Paper Doll

Posted on: December 16th, 2016 by Julie Bestry | 1 Comment

Last week, in Paper Doll & Smead Talk Paper vs. Digital Organizing: It’s Not Either/Or, you got to see the first part of my discussion with John Hunt of Smead about the anxieties many people face when thinking about moving their information from paper to digital. We discussed control vs. convenience, and how the learning curve with technology can be an obstacle to exploring solutions.

We also reviewed the scientific research on learning and cognition related to taking notes by hand vs. on the computer, and even explored the relative merits and drawbacks for reading paper books vs. using digital devices. We even talked about how marketing messages on paper vs. digital can have differing persuasive powers.

I made the case that there were different situations and individuals for which paper might be the right choice, and others where a digital solution could be better. And there were definitely indications that a hybrid system might be best.

Today, in a continuation of that Keeping You Organized podcast discussion, we continue that chat and explore two of the productivity tools that engender the most debate on the paper vs. digital landscape: calendars and task lists.

Calendars — We discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of paper vs. digital calendars, and delve into portability, syncing, visualization, creativity vs. linearity, and personalization. We also got into how comprehension of the passage of time (whether via analog or digital clocks, or using paper vs. digital calendars) can impact how we live our lives.

To Do and Task Lists — With a plethora of to do and task apps out there, some people are overwhelmed by the depth and breadth of options and choose the analog paper list every time, while others live and die by the task app. John and I talk about my hybrid approach to task tracking, and why using your calendar as a task or to do list is really fraught. And because productivity is all about priorities, we had to talk about the role prioritization plays in getting things done, whether you’re jotting those priorities on a sticky note or accessing them from the cloud.

Jump right in:

Remember, you can also watch (or download the audio only, if you prefer an auditory podcast experience) right at Smead’s page for Part 2 of our chat.

And, if you like what you hear, be sure to check out the other discussions John and I have had about organizing, and listen to what my great colleagues in professional organizing and productivity have had to say. Just pop over to the stellar Keeping You Organized podcast archive page.


Podcast 041: Secrets to Organizing a Small Business

Podcast 108: Fears that Keep You from Getting Organized

Podcast 153: Paper vs. Digital Organizing: Part I

Finally, once you’ve listened to parts 1 and 2 of our Paper vs. Digital podcast discussions, share your thoughts in the comments sections of either or both posts. What are your thoughts and preferences:

  • Do you have app overload, or do you enjoy exploring tech solutions for organizing?
  • Ebooks or dead trees — how do you like to read?
  • Notetaking — would you rather grab a pen and pad, or put your notes into something like Evernote? Does it differ whether you’re taking notes for academic work vs. meetings?
  • Paper planners or digital calendars: where do your appointments live?
  • Task lists: sticky note/paper pad or task app?

Posted on: December 9th, 2016 by Julie Bestry | No Comments

Recently, I sat down again with John Hunt for Smead‘s excellent video podcast series, Keeping You Organized. We wanted to get to the heart of that question, “Which is better, paper or digital organizing?” But as we got into it, I was able to explain my view, that it’s really a false dichotomy.

There are so many things we have to organize — our academic notes and research, our to do lists, our appointments, our thoughts — in order to keep our heads afloat. Even the fun things in our lives, like the books we read, can be overwhelming if we don’t have a way to organize the collections so we can enjoy and remember what we’ve read. And would you believe certain marketing messages — which impact our pocketbooks and those little green pieces of paper — can have a greater or lesser effect depending on whether they come on the page or the screen?

Sometimes, the decision over whether to go paper vs. digital is aesthetic — we like the feel of paper, or the glossy nature of a screen. But I’ve found that emotions play the largest role in how we choose a platform.

The problem we professional organizers often see is that people have anxiety around this whole issue of paper vs. digital. Some people feel anxious about not moving their whole lives to the cloud — digital task lists, calendars, ebooks, phone books — they’re afraid they will seem out of touch if they don’t eschew paper and embrace everything digital. Meanwhile, just as there is a backlash against modernity with hipsters and music purists preferring vinyl, there are those who will only relinquish their Moleskines when you pry them from their cold, dead hands. But it doesn’t have to be like this!

In my discussion with John, we talk about all the different situations, and the different types of learning styles and personality types, for which organizing by paper, or digitally, or through a combination of the two, might work best.

Take a look:

If you visit the source, you can watch us right at Smead’s Keeping You Organized podcast page or download the show as an audio podcast to listen while walk or work. While you’re there, peruse other episodes in the multi-year series, including some with me, your Paper Doll:


Podcast 041: Secrets to Organizing a Small Business

Podcast 108: Fears that Keep You from Getting Organized

Finally, John and I had SO MUCH to discuss (because when does Paper Doll ever run out of words?) that there’s a second whole video podcast on the way, where we continue the conversation. How’s that for organizing a holiday gift for you readers and viewers?

Posted on: August 4th, 2016 by Julie Bestry | No Comments

A few years ago, we discussed how Social Security replaced the annual paper statements (for individuals under age 60) with an online system called My Social Security, and I explained the steps for registering for an account. (Officially, it appears everywhere as “my Social Security,” complete with the italicized, lowercase “my” and color-coding, which Paper Doll finds frustrating and will not emulate, but let’s stay on point.)

In step #8 of the Paper Doll’s 16 Ways to Organize Your Money in 2016, I reminded you of the importance of registering for your My Social Security account.


My Social Security is similar to your IRA, 401(K), and other retirement-related websites, in that it provides essential information for planning your retirement. At the website, you can see your estimated benefits if you were to retire early (at age 62), at your full retirement age (for Paper Doll, that’s 67) or later, at age 70. You also have the opportunity to view your complete earnings record (and taxes paid for both Social Security and Medicare purposes), back to the first time you filed your taxes. For example, my record begins in 1984.

In addition to providing comforting figures (or spurring you to improve your retirement-related investment habits), the My Social Security online account gives you other opportunities. You can:

  • Provide eligibility proof (for yourself or your family) that you have qualified to receive Medicare, disability, retirement, or related benefits.
  • Identify under-reporting errors, generally caused when an employer neglects to provide an accurate 1099 to the IRS.
  • Identify over-reporting errors, which most often happens when you’re a victim of identity theft. If someone fraudulently uses your Social Security number when applying for a job (which they would be unable to get under their own name and number), that income can be erroneously applied to your Social Security record.


Starting this month, as the result of an executive order for all federal agencies to provide more secure authentication for their online services, the Social Security Administration is creating an additional level of security to protect users’ privacy. Social Security, like other agencies that that provides online access to its customer’s personal information, will be using multi-factor authentication. That’s a fancy way of saying Social Security will be using more than one method to make sure you are really you.

It also means that you’ll have to do a little more to prove that you are you. Annoying? Well, wouldn’t it be more annoying to have someone fraudulently log into your Social Security account?

Effective immediately, when you sign into your Social Security account at, you will still use your username and password, as always. However, the site will then ask you to add your text-enabled cell phone number. From then on, every time you log into your Social Security account, the system will text you a one-time security code you will then enter on-screen before you can successfully complete your log-in.

So, if you already have a My Social Security account, you can go test it out:

Step 1: Sign in with your username and password. (Remember, Social Security makes you change your password every 6 months, so be prepared to make note of your new password somewhere secure, like your password notebook or password app, and not on a sticky note next to the computer!)

Step 2: Get a text message from Social Security. It won’t say it’s coming from Social Security — there will just be a phone number and a one-time security code.


Step 3: Submit the security code by entering the code from the text into the field on the screen and hit “submit.”

That’s it! Because I had my phone next to the computer, the whole process took about six seconds. If you have to go hunting around your home or office for your phone, it might take a few extra minutes. Still, pretty easy for helping protect your data, eh?

There are some potential downsides to this plan, of course.

You have to have a text-enabled cell phone. If your first reaction is, “That’s silly. EVERYONE has texting!” then you’re probably younger, have some form of disposable income, and are used to texting. But not everyone has texting. Until mere months ago, Paper Doll enjoyed the gentle chiding of colleagues over this very issue.


Yes, it’s true, I had a flip phone and a 2000-era legacy account for 300 minutes for $30/month. I didn’t text because it’s nearly impossible to text out on a dumb-phone, and I froze texting on my plan so I wouldn’t be charged for incoming spam calls and wrong numbers. However, because texting has “almost zero marginal cost” for service providers, the advent of unlimited talk-and-texting plans means that upwards of 88% of Americans have access to unlimited texting.

If you don’t have an unlimited plan, your cell phone provider’s text message (and possibly data) rates may apply.

You have to be willing to provide your cell phone number to the Social Security Administration. But y’know, they have your address, they have access to all your tax returns, and they know how much money you make and will get back. Unlike your favorite coffee bar or fast food place, they probably won’t be tempted to sell your cell phone number to other marketers. I can’t be certain, but I think your cell phone number is pretty safe with Social Security.

So, from now on, if you want to be able to log into your account, you’ll have to be willing to adhere to two-factor/multi-factor authentication, and not only know your user name and password (which, again, Social Security makes you change every six months), but you’ll have to have your cell phone nearby so that when you log in, you can pause for a few seconds and type in that special code.

If you don’t have a text-enabled cell phone [note: it doesn’t have to be a smart phone] or you don’t want to give up your digits, you won’t be able to access your Social Security account. That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck — you’ll just have to contact Social Security “Old School” by phone, US Mail, in person, or by email.

Multi-factor authentication isn’t the wave of the future; it’s the wave of the present. My bank just upgraded its online app, and I went through the same process to prove my identity. The bank also gave me the option of using my thumb or fingerprint to log into my account. I have no doubt that future options will include voice authentication or retinal scans — perhaps psychic readings, someday! The point is, the safer your information is, the safer your financial future is, and isn’t that a goal of a more organized life?

Posted on: July 15th, 2016 by Julie Bestry | No Comments

Do you hate your printer? OK, hate is a strong word, but let’s talk.

My first printer, a noisy dot-matrix Imagewriter II, was part of my first Mac purchase in December 1985. It had a sleek white housing, took continuous-form feed (or fan-fold) paper (which, at the time, we likened to paper towels), and took black ink only. It had a few simple lights and buttons that didn’t require reading a manual to understand. It was sleek, did what it was told, and aside from being incredibly heavy, fit well with my student life requirements.


I’ve had a few printers in the past three decades, but none as pleasing as that Imagewriter II. Epsons and Canons and HPs, oh my! They’ve frozen, their drivers have mysteriously failed, and they have crankily refused to print with black ink when the cyan (that’s yellow, y’know) was not tippy-top. My current printer, since it was about six months old, refuses to print unless I unplug it from the power supply and plug it in again before printing. Every. Darn. Time.

You’d think there would have to be a better way! Well, one 27-year-old German industrial designer thought so, too.


Ludwig Rensch had an idea. What if printers weren’t horrible, awful, frustrating pieces of technology that we depended upon for providing tangible representations of information, but were instead easy to use and nifty to gaze upon, and did what we needed?

His prototype? Paper: A Printer You Actually Want


In Rensch’s words:

Paper is a machine that can print, scan and copy in a pleasant way. It communicates its function, provides clear feedback and uses physical controls to operate the key functions with ease.

Seriously? No randomly blinking lights that are reminiscent of Morse Code but have no clear meaning?

No refusal to print in black and white unless three other color inks are full?

No ugly metal and plastic blob that makes your kitchen or living room feel industrial?

Well, that is a breath of fresh air.


Instead of the black and grey boxes we’ve come to know, Rensch’s Paper is a brightly colored, lightweight, all-in-one printer/scanner/copier.

Imagine having a traditional flatbed printer or scanner but then turning it on its side. In lieu of a traditional stack of copy paper, Rensch’s Paper prints or copies to a continuous sheet (sans tractor-feed holes) on an upright paper roll with pages cut one slice at a time, much like Berg’s Little Printer, which I wrote about in Indulgences, Unitaskers and Paper Doll’s Take on the Little Printer.


Instead of black or grey plastic and metal that’s suited for office space, Rensch designed something that adds some quirky color. (Although Paper Doll, herself, has a lifelong history detesting the color orange, this blog will not hold that against Paper.)

The revised design makes it more compact, space-saving and mobile. There’s just one switch to select “scan” or “copy,” the LEDs let you know the status of Paper’s ink levels, and there’s a handle on top so you can pick it up at a moment’s notice without feeling like you’re carrying all your worldly possessions like in the closing scene from Fiddler on the Roof.



As a professional organizer, I was delighted to see that Rensch developed the user interface to follow the Pareto Principle: 80% of your success comes from 20% of your effort. In organizing, we usually take that to mean that 80% of the time, we wear 20% of our clothes (wearing and washing, and storing them for easy access and wearing them again), while kids play with 20% of their toys, and so on. We focus on that to show how, when we discard some subset of the 80% were rarely use or touch, we regain space without regretting the loss of what we’ve donated or tossed.

Rensch says:

This is where the paradox of technology kicks in. Devices become incredibly complicated. Microwaves, Remote Controls, TVs, Cars, Ovens, Printers, Coffee Machines – they all have features that the majority of the owners never use. That is because they don’t know how or why, and they’re not willing to spend time and energy to learn how to use something. Especially in the days of streamlined services and apps, that make life so easy without instructions or efforts, it seems ridiculous that one has to read a user’s guide to heat up some food.

Rensch applied the Pareto Principle, considering the likelihood that 80% of the time, we only use 20% of the features of office appliances like printers, copiers, and scanners, so why create bulk and disarray with more than is needed? To achieve his goal, Rensch started at the beginning: he defined a printer’s key functions, analyzed the required procedures and simplified everything until he had created an easy-to-learn, simple-to-understand, aesthetically pleasing, and minimalistic product.



Rensch designed his Paper printer/scanner/copier as part of his graduate thesis Interacting with Things, which looked at how machines can be used more intuitively, and he asked three basic questions:

  • Is it possible to transfer the quality of a digital user experience to an everyday object?
  • Can we use physical feel to improve digital experiences?
  • Are we able to make the information and the opportunities of the internet more tangible and experience them in physical things?

Then, he applied his concepts to three designs: Paper, PostPoster (an interactive graphical poster that uses a specialized conductive paint to generate sounds), and Musikbox 1188 and its app, a Bluetooth loudspeaker that lets you listen to music from your friend’s phone, tablet, or computer even if your friend (and her gadgets) are on the other side of the world.

The ever-expanding concept of the Internet of Things, upon which Rensch’s work is predicated, is key to understanding his designs. The Internet of Things, or IoT, is like where your Nest programmable thermostat or your “fridge of the future” can talk to your phone or computer and to one another to make your life more enjoyable. The thermostat can increase the A/C on a hot day so it’s just perfect when you walk in the door, but also send you an alert if your furnace is acting weird and the pipes might burst in winter. Meanwhile, your fridge can detect when you’re low on milk, your ingredients are about to expire, or you’re lacking what you need for the recipe you programmed in for Saturday — and then auto-order more groceries!

While most designers are eager for this Rise of the Machines and are welcoming our new programmable toaster overlords, the rare detractors are usually concerned with the security of IoT. Rensch, however, is more concerned about the humanity of it (per his thesis):

It’s the age of the smartphones. Like no other technology in the recent decades, they become part of our lives. Services offered in the internet allow us to do really complex stuff in no time, with no effort and in pleasant ways, for instant [sic] sell a bike to someone, find directions in foreign places and do business on the go. Static information that was bound in books and maps is now fluid and accessible from everywhere at everytime.

But these developments also must be viewed critically.

Even these miracle-machines have their down-sides. We all know people who are sunken into their Smartphone screens, absorbed by virtual worlds. And from time to time, we’ve been that person. All the Apps and Services are good and useful on their own, but to take care of everything only with our phones is distracting us from the outside world and our environment. Interactions with screens demand an enormous amount of concentration and leave the human motor functions and haptics unused.

Paper looks a lot like a throw-back to the days of mechanical buttons and dials, making use of the user’s fine motor skills to tune in the desired solution with basic physical controls and verify them with simple light signals. In that way, it reminded me of an old radio, where you turned the dial and when you hit upon an AM or FM station clearly, the tiny light would shine brightly.


Paper could work manually, only, but Rensch designed it to operate as an Internet of Things device — but better. According to Rensch, the device is meant to be seen as more of an “aesthetically pleasing creative tool that brings together the analog and digital worlds for transferring content from one to the other.”

Paper hasn’t left the virtual world behind. It can be operated via its own app on your mobile device or at a website in your computer’s browser.

To really appreciate the experience of using Paper, which to me, harkens back to my first experience with the design of Apple products, check out the video.



Of course, and I’m sure you expected this, there is sad news for those of us eager to try Paper out. You see, Paper is not-ready-for-prime-time because of the economics of the Office Supply Industrial Complex. Your frustrating HP or Epson is frustrating because it’s cheap, and it’s cheap because the companies know they can hook you with the low-price printer and weigh you down with printer ink made only for your style of printer, forcing you to come back time and again for a cyan you don’t really want or need.

Without Big Ink money to subsidize the development, manufacturing, and distribution of Rensch’s Paper, this pretty little thing won’t be on desks (or kitchen counters) anytime soon. We can only hope that the big guys will take Rensch’s approach under advisement, and give us a printer/scanner/copier we’d actually enjoy using.

Posted on: July 13th, 2016 by Julie Bestry | No Comments


Organizing is about losing (getting rid of things that no longer serve your goals, whether that’s clutter or bad habits) and winning (freeing up space in your home and office, time in your schedule, and peace in your thought processes).

Every year, the attendees of the National Association of Professional Organizers’ NAPO Conference and Expo vote for the best of the best among exhibitors. Categories in the 2016 NAPO Organizers’ Choice Awards include the best residential and business products, the best residential and business services, and an overall “Best In Show” award for whatever really captured the attention of the professional organizers and productivity experts in attendance.

And the winners were…

BEST RESIDENTIAL PRODUCT: Time Timer (modeled by Heather Rogers)

TimeTimerHeatherFew time management products could be considered more of a classic than Time Timer, which was already a beloved tool when I started my professional organizing business more than 15 years ago. At that time, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I owned one of the original Time Timers, an analog timer with a patented thick, red, circular “fanning-out” disc-like covering that diminished in size (from a maximum of 360° coverage for an hour) until time was up, and the red portion disappeared (hiding behind the clock display).

It was obvious that Time Timer provided a superlative way to explain the passage of time in a variety of circumstances — for teaching children the concept of time, for giving all participants in a discussion group equal time speaking (without needing an orchestra to “play them off”), for keeping meetings on task and on time, and for helping clients with ADHD and other time-related challenges master their appreciation of the passage of time. Let’s let Time Timer tell it:

The Time Timer product line has expanded in a variety of ways. From the original boxy Time Timer, there are now six varieties:


  • Time Timer PLUS, with a quick-grab handle, a rugged case, and a durable clear lens to protect its patented red disk, measures 5.5″ x 7″ and requires one AA battery. It’s whisper-silent.
  • Time Timer 3″, tiny enough to be tucked anywhere
  • Time Timer 8″, perfect for your desktop, bedside, or anywhere you’re working
  • Time Timer 12″, ideal for an office or meeting session, so you can see it from across the room
  • Time Timer MOD is a 3.5″ x 3.5″ version that adds a little color to your productivity. The MOD features a colorful, removable, silicone cover for an extra layer of protection, like a thick smartphone skin. You can purchase the MOD with a Sky Blue, Charcoal Gray, or Lime Green cover, and there’s a Berry cover available separately.
  • Time Timer MOD Sprint Edition ties in with the Jack Knapp book, Sprint, and comes with a Quick Start Guide highlighting the key principles of the “design sprint” framework developed by Google teams.


These Time Timers range from $29 to $39 on the Time Timer website.

Over the years, the Time Timer line branched out to include watches for a personal approach to managing time, from staying on task at work, home, or while doing school work to remembering to take medications or transition to the next location or task.

  • Time Timer Watch PLUS Small — The small watch comes in Berry, Sky Blue, and Lime Green, with clock, timer, and alarm functions, vibrating and audible alerts, repeatable time segment settings (for interval training, Pomodoro productivity, etc.). The small watch has a soft silicone watch band designed to fit wrist circumferences of 4.75″ to 7″.


  • Time Timer Watch PLUS Large, for larger wrists, has all of the same features, but measures 5.5″ to 8.25″ and comes only in Charcoal Grey.

Both styles of watches are $84.95.

Finally, because the need for time management doesn’t just live in the tangible world, there are Time Timer apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android phones, as well as Mac and Windows apps, offering customized timers. Prices range from $0.99 to $19.95.



Longtime readers of Paper Doll know that good paper management sometimes means determining which information should exist in digital form, and that means mastering the skill of scanning.

Two years ago, in NAPO2014: Wirelessly Scanning the Horizon — What’s New in Scanning?, we looked at the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Desktop Scanner. With an output resolution of up to 600 dpi for black and white (and 300 dpi for color), the ability to scan single-sided or duplex, a 25 page-per-minute scanning speed, a 50-page automatic document feed, one-button searchable PDF creation, and wireless scanning to Mac, PC, iOS or Android devices, the iX500 is still the belle of the scanning ball as far as professional organizers and productivity experts are concerned.

But the iX500 is only one member of the ScanSnap family, which also includes the mobile, handheld Fujitsu Document Scanner ScanSnap iX100. This little guy is only 14.1 ounces, so it lets you scan receipts and contracts on a business trip, school notes from the library or college dorm, or recipes and plastic ID cards from anywhere to your PC or Mac as well as well as your iOS or Android device. Via USB or Wi-Fi, the iX100 lets you scan to PDF (or even searchable PDF, if you’re using your computer), JPEGs, editable Word and Excel docs (again, on the computer), and send your scans via the ScanSnap Cloud feature to your Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, and other cloud services.

Paper Doll has often covered the best ways to decide if and what to scan, in classic posts like in Get Organized Month: Paper Control 102–Advanced Topics & Office Hours and Paperless vs. Less Paper: 6 Ways to Reduce Paper Consumption. However, I recognize that when it comes to the intricacies of the technical side of scanning, I am definitely not the ultimate expert. That’s why, on your behalf, dear readers, I rub elbows with someone who is. (Actually, in this person’s case, he’s super-tall, so his elbows would probably clock me in the ear, but you get the idea.)

If you’re new to going paperless, you definitely want to become familiar with Brooks Duncan of DocumentSnap. Start with his blog post, Going Paperless in 5 Easy(ish) Steps, and move on to his website for others of his gems:

  • DocumentSnap Blog — from scanning into Evernote (and exporting out of it) to creating your own private cloud to document search, Brooks is your guy.
  • Sign up to get his Paperless Cheat Sheet (linked from the front page) so that you can approach scanning in the right way.
  • If you’re going to go the ScanSnap route, look into his Unofficial ScanSnap Setup Guide ($5 each for Mac or Windows, $8 for both.)
  • And finally, if you’re thinking of scanning to the cloud, check out Brooks’ Paperless Security Guide, which, at $7, is a steal.


In addition to Time Timer and ScanSnap, the two big productivity stars, other winners of the 2016 NAPO Organizers’ Choice Awards included:


NAPOSure offers customized professional insurance for practitioners in the organizing and productivity fields. This includes coverage for property, loss of income, professional liability, auto, and employee bonding.


Because the federal government is slow to assign new NAICS industry classification categories, many professions that have existed for multiple decades (including professional organizers and productivity experts, coaches, ADHD specialists, and a variety of technology-related professionals) lack aAICS categorization, which makes it difficult to ensure appropriate professional insurance. For years, professional organizers were categorized by insurance companies as interior designers, even though that coverage approach was, at best, inappropriate. NAPOSure was the first insurance designed and customized for professional organizers.

Metropolitan Organizing’s Geralin Thomas has an excellent short post on How To Get the Best Insurance Coverage for Your Organizing Business, including selecting the appropriate types and levels of coverage.


We know that even if our clients are comfortable with purging the excess from their homes, not everything can find its way to a logical and useful next “home” via consignment or donation. Sometimes, stuff is broken, too far out of date, or otherwise too damaged to be of use to anyone, and that’s when 1-800-Got-Junk comes to the rescue. If you’ve got something non-hazardous that “two strong, able-bodied crew members can lift,” then they can get it out of your space.


This full-service junk removal company offers the upfront pricing, convenient pickups, and responsible disposal services that make professional organizers and our clients feel confident using. 1-800-Got-Junk was voted Best Residential Service, because they’ll pick up your household detritus, including old appliances and TVs, mattresses, furniture, carpets — even hot tubs! But they also service businesses, and will remove “junk” and recycle computers, monitors, and printers from your office space.

BEST IN SHOW: Lock & Rollin’ Flooring Solutions

I’m a generalist, working with both residential and business clients, but I specialize in paper and information management. So, I’m not often involved with garage and attic organizing systems, or other “heavy-duty” tools. However, clients are often looking for recommendations, and it was interesting to learn about Lock & Rollin’s Flooring Solutions.

Designed to help turn attics and crawl spaces into safe storage options, Lock & Rollin’ uses 32″ lightweight slats which slide together to form adjustable lengths of roll-out flooring that fit between attic joists. The creators state that it holds up to 250 pounds per square foot while being lighter than typical attic flooring, like plywood, so it should be easy enough to lift and carry, and they say it’s resistant to mold, mildew, and termites.

Lock & Rollin’ was surrounded by crowds throughout the conference, so all I could see while craning my neck was something that looked like a seriously heavy-duty Transformers-style yoga mat. At the risk of associating myself with an annoying “As Seen on TV” late-night commercial, as someone who fears falling through an unfinished attic floor, I found this video to be both explanatory and intriguing.

Congratulations to all the NAPO2016 Organizers’ Choice Award Winners!



Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, and I will get a small remuneration if you make a purchase after clicking through the links. The opinions, as always, are my own. (Who else would claim them?)