Month: March 2019

  • 8 Productivity Planners & Journals That Will Help You Get Your Life Together

    Let’s get planning! There is nothing quite as satisfactory as planning, am I right? Sometimes I spent hours creating my priority list or filling in my weekly to do‚Äôs. Planning just makes me happy ūüôā

    I realize that the sheer overwhelm of planners out there can be very frustrating so I put together a list of the 8 BEST productivity planners (plus a bunch of bonuses for you at the end!!).

    The Passion Planner is many things all at once: calendar, goal setting guide, journal, sketchbook, appointment tracker, gratitude log, inspiration and motivation, weekly and daily focus, to do lists etc. all in one notebook!

    It was created by Angelia Trinidad who started to slip into depression after graduating from college feeling overwhelmed with uncertainty. She thought about what helped her during the most challenging and stressful times of her life and realized it was her planner. So she decided to create her own.

    That I love most about it is the combination of structure, creativity and journaling. It has pages for you to figure out your “passion road map” and to break down your short and long-term goals. Each month you reflect on the previous month – your favorite memories, lessons you’ve learned etc.

    There are also inserts you can add such as workout tracker, time extender, habit tracker and so much more! You can really make this planner your own and customize it to your needs.

    They even offer printable PDF’s so you can try the planner out for free before you purchase! If you’re looking to live more intentionally and want to identify your passions and pursue them I highly recommend this planner.

    Bonus: You get to feel even better about your purchase because as a Get One, Give One company, they give a planner to someone in need for every planner you buy!

    This is a great freebie for bloggers. Ruth from Elite Blog Academy has been a successful blogger for years and really knows what bloggers need to get organized. This planner¬†will help you to get a big¬†picture plan for your blog¬†especially if you’re just starting out.¬†

    The planner comes as part of her book¬†How to Blog For Profit (Without Selling Your Soul)¬†so you can find detailed instructions on how to assemble and use this planner to increase your productivity in¬†chapter 11 of the book. But even if you haven’t purchased the book this planner is super useful either way!¬†

    Track your blogging goals, plan out your posts, collect ideas, track your blogging expenses etc.

    Oh and did I mention it’s free??

    This planner was created by the same people who published the Five Minute Journal (a great tool if you’re looking to improve your happiness through journaling).¬†One feature that stands out immediately is that this planner comes with an¬†in-depth explanation walking you through the process of how to get the most out of it.

    The Productivity Planner combines productivity principles like the Pomodoro style work system into a simple daily format that will help you tackle unfocused and unaccomplished “busy” days.

    With 6 months worth of daily productivity planning and Weekly Planning & Review sections you can reflect on and rate your productivity every day. That way you can become more productive every day and see your progress over time.

    You can’t go wrong with this planner. If you don’t end up loving it or feel like your productivity is not increasing as it should be you can just exchange it and they will issue you a full refund!

    ve been using this planner for a few years now and I absolutely love it. I get the extension and sticker packs (it also comes with 4 sheets of stickers) and found it to be an amazing creative outlet as well as a place to keep track of to dos, appointments and goals. Every month also comes with beautiful inspirational quotes.

    Due to its size you can also easily add pictures, ticket stubs, post cards etc. to your weekly spread. I love looking back through my old planners from previous years because it’s almost like a scrapbook filled with memories, keepsakes and hand written notes.

    The Happy Planner really does a great job combining creativity and productivity into one great colorful, inspirational package. 

    Leaders in Heels have a simple yet amazing mission statement: “…to encourage and inspire women to follow their PASSION, to be more CREATIVE and INNOVATIVE in their lives, to feel more CONFIDENT and DETERMINED in their endeavors and to maintain a KIND heart while becoming SUCCESSFUL.”

    If this sounds like the women you want to be, you may have found your next perfect planner!

    The Leaders in Heels planners will help you on your way to success (whatever this may look like for you). These planners are designed for busy women on the go and big picture planning, regular life check-ins, personal growth pages, inspirational messages, quotes from successful leaders, and so much more! Find the confidence to kick-start your dream projects.

    Some other key features of this planner include:

    • Success routine planner to help you establish good habits
    • Structured meeting agenda pages for your yearly networking plan
    • Gratitude sections
    • Blank pages to dream, sketch, design, solve

    Bonus: Customize the planner with your initials! You can select up to three characters to be monogrammed on the cover.

    “A life well planned is a life well lived.”

    This planner comes in two sizes (5″ x 8″ and 8″x10″) with Woven Wonder design accents. I really like the coordinating satin placeholder ribbon that comes with each Hardbound LifePlanner. You can just flip right to your current page.¬†

    With dot grid, quotes and coloring pages this planner will increase your productivity and your creativity at the same time. It comes with a Goal Setting Spread to help you stay on track and a Mini Calendar. 

    Whether you opt for specific monthly goals or segment based on type (fitness, budget, etc), you can achieve¬†anything with this planner!”

    I found this gem on Etsy!¬†The planner includes a 16 week agenda with daily undated pages and is absolutely GORGEOUS. Beautiful planners get me so excited ūüôā¬†

    It focuses on goal setting, habit tracking, productivity, reflection, inspiration and little positive challenges. It’s great to reflect on your progress, take notes, be organized and consistent. You can track new habits, make each day fulfilling and purposeful, and most of all focus on the positive & appreciate the wins and happy moments in your life.¬†

    At the end of 16 week period you’ll be able to reflect on your progress.

    Habit Nest Sidekick Journals - All of them!

    Habit Nest offers three different Sidekick Journals – Morning, Meditation and Nutrition Sidekick and I truly couldn’t decide which one to highlight. There is so much value in every one of them so I recommend you get all three (or the one that fits your lifestyle best).

    Morning Sidekick Journal 

    The Morning Sidekick Journal is a science based morning routine planner that you can fill out in just 3 minutes. It’s very motivating and comes with a lot of instructions and guidance about kick starting your day.

    The journal is divided into three unique phases. Each phase provides a journal page that is accompanied by daily content such as pro-tips, daily challenges and encouragements to guide you through each phase. 

    Meditation Sidekick Journal

    The Meditation Sidekick Journal starts out with an introduction to meditation and how it changes your brain and can improve your life. There is an audio version that will help you explore 6 guided meditation styles while reflecting and improving the ways your inner mental talk and mindfulness are impacting your life. 

    Just like the morning sidekick journal this one is divided into three unique phases. The daily content will help keep you engaged and inspired throughout the process. The tracking page is designed to help with your goal of meditating daily and expanding your idea of yourself. 

    The Nutrition & Weight Management Sidekick Journal can help you lose weight, understand how to manage your weight, and boost your health and energy. The journal walks you through the process of developing new habits. You will learn how to lose weight and adopt the lifestyle habit of healthy eating. 

    If you’ve been dieting before you know that there are a lot of intense diets out there that are not sustainable in the long run (tried plenty of those) but this book has actual science based information that will assist you in planning your diet. The daily content pages are filled with pro-tips, challenges and success stories so you can get to your ideal weight one day at a time.¬†
    Bonus: Each Sidekick journal comes with a sneak peek of the first pages so you can skim through before you buy. And they have a 50 years (!!) full refund, any condition return policy which I think is pretty awesome. Another cool feature is their discounted partner packs. You can save 10-25% off if you decide to challenge friends to live a better life. 
    That’s it! The best 8 productivity planners and journal to help you crush your goals and get your life together. Let me know in the comments which one is your favorite! ūüôā
  • How To Create A Brand Style Guide For Your Business

    When I first started my blog I had never even heard of a brand or style guide for my blog. I was eager to get started and mixed all the fonts, colors and graphics together that I could find.

    My brand and content were ALL OVER the place. It was a confusing experience for me (and my readers). A few months in I finally realized that I needed to create something more cohesive that would make my brand unique and memorable.

    I started looking into creating a style guide and it has changed the look and feel of my blog completely. 

    In this post, I want to show you what to include in your brand style guide and how you can create your own.

     

    What is a brand style guide?

    A brand guide will break down the most important components of your blog in order to make it consistent and credible. It contains all your brand’s unique features such as colors and fonts.

    After creating your brand style guide you will also have a much better feeling of the audience you want to serve and the readers you want to attract.

    I went through a whole rebranding process implementing all the styles and changes I put together in my guide. I finally figured out my brand’s “personality” and the direction I wanted to take my blog in.¬†

    Main Components of a brand style guide

    There are many possible options of what to include in your guide but I suggest you start out with the following blogging basics:

    • Color Palette
    • Fonts
    • Logo
    • Image Style / Inspiration
    • Basic Overview
    • Target Audience
    • Language

    Color choices / Palette

    First, you will pick your brand’s colors. As I mentioned above my colors used to be all over the place. Every week I would try new colors depending on my mood. I finally settled on some light pink and gray tones.

    When you pick your colors (usually between 3-4) you also want to write down the hex code for each color. The hex code (the number that starts with a #) is the corresponding number for your selected colors. Websites need HEX codes to correctly display your color. 

    Now you have the colors to design your blog, logo and everything else you create for your blog. If you have trouble coming up with colors check out Coolors.co or play with an online color picker.

    Fonts

    Choose 2-3 fonts that fit your brand and go well together. You will need a font for headings (post titles and logo), subheadings (on images, in your posts, widgets etc.) and for your body text (all the other writing in your posts). 

    If you use Canva check out this Font Guide to build your brand. 

    Canva Font Combinations is a great tool to find matching fonts. Just type in a font name and it will suggest fonts that match it. Another great resource is

    WhatTheFont – If you’ve seen a¬†font¬†in use and want to know what it is you can just upload an image to find the closest¬†match¬†in their database.

    Logo

    Now that you have your colors and fonts picked out it’s time to create your logo if you haven’t already.¬†To start out you can just create a font-based logo.¬†Again, Canva¬†is a great tool to play around with different fonts and colors.

    Don’t forget to save different versions of your logo – your logo with tagline, a black and white logo, transparent logo etc. I use the editing tool¬†Lunapic¬†(free)¬†to easily get pictures with a transparent background.

    Image Style / Inspiration

    It’s important that you keep all your graphics for social media and your website consistent. Use the same fonts on all your images, similar backgrounds and patterns, textures etc.

    Once you plug all those elements into your brand style guide you will have a handy manual that you can always refer to. You can design templates for your Pinterest and other social media channels on Canva.

    If you’re new to blogging or the concept of a style guide and need some inspiration you can also create a¬†mood board on Pinterest.

    Here are some great examples from Ellelle and The Creative Boss. 

    Want to save a lot of time and create beautiful, consistent graphics without much effort? Check out my Template Shop to create cohesive, beautifully branded graphics in minutes ( even if you have no design experience). 

    Basic Brand Overview

    • List your brand name, URL and tagline
    • Categories –¬†I suggest picking 3-4 blog categories. Adding them to your brand style guide will keep you focused on your main topics.
    • Social media usernames – Listing them here will allow you to easily copy and paste whenever you link your social media accounts.¬†

    Your Target Audience 

    Although I had decided on 3 main categories, I initially failed to pick WHO I wanted to write for. I didn’t specify my ideal reader. Knowing who you are writing for will make it so much easier to tailor and target your writing and marketing strategy.

    Ask yourself the following questions:

    • What age and gender does my ideal reader have? (you can easily pull that information in Google Analytics)¬†
    • What are their unique challenges?¬†
    • What kind of problems can I solve for them?
    • What value am I providing for my readers?¬†
    • What¬†is their motivation for coming to my blog?¬†
    • What do they¬†dream about achieving?¬†

    Be very specific. You could even create some ideal reader avatars like Darren from Pro Blogger.

    Messaging and Keywords

    Finally, what are some keywords that you use to describe your brand? What is the overall tone? For example, some of my keywords are passion, purpose, growth, strength, inspiration. 

    You could use words such as adventure, fashion, feminine, world travel, persuasive, simple etc. What kind of feelings do you want to evoke in your readers? Which words and phrases do you use frequently?

    Pay attention to your writing style when you create new content and find action words adverbs to describe that style.

    Brand Style Guide Template

    Are you eager to get started and create your own brand style guide? Sign up and get access to my freebie library which includes my free brand style guide Canva template.

    It’s completely customizable and you easily plug in all your colors, fonts, target audience description etc. Create your very own style guide.¬†

    BONUS

    If you’re looking for feminine, pre-made and beautiful WordPress or landing page templates check out Bluchic.¬† I got my theme at Bluchic and absolutely LOVE it!

    If you feel like you just can’t find any fonts or colors that match Bluchic got you covered. All their preset colors and fonts go together beautifully and are completely customizable.¬†Their themes & templates make it easy for you to DIY without the tech struggle, or the designer price tag.

    Their default fonts and colors are great if you’re struggling to pick your own.¬†

    Do you use a brand style guide for your blog? Are there any other things you included in yours? I would love to hear from you in the comments.