How to Use Daily Notes to Stay Organized + Free Printable!

I love staying organized. And one of the ways I stay organized, day in and day out, is by using lists. Or, daily notes. In my bullet journal from work, I copy the same layout for my daily notes page every single day and use it to record my to do list, my schedule and meetings, as well as a few other tasks (like scheduling social media, posting blogs, etc.) 

Not everyone can use a bullet journal. It's just too much for some people. And it doesn't work for everybody. If you're one of those people, I've created a free daily notes printable that you can use instead--so you can test the waters of daily notes, see if it works for you, and then invest in starting a bullet journal. 

How do I use daily notes? Here's how: 

  • I write a to do list for every single day in the To Do section. This is where all my tasks go. If I end up needing more room, I start a list on the next page, but I try to prioritize what I list as an actual To Do. As well, any tasks that I need to get to, but don't have time for today, I put in the Remember for Tomorrow section. 
  • I track my water intake and FitBit steps in habits, as well as things like whether I've scheduled social media. 
  • In the schedule, I highlight the hours I work, add in my meetings and hourly deadlines, and then note Forrest's approximate bedtime. 
  • I use the Meals section to write my meal plan for the day. 
  • At the end of the day, I write three things I'm grateful for without fail. It's a good opportunity to reflect on my day and see what I've accomplished, as well as what has gone my way. 

Using Canva as a Content Marketing Tool

This post was originally posted on Medium. If you'd like to read my work-related blog on Medium, you can click here. If you'd like to read the Medium blog associated with my personal Twitter account, you can click here

Content marketing can be overwhelming for entry-level employees. I say this from experience: learning the tools of the trade when I first started in digital and content marketing made me feel like I was trapped inside a tornado. I was inundated with information about writing, blogging, social media, video, and visual elements—as well as all the strategy that surrounds everything.

As I got a foothold in the content marketing world, I realized I needed to step up my game when it came to visual elements, especially as I worked for a rapidly growing brand like Waitrainer+. As I learned, I realized that the visual component is often the most important when it comes to social media.

Not every business, however, has the resources to produce great visual content. Producing photography assets can be expensive and not every business has the resources to afford software like Adobe Photoshop. As well, an entry-level employee in charge of these resources might feel a little, well, lost when it comes to producing graphics, social media and blog posts, and email assets.

Enter Canva. I discovered Canva almost a year ago and from that moment, my anxiety about producing beautiful visual content for Waitrainer+ was assuaged. Using a variety of stock photo resources (like UnsplashPicjumbo, and Death to Stock Photo), I could finally produce the graphics for blog posts, social media, and emails that I wanted. We started getting better results from my efforts and I felt like a success story —rather than a content marketing newbie trapped inside a tornado!

A solid year of using Canva has taught me a few things about using Canva as a tool. Here are my favorites.

Webinars have never been easier.

We hold monthly webinars at Waitrainer+. Before I started using Canva, we used basic PowerPoint presentations. It didn’t look good and it made branding across a variety of platforms difficult.

Canva offers great templates for presentations with multiple export options. It also makes branding incredibly easy, because we can use the same materials, photos, and fonts across all platforms.

As well, the presentations feature allows in-built links —which makes sharing our webinar slides to SlideShare even easier.

Templates helped me learn the basics.

I’m not a trained graphic designer, although I’ve always had an interest in graphic design. All I have is a desire to do my best and to learn as much as I can about content marketing. But when it came to design, I was clueless. I knew what looked good, but I had no idea how to actually get there. Thanks to Canva’s templates and their incredible design center, I’ve learned the basics of design and I’ve expanded on them—which means I don’t have to rely on pre-built templates unless I want to.

Infographics make everything better.

We have an on-going debate about the effectiveness of infographics in our office. Personally, I’m on the side of infographics: they make incredibly effective social media and email tools; they help make statistics interesting; and they are a valuable resource for clients and customers. Plus, they just look cool. Canva offers great tools for building beautiful infographics, which means you can make as many as you want or need.

Everything is simple.

I love the way Canva works: from how you upload your own photos (and how those photos are stored) to the way you build graphics (drag and drop!), it’s so simple. I’m great with technology (a benefit to growing up with access to computers), but even those who don’t have a tech background can learn to use Canva and use it well. That’s why it wins as a tool for all content marketers: no matter your level, you can find a way to use Canva.

the 5 Best Free Stock Photo Websites

Good stock photos are hard to find. A recent Clients from Hell post reminded me, suddenly, of how many times I've struggled to find stock photos that fit the bill and didn't veer too far into cheesiness. Sometimes it seems like clients expect a magical website with every photo ever taken, for free, that includes every element they need. Strangely, that's not how the real world works. 

I'm a big fan of using "pretty, emotion-inducing" photos for posts. I'm not big on a lot of text or of super obvious pictures that I haven't taken myself. I've really gotten into finding the best stock photos recently and I thought I'd share some of my favorite sites. 

1. Creative Market

Creative Market is a great place to find good stock photos, as well as other creative materials (including fonts and vector images), for sale. They offer weekly free deals, which usually include a stock photography package. The photo above is from the currently available Hipsta package. 

2. Death to Stock Photo

Death to Stock Photo is an incredibly popular site that offers free, monthly stock photo packages. You can also sign up for pro, which offers you even more photos and benefits. They have sent me easily some of my favorite stock photos; they are all beautiful, well-lit, and evocative. 

3. Life of Pix

Need nature photography? Life of Pix is one of the best sites for great nature and landscape photography, if you're looking for something basic and simple. Their website is simple and beautiful. 

4. Picjumbo

My favorite thing about Picjumbo is that many of their photos include people and technology -- two elements that I often look for in stock photogs. They have a variety of photographers as well, which means they offer a variety of styles and feels. Their site is easily divided into categories -- technology, people, bokeh (if you're looking for something abstract and colorful). As a warning, their website has a lot of ads, but don't let that stop you from appreciating the photography. 

5. Magdeleine

Magdeleine has some absolutely stunning still life and abstract photos, as well as a vast collection of nature and landscape photography. Their photos are definitely more atmospheric and moody, perfect for a deep or reflective post. I love their still life photos for DIY posts or newsletters.