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It’s Family Friendly Week and so we wanted to share five ideas to help you get more organised at home using one of our Write & Wipe Wall Planners.  These ideas are designed to save you time and stress.

  1. The wall planners can be used to mark good and bad behaviour so you can draw a smiley or sad face depending on how they have done each day.
  2. Use the wall charts to record different activities your child has each week whether it’s a dance lesson or a football match or a friends party. You can wipe clean and start again each week.
  3. Record homework and other school related achievements so your child doesn’t miss an important deadline. Encourage them to add anything additional they have done e.g. reading a book of their own choice at home. It’s great to reflect back on the week and see everything they have achieved.
  4. You can use the charts for meal planning so it’s easy to create dinner when you walk through the door. If your child has a school meal you can add the menu choices to that so you don’t duplicate on an evening.
  5. Make notes on the chart when your child has jobs to do or has helped out at home, whether it’s “bedroom needs tidying” or “help daddy prepare tea.”

We have eight Avery Write and Wipe Wall planners up for grabs. Simply like our competition post on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UKAvery by Wednesday, 22nd October, 2014 to enter.

How often do you think about making sustainable and ethical choices when buying products?  Today sees the start of Good Money Week and to help you get involved we’re sharing 10 hints and tips for being more eco-friendly in the office.

Please share with colleagues and friends to encourage everyone to be more eco-friendly this week.

http://www.avery.co.uk/avery/en_gb/Projects-%26-Ideas/Ideas-for-Work/Mailing/Articles/Top-10-Hints—Tips-for-being-More-Eco-Friendly-in-the-Office.htm?Ns=

Get Online Week aims to inspire the nation to get online and try something new with their digital skills.

Today we’re taking you to Avery Design & Print Online to show you just how easy it is to create and print personalised labels and other products. No design skills are required as you just follow the simple steps.

We’d love to see what you can create using the online software - why not screen grab your finished design or take a photo of your printed labels and send our way?  You can upload to www.facebook.com/UKAvery or tweet @UKAvery.  We’ve got some spot prizes for our favourite designs.

http://www.avery.co.uk/avery/en_gb/Templates-%26-Software/Software/Avery-Design—Print-Online.htm

Whether you’re planning on collecting treats or handing them out this Halloween, Avery product tags with strings are perfect for party bags and identifying which treats are whose!

Customise your product tags on both sides using our free Halloween designs or create your own designs on Design & Print Online.

If you’re going out to trick or treat, why not add a label your cauldron bucket so there’s no arguments as to whose collected the most treats.  And don’t forget to label all your dressing up props if you’re heading out to a party – there’s nothing worse than going home with somebody else’s broomstick at the end of the night!

This week is Get Online Week and we’ll be showing you some of the things you can do online with Avery. Today we wanted to show you how easy it is to create everything from business cards to laptop skins on our Brand and Print website. You won’t need any design skills as our software does the hard work for you.

We’ve even got a 10% offer on smartphone skins at the moment. See what you can create at http://bit.ly/1tTPSYS

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By Simon Jones, Motive Copywriting (@motivecopy)

Have you been sharpening up sentences, appreciating apostrophes and jettisoning jargon lately? After all, the 13th October is English Language Day.  It commemorates the date, back in 1362, when Parliament was opened for the first time in English.

Our language, the world’s third most widely spoken, is much celebrated. Thanks to our great writers like Shakespeare and Dickens it has rich complexity and colour. But are you using English in the most effective way?

In business it pays to write in ‘plain English’ because it’s what best engages the reader and gets points quickly across without fuss. If you’re composing a sales letter you need to make a powerful impact in just a few paragraphs. So plain English could make the difference between making or not making a sale.

10 tips for writing in ‘Plain English’

1)      Simple is often better
Some people presume that by using long or obscure words they’ll impress the reader with their intellect and savviness. However, uncommon words can create a stumbling block. A less formal and simpler writing style is often the best option. If you want to make a great impression, ensure your writing is quick and easy to understand.

2)      Use jargon sparingly

Jargon is useful when writing for particular audiences such as in the legal, medical, financial and military fields, which have their own unique shorthand. If you use this jargon on anyone outside those worlds you may risk being understood, so stick to plain English instead.

3)      Avoid tired clichés

To be in with the in-crowd, so many people have adopted phrases like ‘blue sky thinking’, ‘touch base’ and ‘push the envelope’ that they have become tired and cringe worthy. So use simple alternatives instead.

4)      Vary the length of sentences

Readers can be lulled into a sleep after reading a successive rhythm of sentences of the same length. Keep them alert by changing things up and mixing both short and long sentences.

5)      Use concise phrases

If there’s a shorter way of saying something, use it. Instead of ‘we have every intention of’ have ‘we intend to’.  You can shorten ‘the email conversations I had with her recently’ to ‘our recent emails’.  

6)      Take out redundant words

Remove any words you feel don’t contribute anything to the sentence such as  ‘generally’, ‘basically’ and ‘at the end of the day’. 

7)      Write in the ‘active’ not ‘passive’ voice

Writing is more dynamic when you use ‘active’ rather than ‘passive’ verbs. For instance, focusing on the word ‘devised’ change ‘The menus will be devised by staff’ to ‘Staff will devise the menus’.

8)      Be particular about punctuation

Have you seen the grammar book ‘Eats, shoots and leaves’ with a panda on the front? The book’s title cleverly references the perils of comma placement. The  comma after ‘eats’ implies that the panda is a callous gun-toting creature! Therefore, for clarity be careful where you place commas and other punctuation.

9)      Check it over and make it better

Not even the best writers can write perfect copy in one go. Great copy needs some thought and refining to get right. Giving it a thorough check will reveal sentences that could be better phrased, unnecessary words and possibly the odd spelling mistake.

10)  Read it out loud

Finally, to test how your writing will sound in someone’s head, and also see if it flows well, try reading it aloud. 

 

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Halloween in Britain used to mean apple-bobbing and poorly homemade costumes. Not any more.  Thanks to our friends in the US, suddenly we feel obligated to swot up on our pumpkin carving skills and buy in lots of sweeties in case trick or treaters should call.

With Halloween getting bigger every year, Avery UK have taken an “if you can’t beat them, join them approach” and have collated lots of fun, free ways in which you can get into the spooky spirit. 

We’ve put together a few Halloween-themed design templates that are easy to personalise and print with Avery Design & Print Online, so you can transform Avery products into spell-binding creations.

So! Take a peek-a-BOO at these ideas and visit our gory gallery for more blood-curling designs—if you dare!

It’s World Smile Day which got us thinking about all the different things that make us happy.

We’ve had a look through Avery Design & Print Online software to find images of some of the things that bring a smile to the face of the Avery UK team. We’d love to know what makes you smile. Tweet us @UKAvery or tell us via www.facebook.com/UKAvery.

Happy Friday everyone!

We are very proud that our labels are manufactured here in the UK and wanted to share some interesting facts and figures about Avery UK.

Did you know?

  • Avery has been making labels since 1935.

  • Ray Stanton (“Stan”) Avery, invented a smarter way for stores to price their products, then went on to pioneer the labeling industry. With a few simple materials—primarily used machine parts and a saber saw—Stan created and patented the first self-adhesive, die-cut labeling machine.

  • Avery UK sell over 210m sheets of labels every year.

  • We sell over 1200 products in the UK

  • 15,814 miles of label sheets are produced every year, that would be London to Hawaii and back.

Next week the Avery team are heading to The Office Show which takes place at Olympia London in Kensington.

We’re looking forward to meeting PAs, VAs, executive secretaries and other UK office workers.  If you are heading to the exhibition, make sure you pop by stand 2041 and say hello to Julie, Naomi and the rest of the Avery team.

On the stand you will be able to see our Christmas Kit, Letter Labels Kits and Parcel Labels Kit.  We’ll also be demonstrating the Avery Design & Print Online software on the stand.  It’s a great little time-saver for office workers and you can create some fantastic looking labels and products.

For those who are getting ready for Christmas you will be able to see our Christmas templates which you can use to create tags and labels.

There’s also free nail files and Letter Labels sample packs being given away so make sure you pop by to collect yours.

You can find out more about The Office Show on the event website. If you have any questions feel free to tweet us @UKAvery or send us a message via www.facebook.com/UKAvery.

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This month is National Walk to School Month. To help parents and schools encourage children to walk to school, Avery has created these stickers for you to print out on Avery labels (product code: E3613).  Our fantastic friends at Twinkl created the fun illustrations which you can access in Avery Design and Print Online.

Simply click on the link below to open and then print out on to your labels.

Download the pre-designed sticker template now.

There is one for each day so children can try and collect them all. Can your child walk each day?  Not only is it better for the environment, it’s also a simple way to get some additional exercise and fresh air.

We’re now one month into a new school term and here at Avery UK we’ve been reflecting on those exciting but nerve-wracking first few weeks.

Senior product manager, Sarah told us about how she is helping her daughter with her reading using Avery Removable Labels.  Here Sarah tells us how it’s going

"When Eloise started school we were given a list of “Rainbow Words” which are the first words the school wanted the children to become familiar with.  They gave us some lovely ideas on how to introduce these to our children with games like pairs or hide and seek.  As Eloise is quite a visual child, I wanted to make sure these words were always in her sight line, so I created her some Rainbow Word stickers.

Using Avery Design and Print Online I input all the words the school had given us, gave them all a rainbow border and then added eyes (from the Avery twinkl image gallery within the software) to all those words she has to learn by sight, rather than be able to sound them out.

I printed these on L4737 Removable labels.  Each week we pick a Word Of The Week and she gets to plaster it around the house - this is her favourite bit.  Every time we pass the word (and previous week’s words) she has to touch it and shout it out.  Our house is becoming very colourful but I can see it’s working with her and she is now a pro at “my”, “the” and “is”! 

Thank you to everyone who shared their ways of switching off as part of National Work- Life Balance Week.

We loved so many of your ideas we decided to include them in our blog today.

  • Sit down with my little boy and watch children’s TV…Mr Bloom is a favourite.
  • I drive my car home with the radio on really loud and sing along really loud while ignoring all the funny looks from other drivers.
  • After a difficult day, I try and get out for some fresh air by the coast where we live. My two children have a ride on their scooters and I walk hand in hand with my hubby and just appreciate the time with my family. I take in the beautiful scenery, take some lovely big sea air breaths and remind myself that tomorrow is a new day. A big nice glass of wine also helps!
  • Walk the dog cheap and she doesn’t answer back.
  • I come home, slip into comfies, and have 5 mins to myself.
  • Come home and have a good chat and cuddle with my hubby, he always knows how to make me feel better.
  • Cuddle my girls then play a board game - old school fun relieves the stress of working in a school and then coming home to do homework.
  • A walk in the new forest with my family, clears the cobwebs, refreshes the brain and it’s great to spend time with the children.
  • I work with friends so balance is done during the day, however it is important to make time for family - regular times when the children know you are going to be there.
  • To switch off I need to something mundane - like water the plants, wash the car, weed. Good to do something outside. Riding the bike is good too. However, if it’s raining, cold, snowing, etc, a good switch off is to put your favourite CD on, shut your eyes and pretend you are at the concert.
  • A nice romantic meal with my partner does the trick.
  • At the end of the week, it has to be taking my son to his fencing coaching. He loves it and its such a great bunch of mums, that after a good chat, and some cake I am ready for the weekend to start.
  • Watch TV all day and takeaway!
  • Getting lost in the magic of a book.
  • Just sit down and be quiet.
  • I knit, knit, knit.