Managing information overload in a 'he' said 'he' said world.

Managing information overload in a 'he' said 'he' said world.

Why is the controversy about truth such an issue these days? It used to be assumed that facts determined the truth. Now the dialogue is dismissing facts for 'sound bites.' As a creative specializing in publication design, this topic has been on my mind a lot. I want the work I do to be professional and of value. Outside of fictional stories, publication media should be validated and authentic. 

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The Value of a List

The Value of a List

Why do people bother with writing down lists of everything that needs to get done? For procrastinators like me, a list can be seen like an impossible mountain to climb, so why not just avoid it? For others the idea of micromanaging their day makes their skin crawl, they would rather let the day just organically flow. Though two pretty solid reasons, what is missed is that what really matters isn’t getting done. There is no magic fairy godmother watching over you and making things happen that align with your dreams. Sorry, the buck stops with you on that one.

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Own Your Strengths

Own Your Strengths

It could be my upbringing that had lack of leader feminine role models (late 70's and early 80's), that makes it so hard to shake that feeling you shouldn’t be talking about yourself. I mean it’s what I was brought up with, between societal norms of the time that was reinforced by the media. 

So I am just gonna throw caution to the wind and share in my mind what my strengths are.

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What does GDPR mean to you?

So many abbreviations! When I heard about the new privacy policy coming out of Europe, I was like, yeah, us Canadian’s we got this! With CASL established in over 4 years ago, Canadian businesses have been through the ringer and it did feel like our hands were being tied. The requirement for OPT-INs went so far as to ensure that the person had to give written permission for usage or at the minimum literally typed in their own subscription. Verbal permissions were no longer valid. Toss in the additional requirement to ask people to renew their opt-in every two years was additional work and likely, if not for sure, a reduction in your mailing list.

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Road Trip Insights

Road Trip Insights

It’s official. I am done with road trips, well... for a while anyway.

Since the beginning of May, I have driven over 4,000 KM. This includes the scenic drive to and back from Vancouver and I recently I tacked on a family road trip to the town of Dauphin, MB for a memorial service for my aunt who passed away in December. That was another 2,100 KM there and back over the long weekend.

I would like to point out that as much as I am done with driving for a while, I did enjoy it. The drive through the BC interior was stunning. The spring green was fresh and alive, tie that in with the surrounding mountains and sometimes blue skies, you have all the ingredients of a road well traveled.

On the flip side, driving through the prairies was long, less visually engaging, but in its own way allowed me to be in my head without distractions. I actually listened to some podcasts and some CBC Radio programming. 

Of course, the by-product of all this ‘thinking’ and ‘listening’ was how creative ideas would flow through my mind...

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Digital Twilight Zone

Digital Twilight Zone

When is the last time you actually took a full two weeks away from your business?

I have to admit that for me, it has been so long I don’t even recall when. Add to that, traveling with my mom who is a completely different stage of life than I.

I find I am constantly running (metaphorically here - there has been no actual physical exercise these days) between demands. Running a business, raising two teen daughters, and trying to fit in some ‘life’ in between.

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Email Newsletters, the Unicorn of Marketing

Email Newsletters, the Unicorn of Marketing

What matters more? Content or Design?

In my research and observation, I have been taking note of what other businesses do with their newsletters. They are touted as the ‘unicorn of marketing’. The best tactic for building and connecting with your clients and customers. How they format, what is their messaging strategy and what is it about their subject lines that feel like ‘click bait’ and I just have to open them to read more.

One thing I have noticed are distinct email designs can be categorized into three different camps.

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Changing Perspective Changes Your Outlook

Changing Perspective Changes Your Outlook

I wonder why it is that I have this innate desire to avoid facing my finances. What is it about reviewing my books garners such an internal struggle? 

This is a question I will need to do some more soul searching on, but until then, I have realized that looking at this task as the enemy is holding me back from positive growth, in both my business and day to day life.

Your mindset affects how you approach the world.

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Clarity in business comes from action, not your dreams.

Clarity in business comes from action, not your dreams.

Developing a brand is not a flashy affair. It is a lot of hard work, making mistakes, that add up to long-term success.

One thing I have learned over the years is that when starting a business, you need to focus on what matters and keep things simple. Especially when you are a one-person show. There is an insane expectation we put on ourselves that we need to have all the bells and whistles in place before we can start selling our product or service. Just throw that out the window now!

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Risk Failure or Sacrifice your Soul?

Risk Failure or Sacrifice your Soul?

What is your definition of success? I'm sitting here at my dining room table on a Saturday morning. I am, for all intents and purposes, alone, disconnected and sitting in the quiet all but for the ticking of our kitchen clock, the hum of the refrigerator and the sounds of the birds as they fly by my window.

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3 Changes to Issuu Services Impacting Your Publication

3 Changes to Issuu Services Impacting Your Publication

As much as digital readers provide convenience, what they can't do is provide you the tactile feeling of flipping through pages. They do try. For example, a service I have been using for myself and my client, issuu.com does offer virtual flipping through the pages of publications. Anyone can set up an account and upload their own files and share with readers. They also include links where you can send your readers to more content and other sites (which is great for advertising and tracking ROI).

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Complaining vs. Critisism

Complaining vs. Critisism

Feedback, criticism, critiques, whatever guise it is when someone provides their opinion on something about you, what you do and create. I have been taking ‘advice’ and ‘feedback’ from clients for over twenty years, and it’s a skillset I have realized. We aren’t necessarily educated in our early years how to deal with being told what we screwed up on.

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Dry mouth is a thing...

Dry mouth is a thing...

I have been talking about this talk for a few months, ever since I got the booking with CreativeMornings four months earlier. I have had the topic in the forefront and back end of my mind this whole time. I trusted in the creative process that works for me. I allow the ideas to coalesce in my mind.

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MAGAZINE REVIEW | Backstage

MAGAZINE REVIEW | Backstage

Through the magic of the interwebs, I came across this design magazine, Backstage, published by a design and branding studio, Milk Design Directors, in Europe. They were sold out of their first issue so I snagged their second one. I wanted to get a feel for what other design studios do when they produce a printed magazine.

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BOOK REVIEW | Queen of the Tearling Trilogy

 BOOK REVIEW | Queen of the Tearling Trilogy

Last night I finished the third and final book of the Queen of the Tearling trilogy. I love reading a series, especially when I get so involved in the storyline. Fiction is one of the best ways to discuss political and social issues in a safe way, and this series did a bang up job of touching on the importance of owning our past and learning from it. Otherwise, all you do is make the same mistakes.

If you enjoy a story that combines magic, religion and political chaos - this is it.
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