I’m always a fan of colorful, happy folders — maybe not for submitting things to your supervisor, but they’re great for your own purposes. These navy/yellow/pink folders from The Container Store pretty much ring all of my bells — and they’re only $5.99 for a pack of six. Hooray! Container Store Sweet Pea File Folders
Where can you get a great padfolio for the office? Reader N wonders about a decent padfolio..
I have been searching for a decent padfolio for what feels like ages. It seems like everything out there is clunky and overly masculine. Where can I find a professional, but feminine or at least sophisticated padfolio? Help!
I remember hunting for something similar a few years ago. I wanted: something zippable and expandable, something that could hold my Blackberry (ah, the late 2000s) if I didn’t have pockets or a belt and suddenly needed to carry a box (or 3) back to my office. I also wanted something that I could keep “packed” with a notepad, pen/pencil/highlighter, lip gloss, hand cream, business cards, tape flags, and post-it notes and just grab and go. Also key: I wanted something that looked nicer than a redweld or a Trapper Keeper. I finally found it at Office Max or Staples, but I remember having to hunt for a while. If I were looking today, these were the ones that I would choose (below). Readers, do you use a padfolio at the office? Whether you’re running to a quick meeting or working away from your office (e.g., in a conference room) all day, what do you grab with you to go? [Read more...]
We’ve talked about healthy snacks to keep at the office before, but since it is the season for healthy eating resolutions, I thought now might be a great time to talk again about what your favorite snacks are — what do you bring with you? What do you keep at the office?
When I was working in Big Law I kept a banker’s box on the window stuffed full of a variety of snacks — when I was packing my office to switch jobs, a supervisor came into the office and I offered her some, since I was just throwing away a lot of them — we’d worked closely together for four years and she couldn’t get over how she’d always just thought it was a box of docs, like all the other boxes in our offices… In those days I ate far too many 100-calorie Nabisco treats, but these days, I’m a big fan of:
- seaweed snacks for mindless munching — 30 calories, low in sodium, and with a reasonably short ingredient list — sign me up. I buy the Sea’s Gift brand in bulk.
- hard-boiled eggs — I almost always eat two a day (but only one yolk). I highly recommend throwing the egg shells and whatever you didn’t eat in the kitchen trash instead of the trash by your desk. I particularly love that you can just wrap a hard-boiled egg in a napkin, throw it in your purse, and go.
- string cheese. I’m kind of obsessed with Trader Joe’s Light String Cheese — it’s cheap and only 50 calories a stick. I tend to buy it in bulk when I go since Trader Joe’s is a bit of a trek for me.
- Raw nuts. I’m taking a break from eating raw nuts right now (I’ve eaten enough raw almonds to last a lifetime!) but I like buying the portion-controlled packs from Fresh Direct of cashews, walnuts, and almonds. (I don’t have a huge problem with overeating raw nuts, but I feel like the smaller packs stay fresher — once they’re opened I store them in the fridge.) Trader Joe’s is another great resource for these.
- yogurt — I’ve gotten more into Greek yogurt like Chobani because I like the shorter ingredients list; I often eat this for a mid-morning snack.
- Fruit – I particularly like apples (Pink Lady especially) because they’re hearty enough to throw in your bag, aren’t too juicy, and don’t need to be cut. Unfortunately I’ve read a lot about how organic apples really are worth the expense; when I’m buying nonorganic I try to rinse and towel-dry. (I feel like the towel-drying does more than the rinsing sometimes.)
- Fruit Gushers. Ok, “healthy” is pushing it — but I do like that these are very portion controlled (90 calories per pack), and they satisfy my desire for licorice/fruity yummy-ness. Again, I’ve started buying in bulk from Amazon (we are both Prime members and members of Amazon Mom, so we get 20% off subscribe and save items when we have 5+ items per order — it’s addictive!). Trader Joe’s used to have tiny fruit strips called “Fiberfuls” that were 50 calories each and full of fiber — so good! — but I think they’ve stopped making it. Dried fruit is a much more healthy option in this category, but I tend to have a portion control problem with my favorites, mango and pears. Readers who share my love of licorice/chewy fruit candy, which are your favorite snacks?
Readers, what are your favorite snacks to keep at work? Do you have a place to keep refrigerated snacks, or do you focus on shelf-stable snacks?
How do YOU like to decorate your desk? Where is the line between “plain vanilla robot” and “crazed Cathy fan”?
You covered desk essentials recently, but what I’ve really been wondering is: How do you “decorate” a desk? Where do you draw the line between professional and tacky?
I’m a young (25) legal professional working in a very casual environment where most of the other people in the building are not lawyers. Most of these other people are women who are fairly close to retirement age, so their desks are…. well, tacky. Think small animals holding signs with “witty sayings” and billions of pictures of grandchildren. At the moment, I only have some nice letter holders and a pretty inbox on my desk. I’d like my desk to look professional, but I have no idea what a professional desk has on it!
We’ve talked about how to personalize an office before, as well as liven up your office walls, as well as how to choose your own office furniture, but not in a while, so I’m curious. For my $.02, my desk/office space (even in BigLaw) has always included these things: [Read more...]
What do you do if you don’t have a specific desk or workspace every day, and instead have to carry everything you need for work with you? How do you set up a mobile office, or deal with a “hot desking” situation? I’ve had a few questions about this recently, so let’s discuss.
First, Reader S — a British reader starting a new career — will be spending most workdays at clients’ offices, with no more than one day a week at the home office; she may also be commuting on very crowded public trains to and from her work. Essentially, she wonders:
How do I create a “mobile office?
- what are the essentials I should carry everday in order to have everything I need, but not look like I’m moving in and damaging my back in the process?
- What should I bring with me but maybe leave in the hotel room if I don’t need them EVERY day?
- How do I pack light clotheswise but stay stylish?
- Also, what few things should be the things I prioritize and keep in my locker at my company’s office?
A second reader, R (also from the UK! hello Brits!) wonders how to deal with a new office where “we ‘hot desk,’ meaning there are desk tops with docking stations but no drawers or pedestals (with a small locker allocated to them, so small it won’t even fit a pair of shoes.)
Whoa. I’ve always been the kind of worker who likes to really personalize my office — it’s one of the main reasons I’ve resisted working in coffee shops or a group office space now that I’m self-employed. Although it looks like hot desking is already fairly common overseas, Inc. notes that it’s the “latest office design craze” here in America as well, so let’s discuss. (And I’ll say at the outset that your job will dictate what you need — an accountant may need a more specific calculator than the one on your phone; a lawyer may need more highlighters or tape flags than a consultant, and so forth.) We’ve talked before about how to lighten your tote bag, but here are a few more ideas for you: [Read more...]
Can you do a post on essential things to keep in your office/desk? I ask this because I never think of things to bring in until it is too late. Recent example — I’m about to go to a client meeting, and I look down and see my bright pink nail polish half chipped off on every nail. Of course I didn’t have any nail polish remover in my office, so I waste my 10 minutes before the meeting looking around for remover. Other examples include: nail clipper and file, bandaids, Advil.
Some of my favorite posts on the blog are on things to keep in your office — drugstore stuff for your office, tech stuff to buy for your office, food to keep at the office, and the clothes that should live at your office. We’ve also done a fun post on different uses for office supplies (in a pinch). But we haven’t talked about this in a long while, so let’s discuss. Readers, please list your top ten absolute essentials for your office! What have you been surprised to get a lot of use out of?
For my own $.02, if I had to set up a totally new office, I would bring: [Read more...]