SLIDER

OH, HELLO



I'm Kayla. A 20-something obsessed with beauty, planner decorating, and baking.


Follow

GET WEEKLY MICROSCOPEBEAUTY UPDATES

3.24.2017

How to Create an Effective Content Calendar

How to Create an Effective Content Calendar

I've been blogging on different platforms for nearly ten years now. Over the course of those ten years I learned a lot about what not to do when it comes to consistency and content. Plus I've also tried close to fifty different ways of organizing blogging content that have all disappeared for one reason or another. My most recent editorial calendar method has lasted the longest and I thought it was about time I finally talked about it.

My biggest advice for creating an effective content calendar is to honestly ask yourself what you're capable of actually accomplishing. It's all well and good to think you'll write a new blog post every day of the week or post five YouTube videos, but you have to consider what's actually possible. Look at your daily schedule, your commitments, and your responsibilities. Figure out what you have time for, and what you sincerely want to use that time doing. Once you've decided what's realistically manageable, you're ready to build an effective content calendar.

Like I said, I've tried a lot of different platforms and systems to keep track of my content schedule. I've used planners, notebooks, stickers, you name it. The only thing that has ever really worked for me long term is Google Calendar. Gasp. I know. For someone whose livelihood depends on people using tangible planners I can't deny that when it comes to this, it has to be online. For good reason to.

You want to create and utilize a system that allows for plans to change. Google Calendar allows you to write in a blog post or a YouTube video, but if life gets in the way, you can just drag it to another day. This freedom to drag, drop, edit, and change your content schedule within seconds makes it superior to a tangible planner. If you're someone who sticks with a plan once it's made, definitely go for tangible. But if you're anything like me, one day you may wake up and have no desire to write a particular blog post. You won't have to cross it out in your planner, all you'll have to do is relocate it to another point in your schedule to do it when you feel more inspired.

I also really enjoy using Google Calendar for my content schedules because you can create separate calendars for separate aspects of your content. I have calendars for blog posts, Microscope Beauty videos, vlog videos, Kawaii Bunny videos, social media, and Oh, Hello Stationery Co. marketing efforts. Dividing out your categories of content makes it easier for you to switch off the ones you don't want to see or focus on. It makes work much more manageable when you only have to look at one type of content at a time rather than the entire jumbled mess of all of them together. 

Having all of the calendars in one place though is beneficial so you can coordinate schedules on different fronts. Say you run an online business selling craft supplies and you're releasing a new line of materials. Using multiple calendars makes it easier to see what is happening during certain aspects of your business so you can coordinate all of your efforts together. You could post a new blog post showing a DIY with the new items one day, a behind the scenes look of production on Instagram the next, and a video showcasing all the new supplies the next day. All of those efforts operate on different calendars, but you can see them all at the same time and coordinate everything together.

Most of the time your content calendar will come together in bursts. If you're feeling particularly inspired one day, sit down and plan out as many blog posts or videos as you can think of. Schedule them into your schedule now, but know that it can easily change based on if anything new comes up. On average my content schedule is about a month ahead in blog posts and videos. Whether or not I stick with it is different, but if I have a very good brainstorming day I want to make sure I get all the ideas down so when I'm tapped of creativity, I don't have to worry.

It's also incredibly important to be flexible with your content. You can't always predict when things are going to happen, so don't set your content in stone. That's another great thing about Google Calendar. Some of my most popular blog posts and videos were created within an hour of some big launch or release. I quickly moved around my other scheduled content to make way for a new planner launch and had a huge increase in subscribers because of it. Make sure your content is working for you and not the other way around.

Apparently I could ramble on about content calendars for hours, so I'll end it here for now. But if you have any questions or want to know more specifics, leave them in the comments. I'll definitely do a follow up or expand on ideas in another post.

No comments

3.23.2017

Esian Korean Beauty Box

Esian Korean Beauty Box

Esian Korean Beauty Box

Esian Korean Beauty Box

The Esian Korean Beauty Box has always been a fun little treat for me. I've been involved with beauty and makeup for years (just look at the age of this blog, yessh!) so it's fun to mix things up and try beauty products from other cultures. Plus I'm a sucker for a good subscription box.

This month's box definitely surprised me. I wasn't expecting a huge, nice quality DC Superhero scarf as it popped out at me when the box opened. I'm all about superheros so I'll be sporting this for sure. Most of the boxes I've gotten are makeup only, so it was nice to see some fashion thrown in this time.

This month's box came with four beauty bits. The Pig Nose Black Head Remover product cracked me up. All black head products I've gotten from this subscription always revolve around pigs. There's also a Collagen Boosting Renewal Mask. The masks I've gotten from these boxes have always been really nice, but not something I've looked for to repurchase. The Stylenanda Fresh Aqua Mist is the most intriguing product from the box and something I've really been enjoying using. I love a good face mist and this one is refreshing and light. The last beauty item is a panda themed warming eye mask. I'm obsessed with how cute and fun Korean beauty is!

My biggest complaint is that the website is difficult to navigate. Ironically enough you can see my derpy face on the front page in a video I posted about my first box. But the site itself is hard to figure out what box to get and what you're purchasing. It takes some time to work to the pricing as well. There are two different beauty boxes available. The Spa box is $24.95 a month with a reoccurring subscription and the Glamour box is $59.95 for an every two month box. Since they're foreign beauty products it's hard to gauge if you're really getting your money's worth each box, but you definitely get a sizeable quantity of products to try. 

Ultimately if you're interested in experience different types of beauty products, this would be a subscription to try for a few months. But if you're trying to save your beauty budget for something really worth it, I'd suggest another subscription altogether since you can't be sure what you're going to get in this box and if it's worth the price. Honestly I find their snack boxes to be a much better investment and fun for the whole family to try some different snacks and food from other countries. So I'd definitely look into that!

So kind of a mixed review. I love the box when I do get it, but I'm still on the fence about purchasing it long term. The products are always fun to play around with, but I've never really been swept away with a product that I had to repurchase. It's a fun gift for a beauty junkie or a little treat to yourself, but I wouldn't say everyone needs it in their life.


No comments

3.22.2017

The Best Planners for Running a Business & Calendar Giveaway


It goes without saying that I've tried my fair share of planners. Since I work within the planner industry it's a must, but it's given me a lot of opportunities to discover which planners lend themselves to certain needs more than others. Some are great for students, some are great for moms, and some are perfect for running a small business. 

The Best Planners for Running a Business

It'll come as no surprise that one of my favorite planners to help me run my business is the Erin Condren Life Planner. There are three different layout types, but the hourly seems like the best for managing time if you're running a business. Although my small business doesn't really require a lot set scheduling, most businesses do. So having a planner that you can clearly map out your time will make sure you aren't over-booking yourself. They're currently 50% off right now if you're interested in giving the layout a try. Plus an hourly layout can help you schedule designated "stop" times so you can you know, eat, and see your family.

The Best Planners for Running a Business

If you're looking for something with a bit more flexibility and freedom to add and remove things, a personal planner will be your lifesaver. I picked up this one from Michael's, but there are hundreds of different options in all price brackets. Plus Etsy has a ton of inserts to help you set it up for maximum productivity. This is a great system to write to do lists in, keep notes in designated sections, and to capture any loose business bits you don't want getting lost. 

The Best Planners for Running a Business

Sometimes the easiest system is all you really need. I find that nothing helps me check things off my to do list like this agenda from Rifle Paper Co. One week per spread with just enough to do list spots per day so you aren't over-doing it. I love scheduling out everything I need to get done in a week over the course of five days right from the start. That way I don't feel overwhelmed by one massive to do list and I can chip away at it little bit by little bit. I'm sure you can find something like this in an insert form if you want to tie the personal planner and a simple to do list agenda into one.

All of these planners have helped in some way at a variety of different stages of my business. They're fantastic, flexible systems that have helped me stay organized and more productive. Plus they're pretty which is always a nice bonus.

Every girl boss needs a gorgeous desk calendar to keep them organized, so I'm giving one away! Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win this Erin Condren Tabletop Calendar for 2017. It comes with a gorgeous little stand and the cards are perforated so you can use the designed side for a postcard once the month is over. Super handy. The giveaway is open internationally to anyone 18-years-old or with parental consent!



Good luck and happy planning.


No comments

3.21.2017

Erin Condren Spring Seasonal Surprise Box Review | #ECSurpriseBox

Erin Condren Spring Seasonal Surprise Box Review


When Erin Condren announced the release of a seasonal subscription box, I couldn't click order fast enough. The first box definitely exceeded my expectations and guaranteed that I would be getting the next one. 

The Spring box feels like the subscription is settling into it's own. The first one had to be beyond amazing to set the bar and the second one clearly shows that they'll maintain a level of quality and quantity. Subscription boxes seem to go big with the first one and peter out quickly, but it's obvious that this box is going to try its best to keep it up. I'm pleased.

The Floral Ink pattern is super popular in this box and I actually like it a lot more than I did when I first saw the design on the website. There's a cute floral ink blank greeting card, a medium lined notepad, and a new On-The-Go Address Book that has to be one of my favorites from the box. I had been wanting something smaller than my normal address book so I can bring it with me on trips to send postcards. Dreams answered. 

There are two sticker sheets as well which I think really help to beef up the amount in the box. I'm pretty sure I'll have all the sticker sheets they've come out soon. Now to actually use them. Nothing makes me hoard stickers like Erin Condren products.

Probably my most favorite item from this season's box is the soon-to-be-released hardbound notebook. I got to peek this product at Plannercon last week and have been smitten ever since. They're releasing March 30th in ten different colors and I'm not even ashamed to admit that I'll probably get close to all of them in one fell swoop. They're perfect to jot notes in on-the-go and during meetings. Plus if I own a bunch of them I won't feel bad scribbling in one or two.

Another pleasant surprise in the box was the art print. It's already happy in its new home in our guest bedroom. The box also included a 40% off art prints coupon so it's already on my to do list to look for more home decor pieces or future gifts.

Finally the box included a set of rose colored sticky corners to compliment the blue and red sets they already have in stock. Plus mini magnetic bookmarks that have me all sorts of happy. Magnetic bookmarks are my go to paper-holding method so having tiny ones is just perfection.

Overall the seasonal surprise boxes are definitely worth the $35 price. You get a ton of high-quality products you're likely to actually use at a cheaper price than buying them all yourself. Plus there are box exclusives you won't find on the website and you get other products before anyone else. You can even save $10 on the next one by clicking here. I'll definitely be ordering the next one.

What do you think of this season's surprise box?

No comments

3.16.2017

That One Time I Met Erin Condren: A San Francisco Tale



It's been quiet on the blogging front lately as I took a break for our recent trip to San Francisco. All my pre-trip time was spent getting our shop in order rather than scheduling posts. We're happily back in the cold mitten now and I can finally reflect on the whirlwind that was PlannerCon 2017.

So much happened. Like, beyond the actual workshops and speakers themselves. We met dozens of amazing subscribers and Helloigans between workshops and honestly the entire experience was a blur. Of course the peak moment of the entire event has to be when I got to meet Erin Condren. I was surprisingly calm and collected when I met her. Alex cried. Two types of people I guess. It's just such a strange experience to meet the person you basically owe your life to. Without her planner and products we wouldn't have our business. No business means no home. So it was great to be able to thank her and tell her about our life thanks to her company. She even ended up mentioning us in her key note address the next day. We fangirled. Harder than we've ever fangirled before.

It was literally the perfect long weekend. Not only did I get to hang out with fellow planner obsessed people, I also finally got to go to San Francisco. It's been on the top of my realistic travel wishlist for years and there I was, walking to Pier 39 and seeing the Painted Ladies. I'm pretty sure I got sick the last couple of days in order to make the entire weekend more life-like; it was just too perfect.

So now we're back in the tundra that is Michigan with tons of planner swag and more ideas than we know what to do with. We're mulling around the idea of hosting a planner conference in Chicago next year, have loads of new product ideas, and are reaching out to business friends we made at the event. The weekend came and went faster than I could have ever imagined and I couldn't be more thankful for the entire experience.

If you want to watch the vlogs and see what we got up to they're all conveniently located below!





We're currently off to help my parents move across the state, so blogging will likely return sometime next week as things start to (hopefully) settle down. Keep your eyes peeled for a PlannerCon related giveaway coming too!
No comments

3.09.2017

February Favorites


I practically almost forgot about my February favorites. To the point that when I started drafting this blog post I called it 'March Favorites.' Poor February, I never have been a fan of you. Although I'm missing this month's YouTube favorites video, I still wanted to round up the few items I loved in February because they're too good to miss.

Up first is our wedding photo album. After months of waiting for our photos and video it finally arrived and honestly it's pretty damn spectacular. It's a nice large size and made with heavy cardboard pages to stand the test of time as I often find myself paging through it. It has found itself at home on our coffee table since it's too pretty to tuck onto a shelf.

As for beauty bits I've fallen into a routine and have barely switched what products I've used for the entire month. I've definitely found a system that works for me but I have been really enjoying the IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact Foundation. I've written up a whole post about it if you want a longer, more detailed review, but it's such a well-thought out product that's just the right amount of buildable coverage and a surprisingly great shade range.

Although winter is starting to fade, my skin seems drier than it has been in months. Anytime this starts happening I break out the trusty Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask and any dry skin is gone in hours. It's so thick, rich, and sinks into the skin nice and slow like an overnight mask should. My skin looks plump, happy, and hydrated after one use. Seriously.

I didn't want to pass up talking about my February favorites because of one thing in particular. I just finished reading Wool by Hugh Howey and my mind is still spinning from the crazy post-apocalyptic adventure it took me on. There are so many twists in this book you won't see coming. Although it doesn't give a year, it's obvious that this book takes place in the future when the planet's surface has become inhabitable and people have been sent underground to live in a massive silo. The imagery is so vivid you can visualize the size and scope of the silo and its contents without any trouble. It's fantastic. Definitely one of the best books I've ever read and one I'll be recommending to anyone who asks and probably to anyone who doesn't too.

What things did you love in February?

No comments

3.08.2017

What to Pack for a Planner Conference | What I'm Bringing to PlannerCon 2017

What to Pack for a Planner Conference

We are just mere days away from heading to San Francisco for PlannerCon and I'm in full-blown packing mode. It feels like ages since I've flown anywhere so I'm taking the entire process very seriously. Plus I've never packed so many planner supplies before and I must say I'm pretty jazzed about it. So whether or not you have a planner conference to attend soon or just want a nosy look at what I'm bringing, here are the dets.

Honestly I'm not bringing much. From my experience hosting a planner meetup, people bring too many supplies that they never will use. I'm keeping things simple and to the basics of what I use most. I won't be bringing my entire washi tape collection or a dozen different pens. Chances are I won't find myself doing that much planning at the conference anyway. 

I'm of course bringing my current Erin Condren Life Planner with relevant cover. Although I doubt I'll be making a lot of to do lists during the trip, I figured my Rifle Paper Co Agenda should come too just in case inspiration strikes during one of the workshops and I want to plan out my next big project (hint: I want to create note page sticker options). I also am bringing a small notebook to jot down any ideas or notes from speakers.

I'll also be bringing two pairs of each of my favorite pens, just in case. Nothing would be worse than having a pen die at a planner conference. The shame.

Although I won't be bringing my entire stash of washi, I will be bringing some samples of my favorites to swap with fellow washi lovers. No need to tote twenty pounds of tape across America when a few feet of each style will do!

I must admit I do plan on bringing my entire sticker stash in my accordion file though. It's small enough to easily tuck into a suitcase and it'll be nice to have my favorite type of supplies around if I do find some time to plan. I keep my sticker collection a reasonable size for this very occasion!

I'm so nervously excited for PlannerCon that I'm sure I'm forgetting something. If you can think of anything, pop it into the comments.

No comments

3.07.2017

Simple Ways to Store Planning Supplies

Simple Ways to Store Planning Supplies

If you're anything like me, then you have quite a lot of planning supplies. I swear some days I have stickers popping out of places I didn't even know I shoved them. So I've been making it my mission to clean up my act and organize my planning supplies in a style that works for me. My best system so far includes a variety of different storage solutions rolled into one.

For washi tape I've found nothing better than using an acrylic sunglasses case. There are dividers in each drawer that are the perfect width to hold rolls of washi tape up so you can see your entire selection. I also use this drawer to hold paper clips and magnetic bookmarks. The little sections in the drawers work great to separate different, smaller supplies.

Simple Ways to Store Planning Supplies

The easiest way to store your supplies it to get a drawer unit like one of the famous IKEA Alex drawers. I have two units in my filming office that hold the majority of my supplies. I recently posted a video walking through my stationery organization in one of them if you're curious. It's by far the easiest solution if you have piles of things laying around that you just want to get out of sight and in some sort of organization. Separate each drawer into categories and gather like items together.


The thing is, you can make any storage you have work for you if you're creative. I have this small apothecary looking drawer unit that would be great to store sticky notes, washi tape, planner clips, and other, smaller supplies in each drawer. Instead of buying new storage solutions, look at what you may have that isn't in use and try to figure out how to re-purpose it.

Simple Ways to Store Planning Supplies

One storage solution that's absolutely free is to use the clear packaging that your sticker orders come in to store weekly sticker kits. Rather than throwing them all away, divide out your coordinating stickers, put them each in a clear bag, and keep them all in a neat stack in your sticker storage. That way you won't lose any pieces to a weekly kit and will have it all together for when you're ready to use it.

What simple ways do you use to store your planning supplies?
No comments

3.02.2017

Coloring Bullet Journal Review & Giveaway

Coloring Bullet Journal Review & Giveaway


Bullet Journaling is one of those planning crazes that I'm still gingerly dipping my toes into. So when The Coloring Notebook contacted me to check out their seriously clever coloring journals, I couldn't say no. Of course I snagged an extra one to give away to one of you.

To me, the coloring notebook is a bullet journal on steroids. It gives you everything you'd want in a bullet journal and throws in seriously gorgeous coloring pages to boot. The cover is a thick, sturdy matte black. There's a handy strap to keep everything closed plus its A5 sized. It's priced fair compared to other bullet journals similar to it on the market, and it's just a lot of fun. 

Planning is all about finding a system that makes you feel more motivated. If you have a planner that you love to decorate, but never look at it again until the next week, it won't work for you. Adding coloring pages makes this notebook something you reach for when you're winding down. So you'll inadvertently find yourself looking at that to do list for tomorrow while coloring in a fun page. You won't know it, but it'll make you more productive in the long run if you spend more time with your planning devices.

If this notebook sounds right up your alley, enter the giveaway! It's open internationally for anyone 18-years-old or with parental consent!

No comments

3.01.2017

How to Set Realistic Cleaning and Chore Goals in Your Planner

How to Set Realistic Cleaning and Chore Goals in Your Planner

Although it's great to have a pretty planner full of gorgeous stickers, it's also much more important to have said planner working in your favor. Your planner needs to be a helpful companion that encourages you to tick things of the to do list, rather than be a distraction from tasks. Lately I've been working on how to set realistic cleaning and chore goals in my planner. Here are a few of my tips and tricks.

The most obvious tip, plan ahead. Sure it may seem like it would go hand and hand with planning, but that's not always the case when it comes to scheduling chores. This is very helpful with tasks that may slip your mind or aren't as frequent as other chores. Things like cleaning underneath the refrigerator or changing out filters. Mark them ahead of time in your planner based on cleaning recommendations. So when every six months roll around you're already prepared.

Spread out the tasks that occur weekly so they don't all pile up on one day during the week. That way if something happens to come up on a particular day, things seem a lot more manageable than having to move an entire laundry list of things you have to clean and do.

Set a routine so you know what to expect every week. Maybe on Mondays you do laundry and on Fridays you vacuum the house. Figure out a weekly chore schedule that fits well around the other tasks in your life so you're actually able to accomplish some of them.

Once you have your routine and have planned ahead for less frequent activities use stickers to create a clear, uniform system. Use the same sticker type every week so when you flip open your planner you're able to see that same symbol week after week. If you're constantly changing up how your chore list looks or where it's located, you're more likely to forget something. 

Give yourself a catch up day every few months. Pick one day every three months or so that you keep clear of any responsibilities. Use this day to catch up on all those things you put off. Hang the gallery wall you've had all the supplies for, file the mountain of paperwork, or wash the windows. Any time you think of something you want to do but don't feel like you have time for, add it to the catch up day list. When that day rolls around on your calendar free of any other activities, you have the perfect opportunity to finally get them done.

So pull out your planner, start planning ahead, and get back on top of your chores and cleaning schedule. Now I'm off to do the dishes!

What are some of your tips and tricks for setting realistic cleaning and chore goals?

No comments

2.27.2017

The Products I Use on My Short Hair

The Products I Use on My Short Hair

It's taken me up until this point to finally figure out what my hair likes. For years I looked like Hermione Granger from the first movie and hadn't a clue how to become Hermione Granger the later years. Thanks to this lineup of products I've finally gotten my hair the way I like it.

For shampoo I use the OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo on a daily basis. I love how thick the gel is and it gives my hair a nice volume and lift without getting super greasy and oily throughout the day. My hair tends to get quite lifeless as time goes along so anything to put that at bay for a little while longer. It smells great and is affordable too. Win, win.

On Sundays after a week of putting product into my hair I like to use the Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo to clarify. You can definitely tell your hair is getting squeaky clean with this stuff, but it doesn't feel harmful or too over the top. It lathers up nicely and rinses away to a fresh, clean feeling. 

Most days I use a combination of the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment and the Redken One United All in One Treatment to give my hair some texture and grit. Whether I'm doing anything to my hair or not I always put in a few sprays of the Redken to keep my hair feeling happy and healthy. Plus it helps reduce static which seems to be obsessed with my head lately. I've ranted on in quite a few posts about the Living Proof cream so I won't rattle on yet again, but it's the best hair product I've tried that just works in my hair. It feels better and looks better after I use this stuff. I just can't explain it.

The real hero of my hair styling routine is my hairspray. I started using the Garnier Fructis Extreme Control Hairspray when I was a lot younger and haven't jumped ship since. It's a fantastic strong hold hairspray that has never left my hair feeling stiff or chunky. It holds a hairstyle all day long while still keeping my hair looking full of life and bouncy. I've tried quite a few other hairsprays but I always come back to this.

Whether I'm adding a few quick curls or keeping a straighter look, these products help get the job done without letting my hair get out of control.

What are you favorite hair products?
No comments

2.22.2017

Do This One Thing to Make Taking Blog Photos Easier

Do This One Thing to Make Taking Blog Photos Easier

Do This One Thing to Make Taking Blog Photos Easier

Do This One Thing to Make Taking Blog Photos Easier

Do This One Thing to Make Taking Blog Photos Easier

If I've learned anything from seven years of blogging, it's how to make the tedious task of blog photos easier. Photos are vital to getting people to check out your blog, so anything to make that momentously important task a bit easier, I'm all for.

The one thing I've learned above all other blog photo hacks is to have a bin of props. A place to stick cute plates, paperclips, and anything that could help make a product photo a little more interesting.

It's just that simple. I tote this bin around with me from surface to surface in my house and grab this or that depending on what photo I'm taking. Beauty products get fellow beauty bits, planner related posts get paperclips and pens. Having these things with me makes the process a million times faster. I'm not running around my house looking for a cute pen or plate for each photo.

It's important to have options in the bin. A few plates, a few notebooks, etc. so that the photos don't get boring quick. You don't want it to look like the same photo over and over again because you don't have a wide variety of props to choose from.

I also haven't spent much on these supplies. Unless you're a big time blogger with a lot of brand sponsorships, it's likely you don't have a dime to spend on the hobby. I picked up a lot of the plates from the Target Dollar Spot. Most of the other things I already had on hand. A lot of the makeup in here is expired or empty, but the packaging is still cute. The journals and pencils were gifts. Just collect cute items around the house or go to Goodwill for some simple plates. 

This prop bin has done wonders for the variety and consistency in my blog photos. I'm able to take a lot more photos in one sitting while still being able to keep each one unique and interesting. So poke around your house looking for cute decor items not in use to pop into a bin. It'll make a world of difference.


No comments
© MICROSCOPE BEAUTY • Theme by Maira G.