How to be productive with anxiety

Dealing with the day and anxiety can feel like a chore. I 100% get it. I am NOT a medical professional or therapist, so please don't take this as professional advice, but i do know what it's like to live with anxiety. 


Prep for your day the night before.

The last thing you want to do in the morning is scramble to plan your day, start your routine, and then jump into tackling your to do list.  

That's just too much work. Honestly.  

Make your to do list the night before. Doing this will also help because you'll know what tasks still need to be completed the next day if you didn't get a chance to finish or chose to skip out. Get any materials you'll need for your morning routine and to do list out and ready to go. This can also help motivation since it's literally in your face when you first wake up. 

When planning your day make sure you are adding only tasks that need to get done 100% and that you are accounting time incase you don't feel good or need an extra break.  

Start your mornings right.

It is SO important to start your morning right. I follow a morning routine so I'm not trying to figure out what needs to be done for the day. Right when i get up i stop my sleep tracking app, log my sleep, log my mood, check my notifications, and most of the time I'll do a start of the day guided meditation. I'll eat breakfast, maybe take a bath or shower, and grab a bottle of water or a protein shake. 

Following a morning routine can help keep your motivation up. I also get my oil diffuser going 

My essential oil blend for energy: 

3 drops sweet orange

2 drops lemon  

1 drop peppermint 

Please for the love of everything try to only get one drop of peppermint if your oils are strong! It will overpower the rest. Learned the hard way. 

Early risers

Quicker, important tasks first. The reason i say quick easy tasks is because you have so much time in the day to get the longer things done. If you're up early knock out as many fast but important tasks you can. If they're all pretty long choose the shortest one. 

Late risers  

Longer, important tasks first. Since you're waking up later in the day you don't have time for much. Choose whatever will take longest AND/OR is most important. Since you're getting up later you won't have as much time. So you'll want to use prioritizing strategies to decide what needs to be done 100%. 


Always do your most important tasks first. Chances are if you feel good in the morning and motivated, you should get stuff done immediately. You don't know if you'll feel the same way later on let alone in an hour.  

Look at your to do list.

Is there too much on your plate? 

Lots of times we don't know how much we will be able to accomplish until we wake up and see how we feel. There are days I'll have a whole schedule set up and maybe do 2 important tasks. This is totally okay! As long as you're making progress and doing something. Do NOT make your anxiety an excuse to do nothing at all. At least try your best to do something. It's healthier for the mind and body to get up and do something. Plus it serves as a nice anxiety distraction sometimes depending on what you're doing. If you start and you literally can't, that's okay. If you're feeling better later, then try again.

 Be patient with yourself 

Be patient with yourself! It's not entirely your fault if you decide you just can't get everything or anything done. Every day you improve and get better.  Progress is not linear.  It won't be all ups and no downs. Allow yourself to step back and focus on something different or a shorter task. Being patient yourself is key in boosting productivity as someone with anxiety. You won't get better over night.

 Focus on yourself first

You know how you feel and you should always come first. There's only so much you can do about work, school, etc. But no matter what is in the day YOU come first. Schedule time for self care. Take a shower. Take a warm bubble bath. Read a new book. Try a new hobby. Work on personal goals. 

Doing anything can seem like a chore. Trust me. It took me a whole extra week to get this blog post up. But it's up. Find something that motivates you, or wait until you feel up to it. 

If i can do it you can do it.  

How To Make A Puzzle Feed In Canva (Without Photoshop)

 *post may contain affiliate links 

Let's get right into it, shall we?

First off, What the hell is a puzzle feed? 

A puzzle feed is the latest trend in Instagram feed layouts. It's super tricky at first, but once you nail it you'll get amazing results. It's hard to put into words so here is my puzzle feed all layed out in Preview App. 


As you can see it's basically a series of images and patterns that fit like a puzzle. The feed won't look right if you take any of these posts away. 

Most of the techniques out there require photoshop. I know not everyone has photoshop, and I know not everyone is super tech savy. So at first i tried using like 3 different apps to create what was something close enough to a puzzle feed. I'll leave a picture below. 


While there is literally nothing wrong with this feed, it wasn't really what i had pictured when i thought of puzzle feeds. My other post about how to make a puzzle feed without photoshop literally became my most viewed post OF ALL TIME. So i figured I'd tell you all the updated process, and include some goodies along the way for those of you interested in taking all this a bit further into your own feeds. 

This is a tutorial on how to make your puzzle feed in an app/website called Canva.  

The apps you'll need:

  1. Canva

  2. Grid Maker (or photosplit on iphone)

  3. (Optional) Preview App

Making your feed in Canva

 (Some instructions like button presses are for the mobile app! If you're doing it on the computer the button locations will be a little different)

First, you'll want to start by making a new design with custom dimensions. You'll be making a 3240 X 3240 px canvas. This will be big enough for 9 squares of your Instagram feed. 

Next, it's all about the creativity. For me personally i went with a more simple look. Colored background, simple geometric shapes, and focusing on negative space. Not every square needs a picture. Remember that you can use textures, designs, words, etc. I picked 3 main colors and went with simple black and white accents. Canva has a ton of free images, graphics, and fonts that you can use to start off. Just press the plus button in the bottom right corner to get started.  I get a lot of my images now from the styled stock society. You can use my link to check them out.


As you practice you'll learn how to eyeball each "box" of your feed so you know exactly where to put the images, text, etc. For now get a rough layout, save it with the button on the top right, and put it into grid maker so you can see exactly how it will cut up the squares.

I personally started with the background first, then images, then smaller details like dots or textures. Here are a few more feeds for inspiration.





Grid Maker

This is the easiest part. After you get your feed all set up in canva, just save the image by pressing the box in the top right corner, and upload it to the grid maker app. USE. GRID. MAKER. it will NOT distort your image quality like other grid apps!!!!!! TRUST ME. i made this mistake already.  (Again, or photosplit on iphone)

It should automatically put you on the 3x3 option but if it doesn't just scroll over and select that. Make sure your selection fits the entire image and boom. Save it. It should make its own little folder with your images. 



Preview App

For added feed planning, put your images into preview app. This super helpful app will let you schedule reminders to post, pre plan your captions, and will help you see what your feed will look like before you upload. It also has a hashtag library. 



I know reading a tutorial can be confusing, and just incase you STILL think this whole creation thing is kinda hard without some help, I'm selling my first EVER product for the most affordable price I've ever seen it. I want to help you make the feed you've always wanted with minimal effort on your end. Maintaining a puzzle feed is tricky enough. Why struggle with creation?

I've made a 3 template bundle for the price of one at $9.99 ! 

 When you buy you'll get 3 different templates: bold boss, neutral minimalist, and beach vibes. Each one you can COMPLETELY customize. From fonts, to colors, image placement, background changes, and literally anything else. 


Hate the blue i used for Beach Vibes? Change it. Don't like a frame? Delete it. Font not for you? Pick a new one. 

I've included a mobile version and a computer version of each template since some drag and drop features are available only to laptop users, and i wanted everyone to have the convenience of designing their feed where they want. 

No clue how to use canva ? I've included a basic video tutorial as part of the $15 bundle, as well as what to do once you have the templates! Be sure to read the instructions carefully. 


If you've always wanted to have a puzzle feed, now is your chance! It's literally never been easier to get started. This fast growing Instagram trend is not one you wanna miss out on. If you want your feed to stand out without the hassle of taking hours upon hours to learn, click the button below.

Also just a quick thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my journey. It's my greatest pride and joy to be able to inspire and help so many people daily. 


how to Make a Puzzle Feed Without Photoshop


Puzzle feeds have been all the craze lately after @juniperoats on Instagram shared her tutorial with I have honestly seen them everywhere since then, emerging slowly. If you have no idea what a puzzle feed is, here's @juniperoats ' feed: 



I decided to put my own spin on the puzzle feed craze by only doing a background image that connects with all 9 squares. Most puzzle feeds have pictures, colors, and other overlays that connect. Here is what mine is going to look like as of writing this post:  


As you can tell it's slightly different than the norm, but I'm obsessed with it. 

Most people I've talked to use Photoshop, but I was determined to find a way to do this without it. It took 3 apps, and a lot of trial and error, but I've totally simplified the process and did all the hard work for you. Here's how to create my style of puzzle feed without photoshop. 



The Apps you'll need for creation:  

  • Canva
  • 9 cut (or similar grid app)
  • picsart  

*it is extremely important that you follow the steps carefully. For example when I first tried this, my background graphic wasn't the best quality, so when I tried to create the whole thing on Picsart, the text and other overlays turned out pixelated. By using canva for your text and pictures AND THEN pics art for overlays, you'll avoid the pixelation. I also want to note that there are probably other ways to do this, but this is the method that I found that worked first and best for me.

Creating your background image or layout

Step 1: First you'll want to open up Pics art. This app is super simple to navigate, and I've even done a tutorial on my YouTube on how I make my graphics. It'll give you a good idea on how to start.

Start by pressing the new image button and clicking edit. It'll then ask you if you want to select an image, or you'll have color options. This is totally up to you if you want a picture or colors. I personally started with a white background.  


Then I added stickers and colors to create my image. This is the part where you get creative. Experiment with different color blocks or patterns. Most people use a series of textures. I can't really guide you through this part, so I'll leave some feed inspiration throughout the post. You are ONLY adding the background colors and images at this point ! 



Step 2: Head over to canva 

This is where you will add any text or images you want to add on top of your background images. 


Canva now has a website and app so you can choose what works best for you. Canva is a really easy design tool that I use for literally every single graphic I've ever made for anything.  

The nice part about this is, since you already have the background saved, you'll be able to use it over and over again to create a continuous feed. Adding pictures and text later just let's you customize it. 

Once you're finished adding images and text, you might be done. If not, save, and keep moving forward. 

If all of this seems complicated, I've created templates for puzzle feeds you can edit in CANVA.  CLICK HERE for the puzzle feed templates.

Step 3: If you want to add logo overlays or patterns or literally any finishing touches head back on over to Pics art


I realize this is a lot of picture saving and app switching, but for now this is the only method I could find where I kept the quality of the images at the highest they can be. When you edit a picture too much with too many overlays  (especially if you keep reusing the same one over and over) it'll start to distort and become pixelated. By putting it into canva first and then adding overlays, you're preserving that original quality.  

Now you can add other images like product shots, logos, patterns, textures, Etc. Without them being fuzzy.  

Step 4: Save your photo and upload it to 9 cut



This will be the final step in creating your puzzle feed. Like I said I used the 9 cut app, but you can use any other app that will turn your picture into a grid for Instagram. Make sure you select 3 X 3 and it will crop automatically. 

Step 5 Bonus round: upload to preview app

I use Preview app to plan my feed. This allows you to see what the puzzle will look like on your feed before actually uploading it. I have been obsessed with Preview and everything it has to offer. You'll be able to see if everything looks cohesive and it helps you easily make changes. 


How to make money on Instagram using Heartbeat

 ** post contains affiliate links **



Many of you took interest in my last post "3 easy ways to make money on Instagram", and I got a ton of questions on the Heartbeat program I use.

Some of you jumped on the bandwagon right after I made the post, but I'm sure others of you were a little hesitant because making money for posting on Instagram seems too good to be true. However, I am here to tell you that it's not. It is 100% possible to get paid to post pictures on Instagram. 

Here's how:

Heartbeat is a website that allows you to sign up for an account and start earning money from campaigns you promote on Instagram. 

It is super easy to sign up for an account, and takes less than 15 minutes to get everything set up. Heartbeat has you fill out mini quizzes to find out more about your interests so they can send offers that match your niche and what you're most interested in. 

Screenshot (29).png

If you're still not convinced, every ambassador for HeartBeat will get a chance to redeem exclusive discount codes to get offered products at a reduced price! So even if you don't qualify for the campaign, you can still get the same discounted offers. 

HeartBeat will pay you a set rate for each of the posts you make. Sometimes the campaign is in exchange for a free product, so just make sure you read the details completely. Although usually it'll say flat out at the beginning if it's paid or not, so you don't waste your time. 

My personal rate per post is $10. There are multiple ways to increase your rate amount, so be on the look out for those opportunities. 

>> Want to boost you Instagram game to get more people looking at your feed ? Join my free email course  <<

The campaigns I have completed have paid me about a week after completing the campaign, and they're always on top of their payments! I had a few questions and their team got back to me super fast. 

Keep in mind the only way to get paid right now from my understanding (as of 10/5/17) is through PayPal. So make sure you have that account set up before hand so you can get your payments!

In addition to payments from the campaigns, you can also get payments from referring your friends and readers! They pay you $1 per sign up after the person you referred completes their first campaign! It's a win-win because you get a bonus, and they just made money for posting on Instagram. 

This isn't going to get you rich, but I can tell you it has helped out a lot when I've needed extra spending money, or if I have a credit card minimum payment due *COUGH*. PLUS all you're doing is posting pictures related to the campaign on your page.

If you're worried about it being spammy, most campaigns only require you to keep the post up for 72 hours before deleting. Make sure you read the rules of the campaign though, or you'll lose out on the payment.

Screenshot (30).png


I have successfully completed two campaigns myself, and I can truly say this website is legit. No scams, actual pay, and plenty of opportunities to sign up. I've turned down more than I've accepted because I want it to relate to my audience. However, I get multiple emails a month from them asking to sign up for campaigns I qualify for.  

if you want to earn money for posting on Instagram too, then click the button below or click HERE to sign up !

3 Apps You Need To Be Using For Instagram Picture Editing

You ever see that perfect feed, or the perfectly white background on pictures, and you literally just stare at it wondering how the hell they did that? 🙋🏼 Yeah. Me too. 

That is until I discovered the three apps I'm going to talk about in this post today. I am not kidding these 3 picture editing apps are my go to apps. I've used them every single day since I found out about them. I have since become a pro (sorta). 

In no particular order, make sure you download these 3 apps.  (please note I have an android but these should be available for IPhone as well.) 

1. A Color Story   



Color Story is the app I use for my perfectly white backgrounds. I'm able to get a dimly lit photo to look like a diamond in the sky in about 5 clicks. All I had to do was purchase one filter pack for I think $1.99 to make it happen to my liking. It's called bright whites I believe (update: It's called flashes of delight). However, these results are achievable without the pack. It'll just take a little longer to figure out the exact combo of settings. 

The app is super easy to navigate and is extremely straightforward. The first screen will have you choose a photo. Then it'll ask if you'd like to crop (always do 1:1 ratio for Instagram sizing). Then it's all up to you! Mess with filters, or head to settings for a more custom approach. I use a mixture of both. My best friends are temperature and exposure. The end result is a feed that'll look something like this if you edit like I do:  


2. Pics art  

The next app I use for my text graphics, story graphics, and for putting borders around my Insta pics. It's called PicsArt. The most amazing, close to Photoshop-for-phones-if-you-know-how-to-use-it app out there in my opinion. It's extremely user friendly and only takes me about 10 minutes at most to make my Instagram story graphics from scratch. 

Some notable features are the basic crop tools and resize tools, clone feature, color adustments, a secret whitening tool found in the "corrections" section when you go to "FX", border options, and stickers. Yeah. The stickers are bomb and very addicting.  



Literally says awesome stickers. I'm not lying. 

There are also plenty "free to edit" stock photos as well that you can mix up with your promos and such.  


Those are a few examples of thing I've made in picsart. It's an amazing tool to perfect any sort of text or creative promo. I don't use this all the time (because I use canva for my actual Instagram feed), but it's a quick and easy process when I do, and I always love the end result. 

3. Preview App

Preview is the app I use to review my feed before actually posting anything to it. It starts off blank but you can either load your current feed in, or add pictures manually. I have my feed loaded in, and whenever I want to test out a picture I'll add one manually to see if it'll fit with the aesthetic. 



I love being able to see how things look before posting. For anyone who is looking for a way to better their aesthetic, this is the app. Not only can you preview your feed, but there are a few analytics and hashtag options in the free version that I like too. 



These are the analytics you can see with the free version. I get most of my analytics from the actual Instagram app, but this is awesome to see how my engagement has been doing lately.  

There is a scheduling option as well AND when you go to the caption options you can find popular hashtags for your niche. Check it out.



This is a great way to diversify the hashtags you use when you post. You just select the ones you want, and copy and paste them all at once.  

So now that I've told you my 3 favorite apps, don't forget to head over to my Instagram and Facebook group and let me know what your favorite apps are!


How I tripled my Instagram Following in one month

I use to hear stories all the time about how people were 3x ing their followers and seeing a 5 billion percent increase in traffic and crazy stuff like that. I use to brush it off and taking it all with a grain of salt. When you hear large statistics like that you can't just go on believing it's always true. They could've made it a little more dramatic than it really was. Maybe it simply didn't happen at all but they had the right strategies. 

Whatever the case, I never believed it was possible. Until it happened to me that is...  

Since March of 2017 (it's July 1st 2017 upon writing this) I've been busting my actual ass to gain my followers. My planner account @planwithlexi has 1100 followers. So starting from scratch was a horrible experience. It took about a year of constant posting and interaction to make it to 1100. I was NOT about to have that be the same case with @paperandaplan. 

I felt like I was getting nowhere. I just didn't get what the issue was...

Yeah Instagram's algorithm wasn't how it use to be. I couldn't wake up at 5 am and guarantee I would be the first person to show up on 90% Of my follower's feeds because chronological got the boot. It was all about engagement now. Despite having some comments here and there it didn't seem to do anything. Something was off.  

Then I did something that would triple my following in one month.  

I went from 200 to nearly 600 in one month. 580 to be exact.  

In May I decided to join the Instant boss club. (Oh no! There it is. The plug!! Haha don't leave yet I'm gonna share real information not just a product.)

**Affiliate links included

**Affiliate links included

In a nut shell the instant boss club is all about helping new (and experienced) instagrammers boost engagement and followers while teaching valuable lessons to get ahead. 

The club includes: 

Instagram lessons to help stay up to date with your Instagram knowledge and try out some new tricks. 

Comment pods that are actually ACTIVE  

Access to organize and participate in loop giveaways  

Stock graphics  

and so much more.  

The community is so supportive and Jennifer (owner of the IBC) is always on hand to answer questions and give you personal suggestions.  

The club is geared towards businesses but I think bloggers and personal brands can benefit from this as well. You'll have to see it to believe it. 

Why does the club make a difference??  

All of the features added to the club are updated every month.  So you're getting the latest Instagram boosting lessons,  printables, graphics, etc. It has really made me step up my game.  

Before joining the club I knew there had to be an easier and faster way to get to 1k. It took me a while year all on my own without anyone commenting on my pictures and lessons to help me. I was basically self taught. It showed because it took WAY longer. If my traffic keeps up the same way, I'll be able to do it in a fraction of the time. Like 3 months. 

There is a huge support system behind the group as well, and I am always looking forward to new information being released. There's not like one or two lessons. There's gotta be at least 15 to 20 lessons in there right now and it'll just keep growing as the months go on. It's the club that keeps giving seriously.


One of the steps to gaining more followers is t o have the perfect Instagram Bio. There are 4 major components you need to have in your bio right now: 

  1. What you do
  2. Who you help
  3. Personal thought
  4. Call to action

To learn more click here and read on how to write the perfect Instagram Bio. you'll be surprised how important this is. 

The next step we take is perfecting your feed aesthetic. This is one you'll have to experiment with a little. My biggest tip would be to focus on your colors, fonts, and subject matter. Be somewhat strict about it too.  This helps to brand your feed and images so you can stand out from everyone else. 

Imagine you just threw a bunch of colors together and it was all quotes and a bunch of words everywhere and you didn't plan your feed at all. Someone who lands on your page isn't going to be interested. This is gonna sound bad but if you dont have a branded feed I'm not following you unless we are friends. 

Join comment pods . This step alone boosted my engagement so much that I started placing in the top posts section of my hashtags. This is super important to your visibility and reach. 

The new Instagram algorithm works off engagement like I said earlier. So getting people to interact with your posts is KEY.  

Try posting a relatable quote. These usually do the trick because people feel so connected with them. You can also try spicing up your captions. I know they say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a picture alone won't sell your brand to someone who has never seen you before. Sure they might stick around for the pictures, but the chances of you converting them to loyal followers (and possibly customers) is extremely low.  

Want more? 

I can teach you everything you need to know (for free) about Instagram in just 5 days. I just opened up my free Instagram  email course  ! Click here for more information. If you want to triple your followers,  take the course. It's the exact steps I took.

See you soon!  


How to Write the Perfect Instagram Bio

We all know Instagram is this amazing platform for our brands by now. Everyone's using it, everyone's talking about it, but how can you really get people interested in what you're posting ?? 

The first way to do this is through your Instagram bio. I know you're probably thinking to yourself "How much can my bio really matter ?? You only get 100 something characters anyways." 

True, but those 100 something characters can really make or break your brand/business on Instagram believe it or not.  

So today we are going to go over a few steps to get your Instagram Bio up to par. Ready?? Let's do this. 

1. Delete everything you have and start fresh

It's best to delete everything because you want to make sure you have all the available characters and you're not trying to work around what you already have. This was hard for me at first, but I can't even tell you what my first bio said. Something about coffee and an emoji I think. So delete everything you have right now and start with a clean slate.

2. First Line: state what you do

You'll want the first line of your bio who you cater to. MAKE THIS AS CONSISE AS YOU CAN. 6 words ! I'm so serious. My first line says "millennial women content creators" that's 4. You can do it. 

You want to make sure the first thing your reader or potential follower sees is who you help. This way they can decide if they're on the right profile immediately. You do not want to waste your time on people that don't care about what you do or don't resonate with your page in any way at all.  

It's better to have 300 content creators than to have 1000 fitness coaches if that's not who your audience is.  

3. Second line: what you do  

The very next line after who you help should be what you do. After the reader knows they belong on your page they're gonna want to know how you can help them. 

This is so important because you would be surprised how many times I go to someone's bio and what they do is nowhere to be found. There's a bunch of random information, maybe a tag line or something, but no clear indication of what the page is about. Sure you could go through their feed, but you want your audience to know QUICK. They say you have about 10 seconds to make an impression with your account. This is about the first 9 pictures of your feed and your bio.

Make the first impression a good one and just tell your audience what you do! 

My second line reads "planning, productivity & social media" Again, condense it ! You only have 100 something characters.  

4. Third line : something personal  

This line is really important because you want your audience to know a little about you. They don't want to be following a robot or someone they know nothing about. Make a connection. 

For this part I would recommend emojis only to save up space incase you need to add something later.  (which you do) 

For this I said "loves: ☕🏖🐱🕉🌸" because I love coffee, beaches, cats, yoga, and flowers. I wouldn't have enough room if I typed this all out In words. So please be sure to utilize emojis for this unless it really can't be put into emoji form. However more often than not it can be. 

Some ideas:  

Family 👨‍👩‍👧 

Wife 👰

Working out 🏋

Organic/plant based 🌱 

Books 📚 

Planning 📒 

Coffee ☕ 

Tacos 🌮 

Shopping 🛍 

Spirituality coaches 🔮 

Plus many more. 

5. Final line  

Right below this line is where your website will show up. So what I recommend doing here is putting a call to action for your website.  

I use so I have many links under one. 

My line reads " 👇 freebies, fb group, blog & more" 

And the little pointing down emoji points to my link. If you have a new blog post always in that spot you can put "👇 read my latest post" or if you are advertising a course down there "👇 FREE webinar training" 

Mine never changes because I use and usually the same stuff is there. Freebies, fb group, blog. That pretty much sums it up so mine always stays the same. I highly recommend because it's free. (I pay for premium features, but it is free to anyone who wants to use it for free unless you want to purchase the monthly subscription for $6.) 

6. Bonus line  

If you have enough room like I did, you can add an extra line above the call to action. For this space I used it as an opportunity to tell people about my branded hashtag. This is the tag I use for all my posts and encourage other people to also post under it so I can feature them on my feed or stories. It reads "📸 #productivitybabes "  

However you can add any small piece of info here if space allows.  

7. What to do if you don't have enough space

Condense condense condense!!

See if you can use symbols for things instead of the full word. Instead of "and" I always put "&".

Instead of "I take only PayPal payments" or "etsy sales at this time only" you could put "📲💰PayPal only" and "💻etsy seller"  

I also tend to use fragments instead of full sentences. Like adjectives basically and leave out the rest. For example "millennial women content creators" instead of "I help teach millennial women content creators". 

This will help reduce character count so you have more room. Believe me it's tough but you can do it. Here's a screenshot of my finished bio incase you want to see for refference.  


You can also ditch the punctuation but I had room for mine. As well as the bullet points. 

Send me a DM on instagram if you want me to take a look at your bio for you. I would be happy to give advice.