Thursday, June 18, 2009

Product Review: Rubbermaid Easy-Find Lids System

I love fresh produce, and frequently buy from my local farmers market. Of course, since most of the items there are organic, they can sometimes not last as long as the ones purchased in a typical supermarket. I’m always looking for ways to make my produce last as long as possible – I hate waste! In my quest to make my food fresh, I use a lot of food storage systems to try to make things last. I also use food storage containers for alternate uses in the office, such as storing supplies, cables, and small electronics.

I recently ran into the folks over at Rubbermaid at a NAPO conference, and they sent me a set of their new Easy-Find Lids food storage system to check out. What’s nice about this system is that even though the containers come in various sizes and styles, the lids are interchangeable, so you won’t have to spend time searching your drawers or cupboards trying to find the right lid, which is incredibly annoying. This particular system comes in a variety of styles, including ones that are designed to resist stains (Premier), and ones that have Fort Knox-style snap-on lids that are designed to snap on and stay in place (Lock-Its).

My favorite containers in the set I was sent are the Produce Savers, which are pretty smart. These include a small tray that goes in the bottom of each container, which is designed to raise up your produce and separate it from any moisture or liquid. Additionally, the lids have tiny holes that are designed to let air in. These two features can help keep your produce fresh longer, which in my experience, they did.

A couple of extra features that are part of the Easy-Find Lid system is that when you stack the containers, the bottom of each container snaps into the lid of the one below it, which can help keep them tidy. When you open a container, you can also snap it’s lid onto the bottom during use, which I thought was pretty clever.

I do have a couple of minor gripes with this system. Even though the empty containers are all stackable and fit together nicely, the lids don’t snap or stack together. It would have been nice for the lids to interlock in some way. Also, some of the lids are hard to snap onto the actual containers – some of them, specifically the Premier, I had to work to get on and off.

While the whole Easy-Find system is pretty cool and can definitely save time and frustration in the kitchen and elsewhere, the Produce Savers are the stars in my book.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Save Time and Boost Productivity by Bypassing Phone Trees

Remember the days when you would call a company's 1-800 number for customer service, and on your first try you'd reach an actual human? Well, by and large those days are long over. Instead of reaching a person, you're far more likely to get stuck in a version of "press 1 for this, press 2 for that" phone tree hell. It's frustrating, and a major time waster!

I'm always looking for ways to save time for both my organizing clients and myself, and time spent on phone trees is not time well spent. There are several services that say they can help you skip directly to a human. Two favorites - and - give them a try and let me know what you think!

Monday, June 08, 2009

KangaRoom Storage - Big Warehouse Discount

If you're going to be in San Francisco, swing by the KangaRoom Storage store by the ballpark. They are offering 20% off their entire inventory of organizing supplies and solutions if you purchase at their store (instead of online). I've consulted with them on some of their product designs, and they have some pretty cool stuff. I especially like their line of cord/cable management solutions.

Location: 360 Langton Street, Suite 105, San Francisco, CA 94103

Check them out at

Saturday, June 06, 2009

NAPO 2009 Conference Follow-up - The Neat Company

The Neat Company had a strong presence at this year's NAPO annual conference, both as a presenting sponsor and with a large expo booth. I really like their products for scanning and managing paper, and I both use their products in my own office, and I frequently recommend them to clients as well. At the show, they debuted the Mac version of NeatDesk, a high-speed desktop scanner than can accept a variety of documents, including papers, receipts, and business cards, and can scan them directly to PDF or into the NeatWorks software (basically a database for your paper documents). I've been using the PC version of NeatDesk since it's beta last year, and I like it a lot. I'm glad I can start recommending it to my Mac clients now!

The quality and the design of Neat's hardware, such as the NeatReceipts and NeatDesk scanners, are really great - very sleek design and solidly built. I also like how well the optical character recognition works in the scanning software, which makes it easy to search for your documents later. The only thing missing is an online database, so you could access your scanned documents from anywhere - but I hear that may be in the works for the future... hopefully!

If you haven't seen their products before, check out The Neat Company at

They also won best technology of the show for Neat Desk.