Tag Archives: schedule

Family Truckster by myoldpostcards

Save Time and Alleviate Stress with Proper Vacation Planning

Five tips from productivity expert ACCO Brands help to make family vacations manageable and enjoyable

School’s out, the summer is here, and with it comes family vacations. This, in itself, brings a feeling of uneasiness to many, primarily due to lack of planning and ill-defined schedules. But rest easy—we have several tips to help you get the most out of your vacation this summer.

“Most vacations are planned with only the best of intentions—but are they WELL-planned?” asks Lissa Cupp, vice president, e-Commerce and Consumer Marketing, ACCO Brands. “Poor organization can make the most well-intentioned family vacations go awry. Proper planning and time management will afford families the time to relax and enjoy their trips.”

Here are several steps you can take to get organized for your vacation:

Write it down to get around: Use a daily planner or calendar to create a “vacation map” to track all your intended activities and destinations. Plan out each day so you can easily refer to where you have been, where you are and where you still want to go. Be sure not to over-book yourself.

Do your homework: Prepare your trip in advance, as much as possible.

  • Make a list of the attractions you want to visit and check ahead to find out the busiest times.
  • Purchase tickets for attractions and events in advance whenever possible. Use a pocketed file or organizer to keep your tickets, itineraries and other trip materials in order.
  • Gather and organize items needed during the trip, including clothes, toiletries, snacks, electronics and other equipment, including chargers and adapters.
  • Don’t rely completely on your GPS—plan your driving routes. Check on current and future road construction along your routes, as well.

Perform the “21-point inspection”: For those vacations that include a long drive, perform a thorough checkup on your vehicle. You might not know all 21 points on your car but some of the most important ones can be easily checked, including fluids and tires. Consult your auto record book to see what maintenance is due on the vehicle before you leave.

Takeoff to a great vacation: When traveling by air, many things like delays and lost baggage are out of your control. However, you can take steps to make your experience more pleasant.

  • Get a ride to the airport to avoid parking.
  • Check for flight delays online or via smart phone apps.
  • Leave your family some extra time to get settled.
  • Take an earlier flight so that your family can hit the ground running on the first full day.
  • Come back a day early so you can ease back into your daily routine.

A day of relaxation: A family vacation can tire you out just as much as an everyday job. Give yourself a day of relaxation. Plan some free time for the final day of your trip. That extra day will give your family the flexibility to do something they might not have been able to do during the course of the week. Maybe you’d simply like to relax and unwind. “ Isn’t that why you took a vacation in the first place?” adds Cupp.

Get more tips on planning, organizing and productivity for every facet of your life by visiting the Day-Timer and the AT-A-GLANCE Success Centers.

[photo by myoldpostcards]

Don’t be a Turkey—Get More Done this Week

By Bob Sadowski, APR, Public Relations & Social Media Manager, ACCO Brands

With Thanksgiving coming up this Thursday, most of us are already facing “one of those weeks.” Despite the fun, festivities and traditions that come with it, typically this week represents hectic schedules, sometimes chaotic atmospheres and a general need for more hours in the day.

There are, of course, simple steps you can take to make the upcoming extended holiday weekend one of joy. It takes good planning a little discipline, but in the broad scope of things, it is well worth the effort.

Just like other weeks, you need to start each day creating a to-do list. The to-dos of this week, however, are certain to eclipse those of a typical week, so planning and prioritizing is a must. The best way to do this while saving plenty of time to actually enjoy Thanksgiving is to estimate and stick to task times. This will allow for a more precise daily schedule to be developed and followed. Continue reading

Five Minutes or Less: All You Need to Plan Your Day

By Lissa Cupp, vice president, e-Commerce & Consumer Marketing, ACCO Brands

You wake up. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping—you already know it’s going to be a great day! But it’s not the weather or wildlife outside your window that’s making it so. It’s a mere five minutes of time that’s giving you this assurance.

Those five minutes is all the time you need to complete one important task: planning your day. Only five minutes. It’s a very small investment that gives your day direction and can make a significant difference in what you accomplish.

The simple task of planning the day ahead will help you optimize your time for maximizing the number of things you get done. It also holds you accountable for appointments, to-dos and other important information and events. If you make this single, brief effort to plan, you will find yourself needing less time each day to get organized.

How do you get started? The first step is to settle in each day, either at work or at home, and get comfortable. Before you turn on your computer, dive into your inbox or grab that pile of mail waiting for you, start your planning. During these five minutes, focus only on the day ahead, what you want and need to accomplish, scheduled meetings or events that need to be kept, and so forth. Continue reading

Take the Stress Out of Holiday Shopping Through Productive Planning

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and more can be made easy, fun and stress-free with a few tips from ACCO Brands

With the start of the holiday season, stress levels are on the rise. This is particularly evident when it comes to holiday shopping, including Black Friday (Nov. 23) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 26). ACCO Brands Corporation (NYSE:ACCO), a leader in branded office and consumer products and print finishing solutions, has applied its vast experience in planning and organizing to this annual endeavor in an effort to reduce the stress it so often creates.

To help consumers get the most from their experience, the makers of industry-leading
AT-A-GLANCE®, Day-Timer® and Day Runner® productivity tools have provided several holiday shopping tips. Ranging from creating a plan to working as a team, these are designed to streamline and enhance the entire experience and keep associated stress levels at bay. Continue reading

Hybrid Approach: Balancing Digital & Paper Planning Systems

By Bob Sadowski, APR, Public Relations & Social Media Manager, ACCO Brands

With smartphones becoming smarter, laptops getting smaller yet more powerful, and tablets taking over the book, magazine and newspaper industries, it’s no surprise that electronic planning and its popularity with users of those devices is growing as well. With all the calendaring apps that come standard with most electronic devices, it seems like the natural progression from paper to digital is inevitable. But is perception a reality in this case?

Not really—paper is still alive and well, and it’s actually still the preferred medium in many industries and for tasks like records storage. Within the planning and organizing industry, paper is still thriving as well, according to our customers. Moms, students, business people, professional organizers—they all collectively tell us, “We’d be lost without our planners!” Continue reading

Questions to Ask When Selecting YOUR Planner

By Bob Sadowski, APR, Public Relations & Social Media Manager, ACCO Brands

When you make a purchase, it should be exactly what you want and need. Be it a large investment like a home or a vehicle, or something smaller like a kitchen appliance or pair of shoes, you always make sure the item meets your requirements and fulfills your ongoing needs. This is vital to remember when selecting a personal planner or organizer.

If you’ve ever shopped for a planner or organizer, you know that it’s oftentimes intimidating looking at the hundreds of different varieties. There is so much to examine and evaluate: sizes, formats and layouts, academic versus regular year, designs, colors…it’s no easy task, to say the least. And with the New Year just months away, this in-depth selection process is right around the corner for many of you. Continue reading