Powerful Online Tools for Your Creative Business

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As a creative business owner, there comes a point when you have to put in the work and get yourself organised. For some of us, this comes more easily than others. I know that I bumbled along for many years, holding information in my head and scribbling ideas on scraps of paper. I have always loved the feel and look of handwritten notebooks but the reality was, it wasn't working for me.

Earlier this year, I bought myself a new laptop. The first computer I have ever had, all of my own. With my shiny new laptop in hand, I began a switch that would later on become a force of power in my creative business.

I switched over to online organisation.

And you know what. I haven’t looked back. In fact, I have become somewhat of a productivity tool junkie and today I am counting down my favourites …

Trello

Oh Trello! I would be lost without you. At it’s simplest it can manage your To Do list but it really comes into it’s own when you use it to capture ideas, plan projects, document workflows and collaborate with others. Intuitive, easy to use and visually appealing. Trello is the ultimate hub for planning and managing your creative business.

Momentum

Momentum is a Google Chrome Extension. With this app you can make your browser more inspiring and focused on productivity. The interface is gorgeous and clean. Each day you are greeted with an inspiring photo, an uplifting quote and your main focus of the day. You can also link it to your Trello account, a feature that I love!

Canva

If you want to create beautifully designed graphics and documents for your business, look no further than Canva. The free version of Canva is brilliant but if you want to streamline your processes even more, the paid version enables you to set up branded templates and save time.


Later

Managing multiple social media accounts can be tedious and time consuming. That’s where Later comes in. Later enables you to schedule and plan your posts for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest ahead of time. You can create one post and push it out to multiple platforms, visually plan your feed, schedule posts while you are on holiday, save groups of hashtags and easily respond to comments.


Linktree

One of the challenges of Instagram is the inability to include links within posts, leaving you reliant on the link in your bio. Linktree makes that bio link work harder by enabling you to include multiple links so you can direct your audience to your blog, online shop, podcast etc.


SaneBox

This clever little application is like having a fairy in your inbox. It sorts your inbox for you. Identifying what is important and neatly putting less pressing items such as newsletters and receipts into folders for you to look at later. It also has a folder called the Black Hole, where you can drag any thing that you want to unsubscribe from and you will never see emails like it again. Magic. It is a paid application but the time it saves you makes it worth it.


Google Suite

I am a Google Girl! So much goodness in one place. The main applications I use are Gmail for email, Google Drive and Google Photos to back up and share work, Google Forms to create surveys and Google Calendar for scheduling.


MailChimp

If you haven't started building your email list, it is time to start. I use Mail Chimp to store email addresses and send out newsletters to my subscribers. It is easy to use and integrates easily with your website.

Squarespace

For website creation, Squarespace provides clean, intuitive templates and is easy for beginners to get started with. It does take a bit of time to set up but once you have your website up and running, Squarespace makes it easy for you to manage and make changes.

Teachable

When I first started thinking about offering online classes, I looked into building my own platform and I quickly became overwhelmed. Fortunately, I discovered Teachable. A wonderful platform for building and selling online classes. Teachable has an easy drag and drop interface, excellent online support and integrated eCommerce capabilities.


PayPal

PayPal is a well respected and powerful tool for invoicing and receiving payments from your customers. With excellent reporting and mobile options for receiving payments, its a great way to get started selling your work.

Adobe Lightroom

I get asked which photo editing apps I use all the time, but the truth is that I don't tend to use them. I put my energy into taking it right in my smart phone camera and only make small adjustments to brightness, contrast and saturation. When I want professional photographs for my website, my husband uses his DSLR and edits the photos in Adobe LightRoom.

Anchor

If you decide to go down the podcasting route, Anchor is a great tool for getting your podcast out to all the different platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher. With one click of a button your podcast will be well on it’s way to the ears of many.

So that’s it, with all these tools, isn’t it a great time to be a creative business owner! I’ve shared my favourites, let me know yours in the comments!

 

Minimal Magic, So Much More Than a New Class

I have a new class coming and I couldn’t be more excited. Minimal Magic starts on the 15 September!

It feels like this class has been brewing for a long time. I know that it might appear as a change in direction or a new style but there's so much that goes on under the surface before new work is birthed.

Over the past couple of years, I have felt a pull towards earthy colours and natural textures but it has taken time for it to filter through to my art.

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For a long time, I have felt a discrepancy between the way I paint and what I enjoy when I am observing the world. In fact, it is only recently that I have begun painting pieces that I want to adorn my own walls with.

This change got my attention. What was I doing differently? Why was my work tugging harder on my heartstrings?

What I noticed, was that I was using more earthy colours and intentional marks. There was also a change in my process. A slowing down. A quiet noticing of the steps that make up the whole.

My paintings were beginning to feel more in tune with my personality. They were calming down and if there is one word that is used to describe me again and again, it is the word calm. I have been told that I am am a calm person my whole life. When I was younger, I felt that calm was just a nice way of saying, boring. How I wished for people to describe me as effervescent, bubbly and wild.

They never did though, I was always the calm one. Now though, I love my calm. I feel like I have an incredible resource that I can access when things get rough. I can quiet down and find my calm.

Anyway, how does this relate to my latest work? Well finally, my calm nature is showing up on the canvas. My love of quiet spaces, soft gentle colours, rich earth, stark silhouettes, natural textures and so on.

I'm letting go of some of the noise. A lot of it was only there because I thought others wanted it. Just like when I was younger and I longed to be louder and funnier. I wanted that to fit in, to make others happy.

Now, I am digging in deep, turning inwards and allowing that to be expressed through my art. It's very powerful and therapeutic.

So for me, this class, is so much more than a class. It’s a new direction and a return home all at once.

I hope when you see the class, you will know what I mean. Here is a little glimpse …

There is still a few more days to register for the early bird price of 28 USD / 38 AUD.

The early bird coupon, MAGIC, is valid until 16 September, 5pm (ACST).

I would love for you to join me if this class feels right for you ♡


 

How to Press Autumn Leaves

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Yesterday I went to Stirling in the Adelaide Hills to gather inspiration for my next online class and I was reminded yet again that nature does it best!

The hills were alive with Autumn colour! 

I couldn't resist crunching through the leaves and collecting beautiful specimens to bring home. With my arms full of leaves, I knew that I needed to preserve them in some way but I didn't have the patience to press the leaves under heavy books like I used to do when I was a child. I wondered if there was another way? Google to the rescue! A quick search (thank you WikiHow) and I discovered that you can press leaves in the microwave! Who knew? 

I placed each leaf between two sheets of kitchen towel, popped a baking dish on top to help hold it flat and microwaved for 30 seconds to 1 minute. So simple and effective. 

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As the pile of pressed leaves grew, my crafty side went into overdrive thinking about all the things that I could do with them although honestly they look great just as they are in a basket on my coffee table!