Business and Blog Plans for 2018

greetingIt’s been a hot minute since I wrote last, and I mean literally I haven’t written anything aside from emails and facebook posts since November. NaNoWriMo kind of drained me a bit last year, and by the time I had my drive back, I got so sick, got better, then got sick again. It’s been one hell of a year so far but, never the less, happy new year friends.
I could waste your time and chatter on and on about how I spent my holiday, or where I’ve been the past two months, but I don’t really think any of it would make good content, which is a huge focus of mine this year: GOOD CONTENT.

I want to give you positive, meaningful and useful content, cohesive with my brand, among other goals I’ve set for my business and blog in 2018, which we’re going to be talking about today! So let’s just jump into the fun list part of the post that everyone will skip ahead to, shall we!

Business:

  • I want to create a more streamlined schedule for my freelance so that I can make time for more possible clients.
  • I want to zero in on my niche and find clients that fit my style better.
  • I want to pick up more one-off gigs, maybe go back to my roots of editing or paginating jobs.
  • I need to build my portfolio website, and formally list my services.
  • I need to draw up contracts for new clients.
  • I want to register my business.
  • I want my products to be stocked in at least 3 local store fronts.
  • I want to do monthly markets, and to expand my sales online (Etsy, Facebook marketplace, a shop on this site?!)

Blog:

  • I need a steady and reliable blog schedule.
  • I want to monetize, or grow my affiliate programs but only with companies that fit my brand.
  • I want to start a mailing list, with monthly newsletters, exclusive printables and what not.
  • Keep up with the rebrand, make sure all content on Instagram and this site is cohesive.
  • Expand my niche, but also stick to my guns and keep it simple, don’t focus on too many topics.
  • Build a media kit.
  • Be authentic, and make sure that my audience knows the blogger behind the posts. Be true to myself and don’t sacrifice what is in my heart for the brand.

Ultimately, I want my businesses, both freelance and Cozy Bones, and this blog to link up seamlessly, which is proving to be a bit more difficult since both businesses are completely different. I have contemplated with marketing myself as a Creative, and just using this as a blanket site for both projects, which would ultimately save me so much stress, but I run into the issue that maybe my freelance audience doesn’t want to see my crocheted cacti or sushi? I hope that’s not as confusing to read as it was to write, and I hope I can figure out a way to incorporate both into the site at some point, mainly because I don’t feel like building another site!

What are your goals for your business or blog this year?
Do you separate your goals into categories too or am I just insane?
Thanks for reading,
sig

 

 

Preptober//Mastering the Brain Dump

Oh hey there

 

I believe I have briefly talked about my love for brain dumps in my planner, or my use of a trigger list before in past posts about my planner system, but you still might be wondering, “What’s a brain dump?” or “What’s a trigger list?” so I decided to break it down and teach everyone what I know about this amazing tool!

The reason this is in my Preptober series is that NaNoWriMo is definitely a chaotic time for our brains, and this can really help bring that chaos out of you, and onto a sheet where it can be easily sorted out. I always find myself getting overwhelmed in November and this is really the only thing that calms me down.

So the first thing you will need is a notebook you take around with you all the time, or if you would rather, you can get one of those legal notepads and just completely chicken scratch it, and then input the important information you find into your bullet journal. For me, I use my older half used notebooks, so that I can use them up and store them after. A good example is this notebook below. It was formerly a school notebook for my last semester but I have decided to make it my brain dump book, whenever I need to write something out of my head, it goes in here. This is an extension of my brain.

bd

It’s just a simple composition book from Walmart, I got it in the summer before I went back to school.

The next thing you are going to want to do is take another piece of paper, and go through this master trigger list and write down all of the things that apply to you. The point of this is to write down only the triggers that you have to worry about, the less you have on the list, the quicker the brain dump will be, but be honest, don’t skip things just because you don’t want to make yourself think about them. Now I have been working on putting together a trigger list specifically for writers/authors, but it’s not finished yet, I’m thinking of making it a downloadable sheet, if that is something you’re interested in, please let me know!

After you write them on your piece of paper, find a way to attach them to your notebook, it can also work as bookmark! **If you plan on dedicating a part of your planner or a whole notebook to this, I recommend you create an idea index at the front, and colour code it so that nothing gets lost, because depending on how busy your brain is, this book can get super hectic (mine does at least!).**

 

bd2

 

The next step is going to be on a daily or nightly basis. Every night I sit down before bed, and I go through my trigger list. Its a list of things that I need to make myself think about, pertaining to work, freelance, school and projects. I just write out everything that comes into my brain when I think about those things and about 6 pages later I am left exhausted and calm.
I do this at night because it helps me sleep better if I have nothing in my head to worry about forgetting.

bd3

 

If there was one thing that I could recommend for you to do EVERY DAY, no matter what, it would be this. Honestly, this saves my sanity every day and I am so happy to share it with you. There is a lot of information online about brain dumps or mind sweeps but this is the best way that works for me!

Let me know if this helps you out at all and feel free to comment below with your brain dump systems!

mazie bones

 

 

How Habitica Changed My Life

A frequent question that I get is “how on earth do you manage your time,” with all the freelance projects and personal projects I do. “It just seems impossible to have that much going on, but still have time to spend time with friends,” is another common statement that I get sometimes.

Truth is, I’ve always been kind of proficient when it comes to managing my time and keeping on track with goals and deadlines. But it’s not all me I promise! I always have my bullet journal or planner next to me, it has become my favourite tangible productivity tool. But aside from that, I have recently started used one of my favourite apps again!
Today I want to talk about an amazing App that has been keeping me in check lately, called Habitica! Formerly known as HabitRPG, this app has taken my productivity to a whole new level.

Here are the Coles Notes:

 

  1. Start a character: There are all kinds of ways you can customize your character, but if you don’t have time, just a basic character avatar will do! This is my current character!
    21458304_10155437818176013_594645175_o
  2. List your habits and dailies: The app will come with a few examples of tasks that you can use, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to just clear all those out and start fresh with your daily habits to track and what not. I personally stretch these a bit and track a bunch of smaller things. (The more you check something off, the more coins you get in a day!) These features really do help with starting to build new habits, or break bad ones! Dailies are good for everyday tasks that you don’t want to keep putting in your to do section! Then just add any other to do list tasks as they come along. I sit down every morning with my BUJO and draft out a game plan from there, but now instead of wasting a page in my notebook, I map out all of my small tasks on this app and check them off as I go. More coins for me!

    21458559_10155437818101013_361738542_o

  3. Set your rewards, use the coins you receive to buy new items or quests:  Obviously there needs to be some kind of compensation for being so amazing, so everytime you do something on your lists you get coins. These coins can be used to buy armor, items that bump up your abilities and other neat things. There are bosses and battles once you get into a party, and these items will totally help with that. A feature that I really like is that you can set it up to give yourself tangible rewards too, like episodes of game of thrones and what not.

    21458745_10155437818281013_2048409365_o

  4. Join a party, find some guilds or start a challenge: A great thing to do when you first get started is to find a community of like minded people to quest with. Quests happen within a Party. In order to get into a Party, you need to request or get invited to one, or just start your own, you can find a chat in the tavern full of people looking for members or looking to join a party. You can only be in one party at a time, but you can be in multiple guilds! Guilds are kind of similar to a party but they are more specified interest wise (At least that’s what I have noticed!) There are guilds for people who like bullet journals, guilds for people who like Gilmore girls, guilds for people that reward themselves with anime! It’s all here, and it’s all amazing!

    21533745_10155437818026013_476982922_o

  5. Collect all pets and mounts: Also, while you complete tasks you can find random items. There is no way of controlling it, but these add that addictive collecting aspect that us app-users love. Basically, you can find eggs, potions, and food. Once you have an egg and a potion you can combine them to get a pet. For example, Bear Cub Egg + Cotton Candy Potion = Cotton Candy Bear Cub!There is a huge list of combinations that you need to try to complete! You can feed your pets to train them and boost their stats, but they only eat certain foods. IE. Pink pets can only eat pink food, and brown pets can only eat brown food… and every other colour is the same. It’s simple, but like I said, so addictive. Since the HabitRPG days they have added so many new pets, and I’m completely invested in getting them all.

    21533814_10155437817546013_1080977668_o


Overall, I love this app and it really does help make everyday tasks a little more fun. At first, I was worried that it might make productivity a bit distracting, but after I explored a bit, joined my party and settled down, it really is something that I can’t see myself living without now. It is a free app, there is the option to purchase in game currency which, to be honest, I definitely see myself doing in the future (the developers of this app are so amazing so I would love to support them), but you can play without it for sure! Check it out and let me know what you think!

New BuJo Tour

Oh hey there

I mentioned on Instagram that I recently started my new bullet journal, so I decided to post a little mini tour of some of the spreads and trackers I’ve included in the new notebook. Also I’m going to include a detailed list of supplies and pieces featured in the pictures! If you would like me to go into more specific details on each of my spreads please leave your requests in the comments and I will explain them more in depth, but as for right now I’m going to just include the photos and links, for simplicity!

Also, this post is just exploring my bullet journal. I haven’t set up my new travelers notebook/ midori yet so I’m not really able to share that part of my system. Definitely stay tuned for that post in the near future, I’m super excited to set it up.

* Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. This means that I might make a few cents if you click one, at no extra cost to you. I will never share a product that I don’t truly love. Thank you for your support.*

Links: 

Zebra Mildliners

Faber Castell Brush Markers – Greyscale

Essentials Grid Notebook- A5

Inkjoy Gel 0.5 Pen

loll3 Stickers

Carly Watts stickers

Succulent Sticker (cover) 

Succulent stickers

 

20374235_10155321382611013_5136570792943160725_n

All of the stickers you see on the front of my bullet journal are from RedBubble.com. I love this site because you can search and find millions of new artists and support their talent by buying high-quality products featuring their work! All art is uploaded by the artists themselves so that they can make some money off of their sales, and you get that amazing Redbubble quality! I have ordered from companies similar to RedBubble and wasn’t super impressed before, so I was a bit worried about placing the order for these stickers, but let me tell you, the quality is flawless. No pixalation where it doesn’t belong, the adhesive is perfect, and these stickes have been on the front of this notebook since I got it, and they aren’t wearing off or fading at all. I’m personally a huge fan of Redbubble, and am working on setting up my own little print shop on there. More updates on that soon for sure!

I’m personally a huge fan of Redbubble, and am working on setting up my own little shop on there. More updates on that soon for sure!

Thank you so much for reading this post, and for supporting me on my bullet journal journey! I have some pretty exciting bullet journal/ planner stuff coming up this month that I seriously can’t wait to post about so make sure to follow me on instagram for those updates!

mazie bones

 

 

My Workplace Tour

Oh hey there

A while back I posted about possibly giving you all a proper tour of my workspace, and upon taking all of the photos that you’re going to see in this post, I realized that it would be so much better to do a tour video, but I don’t think I have the time to edit a video or anything, so this will have to do for now!

It wasn’t until recently that the love of my life and I changed our living situations, and figured out that sharing an office would be a fun way to spend more time together while I’m working on things, so what you are seeing is my half of the office. His half is his, and I don’t want to take away his privacy, so you unfortunately won’t be able to see all of his amazingly nerdy things, but just know that it is truly brilliant, in literally every way.
Lets get this tour going!

20951956_10155377443831013_731183084_oSo when you first enter our office you will see our shared Star Wars calendar. This is mostly just a central hub for dates we both need to know, for house things like litter box days, or garbage days, stuff like that.

Next you see my larger organization unit. I love the lip in the wall right there, it adds a little bit of a division and also kind of hides some of the chaos that the unit creates. It looks super hectic but it is actually the most organized I think I’ve ever had everything. Beyond that unit you get to see my little desk, which is a repainted antique from my mom, I believe it was her grandmothers. I’m not sure if its my favourite storage solution, but I definitely love that it has history and that I can say its been passed down through the family. (I also have the matching dresser and nightstand that came with it.)

20930355_10155377443451013_161880826_o

The unit that stores almost all of my art and craft supplies is a combination of Michaels Craft Cubes and a super DIY Cube Shelf that I made on the bottom. I have labels on all of the drawers so that my process is pretty streamlined and I don’t need to dump all of them out looking for what I need. There are a few other cubes that I would love to have and some day I’m sure I’ll have the room or plan out a better system that will allow for that, but as of right now, I’m really loving how helpful this set up is. The two picture boxes at the top house, knick knacks and blank cards.

 

 

Next we have the front 20862344_10155377443356013_1920800609_oview of my desk set up. I’ve got all of my prints set up on the wall so that I can look up at all of my favourite art. Most of these prints are by local artists, I will link all of their instagrams and try to link the others if I can find them: Fixed Lividity, Jade Poon, HunyMilk, Sshaniaa, and the Jelly Fish painting was done by yours truly.

For someone who really only buys something if it’s black, white or gray, I definitely need to surround myself with colourful art to get inspired. On my desk I have a little copper tray that holds findings, paper clips, glasses, and a jar of knitting needles and hooks. I have a little filing folder holder, the holder is from Target, and the folders are Nate Berkus. My computer is usually right there on top of my desk, with my bullet journal, and Midori, as well as my watercolour sketchbook, and paints. I also just bought that super cute travel easel, and I’m obsessed with it, it takes up no space, and it can hold a book for me if I feel like reading while I’m crocheting! Sounds like actual perfection to me.
Not really shown in this photo is the little space between my wall and the desk. This is a little nook that I hold anything thin, like spare canvas’, rolls of paper, frames or looms for my weaving, a hoola hoop for a project I’m working on, basically just anything that will fit there, is usually there.

20904487_10155377443656013_535753960_o Moving over, you now get to see the other half of my corner, featuring a super cheap kitchen pantry unity from Canadian Tire, my yarn peg board and my little Raskog Cart from Ikea! You also get to see that I am currently using an ottoman as my office chair and there is a really good excuse for that!
I’m using that as a chair because I get to a) sit cross legged, hence more relaxed, and b) I get to sit with my cats! They always come and check on me while I’m painting or crocheting or even just writing blog posts. They are both here right now as I write this.

On top of my pantry I keep all my pretty black and white planners. I recently sold my planner collection and these are the only ones I have left, I kind of plan on keeping it that way now that I’ve found the pure magic that is my BUJO! If you haven’t already read those posts, check out my Bullet Journal Tour, and my Guide to Bullet Journaling!

20945627_10155377443316013_1218535100_o 20930637_10155377443121013_997168620_o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The planner collection is held together by some wall sconces that I repurposed into bookends, I plan on painting them eventually, and they are accompanied by a Toki Doki Unicorno and an Ikea plant pot holding all my rulers, scissors and tools.

My yarn peg board was a super last minute DIY. I found an amazing deal on this piece of peg board at Deals Express, and got my dad to hang it up with some deck screws. I cut some dowling down to size and then spun my yarn with a Loops and Threads yarn winding machine! This not only makes for an amazing artsy display, but also a super organized way for me to know what I have and what I need for a crochet or knitting project! I’m super excited to see some empty spaces after all my christmas gift knitting is done!

20883839_10155377443031013_833027033_o20883744_10155377443256013_2132152417_o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pantry was bought on sale at Canadian Tire for I believe under $40, and it mostly holds admin related things, like my printer, laminator, envelopes, packaging, paper, my camera, some punches, and cutting boards, a zine stables and other little things that I need for my shop and writing group.

The Raskog holds all my writing utensils in little plant pots I found at the dollar store, I spray painted them rose gold, to match the rose gold magnetic organizer pots stuck to the front side of my cart. These hold little paper clips and binder clips and other findings. On the second and third shelves I have current projects, some washi tape, planner stickers and some Crayola Super Tip markers!

I think thats everything for my workspace tour, I hope you enjoyed it! I would love to see your workspace, please feel free to send me a link to your workspace posts in my comments. As always, thanks for reading my post and please check back in on Friday for a new one!

Have a super nifty day,
mazie bones

 

The Cozy Bones BUJO Guide

Oh hey there

Yesterday I posted a little photo of my bullet journal (BUJO) on instagram and asked if any of you wanted to know more about it! I got all kinds of comments, DMs and facebook messages asking and expressing interest so I thought it would be cool to put together a little post of everything that I’ve learned about bullet journaling along this little journey! In this post I’m going to include links to videos, sites, pictures and just some of my favourite bullet journalers in the community. This being said, you definitely don’t HAVE to be a part of the BUJO community, I know a lot of people that are solidary about it and don’t want to keep up with trends or the latest spread ideas, and that’s completely fine! Bullet journaling is all about making your system work for you, and only you. I’ll be showing you both the traditional way of bullet journaling, as well as my own personal system.

History:

The original BUJO system was created by Ryder Carroll to replace the average agenda. It combines rapid logging, an index, a key system or colour coding, migrating tasks and just random catch-all notes to create a seamless flow of productivity. If you want to learn the specifics of the traditional bullet journal go to this site and take a gander!

Customize it:

One of the deciding factors for me when I was researching the BUJO system was the overall freedom I had when it came to the way I use it. If you go into any of the bujo facebook groups you will see that everyone uses theirs differently and that the possibilities are endless. Some people decorate them, and kind of use them as an art journal. Some people use them as a simple minimalistic place to keep to do lists and tasks. Some people even have multiple bullet journals for different projects! It all depends on what you want and need from your planner, which is why I, a former binder planner/pretty planner dove head first into the world of BUJO. Which leads us to my personal journey with the bullet journaling system.

My BUJO:

20106935_10155270226606013_1886698716_o

I knew getting into this that my type A personality was going to make it kind of challenging, but over the past four months since I started my bullet journal, I actually think it has helped me drop the perfectionism that kind of loomed over me all the time. I started with one of those cheap little dot-grid notebooks from Michaels, (sorry I can’t find a link) and kind of just jumped in mid-April. That alone is super out of character for me, as I’d usually wait to start a full month, plan everything ahead of time and make it all perfect. I’m super glad that I didn’t do that though. I got a good taste of what worked, and didn’t work for me, and it got a lot of thoughts and ideas out of my mind. From the beginning I kind of dubbed this BUJO my “Trial BUJO”, allowing myself to mess up, ruin pages, make mistakes. But after I began embracing that I kind of found my true style, thus finding my perfect system.

I think that my system is a little more on the simple side of things, I’ve taken out a lot of the traditional system that I just don’t need. For example, the standard month would look something like this.

  • Month title page
  • Monthly calendar
  • Month at a glance events/important dates
  • Monthly Trackers
  • Monthly Goals
  • Weekly Spreads
  • Daily To-Do Lists

(which seemed just a bit too extravagant for me)

My personal month looks a little something like this:

20050165_10155270226911013_1512590589_o

  • Monthly Calendar/ important days/ goals on one page
  • Weekly Spreads
  • Notes whenever I feel like it

Keep in mind that a lot of my trackers are randomly placed throughout the journal, marked off with washi so I can find them easier, and that I also have a future log for events and important dates that I can refer too. It just works better for me this way.

Decorating:

20048968_10155270225316013_696989587_o

20048636_10155270224796013_2011814502_o

From the get go I knew I needed it to be decorated; given my past in pretty planning and my current addiction to washi tape and post it notes! (COMMENT IF YOU WANT ME TO DO A POST ABOUT THAT COLLECTION! ITS INTENSE AND IMMENSE!) As you can see in the photos above my front and back cover are pretty covered with stickers! The front cover has a beautiful galaxy R2D2 sticker that I found at Toronto Comic Con (I’m going to see if I can find more at Fan expo for my new BUJO) some Sailor Moon littles, a Snot Girl sticker from Bryan Lee O’Malley (my best friend got it for me when he met him in a hotel) and then the back cover has two stickers, one by Hunymilk and one by New Flesh, both local Niagara artists, both amazing and inspiring.

19893810_10155270225471013_1971504103_o

18320633_10155048450851013_2293646062835401151_o
When it comes to decorating the inside of my bujo, I really have no rules for this one, its full of washi, stickers, markers, swatches, everything, I think I might even have a pokemon card in there! I do plan on having a more aesthetic theme for my next bujo, because I really want to share more photos of it with all of you but I’m definitely not holding myself to that.

If you would like me to make an extensive list of pens and supplies I use please let me know. I know some friends have expressed that they want to know what pens and highlighters I use, so I definitely wouldn’t mind posting that.

Some Awesome People to Follow:

AmandaRachLee

BohoBerry

Cheyenne Barton

Ann Lee

Caitlin’s Corner

PalestBlue

 

If you want or need to know anything else, please feel free to post your questions in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them for you, but keep in mind that I am definitely not an expert at all!

Thank you so much for reading this, I hope it inspires you!
mazie bones

Processing time: The time I need to prepare an order for shipping varies. For details, see individual items. Customs and import taxes: Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs. *** I don't accept returns, exchanges or cancellations*** But please contact me if you have any problems with your order. Dismiss