• Freelance Life Favourites: December

    freelance life favourites

    Happy New Year everyone!

    How are you all doing? Enjoying the first few days of 2018, or feeling slightly overwhelmed? I spent most of the Christmas holidays looking forward to getting stuck into some planning (I ADORE Christmas, but I love planning new projects and adventures even more). But when the first couple of days of January rolled around, I felt a bit overwhelmed and intimidated by all the people who had got all their ducks in a row, and were already launching their new courses and products.

    But when I posted on Instagram about this, I was reassured that I wasn’t the only one – and that first week of the year doesn’t dictate how the rest of the year goes. So if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed too, and that Imposter Syndrome is making an appearance, know that you’re not alone!

    (p.s I’ve returned to this old post on how to beat Imposter Syndrome, to remind me how to challenge that mean little voice.)

    Anyway. I thought I’d kick off my first post of 2018, with a reflection on some of my favourites from December.

    Freelance Life Favourites for December

    Favourite Apps: HMRC

    OK, I hesitate to call this a ‘favourite app’. But with it being self-assessment month, it’s worth mentioning that HMRC has a handy app for checking what tax you owe once you submit, and also has a tax calculator.

    Download it on iTunes

    Favourite Apps: Forest

    I’ve mentioned Forest before, but I know a lot of people are setting a goal/resolutions to spend less time on their phones/devices this year. Forest is an app where you ‘plant’ a virtual tree and set the timer for how long it will take to grow. While it’s growing, you shouldn’t use your phone – or the tree dies. If you have a tendency to automatically open your phone and enter into the Facebook-Email-Instagram cycle without even realising it, this is a great deterrent.

    Download it here.

    Favourite Podcast: Your Biz, Your Rules: Daire Paddy

    One of my business BFFs, Daire Paddy has finally launched her podcast, and it’s brilliant. Daire (pronounced Da-ra) interviews a variety of people about how they add their personality into their business. I’m biased because I was a guest last month, but they’re lovely chats. I especially loved Karina Lyburn’s interview.

    Listen to the podcast here.

    Favourite Product: Olympus Pen Camera

    I know I’m years behind everyone with an Instagram account, but 2017 was the year I finally got a proper compact camera. I adore my Olympus Pen Camera, and have been putting it to good use over the Christmas holidays. I can’t wait to use it more in 2018, to really improve my imagery.

    Favourite Event: The Freelancer’s Christmas Party

    Thanks to Emma Creese in the Facebook group, in mid-December a group of us freelancers in the South met up at a London Pizza Express for a festive lunch. It was so lovely to meet old and new freelancing friends, and chat about all things freelancing.

    A post shared by Emma Cossey (@thefreelancelifestyle) on What have been your freelancing favourites from December?

  • Freelance Life Favourites: October

    Goodbye Halloween, hello Christmas! Ok, not quite yet, but there’s a strong chance I’ll be doing some admin in front of Elf in the next couple of weeks.

    October was an interesting month on the work front, and I’ve had quite a few fun projects come up. After several months of things settling into a quiet routine, it’s been both exciting and a little bit unnerving to shake things up again. But I’m a big believer that personal growth comes from moving outside your comfort zone.

    Want to see what I’ve been loving from October?

    Freelance Life Favourites for October

    Favourite Apps: HypeType

    I’ve been using Instagram Stories a lot more recently, both for clients and my own accounts (I’m @TheFreelanceLifestyle), and HypeType has become a really useful part of that. Essentially, it’s an app to add animated titles over your images and add music, with lots of different styling options. You can also record straight in the app, using several different clips if you wish. I’ve really enjoyed using it as an introduction tile when sharing a series of behind the scenes shots on Instagram Stories.

    Favourite Podcast: Walking The Dog With Emily Dean

    This month’s new favourite podcast is Walking The Dog with Emily Dean, a series of celebrity interviews conducted while walking their dogs. It’s relaxed, funny and Emily is able to get the most interesting stories out of her walking companions.

    Favourite Product: GVOREE Led Selfie Ring Light Mirror

    While I love my little garden office, the lighting isn’t always the best, especially now the nights are getting darker. I ordered the GVOREE Led Selfie Ring Light Mirror, partly due to the lighting options, but also because it’s brilliant for having somewhere to put my phone during live streams and Instagram stories.

    Also, it’s brilliant for angling away my chins and lighting away my eye bags.

    Favourite Book: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

    2017 has been the year of decluttering for me in every sense, and so I’ve been listening to Essentialism with interest.  I particularly like the idea of testing out what happens if you don’t do time-heavy things for a while. Will people notice?

    What have been your freelancing favourites from October?

  • Freelance Life Favourites: September

    Hello October! We’re into the flow of Autumn, the scarves and slippers are out, and I’m lighting an excessive amount of candles. I’m a big ol’ Hygge cliche, and I’m absolutely fine with that, because working from home means I can really indulge. It’s not quite as easy to get cosy when you’re sitting in an office booth, is it?

    Before I dive into my favourite spooky month (because of COURSE I’ve got Hocus Pocus ready to watch this afternoon), I’ve shared a few of my Freelance Life Favourites for September below.

    Freelance Life Favourites for September

    Favourite Apps: Bring and No Waste

    September was the month I focused on improving my meal planning and shopping. I’ve been using two apps to reduce my waste and get more organised. The first app is Bring, a shopping list app that syncs with the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. I can quickly add items to my shopping list, and browse from previous lists so it’s quick and easy.

    The second app is No Waste. This app is used to add in everything from your fridge, freezer and cupboards. You can add expiry dates, so it makes it easier to see at a glance what needs eating, and it’s great for those days when you have no idea what to cook and need to see your cupboard contents in a glance. Finally, you can then meal plan in the app.

    Favourite Podcast: What She Said

    There are so many brilliant podcasts at the moment, but I’m particularly enjoying What She Said by Lucy at Wanderluce at the moment. Her interview style is really relaxed and chatty, leading to a podcast that often feels like you’re having coffee with friends. Lucy interviews lots of bloggers, tapping into their experiences and top tips. As a bonus, I often come away from episodes with a bundle of new things for my To Do list.

    Favourite Blog: Freelancer’s cookbook

    Can you tell there’s a foodie theme to September’s favourites? Next up is The Freelancer’s Cookbook, a blog filled with recipes aimed at busy freelancers. I love how quick and simple the recipes are (this gnocchi one was a particular favourite this month). If you’re looking for inspiration, give Rose’s blog a follow!

    (Psst: Rose from The Freelancer’s Cookbook also wrote a guest post for us recently: Five healthy eating tips to help you maintain your productivity

    Favourite Product: LED Side Lamp

    My friend Melissa launched her online store, Honeybee Home, this year, and so far I’ve loved everything she stocks. A couple of months ago I got this funky geometric mirror, and now she’s released the autumn range and this LED side lamp is top of my wishlist. Especially as it’s only £16.

    Favourite Book: A Mindfulness Guide For The Frazzled by Ruby Wax

    Hands up, this has been sitting in my Audible library for ages. It’s been recommended a lot to me, but….I wasn’t Ruby Wax’s biggest fan.

    But this book is good. Really good. I’ve dealt with anxiety and mild PND since having my little boy, both of which have thankfully improved a lot since going onto medication. But I’m aware that this isn’t a long-term solution, and I’m keen to explore how I can help myself when it comes to reducing the medication. Ruby’s book is honest, practical and full of tips. If you have anxiety or depression, I’d highly recommend this book.

    Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2yDZTzR

    Favourite Parenting buys: Autumn book and Play Prompts

    As I know a few of you are also freelancing parents, I thought I’d add a new category of brilliant buys for freelancers with kids. This month, that’s a book and something great for planning play. The book is one that’s perfect for this time of year – Autumn by Ailie Busby. It’s a beautiful book filled with autumn scenes and activities. Thanks to Ashleigh from That Ginger Mama for letting me know about it!

    The second buy is a set of Play Prompts cards. These are a set of cards with prompts for different activities to set up for children. They’ve been great for rainy afternoons. I’ve got my eye on the Play Prompts Advent Calendar too.

    What have been your freelancing favourites for September?

  • Freelance Life Favourites: August

    Hello, and welcome to a new series on the blog! This is going to be a regular column sharing some of my favourite products, experiences and people. A peek into my freelance life (with the highs and the lows!).

    August, with its mix of hot weather and lots of people on holiday (including potential clients), is never my favourite month. But on the flipside, I adore September and the potential start of autumn, and I’m so excited to move into this season. It’s that back to school feeling isn’t it?

    August was not without its perks though. Here are a few of my favourites from August (yup, I know it’s a bit late, I’m aiming to make future columns a little earlier in the month!)

    Favourite Work

    September doesn’t just mean a fresh start for me, but a brand new collection for one of my clients. I’ve been busy with the Winter launch for Chocolates for Chocoholics, which means I’ve got to hang out with my sister lots too and do lots of fun stuff on social media.

    You can have a peek on Instagram and Facebook at what we’ve been up to.

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    Favourite App

    I’m a big fan of Canva, but I’ve found Adobe Spark Post recently for quickly creating social media content. It’s been especially handy for editing images for Instagram Stories.

    Favourite Gadget

    My Apple Watch. I podcasted about this recently, but I’m still really enjoying my Apple Watch, especially for nudging me about getting up when I’ve been sat working for too long, and tracking how much time I’m spending on my phone (the Moment app is fab for that).

    Favourite Podcast/Blog

    Laura at Wholeheartedly Healthy shares my obsession with all things autumn, and I loved this post from her on How To Make The Most Of The September Fresh Start.

    Favourite Place

    I live in Bracknell, and have had some beautiful days out recently in the parks around us. I’m also really excited for the launch of the brand new shopping centre, The Lexicon, later this week. They’ve got a great independent coffee shop in the centre, as well as plenty of my favourite shops, so I’m looking forward to going there after doing the nursery drop and doing a little work (while accidentally falling into the shops).

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    Favourite Book

    I recently finished reading Leap Year. It’s from Helen Russell, who wrote The Year Of Living Danishly, and I love her writing style. Helen and her friends try out different approaches to change, and report back on their findings. If you enjoyed The Year Of Living Danishly, I’d highly recommend picking this up (especially on audiobook).

    What were your freelance life August favourites?