What You Need to Know About Buying a Custom Flash Drive

custom flash drives sitting on a laptop computer

Odds are, you’ve used a flash drive in your lifetime.

You might have needed one for school or college or received one in a welcome package for a new job.

They are incredibly powerful for their compact size, storing thousands of documents in a safe and convenient way. However, what if they could be used for more than just data storage?

Custom Flash Drive

A custom flash drive is a great new way to promote your business. Imprinting a logo on an interestingly-shaped flash drive can garner attention from people who receive it or simply see it being used.

They are fully customizable, from their size and shape to their capacity. They make great gifts, too! You can never have too many on hand.

Follow along to read more about why you should customize your own flash drive.

It Saves Paper

This is the most basic reason for switching to electronic devices. Being able to store thousands of documents on a tiny object saves so much paper.

Think about it: you’ll no longer need to print multiple copies of an important schedule, document, or memo. Instead, you can carry them around with you and distribute them around the office digitally.

Buying a set of customizable flash drives can help your office become more eco-friendly. If you’d like to learn more about how you can customize a flash drive, follow this link.

Transfers Sensitive Material Securely

Flash drives are great for when you want to transfer sensitive material offline. You eliminate the risk of confidential records and documents being compromised.

Unless you lose your flash drive, hackers cannot access your data. So, no one will know what you have on hand. It’s a great way to not only remain anonymous, but also to make sure that documents remain only in the right hands.

Marketing

As we mentioned before, custom flash drives can be an incredibly effective marketing tool.

Just print your business logo on the front and you’re done! Giving these out at trade shows can be a great way to get your name out there.

Many business owners give them out in conjunction with their business card. Others decide to place them in goodie bags for charity events or on each seat before important meetings.

Another great idea is to bring one to a business presentation.

Load your PowerPoint on to it. Once you’re done presenting, hand the flash drive to your prospects. They will be able to access the presentation whenever they want and you will get free publicity every time they plug in their flash drive.

Buying Guide

Now that you see what custom flash drives can do for you and your business, you should learn more about their technical specifications. For example, you need to research which type to get and how powerful to make it.

Follow along for a quick rundown on some specs that will hopefully help you decide which flash drive to buy.

Storage Size

Custom flash drives are available in a wide range of storage sizes. You can go for the most basic 128MB option, or upgrade to a 32GB one. It all depends on your budget and on what the intended use of the flash drive would be.

To give you some context, you can store roughly 10,000 documents on a 1GB flash drive. On the 16GB version, that number goes up to 160,000. This is assuming your documents are approximately 100KB in size.

Speeds

There are two common versions of flash drives: USB 1.1 and USB 2.0. The latter is the current, updated version. It has significantly faster speeds of data upload and download than its older brother.

Most flash drives on the market are USB 2.0. However, it’s important to check with your custom flash drive provider to make sure you’re getting the newest, fastest version.

Quality

A flash drive is only as good as its internal structure. Finding one with a great memory chip is essential. You’ll want to look for grade-A manufacturers, such as Intel, Samsung, Micron, and Hynix.

Next, you’ll want to make sure that the materials being used on the outward casing are durable. Opt for metallic key rings instead of plastic ones.

Design

Keeping a flash drive in a safe place can be a challenge for a lot of people. Many will lose their USB within a few weeks of having it. Making a small hole at one end for a keyring is an easy but incredibly useful feature to add to your custom flash drive.

It is also very smart to add a small LED to indicate when the flash drive is in use. It should turn off as soon as the USB is ejected from the computer, even if it remains plugged in.

Data Services

If you intend to use your custom flash drive for marketing purposes, there are so many things your supplier can do for you before you even receive your order.

First off, they can preload data onto each flash drive. This could be anything from a presentation, a brochure, or even a video.

They can also enable USB Auto Run, which will automatically open preloaded data when the flash drive is plugged into a computer. This will make sure that whoever uses your custom flash drive will access the material you deliberately placed in it.

If you want to place a USB order for your office, it might also be smart to add the File Lock feature. It prevents files from being accidentally deleted. This is a great feature for contracts, special client files, and other materials that you don’t want to lose.

Wrapping Up

Now that you’ve learned about all the cool tech aspects of flash drives, get excited to design your own!

The sky is the limit with these. You can make them into the shape of an American football, as slim as a credit card, or even embed them into a pen.

Whatever you decide will be a great step forward for your business. If you still need help designing your custom flash drive, contact us.

We’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

10 Different Ways You Can Use Your Flash Drive

Custom USB next to computer

Many technology users may be tempted to assume that USB drives are a thing of the past. After all, the advent of online backup systems has led many folks to rely on cloud technology for storage.

In reality, the USB drive is just as relevant as ever. This is why professionals in virtually every industry still use flash drives.

Still not convinced? Then let’s take a closer look. Here are ten different ways that you can use a flash drive.

Use Your Flash Drive as a Key

Many businesses work with sensitive information. For instance, you might handle private information related to clients, or deal with trade secrets. In these cases, it’s important to keep the files on your computer protected.

A cool way to do this is to turn your USB drive into a physical key for your computer. Using a service like Predator, you can set your computer to only turn on when the USB drive is plugged in. Without the flash drive, a user will receive an “Access Denied” message.

This way, you can be sure that others won’t be able to access information on your computer without your permission. This is also a good anti-theft strategy, as thieves won’t be able to use your computer without the USB drive.

Secure Your Files

Another great security feature of USB drives is the ability to password protect them. By adding a password to your USB drive, you’ll ensure that no one can access the files if your drive is lost or stolen.

For most USB drives, setting up a password is extremely simple. Simply plug in the device, right click on the icon, and select, “Turn on BitLocker.” You can then choose the option to protect the device with a password. If you’d like to take your security to another level, you could have your files encrypted.

Install a Backup of your Operating System

It’s critical to keep your digital files backed up. Otherwise, a system failure or computer virus could result in you losing all of your important information.

Luckily, it’s easy to use your USB drive to backup data. And, in addition to backing up files, you can even backup your computer’s operating system to a flash drive. This way, if there is a problem, you can easily restore the system.

Also, you can use a USB drive to run an additional operating system. For example, if you have a Mac, you can use a USB drive to run Windows. Or, you can use it to try an updated version of Windows on your PC.

Make a Rescue Drive

These days, computer viruses, malware, and Trojans are just about unavoidable. Even if you have anti-virus software, it’s still possible to get infected.

To protect your computer, you can turn one of your USB drives into a rescue drive. Basically, a rescue drive contains a bootable antivirus that will scan your computer for problems when it is plugged in. You can then use this drive to remove all viruses from an infected PC.

Run Portable Apps

If you use a different computer at home or at work or have to borrow a computer, using portable apps can be a convenient option. With portable apps, you can access internet browsers or document editors all from a USB device.

When you run portable apps, you can maintain the same custom settings, even when you use different computers. Also, you won’t be using as much storage on the actual computer.

Store Games

Any gamer will tell you that PC games offer the best playing experience. They feature better graphics and are much more affordable.

The biggest challenge with PC games, however, is that they take up a lot of memory on your computer. This can lead your computer to run slowly, especially if you play a lot of games.

By using a USB drive, you can easily store your computer games, without eating up memory. This way, you won’t have to delete saved games to make space on the PC.

Create a Modern Mix Tape

Another creative way to use your USB drive is to play music. You can download a playlist of your favorite songs that can go with you anywhere. Or, you can make a mix tape for a friend as a gift.

You can even download your entire iTunes to a USB drive. This way, you can access your library anywhere, and bypass the “no more than five devices” rule.

Add Extra RAM to Your PC

Your computer has two kinds of memory: RAM, and hard drive. Most of the files you save are kept on your hard drive. These data must be manually accessed by the PC.

By contrast, the PC can access data on RAM immediately. The more RAM your computer has, the faster it will be able to run. If you notice your computer is running slow, you can use a USB drive to add portable RAM so the system will function optimally.

Expand Mobile Phone Memory

Most people are used to using a USB drive to expand memory from the laptop or desktop computer. What you may not realize is that you can also use thumb drives to expand your phone’s memory.

This can be a great option for phone users who love to download a lot of apps, and quickly run out of space on their phone. Using a USB OTG cable, you’ll be able to store the extra information easily.

Market Your Brand

Because USB drives are so versatile, they’re a great option for businesses looking for marketing giveaways. Unlike a lanyard or a pen, a custom flash drive is extremely useful.

Branded USB drives will make your company a favorite at trade shows. Not to mention, every time the recipient uses the USB drive, they’ll be reminded of your business.

We Have the Customization You Need

If you would like to get a custom flash drive for your business or organization, contact us. We’ll work with you to customize the perfect USB drive for your needs.

 

 

5 Myths About What Motivates People At Work

 

You’ve read all the books, followed all the leadership advice, but your employees still lack motivation. Don’t worry, you are not alone.

Incredibly, 71% of employees in the United States consider themselves “not engaged” or “disengaged.”

With all the how-to advice out there, let’s focus on what not to do.

Read on to learn five myths about what motivates people at work.

1. Team building is key

When done right, yes, team building can be very successful.

The problem is, many employers miss the mark completely. There are several reasons team building activities fail:

  • Employees are uncomfortable
  • People do not see the purpose
  • The activities are often off target
  • There is no follow up or positive reinforcement

Harvard Business Review has determined that proper team building is a science. Daily interactions and camaraderie have a larger impact on employee morale than team building events.

What motivates people more than team building? It could be as simple as creating a communal lunch area or encouraging group breaks.

2. Personal job satisfaction should be enough

We have to do away with the you-should-be-happy-to-have-a-job-mentality.

It’s hard to imagine any positive scenario in which an employee replies, “I’m just happy to have a job.” This mindset can lead to anger, resentment, low morale, and disengagement.

People want to feel valued and it isn’t merely enough to just have a job anymore. It doesn’t work that way and managers have to realize this.

3. What motivates people? Money, of course

While it may seem logical that more money makes a more motivated employee, this isn’t always true. Company culture, leadership, and work environment are key factors as well.

Likewise, there are plenty of low-cost, creative ways to motivate employees.

Flextime, company swag, gift cards and employee awards are just a few examples of budget-friendly incentive ideas.

4. The more praise, the better

While praise is good, not all praise is the same and employees can quickly sniff out false flattery.

Here are a few tips to keep your praise on point:

  • Be specific. Give specific examples of what the employee has done and why you appreciate them.
  • Be timely. Recognize employees on the spot or soon after a key achievement.
  • Be genuine. Never under any circumstances mix criticism with praise. This is self-defeating.

5. Star employees don’t need external motivation

It can be easy to overlook your best employees. Managers often assume they are rock stars for a reason and do not need personal praise or acknowledgment. However, underlying motivational factors remain the same.

People want to feel like they are a part of something bigger. Company culture and quality management are very important motivational factors for employees.

Do not take these employees for granted. Recognize them, appreciate them, and communicate with them often.

What motivates people varies across the board, but what is clear, is this: Employers want engaged employees and employees want to be engaged.

Learning from these five myths is a step in the right direction!

What are your personal experiences with employee engagement? Please leave a reply below. We’d love to hear from you.

9 Essential Employee Engagement Survey Questions

9 Essential Employee Engagement Survey Questions

Are your employees enthusiastic about working in your office? Do they take ownership of their roles? Are they actively involved in your company’s success? One of the most effective marketing tools you have is an engaged employee base. Customers respond better to happy employees, stay longer and are more loyal. However…

According to a recent Gallup poll, your employees are probably not.

Only 33% of US employees report being engaged at work. Low engagement leads to decreased productivity and increased turnover. In other words, how engaged your employees are can significantly affect your bottom line.

But how do you know if your employees are engaged? The easiest way to determine employee engagement is through carefully selected employee engagement survey questions.

What does it mean to be engaged?

Engagement and happiness are not necessarily the same thing. Although employee happiness is extremely important, you can have a happy employee who’s not very engaged. They come in, do their job without complaint, and go home.

Engaged workers do tend to be happier than disengaged workers, but it goes beyond that. Engaged employees are absorbed in their work. They’re enthusiastic about what they do. They take pride in actively helping their company succeed.

Here are 9 employee engagement survey questions to help you determine just how engaged your workers really are.

How satisfied are you at work?

Workers who aren’t satisfied are less likely to be engaged. Get right to the heart of the matter by asking your employees if they’re satisfied with their jobs.

Include a rating scale (“Very satisfied”, “Somewhat satisfied”, etc.) to determine the exact level of satisfaction. Consider including a place for workers to leave open-ended comments if they respond with anything less than “Somewhat satisfied”.

How likely are you to refer someone to work here?

When you’re excited about a new movie you just saw, or an amazing meal you just ate, you want to tell everyone you know about it so they can try it too, right?

The same goes for the company you work for. If someone isn’t happy with their job or doesn’t feel a connection to their employer? Well, then they aren’t very likely to tell a friend about a job opening at their company.

Do you feel like your work is appreciated?

Unfortunately, only 21% of employees report feeling strongly valued at work. That low number suggests that not enough leaders are praising their workers, which can lead to low levels of engagement.

If you find out that your employees don’t feel appreciated, consider coaching your leaders to provide regular recognition.

Do you feel respected?

Creating a culture of mutual respect means that employees feel valued by both leaders and coworkers. If you discover that there’s a lack of respect in your organization, that could be a large component of disengagement.

Consider things like team-building activities, coaching on diversity and conflict resolution. This creates a culture of respect.

Do leaders acknowledge your feedback?

It’s one thing to ask people to share their opinions. It’s another thing entirely to take that feedback seriously and actually do something about it.

When workers open up to their leaders but are ignored, it creates an environment of negativity and distrust. But when leaders can show employees they’re taking their insight seriously? Then it opens the lines of communication and engagement.

Do you feel your work directly impacts the business?

Do your employees feel like their work makes a difference to the company’s bottom line? If not, they may wonder why they’re even there.

To increase engagement, ensure your employees understand how their role relates to your organization’s goals and impacts the business.

Where do you see yourself in 1 year? 5 years?

If your employees don’t see themselves growing and evolving within your company over the next few years, you have a problem.

Determining that your employees have no plans to stick around could have a huge impact on engagement.

Are you proud to work here?

Do they hem and haw when someone asks them where they work? Or do they proudly announce your company’s name?

If it’s the former, determine what it is about your company that’s making employees feel that way, then consider what improvements you can make within your organization to change it.

Do you feel supported by your team?

Feeling engaged in the workplace goes beyond just how people feel about their leaders and company. It also includes peer relationships.

If employees don’t feel like their team members support them, their engagement is sure to drop. That could also indicate a larger issue within your culture that needs to be addressed.

What do I do with the employee engagement survey questions?

Sending out these survey questions once is a great start, but it’s not enough. At the very least, you’ll need to send it out several times, although we recommend making this a regular habit.

First, use the responses to analyze how engaged workers are now. Then, put a plan in place to address areas of low engagement. Then, by surveying them at regular intervals, you can see how engaged they are several months from now. This helps to determine what’s working and what isn’t.

Keep in mind that solutions are often not about giving a gift, or providing an award once a month or once a quarter. Employees often cite lack of processes and systems to support their work. For instance, with some of our promotional product clients, we see that upper management will not plan ahead for tradeshows. Rather than invest in promotional items at the beginning of the year, they hold funds on quarterly or even monthly basis. The front line employees then have to go through the procurement process 4 to 12 times a year. While a small example, these little instances add up.

If you are willing to look at systems and processes as well as awards, recognitions, and incentives, you will find more ways to help your employees and it won’t be long before you see your employees’ engagement levels increase.

Get crazy creative with Credit Card USB

Last month we mentioned in our “Which is the Right Flash Drives for Me” article that for companies that want to display a particularly creative brand, the Credit Card Custom USB Drive is a really good choice.

Naturally many people thought “what is so creative about a credit card usb?” Well, we like to think of the credit card flash drive as a blank canvas, ready for your creative genius to convert it into something unique and memorable. But, we also know that sometimes creative genius needs a little priming. So, we thought we share some of the great ideas companies applied to the mini-canvases.

Customizable Credit Card USB Flash DriveThe Coca-Cola creative is the most nostalgic we have ever seen. On one side, it is a simple Coke red background with a white silhouette of the classic Coke Bottle. On the reverse side of the flash drive is an old photograph depicting a city street with an old Coca-Cola sign on a building. The best part of this design is that it takes two very simple, very straight forward images and creates a nostalgic feeling; it is genius in its simplicity and did not require exceptional design skills.Audi Custom USB Flash Drive Business Cards

Continuing with the nostalgia theme, Audi combined their logo on one side with the image of an old Audi racing car on the other. You’ll notice that the grey tones on the image and the logo treatment convey an upscale impression. Simple elements combined to create great results.

Custom Image Credit Card Flash DriveGodiva Chocolates has taken mouth watering to an art form, and it shows. Godiva used awesome photography so you can see how good their chocolates are. When product shots tell it all, the great printing areas of the credit card flash drives give you a great canvas.

Another classic, Citizen Watch, used the black metal credit card usb to as the background for a really stunning product Metallic USB Card citizen watchshot. But, in this case, it is more than the image itself. The medium says a lot as well. With a metal base, the custom usb becomes part of the art. And the solid, quality of the watch comes through even when you’re holding the metal usb; the feel alone speaks volumes.

Orbitz Branded Credit Card Flash Drive

With full color processing, Orbitz created a flash drive that really shows of the deep colors of the ocean and the bright blue of the sky. Even the most colorful images can be brought to life on the larger imprint areas of the white credit card flash drive.

Another creative way to use these flash drives is as a business card. Business card USBs make it easy to share your information on a medium that will be kept. Lets face it, when you hand someone a paper business card, they enter the info into their phone and trash the card. The info won’t be seen again until you call them and it pops up in the screen. As a business card usb, even after they enter your contact information, they have a reason to keep the “card” handy, use it frequently and be reminded of you.

However you decide to use the credit card flash drive, remember that you have exceptional creative space available to you. Take advantage of it.