My five favorite business tips of 2012

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Hey, has anyone seen 2012? It was here a second ago. Man, did that year just fly by or what?

It's exactly because time flies so quickly—as do valuable Simply Business posts—I thought I'd recap some of my favorite productivity tips from 2012.

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. The single best travel accessory you can buy

I won't keep you in suspense: It's a mouse. But which mouse, and why? I'm going to make the case for an inexpensive, corded USB mouse, which saves you the hassles of dealing with wireless connectivity issues and, more importantly, batteries.

2. Five ways to remember people's names

No name tags at the business mixer? No problem. There are a few simple tricks that can help you remember the name of everyone you meet, thus avoiding potential embarrassment and ingratiating yourself to clients and colleagues alike. The best tip in the bunch: repetition. Say that new name as often as you can during the introduction and it should imprint on your brain.

3. The business benefits of adding a second monitor

Quick: What's the fastest, easiest way to boost your productivity when you're sitting at your PC? Add a second monitor. It may not sound like such a big deal, but trust me when I say that once you start keeping, say, a Web browser open on one screen and Outlook on another, you'll never (want to) go back to a single LCD. And while we're on the subject, consider the business benefits of a big monitor.

4. Three smart ways to use Evernote in business

If you're not already using everyone's favorite information manager, you should be. And if you are, here are three ways to make it even more useful. For example, if you're constantly juggling business-related receipts—storing them, organizing them, submitting them to Accounting—Evernote is about to become your new best friend. Again.

5. Five ways to screw up your press pitch

Hey, you. Yeah, you with the press release. You're doing it wrong. You're making dumb mistakes that not only make you look bad, but also kill your chances of getting coverage from me or my follow wordsmiths. Fortunately, I'm here to whip your poor pitch skills into shape.

What was your favorite business tip from 2012? While you're mulling that over, allow me to wish you a safe, happy, and successful new year. See you in 2013!

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