Are You Up For It? How a Personal Challenge Can Improve Your MagMaking Skills

Jenn de la Vega / January 29, 2015

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Creative challenges can jumpstart your brain and make you think about magazine curation in a new light. If you put in the work, you can showcase what you’ve accomplished in a beautiful magazine to share. We’ll walk you though and give you a few ideas to get started.

Set a goal

Determine what you would like to document. Is it a personal improvement or a collection for fun?

Here are some examples we’ve seen:

  • 365 Days of Happiness: Posting a photo or tweet of what makes you happy each day can be a good way to improve your mood all year, no matter what happens.
  • Instagram’s Weekend Hashtag Project is a themed hashtag announced every Friday and the best submissions are featured on Monday’s blog.
  • The Daily Face: Annamarie Tendler is a makeup artist who documented her daily applications, which turned into an advice blog and now a book.

Make sure there’s enough content to curate with a search on Google or within Flipboard. Say you wanted to create a magazine called “365 Days of Corgis,” you’d need to know if there was a reliable amount of dog articles out there.

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If there isn’t enough content in the world or if your goal is very specific, create it! Luckily, if you hook your Instagram or Tumblr up to Flipboard, you can easily flip in posts to show everyone your progress or point of view.

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Other ideas to try:

  • Track your #OOTD or “Outfit of the Day.”
  • Keep up with a new year’s resolution like exercising or eating better.
  • Teach yourself to practice a new skill, like drawing.
  • Hone a craft or a short-term project.
  • Countdown to an event like a wedding or anniversary.

Don’t worry! Whether you meet this goal or not, sometimes it’s just fun to participate and see if you can pull it all off.

Determine when to post and for how long

The key difference between personal social media challenges and hashtag games is duration. A popular hashtag on Twitter is #FF, which stands for “Follow Friday,” where you list Twitter accounts you recommend for other people to follow.  It is recurring every Friday but a personal challenge would set a range of time to follow people.

Here are few examples on Flipboard of recurring or personal challenges:

Today’s Bird by Dan Pancamo: A birding enthusiast’s favorite shots with detailed notes.

Student Blogging Challenge March 2013 by Sue Waters: In this virtual classroom, students are challenged twice a year with writing tasks to practice their blogging and commenting skills.

Type of the month by flipwithme: Design blogger Marco Ellinger writes a monthly blog feature about the best new typefaces he’s found. He then flips the blog post into this magazine.

September Photo a Day by Jenn Manigao: Aspiring photographer Jenn Manigao combined two hashtag challenges in one magazine: #7vignettes and #FMSphotoaday, which are prompts from blogs.

If not an annual thing, try once a week, once a month or even a single weekend and build up to it, like a marathon.  After a few challenges under your belt, it’ll be like second nature.

Start and keep it up

Think like an editor! Sometimes you’ll feel like there’s so much stuff to choose from. However, posting it all at once may tire you out and you won’t have enough for your next post.

There are many other types of challenges: social media like Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr are fantastic for tracking progress, but Flipboard can pull it all together for you in a beautiful package. Hook up your accounts and start flipping:

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You don’t have to do this alone, either. Tackling a challenge with a friend can motivate you and also hold you accountable. If it’s a popular challenge like Instagram’s Weekend Hashtag Project, you could see how other people address a prompt. It can be inspiring. If you find yourself forgetting, set a calendar reminder or recurring alarm clock to kick yourself into gear.

It’s ok to forget or to be busy. Don’t beat yourself up so much that you don’t want to continue! We’ve seen some folks post twice in a day to make it up. Keep it fun and remember why you’re doing this challenge in the first place. No pain, no gain!

Review and reflect

After you’ve completed your challenge, it’s important to review how you did and reflect upon it.

Ask yourself:

  • What did you learn about yourself or the world?
  • Was the goal too hard or too easy?
  • Did you have trouble remembering to make a post?
  • Would you do this again?
  • What changes would you make or what advice would you give to someone else about it?

In the end, your completed magazine is a shiny trophy that you can share. Not only can you gain a new audience who’s seeking similar topics, but you might discover a passionate community you’ve never met before.

If you have a blog, Tumblr or Medium account, consider sharing your newfound knowledge with others who might want to take on a challenge.

How will you challenge yourself on Flipboard? Tell us about it by tweeting @Flipboard; we’ll cheer you on!

~jdlv is reading “Everyday Bento