quality remanufactured toner cartridges
Remanufactured toner cartridges for your printer or photocopier can be 30% cheaper than the price of new toner cartridges, while providing the same print quality.
For example, the price of a new Hewlett-Packard CE4127X cartridge is $218, compared to $50 for a remanufactured cartridge, a savings of 77%.
4. Save paper and ink when printing and copying
Set your office printers to be double-sided by default and change everyone’s default print settings to draft mode and to print in black and white. This could cut your paper usage by half, as well as save you up to 25% on toner/ink.
5. Create a reusable supplies station
Have an area for employees to leave supplies that they no longer need but that are still in working condition, such as binders, folders, writing instruments. You’ll help save the environment by recycling while reducing your company expenses.
6. Have an office supplies gate keeper
According to a study on office supply theft by Vault Inc., 67% of employees have taken office supplies from work for personal use. 60% of those who admit taking office supplies go for pens and pencils, and 40 percent take Post-Its. Other popular items stolen from the supply closet: envelopes (32%), notepads (28%), paper (27.5%), paper clips (26%) and highlighters (24%).
To ensure employees don’t access to more supplies than they need:
· Have a staff member, such as the office manager or receptionist, be the gate keeper of supplies
· If you prefer having some supplies out in the open, stock less and keep the majority locked away
7. Buy From 1 Source
Combining purchases to one source cuts down on procurement costs within your organization. Studies show that it costs a minimum of $30 to cut a PO – these costs included cutting the PO, ordering the merchandise, receiving and processing payment. By eliminating multiple vendors you save both time and money.
Contact a Twist Associate for a FREE no obligation analysis of your purchases and start saving money today!
National Paperclip Day is observed each year on May 29. Yes, even the paperclip has it’s own day of honor. It is about that well-known piece of curved wire that keeps our papers together and organized.
Fastening papers together is believed to have started back in the 13th century when short pieces of ribbon were placed through parallel cuts in the upper left hand corner of pages.
The Gem paper clip, which was most likely in production in Britain in the early 1870′s by “The Gem Manufacturing Company” , was never patented. It is the most common type of wire paper clip and is still in use today. It was introduced to the United States around 1892 and in 1904, Cushman & Denison registered a trademark for the “Gem” name in connection with paper clips. Paperclips are still sometimes called “Gem clips”.
Today, paperclips come in various sizes, shapes and colors and can make your paperwork look more fun and lively.
So, today is the day to appreciate those little pieces of wire, so celebrate by using paper clips as much as possible, and not just for keeping your papers together. There are many other uses for paper clips such as the following:
§ Hair Barrette
§ Zipper Pull Replacement
§ Book Marker
§ Cherry Pit Remover
§ Unclogging Glue Bottles
§ Christmas Tree Ornament Hooks
For more fun ideas check out these 30 CREATIVE & UNIQUE USES FOR PAPERCLIPS from One Good Thing By Jillee
A certain big event is happening in Brazil that we cannot actually mention due to sponsorship/trademark rules. However, if you happen to know what we are talking about (and EVERYONE in the world should know about it), then we thought you might want to create your own office fun to get into the spirit. The American spirit. The American spirit of competition and winning.
Here are some fun office games that you can play. But first, make sure everyone picks a country and dresses up; dressing up is half the fun!
Finger Skating is an individual event. Two athletes from each team will compete in a sixty-second typing competition. To do this, find a free timed typing website (like this). Of course using a projector attached to each computer, make sure everyone can watch them type to put the pressure on them! Each competitor has one minute to earn a typing score for both their speed and accuracy. Once all the teams are finished competing, rank them based on their scores.
Rubber Band Archery
Archery is an individual event with two players from each team competing. Provide a pile of rubber bands and draw a target on a whiteboard (or tap a target to the wall). Mark a line on the floor about 12 feet away from the target. Competitors have 60 seconds to grab rubber bands from the pile and shoot them at the target, one at a time. Count the number of times the athlete hits the target. The total number of hits becomes the team’s score for the event. Or, if you want to get fancy, you can have different point for each area of the target.
Collating is a doubles event. Each team is presented with a stack of unfolded numbered pages that have been mixed up. They must rearrange the pages in proper order and staple it. First team wins, with disqualification if pages are out of order. Penalties given for a sloppy job.
Desk Chair Sprint
For this event, create a race course with chalk or tape. Have a section in which they must spin the chair multiple times and use cones (or boxes) throughout the course as obstacles. You will need one office chair with wheels that swivel.
The Desk Chair Sprint is a two person event. One teammate sits in the chair while the other maneuvers the course; then they switch. They each need to complete one lap around the race course, and they are timed for the two laps. For every cone hit by the chair wheel, there will be 2 seconds added to the time.
If you want to raise the stakes, give participants a mug of water in their hand. Team with the most water in their cup at the end gets 5 seconds taken off their time.
The Staple Pull
Participants are given a staple remover and a piece of card stock with 25 embedded staples. Points are awarded to the participant who pulls out the most staples without damaging the card stock
Paper Airplane “Javelin”
Each participant must make a paper airplane. They then have to “javelin” throw it. Furthest airplane wins.
What would an office event like this be without awards? Everyone can be proud of their effort, but there will always be winners and losers.
What other office events have you played? Share in the comments. Bonus points if you share a link to a video of your office competing!
learn the basic differences between tapes and get ideas for using tape in unique ways to solve everyday problems
Tape 101 What's the Difference?
Doing a job right means starting out with the proper tools. Each one of Scotch Brand Tapes is designed to address a particular range of applications. Don't let the wrong tape keep your project from turning out perfect.
Get Organized with Washi Tape
With so many colors and patterns to choose from, washi tape makes it easy to distinguish between items at a glance. You can use it to differentiate electrical cords, keep glasses separate at a party, keep a calendar in order or label containers. To take your organizing to the next level you can even write on it in pen or pencil.
Fix a Frayed Shoelace
If you need to replace an aglet, the plastic or metallic tube at the end of your shoelace, look no further than Scotch MultiTask Tape. Simply wrap the tape around the frayed part to form a replacement cylinder. You can also use washi or decorative duct tape to personalize your shoelaces and add a pop of color.
Arranging Flowers with Scotch Magic Tape
Make sure your vases work harder with Scotch Magic Tape. Using strips of the same length, make an evenly spaced grid across the top of a vase (although the one in the photo is square, a round vase will work just as well).
Then, simply stick your flowers in the empty squares between the tape. This will ensure your arrangement will stand up straight without having to crowd flowers together or loading it with filler.
#TBT to 17 years ago, when Milton from Office Space made red Swingline staplers famous.
That controversial holiday is right around the corner. For me, it's Singles' Awareness Day. For others, it's day of engagements, anniversaries, and sweet celebrations of love. I'm talking about Valentine’s Day. Whether you will be receiving roses from your significant other on February 14th or not, we have some festive red (and pink) office products to replace that vase of roses on your desk. You can also check out special Valentines with a Twist on our Pinterest page:
Looking for something specific? Search our site below for more content: