Alternative Vision Boards (part 1)

Posted by RichD | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 16-03-2011

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A vision board is a great way to keep your life plans, goals, and ambitions clearly focused and in your mind at all times.  By creating a vision board of your ultimate life design you have in your possession a clear, visual representation of the important things you want to achieve and accomplish.  By keeping it in a place that you see often and regularly throughout the day,  you are constantly reminding yourself and your environment of exactly where you intend to go in life.  There have been countless studies on the effectiveness of such a clear, persistent and positive vision.  Either by activating the Laws of Attraction or as simple a reminder to keep you on track, vision boards are a proven tool for changing your life.

One of my vision boards for getting lean

Traditionally, creating a vision board was an exercise in arts and crafts.  You would take a poster board or a foam-core board and a stack of magazines and start to cut out images  and words that represent you and the things you are aiming for, and gluing and/or taping these images and words to the board.  When you are done you have a collage of the things in life you are gunning for.  You then place this board in a spot where you could see it often and regularly.  For instance over your desk or on your fridge or bedroom door.

More recently there have been several types of software that let you create vision boards on your computer.  You surf the Internet and find the images (or scan them), then plug them into the software and you get a pre-made template of a board with your own images pasted into it.  You can then use it as a screen saver on your computer or, in some cases print it out on a regular 8.5×11 sheet of paper.

Both of these methods are highly effective, but each is a bit limiting in its own way.  Don’t get me wrong.  However you make your vision board, it’s a good thing.  The hand-made, cut-and-paste version, is big and beautiful and full of your own energy.  The way they are laid out is a reflection of your own artistic personality and means a lot to you (even if its only subconsciously). The limiting factor is also what makes it so special.  It’s one of a kind.  You may place it on your bedroom door, but there it stays.  Its not very practical to carry a large piece of foam-core with you throughout your day, but wouldn’t it be cool if you had it with you more often to keep it in sight and therefore in mind?  Keeping it over your desk may keep it in sight but unless you can really personalize your workspace it may not be an option.

The digital versions of the vision board cover some of these problems.  You can print a copy and keep it with you and its probably okay to have it as a screen saver on your computer at work.  However I find that an 8.5×11 printout of a vision board is really selling yourself short.  You need bigger space for your big plans.  While the screen savers are very cool and all, fitting your goals into the software’s template takes a lot of “you” out of the equation.  The pictures are “you” but the arrangement is the creation of the software designers.

My approach  gives you the best of both worlds with a few added benefits.

It’s a two-part approach that may require a small learning curve (but not much more of a curve than learning to use a dedicated vision board software).  The two parts being; the creation of the actual board and the production and distribution of the finished product.

Creation:

To start , I am recommending a digital approach to creating this vision board.  Instead of using a software package dedicated to vision boards (though I imagine they would work just as well) you can use any photo editing software.  You may have some already on your system but if you don’t there are several packages you can choose from and some of the best ones are absolutely free.
The first software package I am recommending is GIMP.  This is a very powerful software package that is a fantastic image/photo editor, nearly on par with Adobe Photoshop.  While Photoshop will set you back hundreds of dollars, GIMP is absolutely free.  If you are completely new to image editing you can find tutorials all over the web and some very good video tutorials on YouTube.  Once you’ve learned the basics of Cut-and-Paste, Resizing, and Layers, you are on your way to creating any type of collage or photo mosaic you could need.  The learning curve is the steepest but the larger freedom to create is well worth it.
Another free piece of software is Picasa.  This is a free download from Google for photo editing and they have recently added a “collage” feature. That takes your photos and arranges them for you on the page to create the collage/vision board. Your layout choices are much more limited. But it’s a much less complicated procedure.
If you don’t want to download and install software (even for free), or maybe you aren’t near your own computer but still have Internet access there are several online image editors and collage makers.  The one that I looked at before writing this article is called Collagr.  This site offers you the tools to take the URLs of images you find online and dump them into a collage online.  Again the layout is pretty standard but not bad looking.  For creating a quick vision board on the fly its very usable, available, and FREE.

Using any of these resources will give you a great range of possibilities for creating a vision board suitable for your needs.  Just remember it will take a little playing around to see how they work for you.  Don’t get discouraged.  Have fun with them.

Production/Distribution

Now you’ve collected images and words that are important to the plan you have for your future and you’ve used the software to put them all together into an awesome vision.  Now what?

Firstly and most importantly you save your work.  Make sure you save it as a jpeg (.jpg) file that you can find on your computer.  In the case of Collagr, it seems that you can only save it to the site.  Don’t panic.  Once its saved to the site. Click on it until its displayed in a window of its own then right-click on the collage and save the image to your desk-top.  It will automatically save as a .jpg file.

Now for even more computer fun.

This jpeg is just your basic file.  Here are two more pieces of software you are going to love.

The first is called Posterazor, and again it’s a FREE download.  Posterazor is super-easy to use.  It takes your jpeg file and blows it up as large as you want it to be, then prints out pieces of the image on sheets of paper so that it can be assembled, like a puzzle into a much larger poster.  I’ve seen entire walls covered with poster made from this software.  Now you have a large poster of your vision board.  But since it’s a digital file you can print it out as many times as you want and in any size you need.  You can have a giant poster in your bedroom, a smaller one on the inside of your office door and an 8.5×11 folded up in your pocket or used as place holder in your organizer.  I even use a very small image as the wallpaper on my phone (it’s way too small but it does remind me that I have these goals).

The final piece of software is a free ONLINE version of Posterazor called Blockposters.  Its basically the same as Posterazor but it takes a much smaller file size because its online.  I use it all the time but because it’s a smaller file to start with it tends to not blow up as large and stay clear.

And there you have it.  All the tips you need to create uniquely satisfying, multi-functional, any-sized vision boards on your (or any) computer.  In no time at all you will master these resources and not only will you be turning out great tools for manifesting your future but you will be picking up some highly useful/marketable skills in the process.

Create with:

http://www.collagr.com/ (online)
http://picasa.google.com (download for free)
http://www.gimp.org/ (download for free)

Enlarge with:

http://www.blockposters.com (online)
http://posterazor.sourceforge.net/ (download for free)