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Candy Cotton
All things design, social media, & art!
  • Writer's pictureSam Szentmik

Do you use Hootsuite for free? If so, you're going to want to know about this.

Starting on March 31, 2023, Hootsuite is officially eliminating their free plan. Basically, you have 2 options:

  • Upgrade before that date

  • Stop using Hootsuite

If you'd like to keep using the platform, here are their current monthly plans (priced based on an annual plan):

  • Professional: $99 / month

  • Team: $249 / month

  • Business: $739 / month

Here are some free alternatives that I've used that I really like!:

What do you think about this change?

For Black History Month 2023, I have been highlighting some Black-Owned business on my social media. I figured, why not highlight them on the blog as well??!

We cannot look back on American history without acknowledging the impact and influence that the Black Community has made.

Healthy Roots Dolls

Yelitsa Jean-Charles founded Healthy Roots Dolls.

Healthy Roots Dolls is a toy company that creates dolls and storybooks that empower young girls and represent the beauty of our diversity.

Here is the website!

The Black Arts District

Their mission is that the Black Arts District, through an anti-displacement framework, empowers Black creatives and continues the community-based revitalization efforts in West Baltimore through culture, arts, and entertainment. Their vision of the Black Arts District is to be a model of Black creative autonomy.

Here is the website!

Partake Foods

As a Black & Asian American woman, Denise is passionate about raising awareness of Black and female entrepreneurship and increasing opportunities for underrepresented people seeking careers in the food and beverage industry. In 2020, Denise founded Black Futures in Food & Beverage, an annual fellowship program that mentors HBCU students and helps them secure internships and jobs at the program’s end.

Here is the website!

  • Writer's pictureSam Szentmik

Working remotely has been a staple for people since the start of the pandemic. As someone who has been working remotely since 2015, I can tell you right now what the remote culture absolutely shifted from "pre-pandemic-work-from-home" to "post-pandemic-work-from-home".

It started as a way to work while managing a few chronic illnesses. It was the perfect solution and nobody noticed. Once the pandemic hit, everyone started working from home and suddenly it became this huge topic that everyone was talking about and everybody noticed. I was excited to share this experience with more people (including those that belittled my work experience because they didn't consider working from home a real thing). Presently, I still notice people struggling with the transition to work from home as they did in early 2020 and I COMPLETELY empathize. It's weird. It's different. It's chaotic. It's wonderful. I thought I'd share some things I do to maintain a healthy mindset and balance while working from home (maintain my "remote control" if you will).

Here are 3 ways I maintain my "remote control":

  1. Utilizing Online Project Managers | This will forever be the one thing that has kept my life at a balance. There are a few options to choose from: Monday, Asana, Teamwork, Basecamp. My absolute favorite that has changed me forever is Infinity. With this tool I am able to input tasks under various categories and filter them by day so that I can see exactly what I should be doing today. It's the perfect way to keep a visual on the official "end of day" and turn off the work brain as if you were physically leaving an office. Others project managers do this as well so definitely try a few free trials and see what you like! I've tried so many different ones and landed on Infinity.

  2. Keeping Different Google Chrome Profiles | This isn't something I did until a few years into my remote journey. I started working remotely in 2015 and had everything in one Chrome profile organized into various folders. It was a nightmare. To be honest, I didn't even know you could have different chrome profiles until my dear friend pointed it out in 2020. They saved me a lot of hassle down the line. Now I have a Chrome profile for personal use, for business use, and for freelance use. It's the perfect virtual way to keep different departments on your computer and also a great way to mentally switch gears when its time to work on something else!

  3. Changing My Desktop Icons To Reflect Different Projects | Here's a fun one. I've been working on a MacBook since I started my design career and learned very early on that you can make your icons look different and design them however you want! I know this can also be accomplished on Windows computers so everyone can join in on the fun! I assign a different icon to different clients, projects, and files to help me get a quick look at what folders belong to whom. Here is an example:

So I would give all folders related to personal matters the same icon of my face and give all video projects the same Eevee (or varying "eeveelutions"). This has been a great way to make the many folders that I need look less intimidating while also providing a useful structure!

I hope this helps someone out there who might be struggling to stay organized from home. Trust me, none of this came to me overnight and took years to put together (of course I'm still learning and implementing new things as well!). What are some of your favorite ways to maintain your "remote control"?

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