Just like promised the second part this week. Thank you so much again for all the love and comments and email i received per last week’s tfl. It’s nice seeing that there are lots of you who find those helpful, so i’ll make sure from now on that there will be one tfl per week.
Last week, we got into the subject for how essential a clean desktop is. Keeping things under control, when you’ve got loads of files to manage, plus letting room for some inspiration. Today, i’m getting into how i organise my folders and emails. My routine came after lots of “accidentally” missing files, emails, crying and stressing. First rule as always to keep me sane, be clean and organised.

emails

 

After a couple of years i’ve finally find a way to get my emails cleared every day. Yes sometimes it takes an hour to say the least probably. But there are no clogged mailboxes and everybody’s happy.

The way it works for me, is to create folders. I’m using mail on my macbook so it’s pretty easy to have a file for each client. Everything is stored nice and tidy. Amongst those, there’s one called inquires (where all the email to inquire projects, working with me etc goes), a personal one (usually a couple of emails from collaboration with bloggers) and an older works folder.

Once a project is complete, i move all the emails from the client’s folder to the older works folder. That way i have a record of our emails and clear some space in the folders, so there are only the active ones. Typically, after 3 months, i remove all the previous emails if there hasn’t been any communication with the client.

During the day, on my 10 minute breaks, i reply to the new emails and put them into folders right away. By the end of the day (5pm when i stop working), i have to have my inbox empty. So i can start replying first thing the next morning. Here’s a screenshot of how it looks. Sorry for the blur guys, i guess client list is a confidential thing 🙂

folders

 

Now the fun part. In my main folder, i’ve got other four:

Coco

Usually got my logo for quick use, the profile image, the folder for my book. Some signed contracts, and overall things that have to do directly with me.

Resources

Here are all the mockups, wallpapers, stock images, brushes, fonts etc.

Personal Projects

Photoshoots, psd files from my posts on the blog, personal projects, files for cocorrina, such as pricing pdfs, terms and conditions etc.

Client Work

Each client has his folder with the name. So simple. If you get into one folder, you’ll find all the projects we’ve worked on. Logo, business card etc. Each project, has each folder per review. Now each review, has the process files of the review, psd, jpeg, ai, and presentation folders.

 

——

That’s pretty much it! Images are in iPhoto, music on iTunes, and every week, i clean finished projects, images and move them to my hard drive. I’m pretty ocd with that. I feel like the more i have the more confusing it is. So if i got only the things i use, it will always be easy to navigate and work.

This started like maybe the weirdest post i’ve ever written. With just how important is the way that i work and have everything organised on my desktop. Making me think, how essential is the way each and every one of us designers work, the ritual and routine we have, in order to help us make… Read more »

This started like maybe the weirdest post i’ve ever written. With just how important is the way that i work and have everything organised on my desktop. Making me think, how essential is the way each and every one of us designers work, the ritual and routine we have, in order to help us make it through so many different projects. 
I’ve been receiving dozens of emails from you daily, and let me just start with how floored i am. Seems only yesterday when i realised how being a graphic designer is what makes me breathe. But not knowing where to start, took all the excitement away. Making it difficult to create. 
Being a creative is so much harder than lot of people think. From the outside it seems like what we do is simply creating and doing pretty things all day long. That it comes easy and natural. Well it almost does. But in order to create and stay creative and inspired through your whole day and being a human, with feelings, and living a life, is something that keeps getting harder and harder. There are so many different parameters  on how to achieve that. Starting with one, is being organised. 
No matter how messy artists can become, keeping everything clean and tidy, leaves you room to create and room to breathe. This post is more of a “how i work things” rather than a how to post. Nobody can tell you how to work. It’s something that you’ll need to discover yourself in order to see what works for you best. But you do need to start from somewhere right? I went through sending wrong files to clients, to loosing folders and to the hell and back in order to become a little Monk where i have to have everything in place. 
All your emails, inspired me to make a small series on the freelance life on what makes my clock tick. From the way i organised my files, desktop, emails, calendar etc. A chance for new designers get an insight on things that don’t seem to matter at first glance and for older ones to exchange some tips and learn from each other. 
Ok, i know it sounds so silly to start with this one but trust me. It’s the first thing you seen when you start working, and you keep having it in your face throughout the rest of the day. For me, it’s probably the number one in my list of organisation. It’s like an extension of my office. The same way i want to keep my office clean and tidy, i have to keep my desktop as well. 
It may sound surprising for someone who designs graphic wallpapers all the time, but i’m really hard to please when it comes to choosing one. A 90% of the time, i choose an hd scenery of place i’d rather be. I’ve got lots and lots of them, but i keep switching between three all the time. White Sands sunset, Scottish angry weather (it makes me tear up seeing this), Icelandic ice, this and this place that i have no idea where are from. 
Don’t mind me, i do love clean and clear graphic wallpapers, and i tend to use mine, probably for a day. But my desktop feels like an open window, to show me place that will calm me down, the way someone would play forest sounds, or rain sounds. And whenever i put a graphic on, i feel like i close this window. Maybe it’s just me. Nature and extreme scenery is one of my biggest sources of inspiration. 
The desktop stays clean with only one folder on it, Corina. It’s a password protected folder where i keep all my files in. So i don’t accidentally delete it – trust me, been there done that. I’ll talk about it on the next week’s post and how i have my folders organised. Within the day, as i design for my clients and send them files, or save files, i have everything laid out on the desktop so i can easily send everything and temporary keep files for quick use. Once i stop working on a project i clean my desktop, and start the same process on a different one. 
The dock stays hidden, so duh everything is clean and i have more space to work without having it in my way. As with my phone, i tend to clean up my applications quite a lot. If i don’t use them for a month and are easy to find, they’re gone. 
So i tend to keep everything clean and only what i need there. Mail, Safari, Todoist to sync with my iPhone when i write my ideas on the go, iTunes, torrents, and feedly. What i like about the the dock, is the part on the right. I got a shortcut to my book so i can write right away without searching for the file, the movie folder, download folder, and my little inspo folder. 
The inspo folder has saved me from lots of mess around the desktop. Pinterest is good to collect inspiration, but when you find something that you’ll know you’ll soon use or will need to reference to, it will definitely get lost in Pinterest. So i got this little folder and store pictures in. By the end of each week, i go back and see if there’s something i don’t need and clean it up a bit. So everything stays tidy. 
I would love to hear if you have any specific way you organise your computer and the way you work. It’s nice knowing about a thing or two from you guys!
next week organised life | pt. 2 organising folders
more freelance life here 

A few days ago, i was tagged by Vanessa to share a bit from my creative process. It’s a subject i’ve already talked about in previous posts, but it’s always fun to give it another go and see how much or if i’ve changed at all. Ok, here i go

What are you working on?

Currently i’ve got my plate full with tones of different projects. From lettering for big companies, branding fashion companies, personal brandings and lookbooks. Wedding stationary, and designing wedding props and decorations for an online shop. Working life’s really exciting and full right now. There’s not a lot of time for any personal projects, but i’m completely ok with it. I’ve the blog to be playing with my daily creativity dose.

How does your work defer from others of it’s genre? 

No two designers can be the same. The taste, style will always defer. I tend to creative clean, textured designs. But i’m always evolving, and always changing, so it never stays the same. I believe it gets better and better. I’m really passionate about lettering (duh!) which is always unique to each of us. I’d describe my style a little bit darker, moody, but once a chameleon, always a chameleon. I’m able to adapt depending on the project. Could go from something high fashion, to something very simple and professional in a sec.

Why do you design / create what you do?

It’s what makes me happy. As simple as that! I’ve been asked a lot about what i would do if i wasn’t designing, and honestly i have no idea. The time and effort i’ve put to developing as a designer, i don’t think i’d ever do for anything else. Singers sing, write songs to express what’s in their minds and souls. Design is that kind of release and expression for me.

How does your design process work?

It defers from project to project. With hand lettering i drink some juice, relax, take a breath, put some music on, and start writing like a lunatic. Seriously, if only you could see me at some point. Like a mad scientist or a passionate painter creating art.

When it comes to brandings after my client has filled in a small questionnaire i give, we start working on the moodboard. Lots of ideas coming and going. Then the sketching process comes, where i put all my ideas on paper, and more new are born on the way. Then i keep the best of them, and start bringing them to life on my computer. Then the first presentation is sent to the client, and after that there’s a lot of discussion, changes, corrections. And bam. A new logo is born.

I’ll be tagging Latrina and Miranti to share their stories as well.

It’s no secret. Pinterest is a wonderful place to learn and get inspired. All that visual goodness while scrolling slowly trains your eye to what is visually good and appealing. We get to discover deeper our  tastes and likes don’t we?  My challenge when designing covers for blog posts, is creating something so visual appealing… Read more »

It’s no secret. Pinterest is a wonderful place to learn and get inspired. All that visual goodness while scrolling slowly trains your eye to what is visually good and appealing. We get to discover deeper our  tastes and likes don’t we? 
My challenge when designing covers for blog posts, is creating something so visual appealing that i would pin in a heart bit if i saw it popping up while scrolling. There are a few things i’ve learned from my side at least, that works for great pins. One is for sure, vertical graphics.
Beautiful, original photography
I’m obsessed pinning anything that has interesting lighting, peculiar theme, a picture that travels you. So if you’re choosing which pictures to use on your blog post, make sure they are the ones that would bring something different to the world.
Lots of space
Usually the ones that catch my eye right away are the ones that have lots of air to breathe and the subject of the graphic plays a really small part. That only happens because in all the things going on while i’m scrolling, my eye rests on the most comforting one. The one that stands out. So make sure you stand out. 
or not a lot of space. 
You could also stand out by having too much of something. Having a lot of things going on in a graphic could also catch the eye, since, well it looks interesting. But make sure in all the messiness there’s harmony to it. If you got messy text like above, keep the colours simple.
Be you. 
That’s an advice that simply goes everywhere. There are a lot of pin creators that you just simply know who they are by seeing a picture / graphic of theirs. Create a signature, something that screams you and expresses you to the most of it. 
What do you think? What catches your eye while pinning? 

We’ve all been in the position where we beat ourselves up for a mistake, when we fail, or when we  simply want more. It’s always easier to be our worst judge and except the most. But how healthy is it?  Personally, i’m still trying to figure this out. Most of the times, my passion and… Read more »

We’ve all been in the position where we beat ourselves up for a mistake, when we fail, or when we  simply want more. It’s always easier to be our worst judge and except the most. But how healthy is it? 
Personally, i’m still trying to figure this out. Most of the times, my passion and excitement, how i’m always pushing for more, and being really, hard on myself to be the best i can lead me to do greater things. To evolve and stay determined. When you’ve got eyes on the goal, only one thing can happen; you can succeed. 
But i’ve found myself so many times exhausted, by pushing and beating myself up on why i couldn’t do that extra something. Sometimes i’ve even found myself trying to be perfect in everything i do. And i only fail myself, because it’s practically impossible. 
Trying hard is the best you can do. And for today, let’s all think that the best we can do, is good enough. It’s actually even perfect.
previous tfl posts


Even though you haven’t noticed, there are so many different ways that people blog. I’ve been working on my mind on something really interesting that refers to and hopefully will help all of us bloggers. The idea is still in the process, but i’m really looking forward to making it happen within the winter.  Basically,… Read more »

Even though you haven’t noticed, there are so many different ways that people blog. I’ve been working on my mind on something really interesting that refers to and hopefully will help all of us bloggers. The idea is still in the process, but i’m really looking forward to making it happen within the winter. 
Basically, i would like us to discuss the tools we’re using when we blog, the process, were we get the inspiration for our posts etc. I used to schedule my week’s posts, but now i have less and less time to do that, so i just create the posts every day. 
During the day, while thinking random things, i envision of layouts, concepts and maybe interesting posts. I got a special small calendar for that job, and write all my ideas in there. So slowly, i’m working on that list, bringing to life – or better into a graphic, anything that pops out of my mind. 
How about you? Do you schedule your posts? Write down your ideas? Where do you get your inspiration from? Can’t wait to be sharing this exciting project with you soon! 
peonies 1 & 2 

Last week, i got into a pretty interesting conversation about dreams and success, finding myself really passionate about my opinions on this topic.   The way i see it, there are quite a lot of ways of getting there. Either you’re “aggressive”, chasing opportunities, advertising yourself, either you’re shy, the first thing you need is… Read more »

Last week, i got into a pretty interesting conversation about dreams and success, finding myself really passionate about my opinions on this topic.  
The way i see it, there are quite a lot of ways of getting there. Either you’re “aggressive”, chasing opportunities, advertising yourself, either you’re shy, the first thing you need is passion and the love about what you do. As long as you have that, no obstacle is big enough, and there’s no way you won’t be noticed. Just how many times you’ve heard the phrase staying true to yourself? Well, there’s a good reason for that; it’s what makes you stand from the crowd. Being different from each other, and original, is what makes us special. 
In little words, eyes on the goal and do everything with passion. This year, has been BIG for me. Not being really the aggressive type in my work, i always focus on what i do best. Designing, creating from my office, and yet, slowly i’m getting where i want without actually chasing it. 
Finding what you’re passionate about of course should be your first step. I’m still in the search of it to be quite honest with you. I think it’s something most creative have to deal with – loving to do so many things, when you have to at least master one. My long term goal, is to do something big. Something i would be proud of myself in my whole life. Something that would make me whole. Either that is publishing my book, or become an art director in movie industry, fashion industry. I have no idea yet. I’m just going with the flow right now, doing what i like and letting life show me the way.