What’s a QR Code?

Do you know what a QR code is?  If you answered no, you’re not alone.  QR codes have become a popular advertising tool so let’s run through the basics.What is a QR code?A Quick Response (QR) code is a type of barcode.  Shaped like a square, the code contains a pattern of black square dots and stores information for users to access when they scan the code using a mobile device.  Here’s an example of a QR code for an NFL promotion on Pens.com.
How do I read a QR code?If your smartphone doesn’t already have a QR code reader installed, there are several free QR code readers that you can …read more

Catch Summer Games Fever!

Are you as excited about the Summer Games as we are?  The amazing athletes in London are giving us something to cheer about as we head into the dog days of summer.  In case you’ve missed out on the fun, here are some our favorite moments so far:- Michael Phelps swimming his final race to win gold and retire as the most decorated Olympian of all time with a total of 22 medals, 18 gold. – The Fab 5 taking gold in gymnastics for the first time since 1996.  – Usain Bolt sprinting 100m to gold in just 9.63 seconds.  Wow, that’s fast!- Gabby Douglas aka “The Flying squirrel” becoming the first black Olympic gold medalist in the all-around gymnastics competition.It’s not all about winning.  Double amputee Oscar Pistorius was …read more

Keeping America Strong


This week, we honor American Presidents, past and present.  It’s a fitting time to think about how we keep our country and local economy strong.  A recent study by Booz and Company found that, “Today, U.S. manufacturers provide about 75% of the products that Americans consume.  But that number could soar to 95% within a few years if business and government leaders take the right actions. Conversely, if the sector remains neglected, that output could fall by half, meeting less than 40% of U.S. demand.”We at National Pen are pushing toward that 95%.  We continue to expand our selection of products 100% Made in the USA.  Many of our top-selling products are manufactured at …read more

Are you keeping those New Year’s Resolutions?

Remember those elaborate plans you made for 2012 just a month or so ago?  Right about now is when many plans are forgotten.  Fortunately, February is National Time Management Month.  This is the time to revisit your goals and get organized so you stay on track all year.  Did you resolve to spend more time with your family, get to the gym more than once a month, or finish up a home project? The best way to stay committed to your goal is by making time for it.Here are some tips for how to manage your time better:1) Have a plan.  Whether you use an online scheduler, a smart phone app, or a “black book” planner, you’ll do better if …read more

Lighten Up!

We have six more weeks until Daylight Savings Time starts and the days slowly get longer.  There are many benefits to getting that extra hour of light.  Retailers get more traffic in their stores in the evening hours, you can get outside and enjoy a longer stroll with your pet, and for most of us, it just feels better to leave work when the sun is still out.  Until then, we have an array of great light products that will keep you and your customers out of the dark.  The Light Up Lumina Pen
With a sleek brass barrel and triangle grip, this pen is one of my favorites. I have taken it on vacation, on hikes and keep one in my glovebox.  With one click, the gripper turns on a bright light.  I love that …read more

Knowledge is Power


“Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.” – Peter Drucker January 19 is Get to Know Your Customer Day. It seems like we should spend more than a day learning about our customers, right? Customers are the key to your success so it’s important to get to know them as well as you can. Learn about their interests, needs, and challenges so you can offer the products and services that are best suited for them.
What are the best ways to do this? Surveys: An easy way to learn about your customers is to just ask. There are …read more

It’s National Thank Your Customers Week

The first week of January is usually a busy week for everyone. We set business and personal goals, get excited about the promises of a new year, and are often just taking time to catch up after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. This week is also National Thank Your Customers Week. As you begin 2012, remember to take a moment to thank those who supported your business in 2011. Everyone likes to feel appreciated.Showing your appreciation can be as simple as writing a personal note to your best customers. Include a favorite inspirational quote to help set the tone for a great year. If you didn’t get a chance to give thank you gifts last month, here’s your chance. Personalized calendars …read more

Are you prepared for winter?

Cold and wet weather is here. We recently received this note from a customer that reminded us that our LED Flashlight Keychain could come in handy right about now. If you’re looking for a practical gift that your customers will appreciate in the winter months, look no further. We can’t tell you how many times we hear about how this little flashlight has saved the day. Just imagine how much your customers would love you if your name was on it! “Well, there I was. It was 10:30 last night, and my son called me saying he’d gone in the ditch about 10 miles from our house. We had 10 inches of snow yesterday and it was very slick out. So, I bundled up and drove out on the very …read more