First month in Brighton

  It's been a month since I moved to Brighton from Birmingham. I know the city well, having gone to the University of Sussex back in the mid-90s. However, I've never had a 'proper' job here, so I was keen to jump into the creative / freelance world as soon as possible. Co-working space Joining the Skiff was a great decision. It's know for being one of the cooler and more social co-working spaces (and also one of the more expensive) but it's been well worth it. I pay £99 Read more [...]

Thank you to …

I know as Brits we don't celebrate Thanksgiving, but it seems as good an opportunity as any to send out some THANKS of my own. I've been running my own business for several years now (after a career change brought on by redundancy from my job in commercial radio) and I still have to pinch myself today when I think about all i have achieved.  Yes, I work hard, yes I've been savvy, but I could not have achieved what I have without the support and kindness of the people I've met along the way. Read more [...]

If you needed any more proof that I am a data visualisation and productivity nerd …

In order to keep track of the various projects, I use an Excel spreadsheet. This calculates project hours, rates etc. The spreadsheet breaks each day down into 30 minute blocks, into which I paste a coloured block and code - which helps calculate the running totals. As well as being useful - it also generated this bonus visualisation! I started this in Oct 2013 - So now, I present, my work diary from Oct 2013 - Dec 2014.   Read more [...]

UPDATE – courses, quickies and connections

I'm constantly pleased to see the number of organisations thinking about visual communication. Over the last 6 months I've been busy with a series of "Influential Analysis" training courses for Understanding Modern Government, where I have been (hopefully) inspiring people to rethink how they communicate information both internally and externally. Organisations attending the public courses, or booking in-house sessions, include various NHS trusts, Lincolnshire County Council and even Read more [...]

Information Designer for Hire: what to expect

 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details Whilst organisations may have had experience working with graphics or branding designers in the past, the process to develop an infographic is very different. Ask any graphics designer who's been asked to convert a 20 page report into an image, and chances are they'll tell you that designing an infographic requires a whole new set of skills. I think of myself as a designer-meets-journalist-meets-number Read more [...]
5 key elements of a freelance career

5 key elements of a freelance career

I was recently invited to speak to BA students at BCU about enterprise - and specifically, how I managed to forge a freelance career for myself. Having retrained (I used to be a commercial radio journalist) I think there are 5 key areas I focused on to make it PEOPLE People have to be the main focus of your freelancer career - you work alone so you have to generate all your work yourself. Social media is a brilliant tool for finding new contacts and maintaining those relationships. I keep Read more [...]
10 Ways I Stay Productive

10 Ways I Stay Productive

As a freelancer it's very easy to fall into bad habits - working from home, lots of different projects and being my own boss means long days of low productivity, and no clear division between work time and free time. Since I left my "proper" job in 2009 I've been trying a host of ways to get things done - these are the things I've learnt work for me. 1. Find Your Work Hours It's taken me a while but I've found I am super productive early in the morning - irrespective of how tired I am. I had Read more [...]
Moseley Exchange –  a new way (for me) to work

Moseley Exchange – a new way (for me) to work

  Since I started working for myself, I've been on a hunt for that *perfect* place to work. I tried the various coffee shops around Birmingham (read my findings here) but working in a coffee shop 5 days a week is not financially viable. (In order to stay in a coffee shop guilt-free all day you'd need to buy at least 3 drinks and some food  - totting up a daily spend of around £10.) Plus all that coffee isn't good for you. I experimented with a bunch of other locations and blogged Read more [...]
The Oldest Intern In Town

The Oldest Intern In Town

Recently I took the decision to become an intern. I spotted brand agency Orb were on the hunt for a creative copywriter intern, and thought it was too good an opportunity to miss. Now, I'm not your run-of-the-mill intern. I'm 37 years old, for starters. I've been working as a journalist since 2000 and now specialise in information design and social media/online content. So, why be an intern? - I hear you ask. Good question. Despite my experience in journalism, I have no formal experience Read more [...]