#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

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

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!

Finding the right mindset, let Lucy Locket Loves guide you

Image - Lucy Locket Loves Mindset WorkbookLife is hard, but I am a strong believer that with the right mindset you can achieve pretty much anything you set your mind to (insert traditional caveats here, that you are unlikely to grow wings and fly under your own power, or become a unicorn).  Often it becomes about how you frame your vision, and how flexible you are about how to reach that end goal.  Sometimes that could mean compromising your values (or someone else’s)…why else would Olympic athletes constantly be found taking performance enhancing drugs?

Ultimately it’s because their end goal of winning means more to them than not winning, they will literally do anything it takes to be number 1.  To them the benefit outweighs the risk of being found out, breaking the rules, or the law.

Now I am not saying you should completely do away with your morals and start beating up strangers in Starbucks just because you want the seat that they have.  You could however look at what you achieve and then assess whether you are doing all you can to achieve what you want….and you….eating that giant cookie….you’re only going to lose weight if you look at your cookies in to exercise out ratio!  Maybe start by buying less cookies, that’ll help you eat less of them (stealing cookies from children is not a workaround here either) and perhaps you’ll lose weight.

Or perhaps you should look at why you lose weight.  You might think it will make you happier, but then again it might not.  How do you know if you want to achieve something for your own reasons, and not someone else’s?  How can you tell if actually it is the right destination and journey for you?  It’s tough isn’t it?

To find the right mindset, you might find you need a little help and guidance, and Lucy, from Lucy Locket Loves has put together a great Mindset Activity Book to help you get there.  Here’s what she says about it:

Do you struggle to get clear on what you want to achieve and how to stay focused?

Do you need help getting into your own thoughts and feelings? Whether it’s fitness, health, job, worklife balance related sometimes we all need abit of help with our goals and what drives us!

This is EXACTLY what my NEW mindset workbook is for, included are:

-Setting goals exercises

-Mindset habits exercises

-Consistency exercises

-Affirmations exercises

Sounds pretty cool huh?  It’s a nicely put together PDF that you can either print off and scribble on as you work through all of the exercises, OR, if you’re a digital lover like me, simply import it into your favourite PDF annotation app and away you go.  Mine’s ready to go in OneNote alongside my digital Bullet Journal.

As a launch offer, Lucy’s offering readers of Tailfish the chance to get her Mindset Activity Book for just £4.99 instead of the usual £8.99!  All you need to do is visit her site, go to “Make Payment Online” and when you enter the details of the Mindset Activity Book in the purchase box, make sure that you quote TAILFISH as a discount code in the notes section.

Nice and simple, and you can be chilling with a coffee and your workbook in no time!

I look forward to hearing what you all achieve with her guidance!