Christmas

  • The 2017 Last Minute Gift Guide For Freelancers

    gift guide for freelancers gift guides for freelancers

    Left buying Christmas presents a little late? Want to impress the freelancer in your life? If you’re too late to buy from the standard gift guide for freelancers I shared earlier this month, I have a collection of last minute gifts for you to treat your favourite freelancer to.

    The Last Minute Gift Guide For Freelancers

    • Amazon Vouchers – for books aplenty and gadgets. A Kindle Unlimited Subscription is worth a look too.
    • Coffee shop vouchers – Know a freelancer who works from Starbucks a lot? A refillable mug or coffee shop vouchers are always a good bet. Starbucks, Costa and Pret
    • Co-Working Day Pass – Have a look through a local co-working venue who offer memberships. Check out the Freelance Lifestyle Co-Working map for one near you.
    • Stationery vouchers – Paperchase are always a good bet.
    • Audible Subscription – Perfect for freelancers on the go
    • Blinkist Subscription – Another bookish treat, Blinkist takes popular non-fiction books and breaks them down into short text and audio summaries, so you can harvest all the highlights.
    • Graze Box Subscription – A Graze box subscription is the perfect way to brighten up their weeks, with delicious healthy snacks dropping through the letterbox.
    • Flower Subscription – Help the freelancer in your life keep their desk looking Instagram-ready, with a subscription to Bloom & Wild. The best bit is, the flowers are packed so they can drop through a letterbox.
    • Magazines are such a treat when you work from home. iSubscribe is great, and I’d especially recommend Breathe, or In The Moment for a mindful read.
    • A coaching session with me! If you know a freelancer who could do with some support with business planning, mindset or structure, drop me an email on hello@emmacossey.com and we’ll sort out a package.

    Know of any other last-minute gifts for freelancers? Share them in the comments below!

  • The 2017 Gift Guide For Freelancers

    Do you have a freelancer in your life that you want to treat this Christmas? Or stuck for ideas on what to ask for? This is the guide for you – The 2017 Gift Guide For Freelancers!

    Stationery

    • Awesome Marketing Planner – I used the 2017 one, and have pre-ordered my 2018 one. Packed full of features, from social media planning to wall planner.
    • Never Read The Comments notebook – Well, we’re all guilty of diving into Facebook comment threads aren’t we?
    • Bossing It Journal – Is it possible to have too many journals? Because I really want this one.
    • Moo voucher Business cards are essential as a freelancer, and Moo makes it a lot more fun to do them. A voucher would be perfect!

    Technology

    • Quite a few people in my Facebook group want a new laptop for Christmas. If you’re after a budget option and you mainly work online (and mainly use cloud-based apps), I’d highly recommend a Chromebook. I have a Dell Chromebook, and use it far more than my Macbook – especially as it’s light, extremely fast (as everything is on Google Drive) and lasts for most of the day. Plus you can usually get one for less than £300. Alternatively if you need something for more powerful tasks like video editing etc, the Macbook Pro is for you.
    • Looking for a standing desk? Try the Yo Yo! 
    • iPhone stand and light. I recently bought this stand for live streaming, and really rate it.
    • If podcasting is your goal for 2018, the Blue Yeti microphone is touted as one of the best value and quality
    • Alexa. God I love Alexa. She helps me set timers for the oven when I’m juggling a toddler. She tells me the news headlines. She tells me what the weather will be like today. She plays my music.

     

    Stocking Fillers

    • Slippers – OK, these don’t really fall into the category of stocking fillers as they’re £79, but they’re perfect for home workers who occasionally need to nip outside. Mahabis are slippers with a solid sole you can pop on for when you’re outside.
    • Heated blanket. When you work from home, anything heated is a bonus. This heated blanket will not only keep you cosy, but it has a very Hygge vibe about it.
    • A Gin making kit (no explanation needed)

    What do you think of this gift guide for freelancers? What’s on your Christmas wishlist?

  • The 2016 Gift Guide For Freelancers

    Do you have a freelancer in your life that you want to treat this Christmas? Or stuck for ideas on what to ask for? This is the guide for you – The 2016 Gift Guide For Freelancers!

    Digital Gifts (perfect for last minute)

     

    From top left, clockwise.

    • A Buffer subscription will save a freelancer time, allowing you to schedule content to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram.
    • Appsumo credits (affiliate) are perfect for freelancers who regularly use new and popular online tools and resources. Appsumo offers a new deal every few days, and offers huge discounts. I’ve had everything from lifetime access to You Need A Budget, to access to big bundles of WordPress themes, usually between $19-49. Most of them are tax-deductible too…
    • Creative Market credits are a must have for any creative freelancer. It’s a marketplace of beautiful digital products, from fonts and themes to photoshop overlays and illustrations. I’ve got my eye on this LadyBoss font package (affiliate). If you’re on their mailing list, they’ll also give you access to 6 free products every Monday.
    • Canva continues to be one of my favourite tools of 2016, perfect for creating quick and easy graphic designs for social networks, blogs, newsletters and even printed products. The paid, business version makes it even easier to create one design and then quickly adapt it to different platforms, as well as add in your own templates and brand colours and font.
    • Also, for bookworms who are short on time, an Audible monthly subscription would be great for audiobooks, and Blinkist serves up keynotes from popular non-fiction books which you can listen to or read on your mobile device.

    Books and stationery

     

    • A Happier 2017 Page-A-Day Calendar is perfect for adding a positive touch to a desk. It’s filled with tips on how to make each day happier, from Gretchen Rubin (regular readers will know how much I love her books The Happiness Project and Better Than Before).
    • Get Rich Lucky Bitch. I’m pretty sure this was on my wishlist last year, but it’s still one of the most interesting, life-changing books I’ve read. If you have any money worries (especially as a female freelancer), or any blocks around finances, this is a must-read.
    • The Miracle Morning is ideal for anyone that needs to shake things up, or wants to implement a new routine. They’ve even got a special edition for entrepreneurs.
    • The Life Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F*ck is both hilarious and fantastic for giving you perspective. It’s so easy to get stuck in your head and overwhelmed when you’re working alone, and this really helps you work out what you do need to care about. Just don’t listen to the audio version if you’re in the car with the kids. There are a LOT of f*cks.
    • Planners are huge news still this year, and Paperchase have pulled it out of the bag this year. This Raindrops multi list book is lovely if you tend to jump around between different tasks, and this Blogger’s Journal has made it onto my wishlist.

    Technology

     

    • Blow the budget and their mind – the new Macbook Pro is BEAUTIFUL. Go have a perve at it here.
    • If your budget is slightly smaller and you’re on the lookout for a smaller laptop, the ASUS Chromebook Flip offers the benefits of both a touch screen tablet and a Chromebook. As my beloved Dell Chromebook broke recently, I’m hoping to invest in this.
    • Yup, it’s that Instagram cliche – a lightbox. But it’s a must-have for any social media maven (£16.99)
    • Interested in podcasting? The Blue Yeti microphone is touted as one of the best value and quality for podcasting.

    Stocking Fillers

     

    • I need this bookkeeping notebook. It’s from Etsy seller Alfamarma and it’s £5.
    • This Boss Lady pin is ideal for a stocking filler or Secret Santa. It’s from an Etsy seller called Fairycakes who is currently taking up a big chunk of my Etsy favourites with her designs.
    • If you’re into pins, you might also want to check out Pinclub, who send out a pin every month for £5.
    • Brussels Sprouts. Well, chocolate orange truffles in disguise, in a personalised named box. *Note: I’m biased as this is from my parents’ company, but these are delicious.

    What do you think of this gift guide for freelancers? What’s on your Christmas wishlist?

  • Gift ideas for freelancers and home workers: part 3

    Continuing the series of Christmas gift ideas for freelancers and home workers, this week includes a stylish laptop bag, a giant beverage and a handy bit of stationery.

    Over £50

    It’s something of a cliche, but the Cambridge Satchel Company satchels are still one of the most in-demand bags of 2012 – and they’re the perfect size for holding an iPad or laptop. At £145, they’re not cheap, but they’re fantastic quality – and you can get them embossed too.

    £10-£50

    A giant coffee cup. Who wouldn’t want a coffee the side of their head? Plus, at £29.99 it’s good value for money. I’ve seen designer coffee cups of a standard size at that price.

    Under £10

    On a budget? The Knock Knock To Do list notepad is only £5.95, and comes with 60 pages of To Do lists. I love the little box at the bottom for when you’ve done everything (I doubt I’ll EVER tick this box though, does anyone?)

    Freelancers! Home workers! What are you hoping for this Christmas?

  • Freelance Poll: Will you be taking a break this Christmas?

    With Christmas just around the corner, many freelancers are planning to wind down work in a few weeks to enjoy some well-deserved time off. Obviously not everyone celebrates Christmas, however the majority of companies ‘power down’ around this period too, so for many freelancers this is a great opportunity for a break from work – to celebrate or just to relax.

    How many of you do take a proper break from work though? In the past, I’ve been known to panic work up until Christmas Eve in order to get a few days off. Which is why I set the challenge earlier this month to get prepared for taking a freelance holiday in order to avoid that panic.

    Let me know your plans in the poll below:

    [poll id=”16″]

  • Gift ideas for freelancers and home workers: part 2

    Continuing the series of Christmas gift ideas for freelancers and home workers, this week includes two gifts perfect for a home office and one to make networking a more professional affair.

    Over £50

    Roberts RD60 Revival DAB/FM RDS Digital Radio

    I have a beautiful Orla Kiely DAB radio, and the background noise of the radio stops me going stir crazy. This Roberts Revival Digital radio is wonderfully retro, plus it has up to 120 hours battery time for when you’re freelancing on the go.

    The Roberts Revival DAB Digital Radio is £159 from Amazon.

    £10-£50

    Breville VKJ142 Hot Cup

    If the freelancer or home worker in your life is a caffeine addict, this Breville Hot Cup could come in handy. It dispenses five cups of hot water without refilling. Perfect for when they’re working on a project and don’t want to keep nipping to the kitchen.

    The Breville Hot Cup is £39 from Amazon.

    Under £10

    Moo leather business card holder

    Most freelancers and home workers need to do networking at some point. Rather than fish business cards out of a pocket or wallet, these luxurious leather business card holder from Moo are perfect for carrying them around, and are just £9.09.

    I’m a big fan of Moo for printing business cards too – and they do gift cards if you want to help a freelancer just starting out.

    Freelancers! Home workers! What are you hoping for this Christmas?

  • Gift ideas for freelancers and home workers

    With Christmas just a few weeks away, I thought it might be nice to put together a Christmas gift guide for the freelancers or home workers in your life. Every Friday until Christmas, I’ll give you three products that would be perfect, in three different pay brackets – Over £50, £10-£50 and under £10.

    I’d love to hear what you’re hoping for this Christmas too, so leave a comment to tell me what you’re hoping for in your Christmas stocking.

    Over £50

    The Fitbit is a clever little gadget that takes the humble pedometer to another level. It’s a “personal trainer, dietician, lifestyle coach and motivational guru”, which should be helpful when freelance life or working from home can make us a little less active. Use it when you’re exercising or just moving around on a daily basis, then upload the data. You’ll get a ton of advice, analysis and data, and it’ll even set goals for your diet and exercise going forward.

    The Fitbit, is £79.99 from Firebox.

    £10-£50

    As a home worker, I often find myself getting into a project for hours, then suffering from tension headaches and aching shoulders. This cute little massager set from Beurer has a head, face and body massager, so you can give each area a touch of pampering. Although I don’t generally buy in to the ‘pink for girls’ gubbins, I do like the mix of silver and pink/purple in this set.

    The Beurer Mini Massager Set, is £35.65 from Amazon.

    Under £10

    I was contacted on Twitter about this diary, which has pages for work and pages for home life, which makes it easier for a busy freelancer to plan their home or social life, and their business life. Clever, huh?

    The Busy Life Diary 2013, is £9.99 from Ktwo Products

    Go on then, let me know what you’re hoping for in your Christmas stocking!

  • Weekly Freelance Challenge: Planning time off for Christmas

    Christmas is just around the corner. Frankly, I’ve been counting down the days since August, this is an acceptable level of Christmas craziness, yes? Our thoughts are turning to the ton of gift-buying, turkey-cooking, chocolate-consuming in the weeks ahead. If you’re freelance, chances are you’re also thinking about winding down your workload so you can have a little time off over Christmas.

    Here’s how this usually works out for me:

    • 1st December: Hurrah, just a few weeks to Christmas! All this work will totally be done by then. Think I’ll take a gift shopping break. And make some mince pies.
    • 8th December: Ah, extra workload from clients wanting to get things done before the new year.
    • 15th December: Writes To Do list of everything to do in the next ten days. Begins to panic.
    • 24th December: AAAAAAH ALL THE WORK TO DO IN AND STILL DOING IT! At this stage, I’m a grumpy, snappy mess. Not exactly feeling the festive cheer.

    This won’t be happening this year. This year, I have a plan. It’s foolproof*. It includes doing the following:

    • Ask clients for their expected workload at the end of November, to plan ahead and work out how much time I’ll need. Be firm that additional work can only be requested up until the 8th December.
    • Email all clients to let them know which days I won’t be working over the holiday period.
    • Try to get ahead in that first week, by clearing my diary and focussing on getting ahead as much as possible.
    • Accepting that this won’t be the time to start new projects. January is that time.
    • Plan each day. Now is the time to get super-organised and plan out each day to make sure you’re as efficient as possible.

    Is this your first Christmas as a freelancer? Or are you a seasoned pro? How are you going to plan ahead for the Christmas working period?

    *There will still be panicking. There will always be panicking. Just less of it.