Tag: Time

6 techniques to help better manage your time

Time management is one of the most difficult things to get your head round as a designer. Deadlines looming, working from home with distractions, family commitments, clients requesting amendments… it can all get a bit much. 

While there are many techniques to managing one's time, I find that the simple approach works best – at least for me. But works for me may not work for another, plus, things change, so being able to adapt to any situation is important. With that in mind, let's take a look at some ways to help you beat procrastination and better manage your time.

01. Use a calendar

Whether you opt-in on a digital calendar, like Google Calendar, or you prefer to go old school and use a daily planner or wall calendar, there really is no better way to help manage your time.

Remember, though, it takes time to keep it up-to-date, and you need to be diligent in checking it daily. Up until recently, I used a wall calendar. However, I discovered that a digital calendar offered me a lot more options – like daily reminders and the ability to always have it with me.

02. Make a to-do list

Use a to-do list to help prioritise your daily tasks

Okay, I won't lie… I'm not a list maker. To be honest, to-do lists intimidate me; but many people absolutely swear by them. To-do lists are a great way to keep track of what you need to do each day. If you write down the estimated time for each task, this information is really handy in helping you prioritise them.

03. Delegate

Asking others for assistance is okay. Repeat: it's okay! When you delegate, you're actually managing your time in one of the most efficient ways possible. Granted, you can't delegate everything, but take a look at your task list; is there anything o that someone else can do for you? More importantly, is there anyone who can do it more efficiently? If so, consider delegating that task so you're free to work on other things.

04. Understand the power of yes and no

'Yes' and 'No' are a powerful words. In fact, did you know that you can't use one without using the other? That's right! Every time you say 'yes' to one thing, you're saying 'no' to another.

Time is not infinite. We only have so much of it before the sun sets at the end of the day. Be selective in what you agree to do. Understand that saying 'no' is perfectly acceptable.

05. Take breaks, often

Manage your time better 6

Get out and relax! There’s always time to de-stress

At some point, you need to recharge yourself. If you're like me, you'll forget that even the most productive person needs a break. I once attended a conference where James Dempsey spoke about going AFK (away from keyboard) and taking time for yourself and for your family. His touching story about the relationship between him and his dad was something I needed to hear. Now, because of his talk, I take more time for myself and my family. The picture above was taken during one of my breaks.

06. Use software to help

Manage your time better 7

Many apps have been designed to help you to control and monitor your time

I mentioned calendars and to-do lists, but this article would be remiss if I didn't provide a few options for how to manage them. While this list is certainly not all inclusive, it will give you a starting point.

  1. Fantastical: An excellent way to manage your calendar. I use it to keep my personal appointments in order. 
  2. Trello: I use this every day to keep my tasks in order – everything I'm working on gets a Trello Board. I can share my boards with other team members so we can all participate in getting the job done.
  3. Google Keep: A fantastic, easy-to-use list app. Use this through its website via the iOS or Android App.

Managing your time isn't easy, especially when you have a lot to do, or a lot of people counting on you. It can run even the strongest person into the dirt. But with a little structure and maybe some digital help, even the busiest person can be happy and productive.

Related articles:

  • Design a portfolio that packs a punch
  • How art can be a healing technique
  • How to manage a huge client


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7 ways to help you manage your time better

Managing my time is one of the most difficult things I have to do. Over the years, I’ve discovered what works and what doesn’t.

While there are many techniques to managing one’s time, I find that the simple approach works best — at least for me. I also believe that what works for one person may not work for another. Also, things change. Being able to adapt to any situation is important. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at some ways to help you better manage your time.

01. Use a calendar

Manage your time better 1

A calendar helps to put your tasks into perspective

Whether you opt-in on a digital calendar, like Google Calendar, or you prefer to go old school and use a daily planner or wall calendar, there really is no better way to help manage your time.

Remember, though, it takes time to keep it up-to-date, and you need to be diligent in checking it daily. Up until recently, I used a wall calendar. However, I discovered that a digital calendar offered me a lot more options – like daily reminders and the ability to always have it with me.

02. Make a to-do list

Manage your time better 2

Ticking off your tasks is satisfying and stops them from stressing you out

Okay, I won’t lie… I’m not a list maker. To be honest, to-do lists intimidate me; but for many people, they absolutely swear by them.

On a recent episode of Invisible Red, my co-host, Angela Scott, explains how she uses to-do lists to help keep track of what she must do each day. She talks about how she writes down the estimated time for each task, and then how she uses that information to help prioritize things.

Speaking of which…

03. Prioritise your tasks

Manage your time better 3

Self-impose deadlines if they haven’t been imposed on you

Being able to prioritize your tasks is another fantastic time management technique. While it may not be possible to do everything on your list in one day, you need to find a way to decide what’s required now, and what can be put off until later. Pro-tip: deadlines help.

The bottom line… master the skill of prioritization, and you’re well on your way to becoming a Time Lord.

04. Delegate

Manage your time better 4

Delegation is a difficult hurdle to overcome

Asking others for assistance is okay. Repeat: it’s okay! It doesn’t mean you’re weak. When you delegate, you’re actually managing your time in one of the most efficient ways possible.

Granted, you can’t delegate everything, but take a look at your task list; is there anything listed that someone else can do for you? More importantly, is there anyone who can do it more efficiently? If so, consider delegating that task so you’re free to work on other things.

05. Understand the power of yes and no

Manage your time better 5

Knowing when to say yes and no is crucial to good time management

‘Yes’ and ‘No’ are a powerful words. In fact, did you know that you can’t use one without using the other? That’s right! Every time you say ‘yes’ to one thing, you’re saying ‘no’ to another.

Time is not infinite. We only have so much of it before the sun sets at the end of the day. Be selective in what you agree to do. Understand that saying ‘no’ is perfectly acceptable.

06. Take breaks, often

Manage your time better 6

Get out and relax! There’s always time to de-stress

At some point, you need to recharge yourself. If you're like me, you'll forget that even the most productive person needs a break.

In February, I had the privilege of hearing James Dempsey speak at RWDevCon 2016 about going AFK (away from keyboard). James talked about taking time for yourself and for your family. His touching story about the relationship between him and his dad was something I needed to hear. Now, because of his talk, I take more time for myself and my family.

Note: The picture above was taken during one of my breaks. Follow me on Instagram and come walk with me.

07. Use software to help

Manage your time better 7

Many apps have been designed to help you to control and monitor your time

I mentioned calendars and to-do lists, but this article would be remiss if I didn’t provide a few options for how to manage them. While this list is certainly not all inclusive, it will give you a jumping off point.

  1. FantasticalThis is an excellent way to manage your calendar. I use it to keep my personal appointments in order. I also have it tied into my shared Google calendar which Charlie Fulton and I use on Roundabout: Creative Chaos for scheduling our guests.
  2. TrelloTrello is how I keep my tasks in order. I use it daily and everything I’m working on gets a Trello Board. What’s nice about Trello is that I can share my boards with other team members so we can all participate in getting the job done.
  3. Google KeepGoogle Keep is a fantastic way to share lists (or keep them to yourself). You can access Google Keep through their website or using the iOS or Android App. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use list app, check this one out.

In conclusion

Managing your time isn’t easy, especially when you have a lot to do, or a lot of people counting on you. It can run even the strongest person into the dirt. But with a little structure and maybe some digital help, even the busiest person can be happy and productive.


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The best logos of all time

Logo design is the bread and butter of the design industry, and the best logos of all time have been hotly debated for years. But what defines a truly iconic logo, and has that changed over time?

Of course, modern branding goes far beyond the design of a quality marque – and there are many different elements at play, from colour and use of typography to style of art direction and tone of voice.

There are some brands so strong they don't need a logo, as their other elements are so distinctive and well-established – but of course, they do still have one.

Many of the world's best logos have a particular place in our hearts, and plenty of uproar has been caused over the years about logos that should never have been changed (and in some case, are swiftly changed back again).

As shown by the winners of Computer Arts' Brand Impact Awards in recent years, some market sectors are traditionally stronger, or more risk-taking, than others. It's easier to create an edgy cultural or artisan brand than to do the same in financial services or FMCG, for instance.

Read on for our essential guide to the best logos of all time, according to market sector. We will keep adding to this post with up-to-date examples.

01. Best logos for iconic brands

02. Best entertainment logos

03. Best sports brand logos

04. Best design industry logos

05. Best technology brand logos

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8 Signs It’s Time for a Website Redesign

When you are working on the same website every day, it can be difficult to tell when the site starts to become less effective at selling your products or promoting your business. With more and more people going through search engines to find businesses that can provide a service that they need, a strong website that entices the user to convert is vital to a successful company. If you are experiencing the following eight symptoms with your website, your site most likely is ready for a redesign.

1.    Your Site Takes a Long Time to Load

Most users expect pages to load quickly. If your pages take more than two seconds to load, users are more likely to become impatient and navigate away from your website. In fact, according to an Akamai survey, half of all users admit to leaving a site if the page takes more than two seconds to load. Worse still, Google has announced that page speed is a ranking factor on mobile, so if your site’s mobile version loads slowly due to being out of date, you run the risk of losing high ranking.

You run the risk of losing half your potential customers if your website pages take a long time. Test the speed manually by loading and reloading your website pages. Be sure to try it on computers and mobile devices, so that you can be sure that your site is loading quickly on multiple different devices.

2.    Your Shares on Social Media Do Not Look Good

When you share a product on social media, it should look appealing. It should have a good image, a description that is interesting to consumers and should give them a clear idea of what you are sharing. Around 31 percent of website traffic comes from social media, so a weak social media presence will have a significant impact on your business.

If previews and shares of your site don’t look appealing, they won’t catch the eye of users scrolling through a social media feed. If your site isn’t modern enough to help produce high-quality shares on your social media, it could be hindering or hurting your business.

3.    Your Site Is Hard to Use on Mobile Devices

Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices are becoming increasingly common. Desktops and laptops are no longer the only ways that people find online information. In fact, mobile devices overtook computers as the primary searching tool a few years ago. If your website does not function well on mobile devices, you will lose many potential customers.

Pay attention to whether the text is legible, if the images appear correctly, and if the site is easy to navigate on a mobile device. Your website analytics can show you the percentage of visitors to your site who come from mobile devices. If the percentage is large, it should be a priority to improve your mobile site. If it isn’t large, it might also be because your site makes it harder for users to navigate.

4.    Your Website isn’t Contributing to Business

If your business isn’t gaining any leads through the website, it is due for a redesign. Your site can be an extremely productive asset if used correctly. It’s important to check your ranking and your digital footprint to ensure that the issue isn’t a traffic problem rather than a conversion problem. However, if you have high traffic to the site but a low conversion rate, that’s a good indicator that you’re your website design is hurting your business’ ability to draw leads.

5.    Visitors Do Not Stay on Your Site for Very Long

For most websites, users staying on the site for longer periods is almost as important as getting users to visit the site in the first place. To measure this, the first thing you should check is your bounce rate. A bounce rate is how often people leave your site having only visited one page. You can also look at the average pages that visitors use per session. Bounce rates, pages per session, and other information about your website traffic can be found using Google Analytics or other tracking methods that your content management service (CMS) might provide.

A high bounce rate, such as higher than 80%, means that your site isn’t enticing visitors to stay longer than one page. A redesign can help draw customers in and keep them longer – the longer that a user stays on your site, the more likely they are to contact you. Bringing down the bounce rate, upping pages per session, and longer times on site will indicate your website is better at converting.

6.    It’s Difficult for People to Find What They Are Seeking

Like loading times, visitors want to be able to find what they are looking for quickly. They will grow impatient and leave if it takes them more than a few minutes (sometimes even seconds) to reach the page that they want. Users should be able to buy, subscribe, and inquire about what they need without requiring outside help. If you are receiving a lot of calls or email from people asking about using the site, it is a sign that you need to redesign it to be more user-friendly.

7.    Your Competitors Have Redesigned Their Websites

An effective way to judge the design of your website can be to look at the websites of your top competitors. If they recently redesigned their sites and it looks extremely different or more modern than yours, you should consider revamping your website to something more current. A newer design also subtlety shows customers that you are keeping up with the trends, not only in web design but in your industry as well.

8.    Your Brand, Products, or Services Have Changed

One of the most basic reasons to redesign your website is if your company is offering something new or different. People visit your website to understand the products and services that you have, so it is vital that you have information up that is still relevant to your business. A redesign will ensure that your new brand, product, or service is highlighted properly.

An Effective Website Is Vital to the Success of Your Business

Without a functioning and appealing website for your company, you’ll lose potential customers and clients. A company’s online presence is significant to its and you will not be able to keep up with your competitors if online users do not like your website. It’s extremely beneficial and important for your business to remain aware of the status of your website and redesign it whenever it begins to lose impact on users.

Stop worrying about whether your website needs a redesign and do something about it. Contact ourcustom web design project managers and developers in Raleigh, NC at 919-341-8901 or schedule a complimentary consultation.

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