Inspiration: Sticky Pad - Dots June 23, 2016 08:00
In our "Where do you find inspiration?" post a few weeks back we shared briefly about how we develop products, from inspiration to final design.
The very first step is making a list (in our lives, it is the first step to everything, not just product development). Our love of lists easily turned into wanting to develop a notepad. You don't always have your planner or phone handy to scribble things down on/in. Sometimes you just want an old fashion pencil and pad.
But there are so many notepads in the world, how could we possibly make something that is different and original?
So we brainstormed. Our initial thoughts:
- We want it small enough for a sheet to fit inside the UPstudio planner but large enough to really have space to write decent size lists (those standard size post-its kill us, our line items on a list are longer than 2 words).
- We at UPstudio are in LOVE with graph paper! It is the most versatile thing out there. If you make the lines fine/light enough they just serve as a guide and don't obstruct your list or sketch.
- We wanted it to not just be completely blank or completely graph paper, wanted a little flavor (FLAVA FLAV!)
- We wanted them to be affordable, so researching the most economical version of what we wanted was key.
We took our initial thoughts and started searching our everyday lives for inspiration. We finally found it in bullet journals and an Instagram post from Mr. Bobby Bones.
The layout of a bullet journal is very similar to graph paper. You essentially place a dot at each intersection of your graph and then remove the lines. What you are left with looks eerily like a game of Dots and Boxes, that game you played forever in 4th grade (if you're feeling a little nostalgic click here or here to play online). That way we'd still get the graph paper affect with a little switch up.
So then came the flavor...
Bobby Bones is a radio personality. In Raleigh you can hear him and his friends on 93.9 (a country station). They are based out of Nashville. If you want to give the show a listen they are on iHeartRADIO. We came across this tweet via Bobby's Instagram and the last part stuck with us. Cutting yourself slack when it comes to not completing your long to do lists is key, "there is always tomorrow."
Voilà.... Sticky Pad - Dots
We were really on the fence regarding if we wanted sticky or not sticky pads. There are pros to both. We printed our sample pads for ourselves to try, they were obviously not sticky. But if while trying them we thought, "I wish this was sticky" then we'd know. After trying them we were still on the fence, so we polled you all via Instagram and our Newsletter and the sticky option won by a landslide. Sticky it is!
Through conversations with our printer we determined in order to get sticky notes at the quantity we felt comfortable ordering to be in our price range (because they cost more than double non-sticky) we had to meet certain criteria. Everything revolved around size, bleeds, and printing color. 4x6 was a standard size that fit our criteria, we didn't have full bleeds, and since our design was only black, everything worked out perfectly!
We have loved them so far. No regrets on going sticky. We both use them everyday and would highly recommend snagging a few for yourself!
What is Bullet Journaling? April 14, 2016 10:27
First off, for all of our Charlotte fans: this Saturday, UPstudio will be participating in the Pink Social Girl Tribe Pop-up. It will be held at the Sugar Creek Brewery in Charlotte, NC. Click here for more details.
So.. Bullet Journaling..
We first heard of bullet journaling at the Pink Social Girl Tribe Pop-Up last December. We had a customer tell us about how her roommate had just stumbled upon it and was going to try it. The customer bought one of our planners thinking that since we have a significant amount of graph paper, her roommate could utilize our planner for the task. Let's be honest, we didn't know what she was talking about, and we weren't sure how our planner would stand up to the challenge. Needless to say, the customer went back to her car, watched some videos on bullet journaling to confirm and 15 minutes later came back to our booth and asked us if she could return the planner. We accepted her return and made a mental note to look into this bullet journaling thing.
We then turned to Google. Apparently bullet journaling is a "movement", and there are tons of resources out there to help you understand how to use it to your advantage.
For some, bullet journaling is just using a notebook with pages that have bullets or dots and creating your own designs and layouts for list making, tracking, or as a planner, by connecting dots in a creative manner.
For other it is a more rigorous system. The best resources I found explaining the bullet journal system are the Bullet Journal website and a blog post by Tiny Ray of Sunshine.
First off, I would definitely recommend watching the video on the Bullet Journal website. It is the best way to visualize the system and to understand the basics.
To over simplify, the bullet journal system is a notebook (typically with bullets or dots) containing a collection of ideas (whether it be sketches, lists, diary, planner, etc.) that is organized with an index. Start a new page with a new idea, give it a title/topic and add it to the index at the front of your notebook (page numbers used for reference).
(Interesting fact: The system was created by Ryder Carroll, a Designer based in New York. In his words, the Bullet Journal is meant “to help you track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.”)
Lets break up this post with some photos of examples:
We won't get into the nuts and bolts of bullet journaling (because lets be honest, that would be a crazy long blog post and you probably wouldn't read it), you can read the two resources we listed above for all the nitty gritty.
But lets talk about how you can utilize some of our products if you decide to dip your foot into the bullet journal pool.
1. Our new Arrow Journals with dot internal pages are 100% ready for bullet journaling. They have 80 numbered pages ready to catch all of your indexing and ideas.
2. Our favorite aspect of the bullet journal system is how you can utilize it when making lists or what they call "rapid logging". Our Sticky Pad - Dots and the UPstudio Planner (in addition to our new journal) are perfect for this system.
Rapid logging relies on a short description paired with bullets and signifiers. Every bulleted item is entered into your list with a short objective description. The type of bullet will help you organize entries into three categories: Tasks, Events, and Notes. Signifiers are additional symbols that serve to give bullets further context.
This is the basic breakdown of bullets and signifiers, but you are strongly encouraged to add your own as needed and make a legend for yourself.
An example list: Note that you start with the simple dot for all tasks and it morphs into one of the other three states as you complete or migrate items.
One of the key components is migration. When creating a new list consider all items on your previous list(s) that were not completed (or simply still just noted with a "•"). Cross out items you no longer want to tackle and transform your dot into a ">" for those you migrate to a new list. If you're like us, you over-commit yourself with your to-do lists and end up migrating a lot of items.
We just brushed the surface on bullet journaling and we are by no means experts. Again, we highly recommend checking out the Bullet Journal website and this blog post by Tiny Ray of Sunshine for more in-depth information. We're learning right along with you!
New Products - 2016 Spring Release! April 7, 2016 08:00
While you were out on Spring Break we have been hard at work behind the scenes to release new products, and are thrilled to share them with you today. Get ready, we've got some really exciting stuff! The shop listings are filled with a lot of information, but we'll give you the highlights of new products below. Everything you see on the website will be available at upcoming shows and pop up markets, including the Pink Social Girl Tribe Spring Pop Up in Charlotte on April 16 (we hope to see you there!)
Drumroll please...Planners and Calendars
I know what you're thinking: old news, right? We'll release 2017 editions later this year, but while we still have some 2016 styles in stock, our prices have dropped AGAIN! Planners are now $15 and calendars are $5!Vintage Products
This is not a surprise as we've been advertising them on social media and had a previous blog post about them, but we want to stress that we're getting new items into the shop frequently, so make sure to check back on the website for what is available! We'll post on social media too, so follow us on Instagram (@upstudionc) and/or Facebook if you want updates. We are absolutely swooning over this adorable umbrella.
Hopefully you saw the poll that we launched and voted for your preference of sticky or non sticky for notepads. Sticky was the official winner, so these beauties can now easily stay wherever you want them - on the refrigerator, in your planner, taken to the grocery store, on your bathroom mirror, etc. The dot pattern can be used as a grid for list making, bullet journal style listing, or an impromptu game of dots (anyone else remember doing this on long car rides?) Side note: check out this life changing sticky pad tutorial from Elite Daily on how to remove a sheet without the sticky side curling up. So helpful!
Chick Flick Catchphrase Pencil Set
We loooove this new set of pencils because these lines from movies really speak to us. One, all these movies are classics that we've seen countless times, but even out of context, you know exactly what they're referencing. We wrote down every quotable quote we could think of and picked our top favorites. Girly themed movies won this time, and we think it's perfectly appropriate for our #girlboss business. (We'd love to hear your favorite and if these resonate with you!) #illhavewhatsheshaving
The line of Everyday Cards has also been expanded to include 4 new designs. Highlights of these new cards include small images on the opposite side of the card, as well as some more occasion-specific cards instead of generic designs. Each one is still all-purpose and BONUS - now you can purchase cards individually! (Side note: did you know that April is National Letter Writing Month? Snag a few of these and send out some overdue notes to friends or family!)
Last but not least are journals. Heavy linen paper covers in the Arrows design protect your choice of either blank pages or dot filled pages to jot down lists, sketches, bullet journal lists, meeting notes, or whatever your heart desires. All internal pages are top quality for whatever use you choose. The best part is that these are perfect bound and lay flat!
We hope you are as excited about these new products as we are! Let us know your feedback - what are you most excited about? What Everyday Card is your top pick? Do you prefer dots or blank pages in your journal? What's your favorite quote from a classic chick flick? What product do you hope to see next? (Don't worry - we're already working on new ideas to come out soon!)