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  • How Going Green Can Help Save Your Office Cash

    Going Green How Going Green Can Help Save Your Office A Shedload Of Cash

    Image by Office Now

    ­Businesses are having a tough time of it; every little bit of money saved could be the difference between a promotion and waving goodbye to your buddy at the office. Coming up with ways to cut your office budget may get on your boss’s good side, but thinking of ways to trim the costs while going green? That’s just good practice.

    Everyone knows green business is smart business, but even if your environmental efforts don’t land you that dream promotion, a green office is a huge money saver. For those looking to safeguard savings while conserving the world’s natural resources, we have listed some money saving tips you and your company can take to help your bottom line flourish.

    1. Switch off equipment when not in use

    Despite moves by suppliers to reduce the power consumption of IT equipment, energy costs are still a major drain for many companies. It seems that some individuals are more cost-conscious than others who leave their monitors turned on during weekends and holidays. Computers and monitors account for half of the electricity being wasted every day, even when using ‘energy saving’ software.

    With every monitor on energy saving mode the electricity meter continues to tick over at an alarming rate. So if you’re looking at greening the office, make sure you switch off all printers, monitors, scanners, microwaves, lights, vending machines and more before leaving the office.

    1. Green the meeting rooms

    Whether your co-workers are the kind to sneak out at dinner to snack on candy from the meeting rooms or down litres of coffee throughout the day (or, like some people you may work with, both), greening your meeting rooms can save you money and resources.

    When treating your co-workers to a selection of sweets during a heated meeting, try buying items in bulk instead of individually-wrapped servings. Every business has countless plastic cup supplies that are used and cast aside on a daily basis. Cut back on paper cups by suggesting people bring a mug from home, and find a tea that everyone can enjoy and keep alternating flavours every week.

    1. Energy efficient workspace

    If your office is set to move or is overdue a renovation project, there’s no better time to suggest implementing larger green changes, like solar panels and carefully placed windows and skylights that use natural light instead of artificial.

    For those looking to make smaller changes to your office’s appearance, take note. Choose furniture made of recycled materials and low-VOC paint for the walls. It might seem like a lot of leg work for such a small price, but long term it could save you a bundle of money to be used elsewhere to increase productivity.

    1. Work from home

    This one may shock you, but the most effective way to cut back on office costs is to send employees home. The additional maintenance costs go down, while email and teleconferencing (both of which are free) make it easy to communicate. It obviously wouldn’t be cost effective to send your whole workforce home – the business is sure to fall apart. Try to propose a rotating system to ensure all workers are given the opportunity to work from home monthly. But once you’re away from the office remember to keep the same green values in place to save money at home.

    1. Cut back on supplies

    Try setting up a dedicated area for the hole-punch, staples, rulers, envelopes, and binders – and then return anything reusable to the area when you’ve finished. Organising your desk space not only does wonders for productivity, but will save on purchasing a new pen, ruler or notebook every time you misplace your existing one.

    Trimming your paper usage is also another great way to save money – those reams of paper don’t come cheap! This is where Choice Stationary Supplies can help with offers on an exclusive range of items from our price promise collection, like inkjets and toners, perfect for a businesses in need of a greener approach to office equipment.

    Final thoughts

    Going green benefits both your business and the environment. Best of all, it will increase productivity and efficiency as you set an example for customers and employees. No matter which of these steps you have taken, make sure to shout about it by creating an environmental mission statement using our lowest priced office essentials.

  • 10 Strange But True Office Rules From Around The World

    10 Strange But True Office Rules From Around The World 10 Strange But True Office Rules From Around The World

    Image by Kate Ter Haar

    Do you work in an office that employs a dozen or more employees? If so, then you probably have a list of office rules and regulations that specify how you and your colleagues must behave in the workplace.

    However, as we’ve seen throughout history, those who are given enough power to create the rules, are often the ones that decide to exercise it in the most bizarre ways imaginable.

    With that thought in mind, we have scoured the world’s information highway to find some of the best strange but true office rules known to mankind. Most of the examples included are from the Mumsnet forum and the comments section of this Guardian article.

    And as you’re about to find out, they are all toe-curlingly hilarious.

    He’s parking mad!

    “A partner at the accountancy firm I used to work at demanded that staff park their cars facing the same direction, as he thought it made a good impression on visiting clients.

    One of his predecessors also insisted that staff should wear shirts and blouses that had pearl-finish buttons, as plain plastic ones looked too cheap. Bear in mind he was on a six figure profit-share, while his graduate trainees were on two-thirds of the average salary.” Veritypontiki

    What a curry on

    “In the canteen, they sometimes serve vegetable curry. They also serve rice.

    However, you are not allowed to have vegetable curry with rice. You are allowed to have vegetable curry with a baked potato, or chicken curry with rice, but not vegetable curry with rice.” Melpomene

    There’s nothing quite like sage advice

    “I once had to walk around the building where I worked with burning sage to cleanse any negative energies. This was done first thing in the morning.

    We also had a room full of cushions that I had to plump daily and place the zip part of the cover out of view. This was even written down to ensure I did the plumping routine correctly.” Llololizzy

    You can’t pull the wool over my eyes

    “Where I worked, we had a no bobble hat rule. You could literally wear anything you liked apart from a bobble hat – and I mean anything.

    Someone once even fashioned a dress out of a potato sack and wore it.” ThatsNotMyAlpaca

    It’s time to call the photocopier police

    “I used to work in an office where the last person out had to unplug the photocopier and lock the plug in a hamburger-type box. The key then had to be placed in a cupboard in another room.” MrsSchadenfreude

    We need to talk about Daffy

    “My old middle manager had an immaculate collection of small plastic cartoon characters arranged on a shared shelf, which we were forbidden from touching or talking about as it made him feel "uncomfortable." The reference books behind them were therefore unusable, and people would walk down two corridors to consult a thesaurus instead.

    I pointed at Daffy Duck during my first week and said "Wabbit Theathon." The air went as thick as butter.” WillYouDoTheDangFanjo

    Flies are God’s creatures too

    “If a fly comes into our office we all have to turn the lights off and open the doors and windows so it can go out – fly swatting is strictly forbidden” Legspinner

    An inflated sense of responsibility

    At my place of work, balloons are not allowed. I found this out when blowing up balloons at a colleague’s desk to celebrate his 30th birthday. We have a policy on it apparently – someone in the building is allergic, hence the ban.” JessinAvalon

    That rule’s pants

    “I once worked for an office with a dress code. There was a heading for 'Underwear', and the instruction was 'Underwear must be worn'. Obviously someone had been coming in without their drawers on!” Kittybuttoon

    This one’s impossible to egg-splain

    “Our staff canteen will only let you have an egg with your breakfast if you sign for it. You have to sign before they'll slide the egg onto your plate. When you get to the till, the old harridan snaps “I hope you've signed for that egg!'” Thenightsky

    So there you have it, 10 strange but true office rules that are hard to believe. For an extensive range of office stationery and printer ink with free next day delivery on thousands of items, check out Choice Stationery now.

  • 5 ‘Outside the Box’ Ideas to Help You Save Money on Printer Ink

    Printer Ink Save money on printer ink with Choice Stationery Supplies

    Image by Daniel Oines

    By now, you’ve probably heard the eye-rub inducing price comparisons between printer ink and some of the world’s costliest liquids such as designer perfume, mercury and, bizarrely, scorpion venom. So it’ll come as a surprise to no one that printer ink is often very expensive. That said, there are several actions that you can take to reduce your printer ink usage, and thus save yourself money.

    1. Be sceptical of the low-cartridge warning

    Think of low-cartridge warnings like you would the fuel gauge on your car: they both usually start well before there’s actually a problem. Across the board, the accuracy of low-cartridge warnings can vary wildly between different printer brands and models.

    The last thing you want is to replace a cartridge before its run out. Over time, you’ll get used to the little quirks inherent within your printer. Thus, you’ll start to learn whether your printer’s warnings are premature or bang on the money.

    Until that happens however, it’s best to wait until you see a noticeable difference in your printer’s output quality before changing the cartridge.

    1. Shop around for a printer with a low cost per page

    You know how one might shop around for a car with a decent miles per gallon fuel ratio to save money? Yep, you guessed it – you can do something very similar when shopping for a printer.

    Many printers that you’ll find on the market will have a very low RRP. However, once you factor in printer cartridge costs, you could be paying more in the long-run for buying a cheaper printer with a high cost per page usage of ink.

    For this reason, it pays to do your research and shop around for a printer that’s a little more efficient. In most cases, such printers will cost more. However over time, your wallet or purse will breathe a huge sigh of relief, because you won’t be continually shelling out hundreds on printer ink cartridges.

    1. Use your printer at least once per week

    We’re not obsessed about cars here – but whichever way you look at it, maintaining a car and a printer share many similarities. Just like you need to start a car regularly to prevent damage and degradation, you need to use your printer at least once a week to help maintain its optimum performance.

    Printing something out at least once a week helps to keep the ink flowing. This, in turn, will help prevent you from having to run multiple print cycles when your ink becomes clogged. Yes, your printer will have a clean cycle for clearing clogged ink. However, this will use huge amounts of ink, so it’s best to just use your printer regularly instead.

    1. Change your font

    If you’ve had enough of all the car-based analogies, it’s safe to come out now – honest.  Like many things, not all fonts are created equal. Therefore, one of the instantly actionable things that you can do to save money on printer ink is change your font. Garamond, for example, is the most ink efficient typeface available in Microsoft Word.

    However, there are also several custom ink-saving fonts that you can purchase and download online. Perhaps the most widely used is EcoFont, which has tiny holes in each letter that ensures it uses around 25% less ink than most typefaces, while retaining legibility. In addition, you can also use the browser extension CleanPrint to help you retain control over what you print.

    1. Check your printer’s driver settings (draft mode)

    All printers, no matter what, should come with a printer driver. For the uninitiated, a printer driver is a program that controls your printer by converting files and commands into a language it understands. Thus, the driver offers a direct way of accessing and then changing many of your printer’s key settings.

    To find your printer’s driver via a computer, open the Printers page from the Start menu. Note: in some versions of Windows, the Printers page is called Devices and Printers.  From there, right-click on your printer’s name or icon and open the Printing Preferences tab.

    Now look for an ink-saver mode. Once enabled, the ink-saver mode will ensure that you always print in Draft mode, except when you specifically request presentation-quality output. Where possible, you should also look to print in black and white, not colour, as this will save you money in the long-term.

    Another way to save money is to browse Choice Stationery’s range of cheap, efficient Think ink cartridges – which is demonstrated in this ink comparison infographic. Choice Stationery offer free delivery on over 40,000 products, so check out our extensive range of printer supplies now.

  • Recycling Ink Cartridges

    In the UK, 45 million ink cartridges are sent to landfill sites every year. Because the plastics used in the production of most ink cartridges take up to 1,000 years to decompose, this level of waste has a huge impact upon the environment.

    However, there is a solution to this universal problem, and it comes in the form of Think inkjet cartridges.

    In short: Think inkjet cartridges are recycled cartridges that are filled, resealed and then sold for up to 90% less than their original price. For this reason, using them is both beneficial for the environment and your pocket.

    Stop. Think. Save on Ink!

    With that thought lingering in your mind, check out the infographic below. Here you’ll discover just how much you can save by using recycled ink cartridges, and what weird and wonderful things you could theoretically fill with all that extra ink.

    Infographic Recycling Ink Cartridges

    Browse our range of Think inks and discover an economical and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional printer cartridges.

  • The lowest priced ink and toners on the net

    At Choice Stationery Supplies we won't be beaten on price - and that's a promise!

    We regularly check our competitors prices on a like for like basis to ensure we offer you the best deals on the net.

    Ink and toners are expensive enough without being ripped off with extortionate prices - Choice Stationery Supplies saves its customers pounds not just pence compared to the high street prices and even delivers direct to the door for not a single penny more (UK Only).

    If however you do happen to find a lower price, even up to seven days after purchase, we will beat that price by as much as 10%.

    This offer applies to all branded and non branded ink and toner cartridges including manufacturers like Epson, Hewlett Packard, Canon, Kodak, Lexmark and Samsung to name just a few. All we ask to see is evidence, such as a website link, advert or catalogue. That means it's available to everyone, with no hidden handling charges and our competitor can supply it directly from stock on the same day just like us!

    For further information on our price promise please visit www.choicestationery.com or call us today on 01823 250060.

  • Choice Stationery Supplies has a brand new website

    Choice Stationery Supplies has been busy beavering away in the background designing a brand new website.

    The new website has been designed and built from the ground up taking into account customer comments and feedback over the last 12-18 months. This has allowed Choice to have a fresh, clean and simpler site that is both user friendly and compatible across many platforms.

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    The new website is responsive in design which allows it to be used on most devices including a desktop PC, tablet and mobile which is essential in mobile ordering.

    Ordering inkjets and toners should be easy and the new Choice Stationery Supplies website allows the end user to do just this. With just a few click of the mouse using the new 3 step cartridge finder makes ordering ink and toner supplies as easy as... well.... one, two, three.

    Another new feature sees the addition of free track and trace delivery on all orders. As soon as an order leaves the Choice Stationery warehouse in Taunton the customer is sent an email (and text message if a mobile number has been supplied) to allow for full tracking door to door and should re-delivery be required the end user is able to arrange this directly with Royal Mail.

    If you're looking for savings on office supplies with free delivery direct to your door take a look at
    www.choicestationery.com or give them a call on 01823 250060 - they won't be beaten on price either...and that's a promise!

  • Welcome to Choice Stationery Supplies

    Choice Stationery Supplies is a family business formed by Paul Andrews in 1998. To this day it is still a family business owned and run by the Andrews Family doing what it set out to do back in 1998 - provide quality inkjet cartridges and supplies at competitive prices.

    Choice Stationery Supplies started its life in Minehead, a small town in West Somerset.

    Following expansion we relocated about 10 miles up the road where we had a bespoke warehouse and remained there until 2008 when we relocated again through expansion to bespoke premises in Taunton, Somerset. We employ local people with a vast knowledge of the different aspects of the trade, to include both printer consumables and stationery, some of our staff have been with us since Choice began and are an important part of the company’s success.

    We provide inkjet cartridges and toners for all home and office printers, alongside an extensive range of stationery items. We supply original branded items from manufacturers like Epson, Canon, Hewlett Packard, Pentel, Bic & Sharpie, along with our own brand of cartridges under the Think range.

    Our Think inkjet cartridges are very popular with our customers due to the savings they offer against the manufacturer’s original product and also the quality of printing they offer through their vivid colours.

    When we started Choice back in 1998 we knew we were entering a competitive market where a lot of other companies existed, already offering similar products and a good service. We continuously strive to match and beat the levels of service available, and feel we are succeeding with our 100%, no quibble guarantees, and our delivery inclusive prices* . We keep all our advertising as simple and accurate as possible.

    We also try to make it as easy as possible for you to place an order, with orders accepted via post, fax, email, over our secure web site or by using one of our freephone lines. Of course, we always endeavour to dispatch your items the same day, via Royal Mail, or for commercial accounts, our own vans and drivers locality permitting.

    One area where we have become market leaders is in the effort we make to ensure the quality of the products is foremost, whilst keeping the retail prices the lowest on the UK mainland.

    The loyalty of our customers, who order from us time and time again, goes to prove that both our pricing and customer service speaks for its self.

    It was these service and pricing efforts, plus our customer’s loyalty, that helped us to receive, for the 5th year running, the honour of the Computer Active Reader's Award for 'Best Specialist Consumable Supplier'.

    Also this year we reached the shortlist, along with Amazon, Dabs.com, Evesham.com & PC World for 'Best Retailer'. These are achievements we admit to constantly shouting about. Why not? We are still excited by them, after all, with a circulation of around 245,000 readers every fortnight and the numbers of you who took the trouble to vote, (for which we thank you), I think we should be proud, enjoy it and work at being the customer's favourite next time too.

  • Are cheap ink cartridges any good?

    Buying cheap printer ink - Are cheap ink cartridges any good?

    If, like 38% of people we surveyed, you only use printer-branded ink because you don’t think the quality with cheap ink won't be good enough, you may want to reconsider.

    More than 85% of people who use third-party ink in their printer told us that the text print quality is good or excellent.

    And more than 60% are equally pleased with colour print quality.

    While it’s true that some cheap ink brands don’t produce great prints, our tests have found that some produce quality comparable to printer-branded ink, while saving up to 80% in ink costs.

  • 16 Interesting Office Stationery Facts You Can File Under Amazing

    It’s estimated that 25% of the UK’s workforce are office workers. Therefore a huge number of us are used to working with office stationery day in, day out. To prove your everyday essentials are more interesting than they may seem, here are 16 facts about office stationery you can file under amazing.

    1.
    You would need 477,710 Bic ballpoint pens to draw a straight line to the moon

    According to research conducted by Bic in 2008, each of their ballpoint pens can produce up to two miles of writing. As there are 238,855 miles to the moon from earth, it would require nearly half a million ballpoint pens to draw a straight line to our only natural satellite.

    2.
    The pencil has been proven mightier than the pen

    As a counterpoint to Bic’s research, another group decided to find out how long the typical pencil lasts. They concluded that the average lead pencil can draw a continuous line for roughly 35 miles. However, if you wish to prove this yourself, we’d advise taking your best sharpener along with
    you.

    3.
    Paper clips were used to help fight the Nazis

    During the Second World War, Norwegian resistance fighters attached a single paper clip to their lapel as a subtle indication that they were taking the fight to Hitler’s troops.

    4.
    The world’s first rubber was made from stale bread

    Rubbers, as we know them today, were first used around 1770 and were given their name by a man called Joseph Priestly. Yet the first known rubber for removing graphite markings was made out of stale bread. Trust us, this works – so next time you leave a loaf of Hovis in the cupboard for too long, why not give it a try?

    5.
    Yellow fluorescent highlighter ink accounts for around 85% of all sales

    Yellow is in the middle spectrum of visible light, and thus works well for people with colour blindness. This is one of the biggest reasons why yellow is the most popular colour of fluorescent highlighter ink.  So, as Chris Martin of Coldplay fame might say, “It’s all yellow”.

    6.
    Pen lids cause an average of 100 deaths a year

    We all have work colleagues that spend most of the day incessantly chewing on their pen lids – heck, you might even be one of them. Unfortunately though, this habit has racked up a significant global death toll. To help people breathe, many pen manufacturers introduced a small hole in the lid to help prevent choking.

    7.
    The ballpoint pen first gained popularity because it didn’t leak at high altitudes

    Laszlo Biro, a Hungarian journalist, first invented the ballpoint pen in 1938 when he filled his fountain pen with ink from a printing press to avoid leaks because it dried faster. However, success for the ballpoint pen first took off (literally) when the RAF adopted it during World War II because it wouldn’t leak at high altitudes.

    8.
    The post-it note wasn’t invented, it was created by accident

    In 1968, Spencer Silver, who was an employee of 3M at the time, was trying to create a super-strong adhesive. Yet despite his best efforts, all he could come up with was a very weak adhesive that could be removed without leaving behind any residue. This accidental discovery was then used to create the world’s first post-it note.

    9.
    The production of a modern laser toner cartridge requires 3.5 quarts of crude oil

    Ink cartridges are made of oil, around 3.5 quarts to be precise. A quart is a little more than a litre, which is a big reason why printer ink is so expensive throughout the world.

    10.
    Typists’ fingers travel up to an average of 12.6 miles each working day

    This means that, on average, typists’ fingers could do nearly two-and-a-half marathons each and every working week.

    11.
    The world’s first printer was invented in 1440

    Okay, officially this refers to the world’s first printing press, which was invented around 1440 by Gutenberg for the Holy Roman Empire. Nonetheless, the same press-type technique is still evident in many of today’s office toner printers, which press ink onto paper from a roller rather than a flat surface.

    12.
    The world’s first stapler was created for King Louis XIV

    The first stapler known to man was created for the king of France during the 18th Century. Not only that, but according to records, each staple was inscribed with an insignia of the royal court – which is all very fancy, even by the opulent standards set by France’s royal families.

    13.
    In the UK, 45 million ink cartridges are sent to land-fill sites a year

    To help you visualise this fact, that is enough ink cartridges to stretch the length of Hadrian’s Wall (73 miles) 15 times. Or, alternatively, to cover the football pitch at Manchester United’s ground, Old Trafford, 17 times.

    14.
    The world’s most expensive pen sold for $8 million

    The Fulgor Nocturnus, manufactured by the famous Florence pen makers Tibaldi, sold for $8million dollars at a Shanghai auction in 2010. Are you asking yourself how? Well, the pen is decorated with 945 black diamonds, 123 rubies and, quite frankly, some people are just crazy.

    15.
    If everyone in UK offices saved one staple a day, it would equate to 72 tonnes of metal each year!

    72 tonnes in metal weighs more than two and a bit train carriages, which is a lot of metal.

    16.
    The average office worker handles around 10,000 sheets of paper every year

    As you know, most paper is made out of trees.

    This article
    calculates that the average tree is capable of producing around 80,000 sheets of paper, which is enough to sustain around eight office workers every year.

    So there you have it, 16 fascinating facts about stationery. For an extensive range of office stationery and printer ink with
    free next day delivery on thousands of items, check out
    Choice Stationery now
    .

     

  • How to be more Productive at Work

    1We can all be more productive whether we work at home or in the office. Concentration can be hard at times, especially in a world where there are so many other distractions. However, there are numerous things you can do to ensure that you can remain on task even when there’s a lot happening around you.

    Emails

    One of the biggest problems when trying to work is answering emails. A lot of us tend to flit in and out of email and this can lead to problems for us in terms of concentration. One of the best ways to stay on task and still answer emails in a reasonable time is to spend five minutes at a set time every hour doing so. This will ensure they are answered and you still get stuff done.

    Pomodoro

    One of the best timers out there and one that there are plenty of great apps for. Pomodoro is a routine, where you work 25 minutes and take a 5 minute break. This is done in sections of four and then you take a break of twenty minutes. It has a lot of advocates and is well worth considering if you find it hard concentrating.

    For Work

    There are a number of programmes out there now that will block certain distractions such as social media on your phone and prevent you from seeing them when at work. During times when concentration is needed these can be turned on and then turned off when required. It’s a great way to remove distractions and ensure you get plenty done.

    Follow these tips and you can be sure that you enjoy more concentration at work.

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