Each year at the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) Education Forum and Annual Meeting (EFAM), they host a two-day Office Expo packed full of many of the major brands you’ve come to recognize as you shop for office supplies. As you can imagine, they know admins oversee the office supply cabinets, and they make sure we see the latest and greatest they have to offer. If they’re really smart, they send us home with samples so we can test them out for ourselves. Here is my top 10 list (with an honorable mention) from this year’s IAAP EFAM Office Expo showcase.
1. Expo NEONTM Dry Erase Markers by Sanford Brands
These are my top pick from this year’s Office Expo. They write on black and white dry erase surfaces. They look like they are glowing when you use them on black surfaces. As you can see from my experiments around the house, they write nicely on the front of my dark microwave door and they’re great for leaving messages on mirrors! Who needs chalk board paint? Not me. And they clean up just like regular dry erase markers! www.expomarkers.com or www.facebook.com/EXPOmarkers
2. AVERY® Protect & Store Mini Binders 5 1/2 “ X 8 ½ “ sizes with Accessories
You know I’m the binder queen. I LOVE binders for organizing and storing almost anything. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered not only do these cute little mini binders now come in some amazing color choices, they also come with accessories designed specifically for them. I think I was as excited about the accessories as I was the binders. Plus all of the accessories are punched such that you can easily insert them into the same sized paper planner system you may be using. I love that, too!
- Mini Durable Protect & StoreTM View Binder, White AVE-23011
- Mini 5-tab Index Maker® Clear Label Dividers, AVE-11426 (8-tab also available AVE-11427)
- Mini Business Card Pages, 5-pack AVE-76025
- Mini Binder Pockets, 5-pack AVE-75307
We didn’t receive samples of these, but the Diamond Clear Heavyweight Sheet Protectors AVE-77044 are also available for this mini sized binder. SWEET! www.avery.com
3. Pendaflex Divide-It-Up File Folders
Have you ever searched through a file folder multiple times looking for a lost item? Search no longer. Introducing another must have – the Divide-It-Up folder. This folder has 3 sections in 1 folder so you can sub-divide the folder into sections that you can access quickly and easily with side tabs. One large tab lets you identify the folder contents. Three smaller tabs identify each section within that file for more efficient document retrieval. Better yet, it’s sealed on two sides so documents won’t fall out. Item # ESS 10770 www.pendaflex.com
4. AVERY 5153 Name Badge Labels
If you’re looking for some bright, new, cheerful looking name badges for last minute use at an event or meeting, tuck these in your meeting planning folder. They measure 1” X 3 ¾” in size and have five name tags per sheet. What I love the most is each name badge label is trimmed in a different colored border with “Hello My Name Is:” on the left side with room to write in your name on the rest of the label. They don’t look or feel quite as clunky as a traditional name badge, and they have “friend” built into them with the pre-printed greeting on the left. I can’t wait to give them a try! www.avery.com
5. AVERY Write, Peel, StickTM Label Books
Who hasn’t used “sticky notes” for labeling things? But they don’t always stay where you want them or hold as long as you need them to. In comes Avery to save the day with their compact and easy to transport label books. Each label book as two sizes of labels: 1”x3” and 2”x3”. Each label is fully adhesive and fully removable…you know like sticky notes…except they are more likely to stay in place until you decide it’s time to remove them. I already have one in my purse and one on my desk! AVE-22071 www.avery.com
6. AVERY Printable Tags with Strings
If you’ve ever tried to attach labels or cards to products, door prizes, or garage sale items, you’ll love these. Give your product an upscale, elegant feel with these easy-to-use and print customized hanging tags. They come 8 tags per sheet that you can run through your printer just like you would business cards. Once they are printed, you can pop them out, attach the strings (which come with the set) and you’re ready to roll. AVE-22802 www.avery.com
7. Post-it® Brand Full Adhesive Notes
Not to be outdone by Avery, Post-it® counters with a NEW full adhesive backed note. Their brochure boasts it “holds stronger and longer yet removes cleanly.” One nice part about full adhesive means you can remove the last two sheets and stick the pad to the interior of a file folder or a binder and it will hold in place because it has more surface to stick with. They even come in some fun colors, so check them out. F330-4SSAU is the assorted brights 4-pack or F330-4SSY is the yellow 4-pack. www.Post-it.com/fulladhesive
8. Sharpie Pen
I have to admit I was a skeptic when I first saw these. But having taken notes over the course of a 3-hour meeting this week with this cool new pen, I’m a fan now! The brochure boasts smooth, consistent writing, precise and durable tip, won’t bleed through paper, and smear resistant ink. I have to agree. I figured I’d be switching to my old meeting note taking standby before the bottom of page one, but the more I wrote with this pen, the more I liked it. It’s the best of the permanent marker world and the smooth writing pen world wrapped into one super useful new writing device. www.sharpie.com or www.sharpieuncapped.com
9. The Comfort Makers® Rolling Wrist Rest
The brochure says “Independent wheel rotation for smooth rolling in any direction”, and it’s true. This is a cool invention…and ergonomic, too. You can go from mouse to keyboard without lifting your wrist thanks to the 360 degree wheel rotation on all four corners of this amazing new tool. Item number 99504. www.mastermfgco.com
10. Samsill Speedy Spine Binders
I loved talking to the guys at this booth. They not only made me laugh, they love binders as much as I do. So we had a great conversation about the use, value, and functionality of a binder. It was stimulating conversation for sure. 😉 But seriously, for ANY admin – and I know this has happened to you, too – who has ever struggled to get a spine to go into a view binder…Samsill Speedy Spine Binders to the rescue! A few months ago I documented my procedures for stuffing binder spines efficiently when one of my clients had shown me a binder spine she’d taken a scissors to in order to free a stuck spine that didn’t stuff so smoothly. It was ugly! But after seeing these ingenious new binders, I am certain admins around the world will breathe a huge sigh of relief the next time they are tasked with assembling the binders for a meeting or an event. If you don’t believe me, check out their demo video here: www.speedyspinebinders.com Plus they have a BindersforLifeTM Guarantee, so you can’t go wrong. www.bindersforlife.com
At-A-Glance® Planning Notebook with Circle the Date. Plan. Write. Remember.
This item was actually one of our free attendance/registration gifts that we received upon arrival at EFAM. This cool new notebook concept comes with a plastic pocket in the front of the notebook and planning calendars in the back. The concept is you super cool because you can take notes for any meeting, any day of the year. Down the side margin it lists 1 to 31 and January through December. So you can circle the appropriate month and day that you are taking the notes and write in the year. The pages are nicely perforated for easy removal and filing later. It also comes with an elastic band around the open edge to keep it closed when it’s not in use. Brilliant. Reorder # 80-6205
One final note: Some of these items are BRAND NEW and haven’t been released for sale just yet. So if you can’t find them through your office supply retailer, keep watching because they’ll be appearing soon in an office supply catalog near you!
© 2011 Julie Perrine International, LLC
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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at www.AllThingsAdmin.com.