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Return to smellies.ca.

SMELLIES COPY & PRINT SHOP PRESENTS
APR
19
PRINTING IS OUR PASSION.
WELCOME TO TEN MINUTES OF GOOD NEWS AND FUN STUFF FROM YOUR FAVORITE PRINTER!
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Message
A Message from Andrew Smellie
The Way I See It
 

Think about the last time you asked someone how they’re doing, and they replied, “I’m surviving.”

While it’s easy to get caught in the day-to-day motions, it’s essential to consider all the blessings and positive things in our lives. Just think how your attitude would change if you said, “I’m THRIVING!”

What does it mean to thrive?

thrive: (v) to grow or develop well or vigorously; prosper; flourish; to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.

It’s time to ask yourself, are you thriving or surviving? If you’re only surviving, what can you do differently to thrive?

Here’s the way I see it: Kevin Ngo said it best: “If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life that you want, you’re going to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don’t want.”

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Idea
Idea of the Week
Timeboxing: An Outline for More Efficient Design
THROW YOUR HAT IN THE RING WITH TIMEBOXING!

Timeboxing has nothing to do with throwing on a pair of heavy gloves and getting into the ring with an opponent - you're thinking of regular boxing. In the world of design, timeboxing is a hugely efficient way to do better work faster by clearing out the cobwebs in your head and "getting out of your own way," so to speak. It's about unlocking the true potential of your design process and allowing you to design faster and more efficiently in less time.

What Is Timeboxing?

At its core, timeboxing is the idea that you should use short, structured bursts of productivity to achieve your design and idea generation goals. You break your process down into a series of manageable steps and then you assign each of those steps a particular time value.

Say you think it will take you 120 minutes to reach your design goal for this afternoon. Break it down into six core 20-minute chunks and decide what you can realistically accomplish in each of those periods of time. The first 20 minutes might be devoted to brainstorming your "bigger picture" ideas before you move onto the next 20 which involve evaluating everything that you've done and developing a rough wireframe for continuing.

Diagram of Timeboxing

Why Is Timeboxing Such a Good Idea?

One of the major stumbling blocks for many designers has to do with unfocused idea generation. Your imagination is a powerful thing - you can live inside your own head all day long, coming up with more and more alternatives to accomplish the same goal. This is probably a large part of the reason why you became a designer in the first place. Without any type of structure, that's exactly where you're likely to stay. Timeboxing doesn't just help you get started - it also helps to make sure that you keep moving forward, putting that momentum to work for you until you reach your goal or solve your problem.

Hands, Diagram, and Color Samples

Speaking of problems, another thing that timeboxing is great for is making the impossible seem possible in an instant. One big design challenge may seem overwhelming at the start, but if you break it up into a series of much smaller, easier to manage challenges, now you're cooking with gas as they say.

How Timeboxing Benefits You

One of the biggest benefits of timeboxing is that it allows you to further your own skills as a designer. The same great ideas that were always in your head are still there, you're just now able to get at them faster and more efficiently. This, in turn, allows you to do better work in a much speedier way, allowing clients to get the results that they need and exceeding their expectations at the same time.

See more great ideas like this!
Click here to visit the Smellies Copy & Print Shop - Ideas Collection.
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MARKETING
Marketing Tip
Increase Social Media Engagement
IS YOUR AUDIENCE PAYING ATTENTION TO YOUR SOCIAL CONTENT?

The more social media followers you have, the harder it is to increase your engagement rate. Social media engagement means that your audience is paying attention to and is interacting with your content. It can be measured by the likes, shares and retweets, comments, and use of branded hashtags.

Here are a few ways to increase social media engagement:

  • Prioritize your efforts on social media platforms that your audience interacts with the most, rather than spreading your efforts across multiple platforms.

  • Post content your audience can relate to and will want to engage with, such as funny jokes, new product announcements, upcoming sales, or a poll to gather opinions.

  • Become a resource to your audience by offering expert advice, industry tips and tricks, blogs, how-to trainings, and invite key influencers to share your content.

  • Respond to customer posts and make them feel like they are valued. You may also consider having your social team include their name and title in responses to add a personalized touch.

  • Consider contests and giveaways, which boost awareness and engagement. It can legitimize your products when followers see them promoted by someone other than you.

  • Make your posts visually appealing by including an image, GIF, or short video.

  • Include a clear call to action (CTA) – such as register now, call today, learn more, get a quote, start your free trial, etc.

  • Follow your competition to see what type of messaging and content their audience responds to.

Our creative team has endless print marketing ideas that drive traffic to your website, increase awareness, and boost sales. Check out our website or give us a call today.

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Uncommon Product
Neighbourhood Postcards
GROW NEW CUSTOMERS IN A LOCAL COMMUNITY

Neighbourhood Mall postcards are an easy and affordable way to promote your business and grow new customers in a local community.

With Neighbourhood Mail printing, there is no need for mailing lists. Canada Post provides a mapping tool to choose the neighbourhoods where your customers live (by street, postal code, or city) and target customers by specific demographics such as age, household size, and income. In addition,  Neighbourhood Mail postage is much cheaper than standard or First-Class postage.

If you’re interested in creating an Neighbourhood Mail postcard campaign, we can handle everything from the postcard design, printing, postage, and delivery to the post office. Our design and print experts will work with you to create the perfect postcard for your budget and creative goals. Give us a call to learn more or request a custom quote today!

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TECH
Tech Tip
Multiple Ways to Mute
BACKGROUND NOISES WASTE TIME

In online meetings, background noises waste time and distract everyone involved. Did you know there are multiple ways to mute yourself on Zoom? Here's how:

  • The most obvious way is using the Zoom toolbar. Once you're in the Zoom call, click or tap the mute button in the bottom left corner. The mute button should change to a crossed-out microphone icon indicating that your microphone has been turned off.

  • Another option is using Zoom keyboard shortcuts. For Windows 10, press Alt + A. On a Mac, press Shift + Command + A.

  • You can also automatically mute yourself before joining the Zoom meeting. Open Zoom and click the Settings cog icon (located at the top-right of the Zoom window). Click Audio (Mac or PC) or Meetings (phone or tablet). On a computer, check "Mute my microphone when joining a meeting." On a phone or tablet, toggle the "Always mute my microphone" option.

  • While in the audio settings, check the box next to "Press and hold SPACE key to temporarily unmute yourself." While this selection is checked, you can also use the handy "push to talk" feature by temporarily unmuting yourself while pressing and holding the keyboard's spacebar.

If you're looking for helpful tips for your next printing project, our team of experts would love to help. Stop by or give us a call anytime.

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Fun@Work

Spotlight Recipe

We "pity the fool" who doesn't love these Sloppy Joes, and so does Mr. T.

Did You Know?

Considering all the available information about William Shakespeare’s life, did you know that the spelling of his name has varied greatly over time?

Printing Quiz

When a printer talks about the importance of PMS, they really mean is:

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