How To’s - Office Equipment
How To... Order Office Supplies

Pencils and paper and pens - oh my!  The selection is a bit overwhelming when you’re charged with ordering office supplies.  Take a deep breath and start with the basics. *30


First - Find out what office supply store your company uses or has an account with.  Office Depot, Office Max, Kmart, Wal-Mart are all popular.  Next, find out which way they order.  Online?  By phone?  Or maybe someone just takes a quick trip to the store with the company credit card or uses their own money later reimbursed.  For the latter, always, always have a receipt!

Second - Take a look at what you have in stock.  Make a list.  What have you run out of or what is running low?  

Here are a few basics…

Copy paper is always needed.  A ream is usually a good unit to order. No need to get fancy.  Basic white copy paper works great in most copiers and printers.

Pens are always walking off so don’t order anything too expensive.  Simple ballpoint or gel pens are essential.  Black, blue and red to get you started.  

Sharpies, ah Sharpies…for some reason these little black wonders have gained a following no one can explain.  Now they come in lots of colors, but remember, we’re going after the basics here so don’t go crazy.  Black, blue and green are the basics.

Post-It Notes.  So much fun!  They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors.  But stay focused!  Stick with the regular sized square ones.  Now, the colors you can get a little jiggy with.  They’re almost all the same price.  Generic sticky notes can be ordered if name-brand Post-It Notes are too pricey.  They work just as well.

Other Items To Grab:

Tape Dispenser
Notebooks or Notepads
Hole Puncher
Pencil Caddy
Drawer Organizer
Paper Clips

If you’re not sure what else you’ll need, try to chat up your fellow co-workers and ask them what they use the most.  A simple supply list can be a great tool.  This will help you gauge what supplies are most needed and by whom.  So relax, Dorothy, there is light at the end of the “‘yellow sticky,’ brick road”.  Just take it one item at a time and remember, you can always order more!

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By kathrynpless

How To... Make Coffee For The Office
Whether you’ve had a rough night or you’re just not a morning person, getting the energy to start your workday off on the right foot can be difficult. But don’t worry, your co-workers are feeling the same way.  The solution: a morning cup of coffee. You don’t have to bring in Starbucks; office coffee can be good too!  

Two questions.  First, should you make coffee for the office?  If it’s not in your job description, never feel obligated to do this.  It can quickly become the bane of your work existence.  However, if you’re all fired up about perking up your fellow employees with that sweet roast smell and taste, then by all means, have at it.  Truth is, you have no idea, how many conversations start just from coffee, let alone being the coffee maker.

The second question is, how should you make coffee for the office?
Basics – Hopefully the office has a good coffee maker, which would make the first step easy.   That first step being, you should never skip cleaning the coffee maker.  Getting rid of yesterdays coffee ground residue is sure to make today’s brew better.  Then, get out a fresh filter and scoop in one heaping tablespoon for each cup of coffee you’re making.  After that, remember how many scoops you put in, or cups you planned to make.  Then, add a cup of water (distilled water if possible) for each cup of coffee.  Make sure the filter and pot are in place, flip or press the “On/Start/Brew” switch, and wait for the coffeemaker to do its thing.  You’ll know it’s done when all the water has completely stopped dripping.

Add Some Variety – Don’t limit yourself to brewing the same coffee day in and day out. Mix it up!  Why not try a variety of brands, like Folgers, Maxwell House, or Dunkin Donuts? There are lots of ways to keep your morning cup of coffee interesting.  Bring in organic coffee, gourmet coffee, or flavored coffee.  And instead of using the same old powdered creamer that’s been sitting in the cupboard for years, try a few special flavored creamers.  

Remember It’s For You - So overall, don’t forget, if making coffee for the entire office isn't in your responsibility, don’t feel pressured to do it.  Meantime, remember that when you make coffee for the office, don’t limit yourself to the same old boring thing.  Be creative.  Whatever gets you over that morning hump.  And remember, it’s more for you than anyone else, to jump start your day, to do your job, and be the best at what you do.

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By davidporter

How To... Use The Copy Machine

Oh, that diabolical copy machine. A source of much office frustration.  Especially when starting a new job or seeing a new copy machine for the first time.  Well listen, it's so easy, it's ridiculous.  No need to feel intimidated.  Usually a copy machine, whether it be Canon or Xerox or whatever, they all pretty much function the same.  Simply approach the machine and look at the buttons and panels logically.  

Copy - Lift the lid and set your document on the screen.  There are usually little marks for Letter and Legal size papers along the margin of the screen that will help you align your paper properly.  A copier or copier printer will typically let you choose how many copies you want.  Just select the number, and hit 'Start' or 'Copy'.  It's usually that big, green button staring you right in the face.  If you make a mistake, try that obvious button that says 'Cancel', and then just start over again.


Resize - On most advanced copy machines, you can re-size your document using the zoom button.  If it's not on the panel, look for a button that says 'Settings' or 'Options' and then follow the menu until you find the correct command.  If you want the paper's image to appear bigger, anything greater than 100% works.  If you want it smaller, than select anything less than 100%.  On that note, you can also change actual paper sizes.  Like making a Legal size paper zoom to fit onto a Letter size paper and vice versa.  Just go again to 'Options' or 'Settings' and then look for something like 'Legal >Letter' or 'Letter>Legal'. 

Color Copy For some copies, black and white just won’t cut it.  To make a color copy, make sure you’ve selected the color option on your copier.  It’s usually good to run a test copy to be sure there’s enough ink in the copier.  After that just punch in how many copies you need, hit the big green copy button, and voila! – You’ve got color copies.


Collate – This feature is genius!  Basically, if your office has a bigger machine with a collate feature, it allows for your copies to print in order, of groups or sets.  Some even have staple and hole-punch features.  If your task calls for ordered copies, just select, Collate on the menu, then the features wanted.  And the copier just spits it right out.

More Copier Tips - If you use a copier scanner or a copier printer, just make sure you don’t confuse the Scan, Print, and Copy buttons.  For copy machines that make color copies, there is usually a separate button for that too.  Also some fax copiers can be confusing, since they have lots of extra buttons and number pads on them.  Your best bet is to find the biggest green button and not get distracted by the others.

Copy Paper – There’s nothing more annoying than trying to make a copy just to find out the machine’s out of paper.  You can avoid the frustration if you check to make sure the paper tray is full before you hit the copy button.  And don’t be part of the problem – always add paper to the machine when you see it’s getting low.  Your workmates will appreciate it, and may even remove you from the gossip list for it.

The most important thing to remember when using the office copy machine is don’t rush.  Take your time to make sure you press the right buttons.  If you make a mistake, who cares?  Just recycle the junk copy (or shred it if it's sensitive material) and do it again.  You’ll have the hang of it in no time.   It's so easy, you'll laugh once you've mastered it.   ... more »
By davidporter

How To... Use An Office Phone
Your desk phone is your portal to the business world.  Fumbling through features is embarrassing and, let’s face it, makes you look ridiculous.  Save face with this small guide to your multi-line, multi-feature office phone.

Place a Call On Hold – Need a moment to get your hands on that important file?  Punch the Hold button on your office phone to provide your caller with a little musical interlude while you get yourself together.  

Pick Up a Call On Hold –If that long winded sales rep you’ve left on hold for 10 minutes refuses to hang up after you’ve placed them on hold, simply press the lighted line they’re holding on, then pick up the receiver.

Transfer a Call –When the temp receptionist misdirects yet another angry client to your desk phone, simply press the Transfer button, the intended recipient’s extension, then hang up, and let someone else face the wrath.  

Access Your Voicemail – When your five minute coffee break yields six new voicemails take a big swig of java.  Many phone system have mailboxes with each desk phone.  Often, all you need to do is hit the Voicemail button on your office phone, enter your password, and swear to never leave your desk again.  

Forward Your Calls –When you’re going to be away from your desk phone for an extended period keep your self accessible by forwarding calls to say your cell phone.  Simply press the Forward button and follow the prompts to enter the phone number you wish to forward your calls to.  Then call from your cell or another office phone to double check it works.  This can help alleviate overloaded voicemail syndrome.  

Adjust The Phone Volumes – When Mr. or Ms. Loud Talker show up on your Caller ID, pick up the receiver and immediately dial down the Phone Volume with the down arrows.  Usually right on the face of the phone or on the left or right sides of the phone base.  Also, if the ringer constantly scares you into a heart attack, use the same up and down arrows (or knob) to adjust the volume when the phone is not active in a call.  

Keeping a post-it with your direct office phone number, extension, and instructions for basic phone tasks near your desk phone can aid in the learning process for your office phone system.  Master your phone and refuse to allow those measly 60 buttons to rule over you.  It’s just a piece of equipment, and you have a job to do. 
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By stacymorgan

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