5 apps to simplify the content creation on Instagram

Instagram is an amazing place for creative entrepreneurs to stand out and show their work. But being able to produce and post content on regular basis can be overwhelming. Here are 5 apps with some tips and tricks I have developed over the time to simplify the process of telling your brands visual story on Instagram.

Canva
If you are not a graphic designer and not in good terms with Photoshop, this app helps you to design your IG posts and stories. It has thousands of customizable templates, brand board to save your fonts and logo and it is for free. Well, with certain limitations but my experience is that creating content only for yourself, it will do its job. There is also a mobile app for Canva but I didn`t get used to using it. Perhaps it is just me, I like to see the designs on a bigger screen.

canva.png

Grid maker
Do you want to have one of those fancy designed feed but don`t know how? Here is the trick. Design your feed on canva with the resolution of 3240 x 4320, upload it to the Grid Maker app, and voila! You have your beautiful feed without being professional graphic designer.

Read more about designing a beautiful coherent Instagram feed in this blog:  https://blog.preppr.com

Read more about designing a beautiful coherent Instagram feed in this blog: https://blog.preppr.com

Later
Upload your files, write all the feed texts, set the time and start waiting the content to be published. For 30 posts in month it`s free. Again, my experience is that 30 is enough. It has also an option to have a look at the feed preview. That will help you to better design the feed by seeing the bigger picture


Later helps you to see the “bigger picture” and saves you from the overwhelm of sharing content. You can automate it and concentrate on communicating to your fans instead of posting.

Later helps you to see the “bigger picture” and saves you from the overwhelm of sharing content. You can automate it and concentrate on communicating to your fans instead of posting.

Dropbox
Instagram is going more and more video related platform. Uploading files from your computer can be a pain in the a**. Which is why there is Dropbox. Download Dropbox (again, for free) both for your computer and mobile. When you have your video file in your computer, just drag it to the Dropbox and then open Dropbox app in your mobile. There you can download the file or share directly from Dropbox to Instagram feed. Simple as that.

Dropbox helps you to transport videos from computer to your mobile.

Dropbox helps you to transport videos from computer to your mobile.

Tube2Gram
Do you create videos on YouTube? Then use Tube2Gram for making a Instagram friendly file just by dropping the link and hitting download. 60 minutes of Instagram video files are for free.

canva.png

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5 lessons I learned after losing my dream career

Few years ago I had a choice to make. To continue with the career path I started at the very beginning of my professional life in the twenties or to change the direction and start on a totally new page.

I picked the second option. Looking back to this time I feel a deep gratitude to myself and the life in general that gave me this valuable opportunity to start making things differently. Luckily I was not alone and could use a lot of support from my partner and some very good friends. I write about how to find your soul purpose when you don`t know who you want to become here. Are you also thinking about the change but are hesitating to make your first move towards your dream life? Or maybe you already have made some difficult life changing steps and need some encouragement to continue? Then read this article about 5 lessons changing the career had taught me.

1 Sometimes you need to take a few steps back in order to move on.
I am not talking about cutting back with Starbucks Lattes. I am talking about some major life changes. Like giving up a car, living in a prestigious area, eating out, shopping clothes for pleasure not for practical reasons. It all hurts. If you are in your thirties you probably have reached a certain life standard and you have gotten used to the little but expensive pleasures of urban life. Make a plan, think through not only where are you willing to save, but where are you NOT going to cut back. And then stick to it. Gary Vee goes with this suggestion so far that he recommends move to the basement of your parents while you are working yourself up. For me it was not an option because I wanted to provide my daughter a certain life standard and a proper home. But mostly I agree with Gary and his message has a strong point in it.



2 Find your tribe.
As uncomfortable as it is, you are going to need to explain your new choices to your family and friends. If they understand - congratulations, you have found your tribe. If they do not respect your choices, it is time to work on your relationships or move on. Mel Robbins has a theory what I love about three friend types. She says that there are friends for life, friends for a season and friends for a reason. Do not feel bad if you need to walk away by the friendships that do not serve you or them anymore. Take it as a sign to move on. There might be people you meet only once a year and you know they are your friends for life and there are friends for the reason. These are people you meet when you meet having the same experience, as instance your colleagues or fitness friends. Be grateful for the people you have or have had in your life because they all have helped you to become who you are.


3 Find your mentor
You can`t achieve new results with the old methods. It is very difficult to understand what are the patterns that are not serving you anymore. In this situation is a professional mentor who is trained to work with people like you very useful. You might not be able to hire a personal mentor yet. There are several possibilities for you and you need to be open and curious about different coaching opportunities. I had luck to find a free career coach paid by my health insurance. Having her by my side has helped me to make the difficult decisions and changes that have helped me to move towards big goals and live a better more creative and fulfilling life. Find out if there is a mentoring program in your area which is funded by the government or your health insurance. Or maybe you can find a volunteer mentor from your friend circle? There are also people who are offering their service for free or almost free because they are in their studies and they need some practice.

4 Learn new stuff and improve yourself
You might not be able to go to the fancy but expensive self improvement retreats or conferences. You might not have the energy and time to read good self-help and educational books to improve yourself. Good news is that the way how social marketing has changed in the recent decade gives you an opportunity to attend the open speakings even if you can not afford them. There are many wonderful professionals publishing educational videos online. Even prestigious expensive university professors are sharing their lectures for free. Many of them have listed their recommended literature. That would give you an opportunity to find your educational superstars and work through their teachings and make it useful to you. For me it is very motivating to know that one day I can afford to buy a tickets to their conference and thank them personally. I listed my favorite motivational speakers and coaches here.

5 Get away from the toxic people.
Relationships can be tough, I know. I am not saying that life is a never ending cocktail party and all people must be your cheerleaders. But there are people who do not want you to be happy and successful. Learn about narcissistic personality traits here. I am not recommending to get rid of all the people who are not always agreeing with you, if I had done that I would not be in a relationship, believe me. Here is what I recommend, you can make this simple experiment. If someone makes you feel bad, then reflect it to them in a neutral and positive way without judging them. You can tell them how their behavior and words affect you and ask if they were aware of the consequences of their behaviors. An empathetic, caring person do not want to make you feel bad about yourself. Be very careful with the people who will start to blame you on being too sensitive or irrational. When someone tells you that you are hurting them you would at least try to analyse yourself and make the corrections in your attitude if necessary, aren`t you? Expect that from others too.



Anna-Liisa is a former journalist and a marketing specialist. In this blog she is sharing her thoughts and lessons on her way to open a woodworking studio for women in Berlin. You can help her achieving the dream of opening a creative space for women you can share this blog article or any other article in this blog. Subscribe to her newsletter to be the first who will get notified about the opening party of the woodworking studio.

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Anna-Liisa is wants to open a woodworking studio for women in Berlin. To make this happen, she is crafting little useful wooden gifts to sell. Mostly jewelry, kitchen utensils and plant stands..png

What to do when you are 30 and don`t know who you want to become?

Three years ago I was standing at the turning point of my career.

I had a successful corporate career at the biggest publishing house in the Baltic States. I finally had the opportunity to speak to thousands of women by being an editor in chief of a weekly women magazine. Yet, I was so deeply unsatisfied and sad. Being an editor in chief would be my dream job. I had believed it since I started my career in journalism in my early twenties.  Little. Did. I. Know.

There I was, 31, achieved what I had dreamed all my life and I knew – this is not what I want. I had no clue what would be my next steps. Fortunately there are people who deal with such confusing moments and I had had luck in my life meeting with some of them. There is a very cool mind exercise what I had overlooked because I did not need it. Or at least I thought I didn`t need it.

Sometimes you need to lose everything to understand your real needs and desires.

Sometimes you need to lose everything to understand your real needs and desires.

Until it became crucial to me so that I had no other option than give it a try.

The exercise is here.

Find a relaxing position, breath deeply in. Then deeply out. Ask yourself:

question to your soul.png


„I would dance,“ my subconscious mind started enthusiastically. I like music and I feel myself good when I can move. But could I imagine myself dancing for living?

„Not really,“ my brain answered. „How would I be able to pay the bills if I danced all day long?“ it continued.

But I saved the hint – my body needs movement and freedom.

Do you know what does your body need?

I love dancing salsa, it is so passionate and free and gives me an opportunity to connect with interesting people. Can you spot me on the picture?

I love dancing salsa, it is so passionate and free and gives me an opportunity to connect with interesting people. Can you spot me on the picture?


„I would travel,“ subconscious mind tried once again.
„Sure, we all would travel and sunbath on the beach, taking selfies of our brown toes, but eventually you will get sunburned and bored. Try better,“ my brain was getting frustrated.
I took the hint of the connecting what my spirit so desperately craved for and what I always feel when going abroad.

The need of belonging and connecting is one of the basic needs of human being. Do you feel the sense of community and together being in your life?

I was an exchange student in the Netherlands where I could connect with some amazing people from all over the world.

I was an exchange student in the Netherlands where I could connect with some amazing people from all over the world.


„I would improve my art skills,“ subconscious mind tried once again.

„Finally something at least a little bit useful,“ my conscious mind was almost satisfied with this idea.

„But do you have any idea how expensive is self improvement? You are in your thirties, you have a daughter to raise. You need to think practically,“ my conscious mind kicked in with its brutal honesty.

Still it gave ma a valuable hint that the hunger for growth and creativity might be the key for my next steps in finding my dream job.

What do you crave for? What would you do if money were not an issue?


Colors and painting is a great source of happiness.

Colors and painting is a great source of happiness.

Three years later, when I came across a YouTube coach Sunny Lenarduzzi and decided to make her free mind exercise I finally got it. This inner dialogue helped me to find the core values of my soul.  These are creativity, freedom, connecting and growth. In her video Sunny explains how to live more fulfilling and happier life by aligning with your soul values.

Do you know what are your 4 core value or boxes of fulfillment as Sunny names them. Find it out now by watching this video.

What are your souls core values? What steps are you taking towards your soul cravings. I would love to hear.


Now I know what I want to do. I am going to open a creative space for women in Berlin where I will teach them some basic woodworking. That will help them to live more creative life and eventually save some money too.


women who will change your life

 
Anna-Liisa is a woodworker and a former journalist who has worked for various women magazines, including for Cosmopolitan Estonia. She loves to write about things that matter to her.

Anna-Liisa is a woodworker and a former journalist who has worked for various women magazines, including for Cosmopolitan Estonia. She loves to write about things that matter to her.

 

As being a huge fan of online inspirational speakers and coaches I decided to write about the speakers who have had the biggest impact on me. Nowadays you can shift your mindset without leaving the home or having money to attend an expensive seminar. You just need a laptop, Internet and a curious mind. These women share their wisdom and knowledge for free which can be quite useful when you find yourself at the very beginning of the femtrepreneurship and your budget is rather limited.  Every single one of them is not only an expert in her field, but also an extraordinary public speaker and a storyteller what makes self development and work with yourself so much easier (and sometimes more entertaining too). I hope that one day I will be able to thank them personally by attending their live events. Until then - here are the best videos of the best speakers.

Marisa Peer - teaches you that a change is easy
Marisa Peer is rather an unconventional therapist who has helped hundreds of celebrities, rock stars and athletes by teaching them that there are only three things you need to know about your mind. Your mind does what it thinks you want it to do and what it truly believes is in your best interest. She teaches how to lie to your mind, cheat fear, and steal back the phenomenal confidence you were born with. She is doing it with her lovely British accent and the sense of humor.

Vivian McGrath - helps you to heal after the narcissistic abuse

Sometimes there are bad things happening in your life. You may or may not have power to affect these negative situations but you there is a good news: you can take your power back. When you understand why it sometimes hurts and what benefit we can gain from this pain, it really helps you to make steps towards healing from pain. Vivian McGarth is a former actress and is now working as a therapist, she is also a survivor of domestic violence. She is speaking with warmth and empathy, she is easy to follow and she really does know the subject from inside to out.

Dr Ramani Durvasuli - helps you to claim your life back by getting know your enemies

Dr Durvasuli has said that she would be doing so much better when she adapted some “qualities” of narcissists. It seems that no matter where you watch, there is a narcissist or at least a person with some narcissistic traits waiting for you. They are people who have no empathy which allows them to treat others rather mean. It is good to understand how narcissism works and why it is good to keep yourself away from these people. Or when you can`t avoid being in contact with them, then learn how to protect yourself.


Lisa Nichols - building financial abundance

When you have sorted out your emotional issues and traumas, it is time to shine and live the best version of your life! I love her story how she learned how to make money and started to save, month by month to become financially free. Her story is so motivating and shows that even from very bad situations it is possible to come out and start making your dreams come true.


Sorelle Amore - a living proof that creative people can too live financially abundant life who teaches how to make it as a creative entrepreneur in the online world

Another kick ass lady who teaches women start making money. She is a creative YouTube influencer who started as a luxury travel you-tuber and now she is teaching women how to take advanced selfies of themselves, that will help them to gain more self-confidence and live out their creativity. She is also making videos about self development and motivation.



Sunny Lenarduzzi - helps you to build an income stream with YouTube by giving you actionable advice in her free YouTube videos and work sheets.

She is a former TV journalist and now she is running a multi-million marketing business. She is teaching how to build a business by using YouTube as a marketing funnel. I love her channel because she gives very concrete tips to try out but also because of her motivation and inspiration videos. She is teaching what she is doing and you can see how she is growing while you are making your first steps in business.

Esther Perel - teaches you how to have a happier and more fulfilling relationship

Esther Perel is a relationship therapist who believes that the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives. She helped me to understand what I want to have from my relationship and how to achieve it. She has said that relationship and marriage has changed rapidly so that women and men have struggles to adapt with these changes. Her TedEx talks are eye-opening and give you the motivation to make your relationship better.



Dr. Sue Varma - how to live your best life by beating depression which is highly curable medical condition

Every fifth woman in the world suffers from a common mental disorder. Depression is highly curable, yet 50% of all cases are not treated. I don`t know anyone who don`t know anybody who has or has had depressive episode in her life. Which is why it is so important to understand this disease, to be able to recognize it by yourself or by your loved ones. Dr. Sue Varma is a psychiatrist in New York City offering consultation and treatment for depression, anxiety, and couples’ treatment.   

Julia Kristina - helps people who do not have access to therapy by making educational videos about mental health

YouTube counseling is not substitute for real life face to face therapy, but sometimes you may not have possibility to visit a therapist. I think it is amazing that more and more professionals are doing this work and making very helpful and professional videos. This will help thousands of people with depression or anxiety disorder to seek help until they have possibility to go to therapy.


Mel Robbins - teaches and inspires how to stop procastinating

She is a motivational rock star and needs no introduction. Whenever I feel I am low, I watch her video about the 5-second rule and get my energy back. She Is such a powerful and vibrant woman. What I also love about her, that she had shared the story of her failure, how she went bankruptcy and lost her motivation. It is so good to see that there is a way out when you take your life back into your own hands.  

Please let me know, if I have missed someone who is worth mentioning in this article. I would love to hear who are your female influencers.


 I am opening a creative space for women in Berlin where I could teach them some basic woodworking. That will help them to gain self-confidence and eventually save some money too. In this blog I share my thoughts and ideas I gain during my endeavor. If you want to read more articles like this then subscribe to my newsletter.




My story

 
Anna-Liisa is a woodworker and a former journalist who has worked for various women magazines, including for Cosmopolitan Estonia. She loves to write about things that matter to her.  On this picture she is 5. Bad haircut but still confident.

Anna-Liisa is a woodworker and a former journalist who has worked for various women magazines, including for Cosmopolitan Estonia. She loves to write about things that matter to her. On this picture she is 5. Bad haircut but still confident.

 
 

When I was a little girl then my grandfather had a workshop at his garage. He made me everything I wanted to have - a doll house, little furniture, toys. You name it, I had it. But one day I remember him taking his hand quickly from the saw, putting it above his head and saying some very ugly words. I immediately understood what had happened to him. This is why I always knew - woodworking is very dangerous.

Then later, being a single mother, I was struggling with having things done at home. I had always so much to do and it was a real blessing when somebody lent me her husband to have some "male work" done. I felt myself helpless and dependent on others. And still it didn`t occur to me, that I could, at least try, to learn some woodworking skills myself. Because, you know, woodworking is very dangerous.

When I started dating a carpenter I thought my struggles have come to an end. True, he helped me a lot by all those "male jobs". He even made me some furniture. I thought I never have to worry about home improvement again.

Little. Did. I. Know.

Don`t get me wrong. We are still together and very much in love, and he is still a carpenter. But he is not always excited about all my woodworking ideas - he has his own projects to do. So he kindly suggested to me that I get over of my childhood trauma about my injured grandpa and start bonding with drill, miter saw and other amazing tools.

That`s when I discovered that machinery has developed a lot since the days of my grandfather. Saws have all those fancy security locks, so I couldn`t cut off my fingers, even if I tried.

I started to wonder, why I used to believe that woodworking is for men only. Men are also doing “female” housework, they know how to handle a washing machine and how to turn on the vacuum cleaner. So why do I expect my boyfriend to do all the jobs that require a drill? This is just not fair.

This is why I believe women should learn some woodworking too.