Thursday, January 29, 2009

Simple Secrets to Work Smarter & Save Money by Getting Organized

(ARA) – In today’s economy, when one overlooked deadline can cost you business or your job, and one late bill can lower your credit score, it’s important to have the edge that organization gives you in both your personal and professional lives.

Working moms especially need superior organization and scheduling skills, as 60 percent say they have more household responsibilities on their plate this year than they did in 2008, according to a survey of 500 working mothers by Braun Research on behalf of Office Depot.  Eighty-seven percent say they want to be more organized this year, and 65 percent believe that being well organized will help their families save money.

“Being organized and working smarter starts with creating new habits and systems,” says Monica Ricci, Office Depot’s organizing expert. “By making small changes and choosing the right products for their needs, busy professionals and moms can dramatically improve their productivity as well as save money in 2009.”

Ricci offers some simple advice to help you get organized:

Work Smarter

* Learn to delegate. Just because something needs to be done, don’t think you are the only one who can do it. Focus on your core strengths and delegate other tasks to trusted colleagues and outside vendors who can do the job quicker and better than you.

* Lighten your load when traveling. When you fly, save time and checked bag fees by carrying everything aboard in your carry-on bag. Opt for a light, travel-friendly laptop like the Acer Aspire Netbook. Taking everything you need on board allows you to work on the plane and hit the ground running, without having to wait at a baggage claim carousel.

* Set up for business at home. If you are thinking about starting a business out of your home, create a separate workspace by purchasing essential supplies such as a separate business phone, all-in-one printer, computer you can take on the go, data protection service like the HP Upline Data Storage Service and a shredder like the Fellowes Jam Proof Shredder to dispose of confidential customer information.

Get Organized to Save Money

*Trade in outdated technology for cash. Outdated computer peripherals, cameras, monitors and other equipment can clutter your work environment and slow you down. Take advantage of technology trade-in programs that allow you to bring in certain electronic items for a cash credit. Office Depot’s Tech Trade-In Service provides store gift cards for customers that trade in their old technology. Simply visit for a free estimate on the value of your product.

*Create a bill-paying system. In today’s economy, on-time payments have never been more important, yet over half (58 percent) of working moms say they’ve forgotten to pay a bill on time. Save money by creating a bill paying station in your home.  Set up an “Inbox” and “Outbox” for all your bills.

*Buy only what you need. Retailers like Office Depot are now repackaging essentials like Sharpie’s in single packs so you save money and get only what you need for the time being.  Don’t purchase anything without getting added value in this economy – sign up for loyalty programs and look out for bundled product offerings to save.

Smart Tax Tips

* Don’t wait until April to begin sorting your receipts and tax documents from last year. Organize them throughout the year by collecting, sorting and categorizing tax-related paperwork into separate files. At the end of each month, run a tally and staple the tape into the inside of the folder. Then, at the end of the year, just total all the tapes and store the files with your completed tax return.

* Whenever you generate a receipt that has tax implications, immediately write on it what it’s for. You won’t remember what that February 2009 receipt was for when you next look at it in April 2010. Also, if you’re ever audited, your notes will help substantiate deductions on your tax return.

* Use a highlighter to mark the date and total amount of the receipt. This will save you time and effort at the end of the month when you’re totaling receipts because the important information will stand out. You won’t have to re-read every receipt to find the information you need.

For more tips and products to help you get organized, or to find a store near you, visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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