It’s What You Learn, Not What You Already Know

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In our latest #decortrends chat, participants shared how continuous learning is an on-going pursuit – keeping on top of new industry trends, gaining new perspectives, obtaining time and cost saving tactics, meeting and networking with others, and more were all cited as important gains from education and training.

Our co-host @aecdaily, an expert in the field of online contractor and industrial online education, provided key questions in which chat attendees eagerly shared their insights.

Chat participants, such as @jorgensonlocker mentioned “convenience, definitely” and the 24/7 access as important reasons to choosing an online class.  Added @tonisabstyle, “The convenience, ability to get (an) overview without travel to see if you want to get more involved” are key. And while online education in general offers a myriad of choices, other educational forums, such as in person networking are still critical to business success. “Going to trade shows keeps me on top of what colors are trending in products lines,” stated @color911. Added to this sentiment by @alanfactory, “There are a lot of great online resources, but nothing beats learning from another pro in person.”

Cultivating one-on-one peer education, @pureplumbinglv has a formal apprenticeship program and this gained applause from the chat attendees, “Glad to see Apprenticeships on the rise!” mentioned @DeborahMain.

For more information on educational and training opportunities, check out AEC Daily’s offerings that provide hundreds of thousands of credits to construction professionals.

Join us weekly at #decortrends Thursdays at 11 am PST. Share, learn, and engage with like minded professionals! For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

 

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Upcycling and Recycling for a DIY Lifestyle

As we roll into February, it is might be a good time to renew your home with new décor and furnishings. Our recent #decortrends chat participants shared ideas of how to effectively upcycle, recycle, and retrofit your home.

Upcycling and recycling can be functional, cost effective, and as simple or complex as you desire. “I think adding a fresh coat of paint makes a world of difference to most anything,” remarked @jorgensonlocker who also added, “…if you’re going to upcycle or repurpose an older piece, it needs to be functional & fit in easily with your décor.”

While the inside of your home is often the focal point of a remodel or refresh, your home’s exterior can also create a prominent ambiance change. @adventureglass shared “Our Landscaping genius is hooking us up with planting boxes that are OUTRAGEOUS.”

Outdoor inspiration abounds on website’s such as @houzz. When turning to ideas on home improvement and repair, find the right mix of inspiration and retrofitting ideas. Small fixes and paying attention to details can make all the difference. “Little things can be BIG in visual size, like rearranging furniture, adding a bold rug, changing light bulbs…” remarked @MyFixitUpLife.

More creative ideas can be found online and offline. Pinterest and Instagram are naturals for easy-to-find upcycle and recycle inspiration. Bringing those ideas to life, DIYers can peruse thrift stores, garage sales, and consignment stores for just the right piece to be transformed.

For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Make a Splash with Big and Small Room Makeovers

Do home makeovers need to be large, sweeping changes to be effective? Or can smaller details lead to just the right décor refresh for your home? From our recent #decortrends chat, our participants offered cost effective, quick tips that will help enliven your home.

Image: @DreamWallsGlass

Whether a home needs a seasonal change or the desire is to create a new modern, sophisticated vibe, room make-overs are only limited by the individual’s imagination. From installing new lighting or highlighting a new paint color, the style edit can be subtle and small and yet produce an effective and long lasting décor shift. “Change the wall color. Can be paint or wood or wallpaper…gives a powerful backdrop + infuses new mojo for a makeover,” said @MyFixItUpLife.

As @JorgensonLocker pointed out, “Adding a new furniture piece or some fresh décor can make a space feel ‘new.’ Even rearranging the layout can help.”

On the other end of the spectrum, kitchen and bathroom remodels are always popular choices for a home makeover where changes in the materials used can produce big results. “Faux tin & copper backsplashes seem to be really popular right now,” mentioned @AlansFactory. Beyond obvious choices for a design or style change, sometimes a seemingly problematic area can offer new décor options. As shared by @DreamWallsGlass, “The stairwell is always a challenge. Precision/safety of hanging items is hardest…”

When beginning the next makeover, an important element is to plan accordingly and allow for flexibility. “Having a basic idea or theme for the room is important to make sure that everything flows together,” stated @DodbyBrownWood.

Join us weekly at #decortrends Thursdays at 11 am PST. Share, learn, and engage with like minded professionals! For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Simple Organization and Storage Solutions for Every Home

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Image: @JorgensonLocker

Organization is the name of the game and a myriad of storage solutions can create a personal, functional, and organized work and living space. Here are some recent tips from our #decortrends chat participants.

“Lighter colors open spaces up and make them look and feel larger than they are.” @WLCabinetry

“…Having storage that gets the job done AND looks great is so important!” @JorgensonLocker

“Storage is integral to the overall design – it is always a challenge of where to put things/be more organized.” @AECDaily

“It’s ideas like this that inspire us to store smarter!” @NContours

Although odd sized or larger items are often difficult to store, smaller items can get lost in the shuffle, too. @WLCabinetry’s handy Base Filler Organizer keeps smaller kitchen and bathroom items organized and easily accessible. Kids’ storage lockers by jorgensonlockers.com are not only novel, but provide ample storage space for bedrooms, dens, foyers and garages.

Join us weekly at #decortrends Thursdays at 11 am PST. Share, learn, and engage with like minded professionals! For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Colorful Décor and Design Tips

Ratten balls and vases on table with light brown sofa

Does design and décor begin with color or is color the result of the design and décor? #decortrends chat participants shared their ideas of how the two go hand in hand together.

“Color can dictate decor; decor can dictate color.” @color911

“Decor will be fresher and more nature inspired.” @Greg_BBCleaning

“Color gives me life! The little pieces from postcards around the world, enliven my space, and give me a starting point.” @FTYHFlooring

“Bold, bright colors may mean you’re more adventurous; not afraid to take risks.” @jorgensonlocker

Join us weekly at #decortrends Thursdays at 11 am PST. Share, learn, and engage with like minded professionals! For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

What’s New for Décor and Design for 2017?

Décor and design are constantly evolving. During our recent #decortrends Twitter chat, a few industry professionals shared their key insights to jumpstart their décor, design, and home improvement ideas for 2017.

“From hardware, to lighting, to plumbing fixtures, we’re huge fans of mixed metals.” – @ncontours

“We can see woods taking on a more prominent role in modern design in 2017.” – @robern

“I see #artdeco re-emerging…classic, clean, but with a sophisticated twist.” – @tonisabstyle

“Greenery is the Color of the Year.” – @jorgensonlocker

“Best Storage Solution: Organization is always a must!” – @koehlerdesigns

“Love these chats about #interiordesign and #decortrends. I always learn so, so much!!” @MsAJRogers

“A favorite trend that we now find timeless: solid bottom #storage #solutions. You can’t go wrong!” – @RevAShelf

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Join us weekly at #decortrends Thursdays at 11 am PST. Share, learn, and engage with like minded professionals!

Ten Easy Steps on How to Effectively Participate in a Twitter Chat

If you’re a Twitter regular, chances are you’ve probably noticed a hashtag reoccurring every week or every two weeks. You may have asked yourself, what makes a hashtag ebb and flow during somewhat predictable time frames? Well, it may not be a trending topic per se, but rather, a hashtag that is the central part of a Twitter chat.

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A Twitter chat is a live discussion marked by a #hashtag. As an example, #decortrends and #DIYtips are two hashtags used by @ZirconTools to identify chat tweets. By participating in a Twitter chat, you can elevate your company or brand. If you’re wondering how to join one, here are ten easy tips to get you well on your way to be an expert tweeter.

  • Sign in and set up. By making the most of your free Twitter account with a short bio, optional link to your website, and a bio image, you’ll be ready to go.
  • Find your experts. Identify and follow Twitter influencers within your industry that will help you understand which Twitter chats are most relevant for you to join.
  • Find applicable Twitter chats. You can find relevant chats by searching popular chat sites, such as Tweetchat.com. Once signed in, available “rooms” are listed and by clicking into a specific one, you can see the most recent tweets for chats of interest. Note the date and time of the chats.
  • Join the chat. There are multiple ways to log in and sign into the chat. Although all you need is a Twitter account to participate in a chat, it is often helpful to sign into Tweetchat or Twubs which are both cloud-based apps that specialize in Twitter chats. The advantage of signing into either app is that a live stream of tweets is automatically displayed for the specific chat and the hashtag is also already included.
  • Listen. Once you’re signed into a Twitter chat take a few moments to listen and view the chat dialog. By first monitoring the chat, you’ll become familiar with the chat lingo and the way the chat is orchestrated. Each chat has a host or a moderator. The host usually has the duties of posting chat questions.
  • Tweet. At the chat scheduled time, participate. It’s fine to take a step back, review, and listen to the online conversation before tweeting; however, if and when you feel compelled, jump into the conversation. Tweet questions are usually designated with a “Q” before the question number and will appear as Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. For others to see your tweets, make sure to include A1, A2, A3, etc. in your tweet and always remember to also include the chat #hashtag.
  • Share and retweet. When you find a tweet that you find particularly interesting, share the tweet or tweet directly to the person who posted the specific tweet. When you retweet, you’re acknowledging the other person’s idea and this can help build your own thought community as well.
  • Ask questions. While chatting, you may want further clarification. Often, the question is to be directed to a specific chat participant. Ensure you use the @ with the participant’s Twitter account, so the individual will know that the question is directed to him/her. Keep it brief and to the point.
  • Stay on topic. As proper chat etiquette, be focused on the chat conversation rather than straying toward commercial messages about your brand or tweeting about other topics that are not relevant to the chat.
  • Deepen the Relationship. The objective of the chat is to engage and share on-topic information related to the subject or theme. After the chat, enhance the relationship by following your new-found chat friends. Also, this will be a suitable time to expand the conversation to other topics of interest to you.

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Let’s exchange Twitter chat ideas. Please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com. Interested in hosting your own Twitter Chat? Please read our blog, How to Host a Successful Twitter Chat for timely and useful tips.

Join us each Thursday at 11 am PST for #decortrends #DIYtips. Learn, share and engage.

Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

Santa Christmas List

365 days a year, Santa and his elves are busily preparing for Santa’s big night in the sky.

At his North Pole workshop, Santa is creating his list, penciling in names, and assigning Elf projects. We’re taking a page right out of Santa’s Nice List with our choices for this year’s gift guide. Who’s on your list?

The Fixer

[fik-ser] noun

  1. A person or thing that fixes
MultiScanner® i520

MultiScanner® i520

Everyone knows one, or may even have a person like this in the household, who is constantly tinkering and fixing things around the house. For them, the Zircon MultiScanner® i520 OneStep® is the perfect gift.

This all-in-one wall scanner finds studs, metal, and live electricity making it the ideal tool for your active DIYer. ACT™ Auto Correcting Technology automatically recalibrates to correct common errors automatically and the ultra-bright display screen makes for easy viewing in dark environments.

The Designer

[dih-zahy-ner] noun

     1.  A person who devises or executes designs, especially one who creates froms, structure, and patterns

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StudSensor™ e50

There’s always a creator or visionary in every family – the person who thinks that two non-congruent shapes go together or your sister who first insisted on taking down the wallpaper (or putting it up), or maybe the cousin who is regularly redesigning a space that already seemingly looks perfect. For the next new wall hanging, fanciful artwork, or framed picture that adorns the walls, your Designer would benefit from having the Zircon StudSensor™ e50 stud finder.

The e50 quickly and easily locates the edges of wood and metal studs behind walls, floors, and ceilings while also alerting the presence of live electricity. It’s a definite must-have around the house for projects, big and small.

The Weekend Warrior

[week-end wawr-ee-er] noun

      1. Any person who vigorously pursues activities outside of the work week, in a work-like and intensive manner

ExitPoint™ XL300

ExitPoint™ XL300

Have someone on your list who spends countless hours on various house projects and is a bonafide home improvement expert? If you’re looking for a gift that is both unique and useful, your recipient will love to unwrap the all new ExitPoint™ XL300.

A novel tool that can be used two ways: As a through-hole drill guide to locate exit points, or as an external stud finder when used in conjunction with a normal stud finder. Just place a transmitter magnet on your target point and scan with the receiver on the other side of the wall. The XL300 scans through most types of non-magnetic materials, such as wood, drywall, brick, and concrete up, to 11.81 in. thick. It’s perfect for running television cables and security wiring through walls for that clean, seamless look.

Make it easier for the elves in your household with these handy home improvement tools. Got another Zircon favorite that you hope makes its way into your Christmas stocking this year? Share the cheer with us. Follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Join us every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 11 am PST for our #diytrends chat. Let’s share, engage, and learn from each other.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics.

References:

http://www.dictionary.com

Living in a Small Space, Part IV

3 Inexpensive Tips to Maximize Tight Spaces

Fall is an excellent time to think about reorganizing and making the most out of your space. With college students settling into their dorm rooms and the current downsizing trend, how can you organize your limited space to be as functional as possible? In what way can a smaller space also reflect your individual personality? The enlightening part about the small space movement is the opportunity for new innovations to propel college students and others to think about repurposing, reusing, or limiting their space usage without sacrificing a proper place to work, study, relax, and entertain.

One such example is the cube that dates back to the 1950s. This versatile piece functions as both a storage unit as well as a seat. The cube continues its reinvention and has even spawned an entire cube industry that blends functionality with whimsical creativity.

Today, cubular storage and furniture solutions are available in abundant materials, sizes, colors and modular configurations, with or without fabric drawers, baskets, or doors.  Students can select a mobile or stationary design, attach their cube to floors or/walls as well as use cubes in a closet or living spaces.

Please note these helpful hints:

1) Jorgenson Lockers has a few different storage options, such as The Modular Box LockerJorgensen Locker M-Cube that is just one of their locker alternatives for dorm residents who may not want to share absolutely everything with their roommate or the rest of the dorm. The lockers are modular and multiple units can be attached. Available in 21 colors, the M-Cube is an ideal choice for storing valuables, as it comfortably fits most laptops. Box Shelf Lockers

2) With small living space, it’s important to utilize every inch of space and hooks are “bite-sized” staples that amplify decorating options while adding functionality. Why use valuable drawer space if you have a nook or cranny that could accommodate a column of functional buckets? Don’t forget that the back of a door is also prime real estate in a small space living arrangement. Hooks can help you add style or functionality to your personal space.

MultiScanner i520

MultiScanner i520

3) When affixing any heavy object to the wall, ensure that you securely anchor it to a stud. The Zircon MultiScanner® i520 will do the trick for you simply and easily. It locates the edges and center of wood and metal studs and joists behind walls, floors, and ceilings – get back to the job of decorating before you know it.

By using a cube or hook, any dorm room or limited space can be enhanced and reflect the individual’s personal flair.

For other insightful DIY tips, please visit Tom Siebenthal’s popular blog series, including his latest, Our One-of-a-Kind Mouse Trap Grows Each Day, follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Twitter Chat Generic

Join us every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 11 am PST for our #diytrends chat. Let’s share, engage, and learn from each other.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics.

Sharon image

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_crate

http://www.schoollockers.com/modular-box-locker.html

jorgensonlocker.com

 

Three Earthly Business Revelations from Independence Day: Resurgence

Independence Day: Resurgence catapults twenty years into the future from the original 1996 film. In future state Earth, new technological breakthroughs propel multiple space craft that not only journey through outer space, but readily transport crew to and from the Moon, Saturn, and Earth itself. Although reaching for the stars is just one space pod away, our planet again is at the brink of extinction from aliens.

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Credit: 20th Century Fox

Without Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith), the movie arches with other heroes from the original film, along with the next gen comprised of a legacy squad of pilots and new original characters who apply stealth tactics and dry wit to combat the enemy.

Here are three business lessons every human, alien, or other space creature can benefit from:

  1. Know Friend vs. Foe

Testing the resolve of the Moon’s captain, the U.S. President, and its allies, the white elliptical sphere that patterns its way around the Moon seemingly poses a threat. World renowned Dr. Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), backed by President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) and his luminescent dreams, strongly implore that the look and feel of this twinkling light vessel does not have the same ominous presence as prior enemy space craft. Rather than face potential annihilation, however, their analyses are cast aside and the threat is neutralized immediately. It is only after its destruction that the military and politicians alike determine that the Sphere was actually an ally who had shared the same formidable Mother Ship alien enemy.

In our earthly life, fortunately, identifying friend vs. foe is not usually a life or death perilous situation. Nevertheless, building in-depth ties with true allies will help your business during the more tumultuous cycles. From trusted advice to working on complex projects, brands need strong partners who can lend expertise that is often outside the company’s core sphere. At Zircon, for example, our company continues to prosper with the extensive network of retailers and distributors who have supported our product lines since its worldly inception in the 1980’s.

  1. Strengthen Your Core

The Pacific Defense Missile System was no competition to the alien’s superior technological prowess. Outmatched from a tech standpoint, how could Dr. Levinson and the worthy heroes continue Earth’s human existence? Drawing upon man’s core strength of ingenuity and calculated risk taking, the pilot squad, President Whitmore, and the extended political, military, and scientific team fight to ward off the alien invasion.

While Generals in the film brace for alien impact, our day-to-day lives can simulate this type of war room – where decisions are sometimes needed immediately and with limited data. In high growth times, maybe even now, this is the opportunity to build up the reserves and to strengthen your core competencies.

  • Offer a hard to replicate service that customers need? Great. Look for more customers during your growth period.
  • Have a selected number of key experts in specialized fields? Wonderful. Perhaps it is time to cross percolate the training between these individuals.
  • Are resources keenly distributed between multiple regions? Excellent. Review and refuel those best efforts for when your options may be limited.

In lean times, you’ll be happy that you tested your system pilots, thoroughly trained your operatives, and did your research on the competitive landscape.

  1. Brainstorming for the Best Alien Answers

Once doubts and competitive rivalries were put aside and collective minds shared a common goal, one sensed triumph in the air. Embracing those who think differently or colleagues who have various self-interests may prove to be the best defense against the competition. Uniting together for a singular cause can merit results faster and more extensively than thinking alone for the “perfect’ answer. Sometimes the optimal solutions can be found through the collective reasoning, the creative thought process, and through group brainstorming. Whether it is a formal meeting of 8 – 10 or a water cooler chat, reach out and extend a hand to someone new – give you and your company that added leverage that can be achieved through diverse ideas. No need to wait for the next alien encounter. Get started today – your future competitive invasion more than likely will not take 20 years – you’ll need every human brain working toward your objective today in 2016, Earth years.

See other intergalactic business ideas from Independence Day: Resurgence? Please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Join us every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 11 am PST for our #diytrends chat. Let’s share, engage, and learn from each other.

Twitter Chat Generic

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Sharon image