29 January 2017

my most favourite tools for instagram

I don't know about you, but I like to keep things simple. This is especially so in the realm of technology with its plethora of bells and whistles for all manner of purpose.

When looking for any tool I seek both simplicity of use and diversity of application. The jacks of all trades (or at least, many). And while there are lots of fancy gadgets out there I like to keep things as straightforward as possible as there is only one me, with only so much time to be giving to these things.

With that said, the following are the top go-tos I have incorporated into my personal Instagram game and that I would recommend having in your starter’s tool kit for the platform.

essential tools


:: Google Drive (desk + app) // for storing +/ organising content media for use at a future date. The bonus is that platforms like Later (see below) can access your Drive directly making planning + scheduling your Instagram really easy.

:: Bitly (desk + app) // a long time favourite of space-restricted Twitter users, this simple tool abbreviates those crazy long urls into something far more manageable. Bitly also allows these shortened links to be personalised for clarity’s sake and each bit-link is trackable so you can follow engagement behaviour.

Content Creation

:: PicMotion (app only) // at the close of last year I was looking for a way to share my top 9 images in a way that was still in keeping with my content aesthetic. PicMotion appeared as a super easy slideshow creator that allowed me to select the images I wanted to include along with a nice little transition effect, predefine the length of the slideshow to Instagram's parameters and then post. Overall it was a super nice way to create a little montage of the images I wanted to share without a lot of fuss.

:: Regrann (app only) // everyone loves to reshare content on Instagram and you can't do that on your grid without an additional tool for the job. Regrann lets you do just that with/without adding watermarks direct from within Instagram. Common courtesy is to include credit on any image/video that you reshare that is not of your own creation and Regrann automatically allows you to repost the original caption along with credit links. I currently use the Regrann app for all MiRANDA's content curation and resharing.

Scheduling + Grid Planning

:: Later (desk + app) // linked with Google Drive (above) to pull in content, this visual calendar enables the easy planning and scheduling of Instagram accounts under your command. This is a must for setting things up in advance when the creative juices are flowing with captions and hashtags, or just dragging + dropping for later (haha!) completion. Later was a total life-saver when I went on vacation last summer as it enabled me to plan out an entire week’s worth of pre-determined posts so I was free to fully enjoy my time away.


:: Squarelovin (desk only) // although I do have an Instagram Business account that does provide me with some audience analytics, what is really helpful in rounding out my understanding are Squarelovin's insights. From here I can watch the growth of my account, track likes and followers, review post performance and gain insights on how to plan my account for best engagement. It's all fun here!

:: Simply Measured (desk only) // in exchange for a follow on Twitter, Simply Measured provides a one-off analysis report that, like Squarelovin, measures engagement, content, trends, and more, my favourite of which is a list of the most active commenters on my account. Although the longevity of these reports are time-sensitive, you can export them and request further analysis.

*Early Bird Last Call*

My class, Instagram in 30, officially begins tomorrow! Take advantage of the sweet Early Bird special before it goes away at 9pm PST tonight!


// related //
Learn with Me: Instagram in 30

:: BEKA ::

Very much a labour of love, GINGER*URCHIN takes many, many hours each month to research, write, edit and manage. In order to continue doing so ad-free, if you find any joy and value in what I do please share what you find here with your communities using your social media poison of choice.

*no affiliate links in this post, promise!

22 January 2017

turn the page + invoke the year

origami paper boats

My usual end of year habit was slightly delayed this time around what with bringing Instagram in 30 to completion + release. But also whereas in previous years I have happily, uber-enthusiastically even, joined the throng of female online entrepreneurs in their processes of completion ceremonies + forward planning, this year the whole thing no longer fit.

Altogether it felt, quite frankly, draining, boring, overwhelming + not really actually productive.

Maybe, with a quiet roll of the eyes, you have felt the same?

"If the process of going after your goals doesn't light you up
- then you need a new process."
-- Danielle laPorte

Instead I decided to cut all the distraction + diversion + get to the guts of the whole thing; breaking it down into a simple 4 step process, thus:

1. Complete

Simply put, bring to a close any outstanding business that you can – be this in your work or at home. For me this meant bringing to final completion the huge undertaking of writing the body of contents for Instagram in 30.

It is also my habit at the end of a calendar year to do a purge + archive of all files, folders, documents + photos held on my laptop, tablet + Google Drive, backing them up + moving all to my separate cloud drive. I do the same purge + archive for my email, though the archive of this remains on the Google server.

I purge out all subscriptions (Unroll.me can be handy for this), bookmarks + apps that are no longer exciting or helpful to me. And I update all passwords - this year for which I used an online random password generating tool for simplicity's sake.

Lastly, I reset my physical workspace, cleaning out my day bag + setting everything back into its proper place. This year the latter part of this is somewhat incomplete still as I am soon to be moving my workspace location where upon a blitz of everything will be done.

2. Crystallise

The next step on to all this decluttering + cleansing process is with a clean slate you can now assess your true situation free from things of the past holding you back.

Take a look at the ecosystem of your business (in addition to this blog’site, for me this includes all my social media + retail outposts) + create what I call a snagging list of to-dos of where I want to expand + make changes to things. It's a perfect opportunity to note down all those little things that maybe have been bugging me for months prior to attend to + not!

This is also the point at which I take an honest look at any pending projects +/ commitments + decide whether they still hold value + meaning for me + therefore whether they are still worth pursuing in the coming months.

origami paper boats

3. Intend

With all the earthly business attended to, now we move into the fun part where we can go a little woo but still remain grounded.

Knowing where you want to expand + make changes you can set real intentions + goals around what it is you want to achieve, create +/ develop over the coming months, rather than be distracted with nebulous + elusive concepts.

:: What offers do you want to make this year?
:: What tools do you want to learn + really dig into?
:: Where do you want to see growth?
:: What skills for your business do you want to develop this year?
:: When in the calendar makes sense to check in with things?

Just don't go too crazy with this part, okay? It can be fun to try to pack everything in + cover all your bases, but you are human + while our monkey-mind brains believe we are super-human + can do it all, the reality is that more often than not only half of it will get done because life happens + things take longer than we think - hello first e-course!

So be kind, plan small but potent, + know that as you walk forward new things will unfold for you. It's all good, I promise.

4. Invoke

Lastly, + this is the bit that I feel often gets missed with other end of year planning parties, you want to start drawing in + building what it is that you want for the coming year.

This means on a practical level, excusing yourself from those pending commitments that no longer fit your path, setting up fresh files + systems, printing new calendars (I always diy blank month-to-view calendars), + following through whatever can be done most immediately with the least amount of fuss from your snagging list.

On a more poetic level, this can mean crafting a fresh sacred space, conducting a very personal + unique ceremony of opening + invitation, or refreshing + updating an old-school pinboard with inspirational images. Whatever it is, it should never distract from the actual earth-bound action of moving forward.

:: related :: A Terrarium of Oracles


"You don't have to have it all figured out to move forward."
-- @ThinkGrowProsper

I don’t believe planning is really meant to be such the big event that seems to be contagious. While it is all lovely + good to build up all that excitement, it actually ends up being a distraction + ultimately overwhelm from getting the work done.

Keep things simple: plan for a few months, the next quarter say, + keep moving forward...

Though this can just as easily be done in a regular notebook, as I tend to do, for reference you are welcome to download a copy of my summary checklist + worksheet for the four steps here:

link to google drive

:: BEKA ::

Very much a labour of love, GINGER*URCHIN takes many, many hours each month to research, write, edit and manage. In order to continue doing so ad-free, if you find any joy and value in what I do please share what you find here with your communities using your social media poison of choice.

*no affiliate links in this post, promise!

15 January 2017

learn with me: instagram in 30

class header

Eep! After more months than I imagined, I am very, very excited today to announce the launch of my very first online course, Instagram in 30!

It's no secret that I am seriously smitten with the platform + after immersing myself in it fully last year I wanted to find a way to gather up all that I have learnt + discovered in a cohesive format. Hence, the idea of Instagram in 30 was born.

Instagram in 30 is built upon the concept of a thirty day challenge during which a small, bite-sized piece of the puzzle is actioned upon daily. Over time these pieces build to 'get your Instagram game on'. These actionable steps are provided each weekday, with time at weekends to catch up + implement. The classroom is supported via Teachable, making it highly accessible worldwide + easy to navigate from whatever device you prefer.

Each week focuses on one of four key areas that make an Instagram presence + strategy work. My intention with Instagram in 30 is that rather than just building numbers for the sake of, you eliminate peer pressure 'shoulds' + shiny objects, get clear on your root why + connect with the people that will genuinely value + support your work in the world. This to me is authentic + sustainable success.

In addition to the actionable class content, further background resources + bonuses are provided along the way, all supported with weekly Q+A sessions in an exclusive Facebook group to share your questions, progress + successes.


Beginning with a live, in-person session that starts Monday, 30th January, once signed up participants get lifetime access to all materials. With the constantly changing nature of technology + social media, this also means that you will automagically be included in on any updates +/ amendments that I foresee creating in the future.

You can check out more on the course contents + materials on the class information + registration page where the full curriculum will become available as the course goes live.

Available at $99CAD, I am offering a special Early Bird of $77CAD until 9pm PST Sunday, 29th January.


Until then, let me know if you have any questions below + thank you for your support!

:: BEKA ::

To help me spread the word about this class, please share this post with your friends using an option below. It would mean the world to me, thank you!

08 January 2017

of wolf

gray wolfgray timber wolf // Michael Cummings



leadership of elders



family bonds


self trust

proper govenorship


self awareness


wild spirit

:: BEKA ::

Very much a labour of love, Ginger*Urchin takes many, many hours each month to research, write, edit and manage. In order to continue doing so ad-free, if you find any joy and value in what I do please share what you find here with your communities using your social media poison of choice.

01 January 2017

today is a good day to start

happy new yearicon c/o Made Somewhere // via The Noun Project

Mercurial ones, let us dance together another turn about the sun.

With deep gratitude and grace,

:: BEKA ::

Very much a labour of love, Ginger*Urchin takes many, many hours each month to research, write, edit and manage. In order to continue doing so ad-free if you find any joy and value in what I do please share what you find here with your communities using your social media poison of choice.