Tag Archives: tips

STEEL F-701 beside a notebook, keyboard, post-it notes, and glasses in a workspace

5 Steps to Keeping A Clean and Organized Workspace

All too often, cleaning and organizing our workspaces falls at the bottom of our to-do lists. While you may think you don’t have time for office organization, you’d quickly reconsider if you really knew how much the disorganization cost you. A neat and orderly workspace can help boost your productivity, keep you focused, and help you feel less stressed throughout the workday. Follow these tips to transform your office into an efficient workspace.

1. Make it Routine

Organizing your office doesn’t have to take countless days. In fact, it can be done in a little at a time—especially when it’s treated as an on-going project, instead of a massive clear-out. Implement it into your daily routine by taking a few minutes each day to throw away trash, clear off coffee cups or dishes, and wipe everything done. Walking into a clean workspace without all the clutter will help you walk in and quickly focus in on the important agenda items for that day.

2. Digital Organization

Your physical desktop isn’t the only thing that needs to be organized—it’s equally as important to keep your digital workspace cleaned and clutter-free. Nothing’s more frustrating than when you can’t find that one file you just saved. And, let’s not even talk about the anxiety-ridden experience of when your desktop littered with files. Not only does this hinder productivity, but it can slow down the performance of your computer and clog up space. Take the time to remove duplicate files and put everything into folders that are clearly titled and color-coded with a naming convention of your choosing. Being able to find the files you need, when you actually need them, will undoubtedly increase your productivity.

3. Keep Your To-Do List Handy

When decluttering your workspace, you’ll want to organize everything based on how often you use it. Keeping a to-do list, planner, or notebook, along with your favorite pen, in an easy to access spot on your desk is key. You’ll be able to jot down and reference back to notes quickly and easily without the clutter of post-it notes being strewn all about. Another great tip for keeping your notes up to date—use a reliable pen. The All Metal STEEL F-701 Ballpoint Retractable Pen is all-metal from clip to tip and has a rugged and durable design. For a pen that reflects your personal style (and will also make you the most fashionable in the office), try the Sarasa Grand Retractable Gel Pen. Its gel ink won’t smear or smudge.

4. Minimize Desk Clutter

Decluttering the items within your workspace is a great way to minimize the amount of unnecessary clutter. If something is sitting out in the open on your desk and not shoved in a drawer, there’s a good chance it’s useful to you and will enhance your productivity. Digitally scanning important paper can allow you to free up space that paper filing cabinets or folders take up—just make sure to recycle paper you decide you don’t need. While décor can help add style to your workspace, try to keep the number of unnecessary accessories and personal items low to avoid the feeling of clutter. Your mind (and desk) will feel clearer.

5. Manage Cables and Wires

There’s nothing more distracting than seeing a bunch of cables—whether it be from our laptops, monitors, chargers, or tablets—clutter up our workspace. Using a few cable ties and adhesive hooks to reroute and organize all your cables can help relieve the feeling of overwhelming clutter. You might also notice you have more foot room (a bonus).

Having too much clutter around your workstation can be distracting and a hindrance to your daily productivity. Whether your desk is in an office or in your own home, keep your workspace organized and functional no matter the space.

Person using a Sarasa Grand Gel Retractable Pen to write a list

How to Achieve Work-Life Balance While Working from Home

Flexibility is one of the greatest perks of working from home—but while remote work does offer the ability to create your own schedule, sometimes with flexibility comes increased pressure. Without facetime with coworkers in the office, you may feel pressure to spend more time online, to cut lunches short, or you might even forget to take breaks. It is important to prioritize work-life balance both for your mental and physical health. Here are some of our best tips to achieve better balance when working from home—without having physical coworkers to remind you to leave the office on time or to take lunch away from the computer.

1. Set Working Hours

One of the most important ways to manage work-life balance is to set specific work hours for the day. Don’t sign on to work first thing when you wake up. Instead, take the time to have a solid morning routine that helps get you in the right frame of mind to begin working. This might include exercising, a cup of coffee, or making a homemade breakfast. Pick a start time and an end time for each day and stick to them. Setting boundaries for your workday allows you to make time and enjoy other things in your life.

2. Make Plans Outside of Work

Making social plans for after work can be useful for breaking the habit of working into the evening and gives you something to look forward to at the end of the day. Use a planner or a wall calendar to manage both your daily work and non-work plans with a reliable and stylish pen like the sleek Sarasa Grand Retractable Gel Pen. It comes in 6 fashionable barrel colors and has a smooth writing experience to help manage daily tasks, weekly dinner menus, and family adventures. If your plans are ever-changing, try the DelGuard Mechanical Pencil that features a hidden eraser that makes it the perfect tool for plans that aren’t set in stone. It also has patent pending technology that helps eliminate lead breakage. Learn more about how you can Choose Different with pens and pencils that set you apart.

3. Avoid Multi-tasking

It is incredibly easy to get sidetracked when working from home, especially with household chores. During the work hours you have set for yourself, keep yourself in work mode. It can be tempting to throw in a quick load of laundry or to tidy up the house while you’re working but it’s more distracting than helpful. If you schedule breaks during your workday, use those times to do housework, but be mindful that you stick to the break and don’t exceed that time. Your productivity will be better when you’re 100% focused on work.

4. Create a Designated Workspace

Create a space in your home that is just for work. It could be a desk, a dining room table, or a room in your home. This space should have minimal distractions, good lighting, and enough space to contain everything you need. Set up your space with all of the essentials you need for work including computer, monitors, charging cables, phone charger, notebook, and paperwork to prevent yourself from unnecessarily leaving your workspace during working hours. Use this space only for work to help separate your work life from home life.

5. Take Planned Time Off

Everyone needs time off to refresh and recharge, especially when you are working from home. Planning a week-long vacation or even one day off can be just what the doctor ordered to ensure you don’t experience work burnout. Use these days to get important tasks done around the house, spend time with family and friends, or just simply relax. You may feel like you aren’t entitled to days off because you work from home, but  you deserve it. Your mind needs time away from work to restore, just like anyone else.

Working from home can be a difficult adjustment if you are used to working in an office or any other type of environment. At times it can be hard to develop routines and get yourself in the right frame of mind to be productive and balance your home life with your work. Putting these tips into action can help give you the work and home life you’ve been searching for. For more work from home tips, check out 5 Tips For Crushing Your Next Video Conference Call.

STEEL F-701 Ballpoint Pen on top of a notebook beside a computer with a post-it note that reads, "You've got this!"

5 Tips for Acing Your Virtual Job Interview

Your resume got noticed and you’ve been asked to have an interview. There is just one catch—it’s a virtual job interview. As technology continues to evolve, the workplace has been quick to follow suit in adopting new innovations to save time and increase efficiency. Whether the position will be remote, the role is in a different part of the country, or the employer is unable to have an interview at the job location, it’s important to be just as prepared for a virtual interview as an in-person one. Here are some of our best tips for preparing for a virtual interview.

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STEEL F-701 Ballpoint Retractable Pen beside a laptop and notebook

5 Tips for Crushing Your Next Video Conference Call

When working from home, there are several challenges that you might face, including learning how to fight off distractions or needing to create a new routine for yourself. You also may have to participate in video conference calls, especially if others in your company are working remotely as well. Video conference calls can be awkward at first, particularly if you have never had to participate or run one in the past. But while it is different than having an in-person meeting, there are plenty of ways to become a pro at video conferencing. Here are some of our best tips.

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Man working next to a cup of G-350 pens

6 Essential Tips for Working From Home

For some, the idea of working from home is a dream—no commute and no drop-in meetings—but in the midst of mandatory work-from-home policies, many of us are now realizing that working from a home office presents its own set of challenges. It can be difficult to manage time and to limit distractions. Check out our best tips for staying focused and managing your time effectively.

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Tips and Tricks for Better Writing

At Zebra Pen, we know the importance of powerful writing. Whether it’s academic, at work, or for leisure, we know there unlimited ways to boost creativity and improve writing skills! We strive to provide writers of the world with the most effective and practical writing instruments to make your writing as great as it can possibly be, but we want to give you more than that!

For students, midterms and finals are right around the corner. Finding the time and motivation to write essays, research papers and more can be tough. For the leisure and professional writers, cooler temperatures provide the perfect environment for cozy, indoor writing. We came up with a few tips and tricks to keep you motivated and on your path to enlightened writing!

 1. Plan Ahead

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you’re on a time crunch, give yourself enough time so that you aren’t putting too much pressure on yourself at the last minute. It’s better to finish early and have extra time for reviews and revisions than to get done late and miss out on correcting silly errors and mistakes! Students, this can be hard to do with all of your other classwork, but be sure to use a planner and come up with a game plan so you can start your papers in advance.

 2. Test your topic: Stream of Consciousness

If you are unsure about what to write, or you’re having difficulties getting started, you may want to use the stream of consciousness method. A stream of consciousness is when you write non-stop as the thoughts come to your brain.  Write your thoughts non-stop for anywhere between 3 and 15 minutes to come up with an idea, or focus on your potential topic and write non-stop about all the possible approaches and points you could make on that topic. Some stream of consciousness activities are useful to catalyze the creative process. Sometimes, it results in a great idea!

3. Organize: Intro, Main Points, Conclusion

Before you start writing, it’s helpful to know what you are going to write about, and how it will be organized. Set up an outline in a separate notebook to read off of as you write on your laptop or computer. Jot down some notes as to what you want to write in your intro, main points, and conclusion. You can be as detailed or broad as you would like with this tip; either way, it really helps the writing process and keeps you moving as you write!

 4. Find the Right Instrument

The key to enlightened writing starts from the right pen. Having a writing instrument you enjoy using is more important than many writers realize! If you like a tough and stylish pen, check out our Steel line of pens and mechanical pencils! Made with a stainless steel barrel, our Steel pens and pencils stand up to even the toughest assignments. If you like a smooth, gel writing experience, our Sarasa pens may be the perfect pen for you! Our Sarasa pens come in a variety of colors, perfect for the visual learner. No matter what it is that you look for in a writing utensil, there is a Zebra Pen for everyone!

 5. Good Writers are Also Good Readers

The more you read, the better you write. Whether you are writing essays, fiction, memoir, poetry, or anything else, reading examples before writing is a great way to get inspiration! For students, working together with a peer, reading each other’s work and giving/getting feedback is another good idea before handing in a paper! Simply having another pair of eyes look over your work helps to catch little errors that you may have skimmed over. It also helps to read someone else’s work to not only give feedback, but it may actually make you realize something about your own work as well.

 6. The Best Writers Write From 10-12 and 3-5 Everyday

Times can vary greatly from person to person based on availability but for all of you leisure writers, writing during certain hours each day helps to build a good routine and gets you in the habit of writing to the best of your ability. Choose times that work for you! For example, if you are groggy in the morning, maybe select times after 11 a.m. or if you know you write best at night, choose some later hours! Whatever hours you choose, stick to them and write every single day.

 7. Step Away

It’s important to take breaks and step away from your work. If you plan ahead, you should have time to do this. Stepping away is helpful to fix writers block, get a fresh start on an old piece, or  help decide when a piece is finished. When you step away from your work, do something you enjoy such as cooking, going for a drive, reading, or even brainstorming on paper again! Don’t take too much time away if you’re on a strict time schedule, but take enough time to get refocused and #FindZen.

 8. Turn Down the Music and Talk

Many people come up with their best ideas while driving or doing something productive such as cleaning. Next time you step away from your work or if you’re coming up with some good ideas while busy with something else, turn on a recorder on your phone or other device and allow yourself to talk out loud about your ideas. You won’t forget all that great material you came up with and you’ll be able to use it once you start writing again!

9. Read it Aloud

Words may sound differently on paper than they do out loud. When your paper or other work feels complete, read it out loud to yourself or a friend. This helps to catch any awkward phrasing and may help you figure out punctuation. It’s amazing what you can see in your writing when you read it aloud.

 10.  Just Start

Many people get caught up in the idea and fear of writer’s block. Perhaps the most important tip is this: just start. You can begin with a stream of consciousness, outline, or the piece itself. As long as you are writing, you are making strides toward an end result. Beginning is often the hardest part but without it, there would be no end. So just start!