Time for a new jacket for my gadget

a new jacket for my gadget

I love my iPad Pro….it was a purchase I didn’t intend on making, but when I wrote on the screen with the Apple Pencil I knew I had to have one! For me it’s been a brilliant addition to my gadget collection and it is really handy for taking meeting notes and instantly digitising them.

I also like personalising products, and with the birth of my Etsy store and my new logo design I have found myself playing more and more with digital design (and building up a library of cool patterns that can be used on my products, or just in my own planning).

When I was given the chance to review a personalisation service by Imagise I decided that my iPad Pro needed a new cover. I have been gifted the cover in exchange for an honest review and all views in this post are my own!

Imagise offer a range of customisable options for phone and tablet cases, as well less technology focused gifts including jigsaws, clocks and hanging slates (great for signs!). I decided that I wanted an iPad Pro cover as I sometimes find the keyboard cover I had offers less protection than I would like. Especially if I am out and about and know I won’t be needing to do a lot of fast typing!

images of the imagise design creationThe site is easy to navigate, you click on the section you are interested in, then choose the appropriate option. This then gives you all the relevant information on the product, including the materials it’s made of, any functionality (the iPad cover has the automatic wake/snooze ability and folds into a stand to help with positioning when you’re on a Netflix marathon!).

Once you have chosen your product you move into the design phase….there’s a useful video that you can watch to show you how to load your designs or choose those that are already available to you. Or you can just go with the random click option if you’re already familiar with sites like this.

It really is simple, choose a background colour, add a design (one of theirs or load your own), add some text (if you want to), and any additional graphical choices. You can use one big photo of your family, or make up a collage of memories! It really is as simple as coming up with an idea, loading the relevant photos and positioning them to how you want it to look!

I decided to make a collage of some of the space style graphics I had recently purchased as I like bright colours and wanted to see how the print quality was. I also wanted to test out the ease of handling multiple images. It really was easy!
Once you are done you can download a copy of your design and then it’s just a case of saving it in the system and moving on to the purchase…..this is just a standard, online shopping style process so nothing to share here.

image shows the cover in stand configurationThere we have it design done, and off to the printers….mine arrived in a couple of days and I am really impressed with the quality. It’s tough plastic and gives all round protection of the edges, whilst keeping all buttons and speakers clear and accessible. It certainly protects as it should do and when folded into the stand options is sturdy enough to watch Netflix, or to write on at an angle without collapsing (something my other case can be a bit temperamental on!).

The colours of the designs have come out well, and I love the Tailfish logo in the bottom corner….the great thing is you can make your own branded products if you are going to be using them in an environment where you want to promote your company, or you could just cover it with fun photos. Your imagination is the only restriction and this means that can be used as gifts for a range of people….photos of the kids for the grandparents….photos from a holiday for someone who has the travel bug…or just bright, geometric designs for someone who likes to standout in a crowd!

All in all using Imagise was simple, quick and I got exactly what I ordered!! Who can complain at that?

Why not check them out for your personalised gifts and purchases…what would you design?

image shows inside and outside of the iPad cover


#MarchMeetTheMaker – week 2 round-up

image text - #MarchMeetTheMaker - week 2 round up

Week 2 of #MarchMeetTheMaker is done and I have partially kept up!  Here’s a review of the posts I have managed to do this week….I skipped some of the days due to laziness and lack of relevance, I promise you haven’t missed much from the prompts I dropped!

#MarchMeetTheMaker – week 1 round-up

This month I am taking part in the March Meet the Maker photo challenge on Instagram.  This is an opportunity for people with creative businesses (like Tailfish by Pyry) to share a little bit more about the process, the business and themselves.  You can follow the posts daily on my Tailfish By Pyry Instgram account, or wait for me to do a weekly round up on here (but then you miss all the fun and interaction!).

So, in case you have missed them, here are the first 5 days of the challenge!

Day One – You

Day Two – Favourite to Make

Day Three – Workspace

Day Four – Tools

Day Five – Boomerang

New branding, new business cards

Image text - New branding, new business cards

With my recent development of focus on getting the Tailfish By Pyry Etsy store up and running, and the fact that I have joined the Female Entrepreneur Association and the Awesome Business Club (it’s all about self-development don’t you know) I realised that I am probably going to be meeting more people and attending more networking events.  I also realised that I needed to make sure I am able to share my latest contact info when I am out and about.  So the desire for new, more relevant business cards was born!  Luckily this coincided with a review opportunity when auraprint.uk contacted me to offer the chance to design my own business cards, in exchange for a review.  Perfect timing and not one to say no when the universe throws shiny things at me I said yes.  All views in this review post are honest and my own!

Of course, before you can have business cards you need to have a bit of a ponder on your branding, and it was at this point I was glad I stumbled across the Business Beautician (a fellow Awesome Business Clubber) who was offering a brand quiz on her Instagram.  It was simple, fun and the output reinforced some ideas I had about Tailfish, both the blog and the store.  She gives a great little summary printable highlighting key points too align with your brand’s personality and one of the highlights was around font use.  So I used this to design my new Tailfish logo, and decide on the fonts I wanted to use for that and the text on my new business cards.

Auraprint.uk are a small firm based up in Huddersfield and they were great to work with throughout the process.  I had decided that I wanted to use their Impakt Colour Core cards as the basis for my new business cards.  There are 6 colours available and I went with red, not only because I love bright colours, but I felt it would work well with the plans that were forming in my mind.  The cards can be printed on a double-sided basis, which gives you plenty of scope to be creative.  I decided to go with a big, bold logo on one side and my contact information on the other.
Orange is for Tailfish
As part of my logo design I had used the Adobe Capture app on my phone (free if you have a Creative Cloud account) and used this to choose my colour palette.  This resulted in me choosing a bold orange for the logo, and a greenish colour for the contact font.  The awesome thing with the app is it then gives you the colour codes of each colour (in a range of formats) which is great from a design perspective as it enabled me to be really specific with the information I was giving the auraprint team.

As part of the ordering process you load your design files to the site, providing details of how you want things put together.  I tested them to the limit by being very specific on the colours I wanted, but also tried to help them as much as possible by providing the files of the fonts that I wanted to use.  I also asked if they were able to use social media style icons on the cards, rather than using words to highlight which contact info related to what.  Once they had all the details of what I wanted they scurried off into action.

New business cards from Auraprint.ukThey pulled the design together and sent a proof through for review.  I was really impressed!  The colours looked great, the fonts were exactly as I had requested…there was a minor typo though (and to be honest I wasn’t surprised, everyone always spells Kathryn wrong) and I had become Katheryn.  No bother though, I let them know of the error and it was quickly corrected.  A fresh approval proof was issued and we were good to go.

A couple of days later the cards arrived, 4 boxes, well packaged and looking great.  They were exactly what I had asked for and the quality is spot one.  The cards are really thick and feel nice to the touch, the coloured centre really makes them stand out too.

They also received positive feedback from others when I was at the She Means Business book launch on Wednesday night.  Everyone I gave a card to really liked them, the sturdiness and solid feel received positive comments and the coloured centre really made them stand out from the crowd.  The information is clear and I think they are a really good representation of my brand!  I can’t wait to go to more events and share them with people.
New business cards from Auraprint.uk
From end to end, the auraprint team were a pleasure to deal with, you can really tell that they care about design and printing and I am sure if you had any questions about how the process works, or needed advice on how to best plan your business cards or other design needs they would be more than happy to guide you.  At the moment I don’t have plans to professionally print my printables, but if I do decide to change that in future then I would definitely get in touch with them and see how they could help bring Tailfish By Pyry to life even more.  Please do check them out if you are looking for new business cards, let them help bring your brand to life too!

Tailfish’s Bullet Journal Essentials

Image - Tailfish's Bullet Journal Essentials

My Bullet Journal, paper & digitalBack in January I wrote Tailfish’s 7 Rules of Bullet Journaling, and Rule 7 was “You make the rules”.  I figured it was time that I showed you how I Bullet Journal, not only because it is awesome and works brilliantly for me, but because it shows that you can deviate from the “official rules” and still be happy with your process.

I have probably dabbled between paper and digital for the last 6 or so years in my general day to day note-taking.  I used to take notes on a tiny netbook in meetings but then joined a client who was freaked out by the use of technology and couldn’t understand that I was being productive and attentive in meetings.  They were convinced I was checking emails or working on something else.

I was lucky enough at this point to be introduced to the Livescribe pen*.  A pen that, when used on special paper, allowed you to sync the text to your computer so that you also had a digital version of the notes.  This has proved especially useful for me over the years as it has meant that once I notebook is finished, I don’t need to carry that and my new one around with me.  If I need to access old notes I can do it all from the digital copy.

I am now on my 3rd upgrade to the Livescribe pen, the Livescribe 3*! And it’s now evolved to being able to sync directly to my iPad via Bluetooth, allowing me instant digital access to me notes (and allowing me to instantly PDF key pages and email them to people should I need to).
Livescribe 3 pen and Livescribe Moleskine journal

When I discovered Bullet Journaling late in 2016, my first thought was how I could develop the system to work both on paper and digital forms, allowing me to be connected to my thoughts and actions where ever I was, with whatever I had to hand.  I pulled out a spare Livescribe Moleskine* that was sitting in my box of empty pads, and set out by copying over the key and signifiers from the official Bullet Journal website and video.

The beauty of using a Livescribe pen and pad, is for me the digital syncage.  Once I have written something, I can use the app on my iPad to transfer the written word to digital, and then I have it set to sync automatically to OneNote.

I love OneNote, it’s the perfect way for me to pull everything together in one place and allows me to conventionally split work-life and home-life into separate digital notebooks.  Even better, I also have OneNote on my phone, which means if I am out and about I have access to everything I need.

This means if someone asks a question about a meeting I have been to, or a race I have planned, I don’t need my Bullet Journal, or work notes, or diary….I just pull up OneNote on my phone and find the answer!

It’s also great for me as there are times that something comes to mind and I don’t have my Bullet Journal with me.  Out comes my phone, and I can add a quick “to do” list in OneNote.  Capture what I need to and then, if necessary, copy it over to my paper journal at a later point for action.  Or I can just tick it off as done on my phone.

In addition to the digital copy of my paper journal in OneNote, and the ad hoc notes I add as well, I use OneNote to expand my Bullet Journal fully into the digital world.

One of the benefits that I find, of digital over paper, is the ease of editing and addition.  Whilst it is great to be able to thread together collections in your paper journal, without worrying about order or saving space, sometimes you want to expand and keep everything in one place.

This is especially true for me in the case of our race list.  This is the page in my OneNote that holds a list of all the races that the Boyf and I are entered in in 2017.  It allows me to slot in new races if I book them, but keep them in chronological order.  Delete races if our plans change and we decide crewing a friend is more important than racing a mile.  It gives me flexibility and control.

Digital clip in OneNoteAnother bonus with OneNote is that it lets you capture digital artefacts and pull them all together in one place.  I don’t have time to write out everything I find on the Internet that I want to read, review or keep as research for something.  I am also not a fan of manually writing out URLs of websites to go back to later.  With OneNote I don’t need to worry!  If I find a website of interest whilst browsing on my iPad, I can send it to OneNote.  Busy at work and want to capture an interesting page on the intranet?  Simple, send it to OneNote!

I know that Ryder’s view is that the Bullet Journal should be all encompassing and you only need one journal for home, work and everything in between, but for me that doesn’t quite fit with my lifestyle.  So here I am, bending the rules and making the principles work for me.

With my Livescribe pen and pad, the power of OneNote and an unlimited imagination I am becoming more organised, more focused and more productive!

What are your Bullet Journal essentials?  Remember, all you need to get started is a pad and a pen!