mo'adore: cruelty-free beauty ∙ vegan food ∙ glasgow/dundee lifestyle: March 2017

25 March 2017

How I stay organised at my 'real' job



Hands up if you love a desk tour blog post!

*Both my hands up, waving them about like I just don't care*

I'm a nosey parker and love seeing how people choose to organise their lives. As beautiful as these desk tours are however, most of them just don't apply to me or provide me with any actionable inspiration. I don't work from home and when I do blog, it's usually from my bed. The only desk I see on a regular basis is the one at my 9-5 job, which I know doesn't sound super glamorous but I'm lucky enough to work somewhere where I don't have to hide the quirky and can bring in super cute stationery and no one would blink twice or treat me like a little girl.

I've been at my current work for over a year and now have a system of organisation that works for me, and keeps me on top of the fast-passed social media and copywriting environment. I'm not going to share a picture of my actual office but I've included links below and the photo above is stationery I actually own.

Desk Planner
For my birthday last year, my work mates bought me this pretty desk planner from Paperchase, and I honestly don't know how I managed to organise myself before it came into my life. It has a 7-day diary where I can input any routine meetings, tasks and deadlines - such as weekly reports that are due on certain days etc. Plus, the to-do list is obviously very handy. I'll admit I don't use the urgent tab or the built-in sticky notes very much though. 

List Book
Prior to my desk planner, my list book was my holy grail of organisation. While it's been replaced as my core organisational stationery, I still find use for it. The A5 rip-off sheets are what I use when I need to staple a piece of paper onto a document (such as feedback on work I've proof-read for someone). I still use the included sticky to-do list label to keep a list of smaller tasks that need done as part of a wider campaign that I then attach to that campaign's file.  

Multiple notebooks
I know some people (and by some, I mean everyone in the office I can see from my desk) prefers to have one notebook for all meetings, projects and random scribbles, but I work better with separate pads for separate tasks. I'm not saying I have a dedicated notebook for every campaign (because that would be excessive) but I have a meeting notepad, a content writing notepad, social media campaigns notepad, and a cruise notebook. I find it easier to find my notes from the morning meeting if I don't have to flick through 10 pages of more up-to-date scribbles.

Magazine File
Since my job is primarily a copywriting job, managers usually pass me magazines and brochures that are incredible sources of inspiration. The industry magazines are eventually moved to an official filling cabinet but I like to keep a copy of all our recent holiday brochures (and those of our suppliers) beside me for quick reference. And this woodland creature themed magazine file is the cutest, no?

Titled Sticky Notes
These cute owl sticky notes (that I don't think you can buy now) were one of the first things I bought when I started my current job. I still have them and they live propped up against my aforementioned magazine file. I don't use them that often as - truth be told - they don't stick very well, but they do come in handy for quick reminders that need that need to be kept within my eye-line. 

E-mail Rules/Re-directs
Like most offices we use Microsoft 360 and, like most offices, I'm included in many group e-mail addresses where only 10% of the e-mails actually apply to me. To keep on top of this I use the Rule feature (which I only discovered a month ago and it's helped me organise myself so much). The general jist is: you set up folders for each group e-mail address and have all emails go straight into them, keeping my inbox free for e-mails that are sent directly to me. Then remembering to periodically check the other folders every hour to catch the 10% of emails that are relevant. 

It's the best thing I've ever done for my inbox. Here's how to set them up yourself

Bulldog clips
When I'm preparing for a meeting I use bulldog clips to keep all the documents together. I also put a slip of paper from my list book in the front to remind myself of things I need to bring up.

List of phone numbers
Every now and then a Word document is sent round with a list of phone numbers and we're asked to print it off for our own reference. I'm a complete rebel and make my own with phone number that I know I need close at hand. I keep it sellotaped to the edge of my desk top monitor. 

Other handy stationery I keep nearby: 
Stapler, paper clips, poly pockets, and highlighters!

What's your must-have stationery, either at work or for your home office?

21 March 2017

IndyRef2 can wait: a guide to the Scottish council elections

Source: BBC News


Apparently Scotland just loves elections and five in three years wasn't just enough fun for everyone. Why not have a sixth just for the bants. No, I'm not speaking about IndyRef2, but that glamorous event known as the council elections. Yes, I know elections when we decide who empties our bins are not nearly as fun as a will-they-won't-they referendum, but all elections are important (I say this, despite the only election I've ever skipped since turning 18 was a council by-election *cough*). 

I wouldn't even blame anyone if they forgot since the yet-to-be-confirmed IndyRef2 has been taking over our newsfeeds. Jesting aside, let's focus on the councils elections as they are 1) confirmed and 2) happening in just over a month.What I'm about to write here is not a soapbox about who to vote for (but, erm, I'm voting Green in case you were wondering) but a guide to voting and why it's important. Like did you know you can vote in two places if you're a student? And that you number the boxes instead of tick them? Ever been to a husting? And are you keeping Scottish Independence out of this? 

1. The council elections give small parties a chance
This is my personal number one reason why I believe council elections are extremely important. With a fairer voting system in place it's much easier for lesser known parties to break through and get a seat, thus giving them a platform to gain more seats in other elections. Given that I am a member of the Scottish Green Party you can see why this is important to me because we've got a better chance of achieving seats and proving to people that we're a serious party worth voting for. 

It does however mean that smaller parties who are a bit sucky have a better chance of slipping through. So if there are smaller parties you want to block, you've got to get out and vote for someone else. 

2. You number the candidates on the ballot
Spoilt ballots turn up every year after council elections because people forget that you number the boxes rather than tick them. And until six months ago I thought you had to number them all! Instead you just number the candidates you like in order of preference (and a blank box effectively means you're not in favour of them at all). 

3. You can vote in two places if you're a student
If your term time address and home address are in different councils you can vote twice. However, I've known multiple people (myself included - back in the 2012 council elections!) who have had to reapply for dual-voting multiple times before they were registered properly. You might have to shout down the phone and refuse to hang up until they process your request properly, but it is your legal right. 

4. If you're undecided, hustings are a great place to gather information
Election hustings are usually attended by political geeks who probably already know they are voting for, or are friends with the candidates. Which is a shame, because hustings are the one of the best ways to get to know the candidates and what they stand for. Have a wee Google and find out when and where your local ones are happening.  

5. Council elections have nothing to do with Scottish independence!
A few of the Scottish Green Party candidates have returned from canvassing saying that people have been asking them about independence. Scottish independence is a hot potato right now and I realise why people are curious to hear the Greens take on it (we support it) but let's not let IndyRef2 cloud people's judgements for an election that will literally have very little impact on whether we vote Yes or No. When you're quizzing candidates or casting your vote, make sure you keep in mind what councils actually can control: such as council housing, bus routes, pot holes, recycling, leisure facilities, road works and - ready for it? - bins. 



P.S. Vote Green

17 March 2017

Why Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of the best TV shows ever




For the past week my Facebook Newsfeed has been in a Buffy 20 year anniversary frenzy. Clearly the algorithms know me well as I'm a massive fan of the show and still rate it as one of the best ever made (and judging by the flood of articles, I'm not the only one). 

So much, that it might surprise you to know that I didn't grow up with Buffy. It first aired in March 1997 meaning I was the humble age of six when it graced our screens. I actually did watch one or two episodes but the scene where Darla creeps up at the window behind Joyce Summer made me hide behind a pillow and I didn't watch an episode again until my teenage years. Heck, I didn't even binge watch the entire show until 2013! Clearly, this show ages well. 

Given that I wasn't born early enough to make the threshold for having grown up with Buffy, I know several adults who haven't watched a single episode. I think this is wrong, and reckon anyone who hasn't watched it needs to do so pronto. Here are my top reasons. (with spoilers, duh)

1. The badass female characters

We all know Buffy herself breaks the mould - feminine but feisty and cutesy but ass-kicking. But the whole show is full of strong female characters, and that strength isn't necessarily supernatural. For girls like me who grew up shy and smart, Willow was our proof that we could grow up to be a talented super-powerful witch who successfully seduces Seth Green. 

2. The metaphors and potential for geek analysis

The local high school being directly on top of the Hellmouth = high school is hell for a lot of us

Angel loses his soul after sleeping with Buffy = guy is nice until he gets to sleep with you

Willow's addiction to magic = general addiction

Love between creatures and bigotry towards different creatures = just general real-life bigotry

3. It wasn't all supernatural

We had Xander who - on the surface of things - was an annoying teenage boy with self-esteem issues. But he represented something important: he was proof that nobody needs superpowers to save the world. Buffy stated herself that he clocked more field time than any of the Scoobies put together, fixed the windows (Dawn was right, they did need fixing) and he - literally - did save the world with words of love. 
Then we had Warren who serves as a painful reminder that humans can be just as evil as vampires and whathaveyou. And the heartbreaking death of Buffy's mother - a death that wasn't caused by a demon but a brain tumour, something we all know too well doesn't just take the lives of characters on a TV show. The same goes for Tara's death. 

4. David Boreanaz

*drool* (#TeamAngel)

5. Successfully transitioning away from the high school setting

There's a lot of awesome TV shows that become not-so-awesome once the characters were forced the graduate. I actually enjoyed Sabrina's college years but I feel like I stand in the minority on that one. During her tenure Buffy transitioned from high school student, to college student (and dropout) to fully-fledged guardian of her younger sister. How many television shows that pulled that one off?

6. The passive humour

I've never been a fan of slapstick humour (JackAss? Not interested.) or punch lines, but give me California cool passive jokes and I'm rolling around. Here's a wee compilation.




7. But the show proved that didn't even need its dialogue

One of the most celebrated episodes of the season - and one of my personal favourites - was The Gentlemen. In case you're unfamiliar, the evil guys steal everyone's voices leaving the show to prove that it had more to offer audiences than just funny quips

8. The questionable clothing choices

The clothes in Buffy were awful. And not just awful in a dated 90s kind of way. Just awful. But that's partially what made the show and has become a massive in-joke for the show.  

9. Willow and Tara

Willow and Tara were one of the earliest examples of a loving lesbian relationship on American TV and, to this day, remains one of the most positive representations. Joss Whedon wasn't allowed to explicitly show their love for each other on screen and he had to get clever prior to showing their first on-screen kiss. 
10. It's a show for the misfits

The fact that the first two seasons were a massive metaphor for high school being hell makes it pretty obvious this show wasn't aimed at the popular kids who ruled the school hallways. If you ever felt out of place, Buffy was your gal.