To be a designer in the past, you had to attend a post-secondary institution, do an internship or two, and then make your way up the career ladder. Learning was formal, and access to conferences, exclusive magazines, and extra courses was a privilege.
Now with the World Wide Web being so accessible: design tools and tricks are at the palm of our hands if you have the right resources and connections. This year, the biggest skill I have gained while learning UX design was being resourceful. If I don’t know about it now, I will know by the end of the week with the right amount of research. I am a big learner and love to discover new trends and ideas in my field.
My new favorite way of getting bit-sized information and trends are through newsletters!
Here are my top current newsletters that have made an impact on my digital design journey.
1. Dribbble Newsletter
Dribble is a social media platform where creatives showcase their designs and bodies of work in a single snapshot. Despite having a newsletter to promote “shots” done by featured creatives, their newsletter is surprisingly filled with actual, helpful blog posts for new and upcoming designers.
2. UX Design Weekly
Curated by product designer Kenny Chen, this gem is packed with useful resources and hand-picked ux articles to help any new designer. Each email showcases a different featured portfolio site, which is a bonus if you are looking for inspiration from others.
TLDR is a tech lover’s favorite. If you need some conversation starters at your next networking event or just want to keep up with STEM trends, this is the daily newsletter to get.
4. Design is Expansive
This is a very new newsletter written by UI/UX designer Akash Solanki and it is pretty great so far. If you are looking for some inspirational storytelling and access to connect with other designers, this is the newsletter for you.
You will be surprised at what you might come across in these newsletters.
I have gotten so many free resources, insights, and inspiration from following these hand-picked newsletters, and I hope this list will inspire you to become a resourceful creative as well.
January felt like a long, drawn out month for me. Many times I did not know if I could keep up with all the enthusiasm I had during the holidays, but everytime I look at my vision board that I created with my free vision board kit, remember why I set those short-term goals. I set them because I wanted to put more energy into things I love, and things that will get me to where I love. I remind myself of the intentions I set and that helped me get back on track.
Quick Goal Check In.
I wanted to check in with my readers. How is your first week of February going?
Are you keeping up with your goals?
Are there areas in your daily routine that you’re struggling with?
Reminder that you have all year to work on yourself and set new intentions. I’d love to hear from you!
Vision Board with Me! How to Create and Use a Vision Board to Manifest Your Best New Year Yet!
Happy New Year! In the past two years I have been making vision boards to visualize all my dreams and goals for the year as a constant reminder of the expectations for myself. I didn’t know that when I first decided to make one in 2018, I would manifesting my dreams into reality. I am here to share with you all how I create a vision board that works!
Start off With A Plan
Before cutting and pasting random magazine clippings, create your vision board with intention. Use my free vision board kit to get started! Write down your goals for the year in categories, and where you will find images and texts to place on your vision board. Go to your local dollar store to get all your supplies and solid color (or white) Bristol board.
Look for Specific Pictures Online
I love going on Pinterest to find photos because the search algorithm is very specific. Search for key words that you wrote on your first page of the vision board kit and see what pops up. You want a good balance between visual photos, artwork, key words and quotes. Resize them in a word document so your not wasting too much paper printing larger than needed visuals.
Create Your Own Clippings
I sometimes open up the word document and type out my own positive affirmations or key words that I want to be or achieve. Being specific with your goals with words so you can easily understand your vision board a year after is key to manifesting exactly what you want. Don’t forget to type out the year in big numbers too!
Organize Your Vision Board into Sections
This step is very important to clearly understanding your goals everyday just by looking at your vision board. Try to group similar goals in the same area. In my vision board kit, I’ve organized my goals into four main groups: career development, fitness and health, family friends and loved ones, and self-care/mental well-being (including spirituality). That helps the board to not look to overwhelming. Also, do not feel the need to finish the board all in one night. Take breaks if needed, or have a second look at the layout the next day before gluing it down.
Hang It Up Somewhere You’ll See Everyday!
I like to put my vision board right next to my door so every morning when I leave I see it. It also makes for great decor in your room or home office space.
You do not need to accomplish everything on your vision board on the first week of the new year.
The difference between new years revolutions and setting yearly goals, is that your goals are a process. Your job is to plan how you will accomplish those goals, and you have all year to work on it!
It’s all about your mindset.
Think of everything that is on your vision board as goals you have already accomplished. Say present tense verbs like I HAVE or I AM rather than “I want” when you look at your vision board everyday. Your mind is a powerful entity and once you start believing you have it, you will get it!
Schedule smaller goals inbetween.
Create smaller, more obtainable goals to get to your big goals on your vision board first. This helps with creating good habits and a routine, so you’ll be ready when the blessing comes around. This could be adding content to your portfolio as soon as it’s done everytime, or updating your website regularly, so that when am opportunity pops up you will already have everything up on your website ready.
Celebrate the wins, and stay positive during small losses.
You win some and you lose some. You may not get everything you desire right away, but it is all about timing. Trust the process that when the right opportunity does not come, you now have better feedback for something better. Take it as a lesson to grow and become a stronger, better you. Sometimes it is not about what you get in life at that moment, but how you react. Have gratitude for all of the blessings that have already passed through your life and what is to come.
Are you thinking of making a vision board or already started? Let me know in the comments!
Holidays are around the corner and so was post cyber monday deals. I encouraged a lot of my readers to start different forms of entertainment that do not require staring at a screen this winter. One of those things was journaling. Journaling has proven to release stress and is a great way to express yourself without judgment or approval. Journaling is an art form.
I personally love creating junk journals with random stickers and clippings. My first junk journal was gifted to me by my cousin who hand made one and passed it on to me, and I was really grateful for the sincere gift of writing creativity.
To help kick off your journal or to get a gift for a friend, here are some fun journal items and accessories you can get off of SheIn.
Fun items to Kick Off Yours or Your Friend’s Journal
It seems like every application has a “digital well-being” section in their settings lately. Users have been more mindful of how bright their screens are, how long they have been staring at it, and if the time spent is benefitting their life outside of the screen.
As a graphic designer, I really struggle with this. I stare at a screen almost all day. At work, during my leisure time, even in my car to see what song is playing on my large dashboard. It’s the first thing I see when I wake up and practically the last before I go to bed. According to Harvard Health: long-term blue light can affect your circadian rhythm and biological clock, and lack of sleep can really affect your mental health.
Part 1: Save Your Eyesight, Reduce Your Screen Time
There are many ways screen time affects us. Most of the content we see are ads and promotions influencing and feeding us consumerism. Another reason is that we see bits and pieces of our peers perfect lives, comparing them compare to our lives. The third point is staring into a bright light all day, which is not great. In this blog post I will be focusing on how to use less blue light in you daily routine. Now that I am getting older, my eyesight is begging for some screen control, so these are a few ways I plan to achieve that.
Top Ways I Reduce Blue Light Screen Time:
Get a night light app
This is one of the best ideas that has come out. There are built-in and external apps that reduces blue levels in your screens backlight. I use this on Windows 10 settings and on my Google Pixel settings, both with built-in night dimmers. You can also download an app that reduces the blue light. My favourite app is called Twilight and Dimly for android, or an iOS alternative Brightness.
2. Write, don’t type
We are so used to writing lists and notes on our phones. Now I am a firm believer of taking advantage of technology to set reminders and typing quick notes, however not everything needs to be typed. Invest in a journal, notebook and some sticky pads to write your notes. I have seen some really affordable and cute notebooks from SheIn recently. I also recently bought a narrow whiteboard for my room. Writing things down where you can see it so you have a constant reminder outside of you phone is a great way to display accountability.
3. Monitor your sleeping habits
Know when to put down the phone and go to bed. Screen time affects for sleep, which will affect your whole day. Best way to know how to get better sleep is to know how much sleep you need. Once you figure that one, try to limit you screen time before bed to 1 hour prior to going to sleep. I struggle with this because I like to scroll on social media before sleeping. Try charging your phone far away so you are not tempted to check it late at night.
4. Choose alternative entertainment
Try doing activities that do not require you to stare at your screen. Do you like working out and following along with a video at home? Try listening to a video instead. I recently found a great yoga/meditation youtuber that I like to follow along to. I personally like to just play it as if it were a podcast and listen to her instructions. Try writing in your journal or create a dream board or travel board for fun. I also like to listen to music, so I have been listening to Spotify or putting my vintage record player to use lately while I journal. When last have you talked to a friend or loved one over the phone rather than text? They might appreciate the call during these times.
6. Read More
I actually love start a book but hate to finish it, hahaha. But since this unending quarantine season I have been spending time finishing those books I have sitting at home. Invest in a library card and read books that actual interest you. You can find books on literally any topic. I am currently reading a book called, How to Breathe by Ashley Neese (25 simple practices for calm, joy and resilience). I love reading books where I can learn something new or pickup a new habit.
I know that a lot of our free time is spent staring at screens and it is a very hard habit to break, even for me. But hopefully these ideas will help reduce the amount of blue light your eyes stare at during the day. Try to give your eyes a break with new hobbies. On part two, I will dive into social media influencer “framing”, where influencers only show the highlights of their life and we should try not to compare ours to what we see online.