HOW TO INSTAGRAM: PLAN YOUR PHOTOS IN ADVANCE

Why it is so important to plan in advance?

  • Planning allows you to upload posts at the prime engagement time. More about that here.

  • Posting regularly? If so, read this. Recently, I’ve made it a goal of mine to post every day. Planning my feed allows me to foresee when I am running low on photos and gives me time to schedule photo worthy plans into my week. Also, when I am living a “photo worthy” moment, but one that might feel less special if I pull out my camera, I don’t feel so much pressure to capture the moment if I know I already have plenty of photos planned.

  • Variety is your friend, and planning allows you to avoid any repetition. Repitition could be anything from subject matter, to the main colors in a photo. 

  • Even if you are editing all of your photos in the same way, not all of your photos will be cohesive. Planning lets you weed out any outlying photos that aren’t blending well with your aesthetic. More on aesthetic here.

  • Edit your photos and write your description in advance so that everything is ready when you want to upload.

  • Utilize your feed to tell a story. Use your photos to strategically hook viewers on your narrative. This requires planning.


Convinced? Cool. Let’s talk feed planning software. 


For mobile

  • Planoly, UNUM, Mosaico -  All three of theses apps pretty much function in the same way. They all allow you to arrange your images on an interface that looks very similar to the Instagram layout. Note that Mosaico had an upfront cost and Plainly and UNUM only allow you to manage a certain number of photos in the app without paying for an ‘upgrade’.

  • Photos- All smartphones usually have a built in app called “Pictures” or “photos”, in which you are able to save and organise images. I discourage you from using a folder on your phone to organise your Instagram feed because this option will most likely not allow you to rearrange the order of your images. But, just having everything in the same place will still be better than no planning at all.



For Desktops

  • Photos - Both Windows and Mac come with built in software that allows you to view and organise photos. If you are only willing to do the bare minimum when it comes to planning out your feed, this is the best option. There are two disadvantages to this: 1) The software isn’t designed for users to be constantly rearranging your photo, so this option may feel unintuitive. And, 2) not actually being able to see all of your images in the three column Instagram format does make a world of a difference. 

  • Canva - If you aren’t very tech savvy, I suggest you use Canva. It is super intuitive, easy to use, and free. The only downside is that Canva can only be used online. 

  • GIMP - I personally don’t use GIMP, but I know it is the best free equivalent to Adobe photoshop. 

  • Adobe Software - I use Illustrator to plan and organise my Instagram photos but photoshop and Indesign will work just fine for feed planning as well.


If you are going to use a desktop option and you aren’t very tech inclined, have no fear. Yes, there will be a learning curve but just like all good habits, the hardest part is in just starting. To make things a lot easier for you, I made various Instagram feed templates that will work in all of the above programs. Now, all you have to do is adjust edit your images and then drag your images into place. And, the time that you put into learning  any of these programs will do your Instagram feed wonders. Trust me.


Instagram templates: US Letter jpg, png, pdf | Tablet jpg, png, pdf


CANVA https://www.canva.com

GIMP https://www.gimp.org

ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD http://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/start-with-free-creativecloud.html

PLAINLY https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/planoly-visually-plan-schedule/id1014568284?mt=8

UNUM https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/unum-design-perfection-for/id1057252115?mt=8

MOSAIC https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mosaico-plan-perfect-schedule/id1107855213?mt=8



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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE MAKING A TOTE BAG 

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I have always loved making a good tote bag. And to be honest, I’m a bit of an addict. Whenever I am experiencing an artistic block with any kind of project, sewing or otherwise, I always end up making a tote bag. And well… I’ve made a couple of tote bags recently….

Why you will love making tote bags! 

1 – Sewing is the perfect sweet spot between fluid motion and still focus. I don’t break a sweat while unrolling fabric and leaning over a table to draft a pattern, and neither do I end up sore from sitting still and staring at a screen all day.

2 – Making a tote is EASY. All you really need to know is how to set up your machine and sew a straight stitch. From there on it’s a piece of cake!

3 – Making a tote is QUICK. Pull up a movie, start making the bag and (depending on how detailed you are), you should be done by the time the credits are rolling.

4 – “Hey, where did you get that bag?” “I made it.” This is the most satisfying sh*t ever.

5 – They make a great gift. Everyone needs a tote bag! Literally, everyone. Or, skip the wrapping paper, and put the real gift inside that bomb tote bag you made!

Are you convinced? Good! Let’s get into all things tote bags….

About tote bags:

There are endless variations of the classic “tote bag”, but they all generally branch off of the same design. Draw pretty much any kind of shape with four sides or less, and then just slap some straps on it. Bam. A tote bag.

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How you interpret these designs into a physical bag is up to you. I like my tote bags to be able to hold quite a lot of sh*t, so I generally like making a big ol’ “Beach” tote. But feel free to get as creative with the design as you like. Just know that the easiest design to start with is the “classic” tote.

The straps:

When it comes to the straps keep the following in mind. Thin straps are generally more fashionable but often less comfortable. Thick straps are generally more functional, but are also often more associated with seat-belts and people who wear cargo shorts. So, whichever one is more your style, go for it. I try to find a happy medium which seems to be somewhere between 1 to 2.5 inches.

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Get creative with your tote!

Tote bags are a staple in anyone’s bag collection because they are the equivalent to a white t-shirt. Meaning, their design is so simple, they generally pair well with anything. But let’s say you want to get creative and make your tote bag more snazzy. Well, here are some ideas…

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Now that you have an idea as to what style of tote bag you are hoping to make, read this article I recently wrote on how to make a tote bag.

Much Love!

Ria



Ria Hardcastle