Yearly Archives: 2018

Top 5 Stocking Stuffers for Professionals

The holidays are quickly approaching, and for many, it can be a stressful time of year. While scrambling to attend every holiday get together, cooking and baking, and buying perfect gifts for your loved ones, buying stocking stuffers may feel like a last-minute purchase. However, sometimes the smallest gifts are the most meaningful. When it comes to buying gifts for working professionals, practical and stylish are foolproof. Use this guide to buy the professional, coworker, or colleague in your life a gift they won’t soon forget.

2019 Planner

A new year calls for new resolutions – and new planners. Help your coworkers, friends or spouse be more organized with a new planner. Planners are perfect for keeping track of important meetings and deadlines, appointments, vacation days and more. Using a planner also helps increase productivity, manage stress, and practice time management. With so many brands and styles to choose from, you’re sure to find one that fits the style and needs of any professional.

M/F–701 Gift Set

The perfect pen can make a great first impression at a new job or with a new boss or client. Zebra’s STEEL M/F-701 gift set includes the new all-metal STEEL F-701 ballpoint pen and the STEEL M-701 mechanical pencil. Both are made with stainless steel, and feature a knurled grip for a unique writing experience. Sleek, sophisticated and durable, this gift set was created for the working professional.

Business Card Holder

In any industry, networking is crucial. It’s important to always be prepared with business cards when travelling, attending conferences, or meeting new people. Give the gift of style and confidence with a business card holder. This will make carrying cards even easier and will prevent the cards from tearing or bending in a bag, purse or pocket.

Ear Buds

Between a morning and evening commute, lunch breaks, and long days, ear buds or head phones make the perfect gift for the professional in your life. Surprise a colleague, boss or mentor with a pair of sleek headphones for listening to music, business podcasts, and more. Listening to music during the day can relieve stress and feelings of anxiousness during busy days at work. Some studies show that music can help make repetitive tasks more enjoyable, and can also help boost productivity and creativity.

Sarasa Grand

The right accessory can help you stand out from the crowd and boost your confidence at work. Surprise your friends or coworkers with Zebra’s Sarasa Grand this holiday. Available in rose gold, gold, and navy, the Sarasa Grand Retractable Pen is perfect for professionals who value self-expression and a smooth, premium writing experience.

 

Sometimes the best gifts come in small packages. Keep gifts practical and professional this holiday season and get your coworkers gifts they are sure to use everyday.

Ace Your Finals With These Study Tips

Are you ready for finals season? There’s no better time to develop strong study habits to prepare for upcoming exams, papers and projects. Use these tips to minimize stress and nail your finals.

Study with Classmates

Organize a study group with fellow classmates to help each other out. Most likely, know information your classmate doesn’t quite understand and vice versa. Use your knowledge and skills to help someone out and they can use theirs to help you.

Re-Write Notes

A great way to kick off a study session is by rewriting your notes. Whether you write terms and definitions on index cards or you simply re-write your notes in your notebook, it’s important to use the right instruments and focus on the information you are writing. Handwriting information serves as a great review before you really dive deeper into your learning.

Get a Full Night’s Sleep

Going to sleep at a reasonable hour will allow for more productive study sessions in the days leading up to your final, and especially the night before your final. If pre-test jitters keep you awake, try meditating to put your mind at ease.

Stay Organized

Each semester, you most likely have multiple finals to study for. It’s important to find ways to keep your notes and study guides organized. Color-coding is a great way to do this! Use Zebra Mildliners for a unique mild color that appears softly on paper, featuring a broad and fine tip for all hand lettering and marking applications.

Take Breaks

Breaks are not selfish, they are absolutely necessary. Grab a snack, take a walk, or even go to the gym to take a well-deserved mental break. You will return to studying refreshed and ready to work.

Meet With Your Professor

They are there to help! Even if you’re just confused on a certain topic, going to meet with your professor shows initiative and proves that you care about your studies. It’s never a bad idea to meet with your teacher or professor before a final.

Teach Someone Else

Research shows that students have better memory and recall ability when they learn with the intention of teaching the information to someone else. Test your memory and try to teach someone else the information you are studying. Ask them to repeat back to you what they understood from your lesson to make sure that you are being clear and concise in your teaching and learning because this will be reflective on your exam.

Make It Fun

You shouldn’t dread studying. Get creative and make your study sessions custom fit your personal preferences. For example, if you enjoy drawing, try creating images to help you recall information. If you enjoy poetry, try coming up with an acrostic poem or rhymes to remember information. Check out Zebra’s Zensations line to awaken your inner artist and let the creativity flow.

Try a New Study Spot

Where you choose to study has more of an effect on your retention than you may realize. According to a study, instead of sticking to one study location, simply alternating the room where a person studies improves retention If you’re used to studying in the same spot all the time, switch it up and try a new location.

Use Reliable Instruments

The last thing you need on the day of a final is to be well-studied and prepared only to find that your pen is being spotty or running low on ink. Stick to utensils that you can rely on and always bring extras. Check out Zebra’s STEEL line of pens for a instruments that combine style, strength, and value to ensure your writing comfort with industry-leading precision and stability to ace your finals this semester!

5 Ways to Boost Creativity at Work

When work feels admittedly boring or redundant, it can be difficult to get your head back in the right space to be productive. Use these tips to boost your creativity at work and make the most of your workday.

Be Mindful of Your Productive Peaks and Pits

According to Business Insider, it is more beneficial to work with your natural rhythms than against them. Some people tend to work more efficiently in the morning while others are more creative in the afternoon. It’s important to acknowledge these peaks so that you can take advantage of your most productive time frames. On the other hand, acknowledging and coping with your pits is just as important. Work through slumps by getting some fresh air or collaborating with a coworker. If you’re able to, sit in a different room for a fresh perspective.

Use Color to Get Organized

Colors greatly affect your emotions and thinking; you can use this to your advantage at work. According to Shift Learning, using the different colors can have a huge impact on behaviors and attitudes while learning or working. Green is said to promote concentration, while orange is said to be uplifting. Blue and orange paired together while highlighting information promotes high levels of thought and comprehension. For soft, beautiful colors to use while highlighting, use Zebra Mildliners. These pastel highlighters are double-ended, perfect for organization all while being easy on the eyes and giving you an opportunity to express your creativity.

Take an Inspiration Break

You can’t pour from an empty cup. Sometimes the best way to focus on the task at hand is to step away for a moment. Read some motivating quotes, watch an inspiring video, or listen to your favorite song or a portion of a podcast to refocus and refresh. Allow yourself to take ten or fifteen minutes to clear your mind and search for inspiration elsewhere. Taking a break is a great way to stay motivated and keep the creativity flowing throughout your work day.

Start Your Day with a To-Do List

Hold yourself accountable by creating a to-do list at the beginning of your day. Give yourself some time to plan for the day ahead and prioritize your tasks. Physically writing these lists out helps to keep your goals and actions aligned while working. As you work, check off each task as it is completed to give yourself a sense of accomplishment, no matter how small the task. Use fun stationary to keep track of your weekly schedule.

Write Handwritten Notes When You Can

Looking at a computer or phone screen for too long can begin to irritate your eyes. Try your best to take breaks from screen time by writing handwritten notes as often as possible. When attending a meeting, leave your laptop or tablet at your desk and grab a pen and paper instead. The products you use to write matter. For a premium, work-friendly line of writing instruments, check out Zebra’s STEEL line of sophisticated and stylish products. Not only does handwriting information boost creativity, it produces a more complex thought pattern and can help with memory as well.

 

 

 

 

Best Drawing Tips To Use During Inktober

By: Mark Klein

During late September, every artist, professional or beginner begins drawing to participate in “Inktober,” the time of year that gives creativity a chance to shine.

Inktober is a month-long challenge meant to inspire artists to hopefully create new drawings daily, and establish productive, artistic habits. Most of all, we get to share our art and process with our peers. It’s challenging, helpful, and most of all, fun.

Luckily, my friends at Zebra Pen to write a blog on my Inktober process and share with you. I hope you can use these helpful hints throughout Inktober!

I often get asked, “how did you learn to draw?” The answer is, I was never taught, because I believe that a person cannot be “taught”. Everyone can draw, but just like athletics or music, it requires practice and a lot of disappointments. Much like any other hobby, drawing requires practice, practice, and more practice. During Inktober, you will shock and surprise yourself on what you can do. Inktober gives us 31 days to practice and share with others. You will be amazed at your progress from October 1st until we finish on Halloween!

Here are some tips for those new to Inktober, and just beginning:

Draw what you enjoy.

Inktober gives us prompts, but most of all to be successful, draw what you enjoy.

Draw like you, and in your style.

Our art “styles” are what make us so vastly different and wonderful.

Experiment with different pen or ink types, or entirely new medias.

Find what makes you comfortable and let your work shine. You will be surprised.

Stick with it.

31 drawings in 31 days can seem like a marathon. Take a day off here and there, because everyone works at their own pace. We are here as an artistic community to have each other’s backs, and to motivate and support.

Most of all, enjoy yourself.

Have fun, share your work. You will be amazed at your process and progression!

I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s work this year. Just tag your work with #Inktober,  #Inktober2018, and #ZensationsChallenge for a chance to win your own Zebra Zensations products.. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @officialartmark

Good luck, and get those fingers inky. Cheers.

Mark A. Klein

@OFFICIALARTMARK

Top 5 Fall Activities For The Whole Family

Temperatures are cooling down and leaves are falling, which can only mean one thing. It’s time to take advantage of the autumn weather with the whole family! The cozy weather and beautiful foliage are only here for a short time. Use these tips and enjoy these fall activities to embrace all the fun and adventure this season has to offer.

Camping/Hiking

With the start of a new school year, it’s especially important to take advantage of weekends. Optimize your weekends with fun day or overnight trips by camping or hiking. Whether you’re enjoying gorgeous views, building fires for s’mores or learning about nature— there are so many ways to make hiking and camping both fun as well as educational. Keep a journal or sketchbook to document your experience and allow yourself to get creative. Zebra’s new STEEL X-701 Retractable Ballpoint Pen is the perfect writing utensil to take with you on your getaway. Its patent-pending pressurized barrel allows you to write in even the harshest weather conditions, making it the perfect outdoor pen!

Pumpkin and Apple Picking

Pumpkin and apple picking are both classic autumn activity that are perfect for kids and adults alike. Allow kids to select their own pumpkins and help them carve funny faces or their favorite characters. Enjoy a hayride and take in the sights, sounds and smells of fall at a local farm.

Fall Baking

One of the best parts of the season is enjoying warm comfort food with the ones you love.  Follow a handwritten family recipe or try something new using ingredients you picked yourself.  Get the whole family involved with the process from start to finish.

Drawing

Autumn’s beauty awakens the senses. Channel your inner artist with the whole family and create fall portraits. Doodle or sketch your favorite fall scene and share it with your family as part of your autumn decor. Use the Zebra Zensations line of calligraphy pens, brush pens and colored pencils to doodle, hand letter, and more.

Fall Crafts

Bare branches and fallen leaves are an autumn staple. Savor their beauty by collecting and pressing your favorite leaves for a journal or scrapbook. Take a walk and search or look through your own yard to find your favorites then press them between pages of a book to preserve their color and shape as much as possible. After a few hours or days, they can be glued onto pages of a journal or scrapbook to keep for as long as you’d like! You could also use leaves to create a leaf rubbing craft by placing the leaf under a sheet of paper and using a colored pencil to color lightly over the bends and stems of the leaf.

Don’t let the beautiful weather and scenery slip by this fall and get outside to enjoy the season with the whole family.

3 Ways To Incorporate Writing Into Self-Care Practice

Practicing self-care is more than just exercising and eating healthy.  However, it’s also crucial to develop habits that nurture your mental health. Writing can be a powerful tool to ease your mind and allow your creativity to flourish.

According to writer and psychotherapist Karen Dempsey, writing is a self-care activity that she highly recommends to her clients. “In my work as a psychotherapist, I encourage my clients to keep a journal – or at least to allow themselves to write freely when they have pent-up emotions that need to be aired. ‘Better out then in’ is my mantra,” Dempsey explains in her article, “How Expressive Writing Can Support Your Mental Health.” Whether you choose to keep a daily journal, anyone can use writing to improve their mental health. Anyone can benefit from exploring and understanding emotions through writing.

Self-Care Daily Recap 

Incorporating writing into your daily routine allows you to unwind and spend quiet time alone before bed, after work, or whenever suits you best. Write and reflect on the peaks and valley of your day to track your progress, accomplishments, and challenges you have overcome. Using your favorite pen will help you look forward to writing at the end of the day. Try the new Sarasa Grand, or the STEEL G-402 for a smooth performance and attractive barrel.

Optimist-Only Writing

This technique allows you to find positivity in any day. Optimist-only writing exercises your ability to let go of negativity, and focus solely on positive emotions that you may feel on a daily or weekly basis.  Write about how obstacles will make you a better employee, student, and person. Create a bullet journal spread of positive mantras, and use Zebra Mildliners to decorate and color.

Expressive Writing

Expressive writing allows you to record an authentic, raw stream of consciousness without paying attention to perfect handwriting or grammar. Allow your creativity to take over, and use fun products like Zensations Fountain Pens or Sarasa Fineliners.

Nail Your Next Interview With These Easy Tips

Interviews can be tough. The goal is to to present your most authentic self, all while explaining the depth of your experience. Stress can alter how you behave and interact during an interview and may impact how you are perceived. Use these tips to help combat pre-interview nervousness and make a powerful first impression.

Do Your Research Before The Interview

Take some time to learn about the position and company you are applying for, and determine how that role and employer can help you achieve your future goals. Determine a few questions you’d like to ask during the interview that prove you’ve done your research, and to show you’re truly interested in working there.

Embody Your Best Qualities

How do you want your interviewer to remember you? Focus on how you can portray those two qualities. For example, if you consider yourself professional and knowledgeable you may place some extra focus on your appearance and research when preparing for your interview. If you consider yourself passionate and personable you may show up a little early for your interview and allow your personality to guide the conversation. Remember to stay true to yourself throughout the interview.

Prepare Thoroughly

Be sure to discuss any relevant experience you have that could benefit the company. Write down a few talking points and previous roles before the interview so you feel comfortable and confident speaking. If you have held any leadership positions, don’t be afraid to mention them and how they have prepared you for your career. According to Forbes, mentioning your other involvements including sports teams or other groups can help you connect with the interviewer on a deeper level.

Bring Your Resume And Your Favorite Pen

If you have a padfolio, be sure to bring a few copies of your resume, a cover letter, and some extra pages to take notes. For professional and stylish writing instruments, check out Zebra’s STEEL line. If you prefer a smooth, gel pen that makes a statement, use a Sarasa Grand. Prepare these items the night before and put them on the counter or in your car so that you don’t forget them on your way out the door.

Arrive Early

Find directions, plan for traffic, or even take the drive to the interview location ahead of time so that you can prevent being late. Being late can give the wrong impression, and make you seem careless and unprepared.

Be Mindful

Take a minute and just focus on your breathing before you go into your interview. Try to remain calm, and think positive thoughts. Get a drink of water if you need one, and know that you prepared to the best of your ability.

Follow Up

Send an email that evening or the following morning thanking the interviewer for their time.. Make sure you give the interviewer the appropriate information they may need in order to call you back or inform you on the status of your interview. End the email by letting them know that you are eager to hear back from them.

Be Proud of Yourself

If you did your research and prepared to the best of your ability, know that no matter what happens you gave it your all. As long as you tried your best, you should feel confident and know that even the interviews that don’t turn into jobs, are great practice.

Stay Organized During Back to School with Zebra Mildliners

By: Laura Geraci

The beginning of fall semester is both my favorite and least favorite time of the school year. It’s tough to leave the relaxing monotony of summer, and it is daunting to take on a full school schedule after three blissful months of relaxation. On the other hand, it’s always exciting to be reunited with friends and get back into the swing of things. One great thing about the fall semester is that by the time it rolls around, you’ve almost forgotten about the endless nights you spent drinking energy drinks at the library late at night. Never again during the school year will you feel as refreshed and as ready to take on new challenges as you do at the very beginning of the fall.

My favorite way to get ready for the academic year is to go shopping, which will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me (sorry, mom). There’s something magical about starting the year with a new set of pens and a completely blank planner. Buying myself office supplies somehow makes me feel organized and put together, even if I roll out of bed at noon and forget to brush my teeth. But seriously, owning supplies that I love motivates me to stay productive and organized.

Get the Right Tools

If you’ve spent any time at all in the bullet journal community, you will certainly have come across some nifty little markers called Zebra Mildliners. For a solid month, I was convinced they were called midliners. I even made a post where I tested every single one I had just ordered by writing the word “mid-liner.” All was fine and dandy until someone corrected me in the comments – oops!

Mildliners are just about the most popular tool used for planning, and for good reason. They come in an array of lovely pastel colors and are dual-tipped, with a chisel tip on one side and a finer marker tip on the other. The colors are vibrant and the pens have little to no bleeding, making them perfect to use in your planner.

How to Use Mildliners

I use Mildliners for absolutely everything. I refuse to take lecture notes by hand unless I have a few of them on me. They work wonderfully for highlighting headings or for doodling in the margins when your professor goes on a tangent. Mildliners are also the perfect tools to use in bullet journaling. Whether you are creating fancy headers or making a simple weekly spread, Mildliners are the ideal tool. Zebra Pen, the creator of these wonderful markers, is hosting a Mildliner Challenge in August where fans will have the chance to win products, so make sure to stay tuned!

As always, remember that there is no right or wrong way to bullet journal. What’s important is discovering the tools that allow you to achieve success and meet your goals. There’s no sense in stressing over a smudged header or a misplaced date – it is important that the process is bringing you joy.

Enter the Zebra Mildliner Challenge, and post your favorite mood trackers, monthly spreads, and other bullet journal images, tag Zebra Pen, and use the hashtag #MildlinerChallenge. Be sure to follow Zebra Pen on social media and look out for weekly prompts.

How To Take The Stress Out Of Back To School

After a summer of relaxation and fun, heading back to the hustle and bustle of the school year may seem stressful. However, there is also a lot to be excited about! Use these tips to stay calm, cool, and zen during the school year.

Maintain a Summer State of Mind

Instead of stressing about going back to school this year, try to focus on maintaining your summer mindset through the fall and winter as well. Make time for fun each day and allow yourself to practice self care when things get hectic. Continue trying new things during the school year, and spending time with friends and family.

Set Attainable Goals

Start the new school year by setting personal goals for yourself, and by helping your children set personal goals for themselves. Set weekly, monthly, and seasonal goals to help track your progress and keep the school year exciting and fulfilling! Goals can be simple such as reading a chapter of a novel each night, or long-term goals such as learning a new subject or language. Learning about subjects of your choice can help keep learning fun. Hold yourself accountable and track your progress using a journal, notebook or bullet journal.

Establish New Habits

This is the perfect time to kickstart new routines and healthy habits. Use a bullet journal or a planner to keep track of your schedule, and make sure you have time for work, leisure, and other activities. If you’ve been wanting to pick up a new hobby such as yoga or cooking, make sure you designate times for those things during the school year so that you have something to look forward to each day. Try using Zebra Mildliner highlighters to organize your goals or schedule by color and priority each day! Mildliners are perfect for bullet journaling, planning, coloring and more.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of taking time to focus on mental health by living in the moment and focusing on the present. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, especially when faced with assignments and deadlines. When you’re planning your day or week, designate some time for yourself to practice mindfulness such as meditation or journaling.

5 Professional Items You Need To Start Your Semester

For students and professionals, it’s important equip yourself with the right tools to take to a job or internship. Being prepared will allow you to feel confident and ready for whatever tasks are thrown your way. Make sure you have these five professional items before you start this school year.

Planner

Whether you’re embarking on the job search, or starting a new job or internship, keeping a professional planner is a helpful way to stay on top of upcoming deadlines, vacation days, and important meetings. Keep all of you work-related notes in one organized planner to hold yourself responsible for finding or maintaining that dream job.

Pens

Not all pens are created for the professional world. However, Zebra STEEL pens are designed with style, strength and professionalism in mind. The Zebra STEEL F-701 is an all metal, stainless steel ballpoint retractable pen making it the perfect writing instrument for note-taking, interviews, and a professional setting. For all your professional writing needs, check out Zebra’s STEEL line of pens, in addition to the sleek and stylish Sarasa Grand.

Bluetooth Headphones

Bluetooth headphones are perfect for getting work done in coffee shops, bookstores, or other public places. They’re also great for the daily commute and relaxing before interviews on public transportation. Listening to career-related podcasts on your lunch break or even at the gym can be a great way to supplement your learning – and impress your boss.

USB Drive

Keep and save your hard work by using a USB drive. If you’re a student, keep a USB or hard drive to save extra copies of papers, assignments, and study material. At work, use a USB to gather portfolio materials and other work-related examples along with your resume. This will allow you to access your files anywhere.

Notebook

Though it may seem simple, carrying a notebook or journal is a great way to make a good first impression. Take notes in an interview, and every day at company meetings. Hand writing notes has been proven to help students retain information better than writing on a laptop of tablet. It’s also important to keep in mind that sometimes unfortunately, technology does fail us however if you take care and hold onto a notebook, you may keep those notes forever.