TikTok Launches Creative Competition to Solve Real-World Marketing Challenges

TikTok invites marketing and creative professionals as well as agencies in Southeast Asia to participate in the TikTok Trendsetter creative competition. Winners to receive up to US$40,000 in prizes and mentorship with TikTok Global Business Marketing (GBM) executives

TikTok, the leading destination for short-form mobile videos, is calling all marketing and creative professionals as well as agencies in Southeast Asia to think outside of the box and join the TikTok Trendsetter creative competition. Launched last November 9, 2020, TikTok Trendsetter aims to inspire professionals and agencies in the Philippines to harness the untapped potential of TikTok to solve real-world marketing challenges.

“The power of TikTok is clear, but it requires a new and different way of thinking. Utilizing an entertainment-based platform allows marketers to engage with users in a ‘sound on’ environment, opening an entirely new window of opportunity,” said Ng Chew Wee, TikTok Head of Business Marketing. “Just like our users, we invite marketers to be experimental and explore their creative side while addressing today’s brand challenges through the Trendsetter creative competition.”

Running for over the course of six weeks, the TikTok Trendsetter creative competition is divided into three separate categories including:

  • Individual Category: Individual contestants to submit one TikTok video creative idea that addresses marketing-related challenges for Small and Midsize Businesses (SMBs), and sectors such as Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and Government.
  • Agency Category:Agency contestants to submit a storyboard for at least four TikTok video creative ideas, a media plan leveraging TikTok and one sample TikTok video that addresses marketing-related challenges for industries such as Fintech, Luxury, Automobile, and Telecoms.
  • Existing Campaigns: Campaigns that have already run on TikTok this year can also participate in the competition.

All submissions will need to be submitted by 24 December 2020 with voting for the most creative ideas taking place from 4 to 22 January 2021. The following panel of judges representing in-house and agency creative executives, as well as CMOs and TikTok Creators, will be determining the winners of the competition which will be announced on 1 February 2021:

  • Ng Chew Wee, TikTok Head of Business Marketing
  • Katie Puris, TikTok Managing Director of Global Business Marketing
  • Dianchen Yao, TikTok Head of Client Solutions SEA
  • Nguyen Dinh Toan, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Suntory Pepsico Vietnam
  • Sutirapan Sakkawatra, EVP Head of Marketing at Siam Commercial Bank
  • Roberto Saputra, Chief Brand Officer at Smartfren Telecom
  • Jeff Cheong, DDB Group Singapore Deputy CEO and Tribal Worldwide Asia President
  • Maryzyle Fernadez Galinato, Group Creative Director at Hakuhodo Saigon
  • Pingkan Rarumangkay, Executive Creative Director at Wunderman Thompson Indonesia
  • Tay Guan Hin, Chief Creative Officer of BBDO Singapore
  • Sompat Trisadikun, Chief Creative Officer at The Leo Burnett Group and Publicis Group in Thailand

For each category, regional and local winners will be selected. Agency teams will have a chance to win up to US$40,000 in prizes, while Individual applicants can win a mentorship session with TikTok Global Business Marketing (GBM) executives.

Kantar research shows that in order to tap into the powerful audience response, it is vital to understand TikTok and engage with users on their own terms. To provide a deeper understanding on how to leverage TikTok for marketing purposes, TikTok will also hold a creative workshop on 24 and 26 November in partnership with BBDO Singapore, hosted virtually at https://www.tiktok-trendsetter.com/ for anyone who is interested in learning about leveraging the platform to solve creative challenges.

To enter the competition, view tutorials, best practices and creative playbooks, please visit: https://www.tiktok-trendsetter.com/.

TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. TikTok has global offices including Los Angeles, Mountain View, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo.

Details provided by Tiktok in a recent press release.

TECNO Mobile launches new AI-powered, revolutionary TECNO Spark 6 Series – A smartphone for the masses

6 new enhancements bring users an elevated immersive experience, along with more powerful cameras, multiple Bluetooth sharing, bigger screens, higher capacity and faster speeds

Recognizing the evolving need for high-performing, multi-tasking and affordable smartphones during these challenging times, global premier mobile phone brand TECNO Mobile has launched its latest innovation, the TECNO Spark 6 Series.

The TECNO Spark 6 Series is smartly designed for work and play, and is competitively priced to give locals the best value for their hard-earned money. Price ranges from PhP3,990 to PhP6,490. The Spark 6 Series is packed with six upgraded features – a unique camera system designed to elevate photographic immersion to the next level, bigger screen, more generous memory and storage, boosted processing speed, enhanced video call experience, and a fun Bluetooth audio share feature.

Ye Yuan, Deputy General Manager of TECNO Mobile, said: “Now more than ever, the smartphone is a necessity. It is an essential link to the outside world – for remote working, online learning, staying in touch with loved ones, getting news, and for entertainment. Our goal is to make advanced, innovative smartphones more accessible to more people. TECNO Mobile’s smartphones are affordable, and that includes the latest TECNO Spark 6 Series. We continue to develop our smartphones with the consumers’ changing needs.”   

The Spark 6 Series comes in three (3) amazing variants – Spark 6 4GB RAM+128GB, and Spark 6 Go in 4GB RAM +64GB and 2GB RAM+32GB. These all have a high performing, impressive battery life, and a sleek, simple yet bold design. The Spark 6 Go variant was the first to be released this November, and is available in all TECNO Mobile partner retail stores.

Here are some of the features packed into the powerful Spark 6 Series that everyone can enjoy:

Spark 6 Go

  • A 13-megapixel AI Dual camera and 8MP front camera, AI lens with 18 different scene detection, up to 95% recognition rate and upgraded algorithms. The 13-megapixel primary lens supports 4x digital zoom with F-1.8 big aperture that captures more light at night, and processes image details more finely.
  • Various shooting modes for the AI Dual camera, including Bokeh, AI Beauty, and AI HDR, among others. Full picture details and quality are greatly improved, plus a dual rear flash fills light in dark environments to ensure better photos.
  • A Bluetooth Audio Share feature that can connect to multiple wireless Bluetooth headsets at the same time, enabling users to listen and watch with friends.
  • A 6.52 inches dot in display screen with 20:9 screen aspect ratio and 720 x 1600 resolution for a wider, clearer, immersive display effect, rich color contrast, and great visual experience.
  • A 5,000 mAh battery that stays charged longer, ideal for photography, gaming, browsing, video streaming and music.
  • HiOS for a more intelligent and convenient user experience, with a brand new dark theme feature that uses less phone battery and causes less eye strain.

Spark 6

The Spark 6 Series is available at TECNO Mobile partner retail stores, and comes in three models – Spark 6 4GB RAM+128GB priced at PhP6,490, Spark 6 Go 4GB RAM+64GB at PhP5,490, and Spark 6 Go 2GB RAM+32GB for only PhP3,990. For a complete list of stores, visit http://bit.ly/TecnoStoresPH

To stay updated on products and the latest offering from TECNO Mobile, visit www.tecno-mobile.com/ph and follow TECNO Mobile Philippines on Facebook.

About TECNO Mobile

TECNO Mobile is a premium smartphone brand from TRANSSION Holdings. Upholding the brand essence of “Expect More”, TECNO Mobile is committed to giving the masses access to latest technology at accessible prices, allowing the consumers to reach beyond their current limitations and uncover a world of possibilities. TECNO Mobile understands the needs of consumers from different markets and provides them with localized innovations across a product portfolio featuring smartphones, tablets, and feature phones. TECNO Mobile is a major global player with presence in around 60 emerging markets across the world. It is also the global Official Tablet and Handset Partner of Manchester City Football Club. For more information, please visit: www.tecno-mobile.com

Shopee Is Giving Away ₱1 Million Daily with Shopee Milyonaryo

Shopee users can tune in to GMA’s Wowowin for a chance to win ₱1 million in cash daily until November 11

Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, launchesShopee Milyonaryo as part of its 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale. Shopee Milyonaryo is an interactive lucky draw contest on GMA’s Wowowin, where Shopee users stand a chance to win up to ₱1,000,000 in cash every weekday until November 11.

Users can participate by logging on to the Shopee app and claiming the raffle code. The winners will be announced every weekday during GMA’s Wowowin. During the show, the winners will pick one out of six boxes, wherein one of the boxes has ₱1,000,000 in cash.

Martin Yu, Associate Director at Shopee Philippines, said, “Christmas is a much-anticipated occasion for all Filipinos. Shopee wants to engage more of its users this holiday by bringing back the season’s joy and excitement with Shopee Milyonaryo. We will continue to stay committed to providing our Filipino users with more initiatives that are engaging, uplifting, and rewarding.”

Key highlights of Shopee’s 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale 

Until December 12, shoppers can expect big deals and discounts from leading brands.

● Kris Aquino as Shopee’s new Brand Ambassador: Users can look forward to seeing Kris Aquino on TV commercials, TV shows, and Shopee Live.

● 11.11 Big Christmas TV Special: Viewers can win up to ₱11,000,000 worth of prizes on GMA’s Wowowin on November 11, 5:00 PM.

● Christmas deals and promotions: Shopee users can enjoy free shipping with ₱0 minimum spend, up to 20% coins cashback, and ₱1 deals on selected items such as mobile cases and accessories, home and kitchen items, and nail care products.

● Exclusive deals from leading brands: Users can anticipate up to 70% off on leading brands such as Pampers, Nestle, Vivo, Globe, Havaianas, Unilever Beauty, Abbott, Garnier, realme, and Enfagrow.

More details about Shopee Milyonaryo are available on https://shopee.ph/m/shopee-milyonaryo.

For more information about Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale, visit https://shopee.ph/11-11.

Download the Shopee app for free via the App Store or Google Play.

Details provided by Shopee in a recent press release.

The Jelly List: Four ways to keep the holiday spirit despite the pandemic

Whenever the calendar turns towards the -BER months, around the same time when we Pinoys start to feel (or imagine!) that the breezes are getting cooler, and we start hearing Christmas carols on continuous loop in the malls, we also get all caught up in the anticipation for fun and festivities of the holiday season.

Those are all just part of the holiday spirit.

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging across the world, the loss of loved ones due to the sickness, the closure of many businesses and unemployment of many workers, can it still be Christmas?

My answer: yes, of course!

We Pinoys love Christmas so much that we won’t let COVID-19 cancel the holiday that brings hope and joy to everyone.

This holiday season, because of the restrictions to mobility or limitations on budget brought about by the pandemic, we won’t be traveling to places in our bucket list, gathering in boisterous families with our clan, nor squeezing into crowded malls for our Christmas shopping. But we can still have a merry – and even more meaningful – Christmas in this time of COVID-19.

Here are some ways to go about this:

1) Spend wisely

Given all the financial uncertainty that many of us are facing, now is not the time to splurge. Your Christmas bonus or aguinaldo may be needed for some unexpected expenses later on.

That said, you can still get a bit of holiday retail therapy done if you employ a bit more effort or creativity.

Prioritize buying the essentials – such as food, clothes and health products – but look for great deals. For instance, Shopee’s 11.11-12.12 Big Christmas Sale includes Php1 deals on selected fashion, self-care and stationery items which users can enjoy during the period leading up to December 12.

Shopee 11.11-12.12 Christmas Sale

You can also find ways to buy what you need without having to shell out cash. Your loyalty points may already have accumulated to a sizable amount that you can use them to purchase items. Case in point: I once bought over Php1,000 worth items from Miniso using my BDO Rewards points.

2) Be together, while staying apart.

One of the most difficult adjustments that this New Normal has brought about is the need for physical distancing. Especially among us Pinoys who are naturally outgoing and affectionate to our loved ones, being physically separated can be quite stressful.

While technology can’t take the place of a loved one’s actual physical presence, some small acts of thoughtfulness can chase away the feelings of isolation.

Our seniors, being high-risk individuals, bear most the brunt of these physical restrictions. Confined to their homes for months now, they can’t go out to stretch their legs or chat with their amigos and amigas. Be sure to check in on them regularly and cheer them up by sending pictures or video clips of the mundane yet happy moments that occur everyday, My mom, for instance, really appreciates when my kids video-chats with her via FB messenger.

Since the barkada can’t physically get together for a round of drinks, how about holding an e-numan sesh over Zoom? Send a ready-to-grill pack of barbecue or isaw from Mang Ding’s to your friends before the sesh to go with your favorite drinks while having your virtual bar hangout.

Mang Ding’s Marikina

You can also make and share a Spotify playlist of your favorite songs from childhood with your friends so you can all reminisce about the hits from the past as well as share a laugh over your collective taste in music.

The key is to share a happy and memorable experience even while staying physically apart.

3) Give gifts that keep on giving.

For many of us, budget is pretty tight, even during the holiday season. That doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t show our love for our family and friends through gifts. In fact, a well-chosen gift that takes the needs of the recipient into consideration, especially during this time, will be greatly appreciated.

For instance, rather than giving the usual gift baskets or knick-knacks, gift your friends with groceries, care packs or hygiene kits instead. These are supplies that they will no doubt need in the coming days so by giving them as gifts, you are eliminating something from their to-buy list, thus saving them money and effort.

You can also choose to send gifts that support small businesses such as online food sellers that offer family trays of Filipino dishes or new bakers that offer boxes of monster-sized cookies. These thoughtful food gifts save the recipient from the hassle of preparing a meal or indulges their cravings.

Alpha’s Kitchen Home Delivery

Extra Butter

How about gifting a loved one with a present made by your own hands? If you’ve taken up crocheting or knitting as a quarantine pastime, now would be a good time test your skills with some bespoke projects for your friends. If you’re among the plantitas or plantitas who sprouted during the lockdown, give your friends a cutting or a pot of your plants that they can have their own plant-babies to nurture in the coming year.

4) Share the love.

While life under COVID-19 may be hard on us, we know that other people may have been harder hit by the pandemic. Even if you don’t have a lot to give, you can still find ways to share your blessings to those in need.

For instance, if you’ve recently emptied out and reorganized your closets for the New Normal, you may have a lot of old clothes that can be donated to charities.

You can also use your loyalty points to give to charity. For example, you can redeem your GrabRewards points to donate to WWF, Red Cross, Unicef and more.

The pandemic may continue to wreak havoc in our lives well into the holiday season and even beyond. But it is up to us to keep that flicker of Christmas cheer burning despite all the challenges and difficulties of 2020, not just for our own enjoyment, but more importantly, to spark hope for others.

Happy holidays, dear readers! Stay safe!

Check out my other adventures compiled into Jelly Lists:

Shopee Welcomes Kris Aquino as its New Brand Ambassador for the 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale

Shopee users can anticipate guest appearances from Kris Aquino on TV and Shopee Live, a special charity drive, and a brand-new TV commercial.

Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, introduces the Queen of All Media, Kris Aquino, as its new brand ambassador for the Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale. Together with Kris Aquino, Shopee celebrates the festive season with weeks full of exciting in-app games, a star-studded TV special, and tons of amazing deals and promos this Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale. 

Martin Yu, Associate Director at Shopee Philippines, said, “Christmas is the biggest holiday in the Philippines, and we are excited to kickstart the celebrations with Kris Aquino as our new brand ambassador. Having Kris Aquino join our Shopee family demonstrates our continuous efforts to reach our long-term vision of making e-commerce for everyone. We want to connect with our Filipino users on a deeper level and help them enjoy the benefits of e-commerce this Christmas season. We will continue to surprise and delight shoppers at the Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale and invite everyone to join in the fun with us.” 

As the new brand ambassador, Kris Aquino will participate in a range of initiatives for the Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale. Shoppers can look forward to the following: Kris Aquino’s highly anticipated on-screen appearances on TV and Shopee Live, Kris Aquino’s highly anticipated on-screen appearances on TV and Shopee Live, engaging and entertaining Kris Aquino Tiktok videos on Shopee official account, Mini-games on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where users can get the chance to win Shopee vouchers and Shopee themed Kris Aquino stickers on Instagram.

Shopee Bayanihan: Pamaskong Pambata

Additionally, Kris Aquino teams up with Shopee as the face of Shopee Bayanihan: Pamaskong Pambata. Together, they will help raise funds to support the Filipino youth’s health, education, and welfare through a digital charity sale, special live streams with leading brands, and user donations through the Shopee app. Partner organizations include PGH Medical Foundation, GMA Kapuso Foundation, FundLife, World Vision Philippines, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Mano Amiga, Young Focus Philippines, Save the Children, Project Pearls, Project SMILE, and Kythe Foundation.

Key highlights of the Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale

From October 21 to December 12, shoppers can look forward to exciting games, amazing deals, and big discounts from leading brands. 

Unbeatable Christmas deals on Shopee: Users can enjoy free shipping with ₱0 minimum spend, daily 20% coins cashback on best treats like a Xiaomi 32-inch LED TV, a Dyson Cyclone Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, and Christmas baubles such as decorative ornaments and village nativity sets.  

₱1 Deals: Consumers can expect ₱1 deals on selected items from various categories such as beauty, fashion, mobile, and stationery products.

Exclusive deals from leading brands: Users can anticipate up to 70% off on 11.11’s leading brands such as Pampers, Nestle, Vivo, Globe, Havaianas, Unilever Beauty, Abbott, Garnier, realme, and Enfagrow.

Additionally, Closeup, Pond’s, Lifebuoy, Dove, Creamsilk, TRESemmé, Colgate-Palmolive, Comfort, Nivea, ACE, Union Appliances, Kyowa, Patagonia Foods Philippines, Candy Corner, Inspi, Organic Official, Crown, Mikana, Shigetsu, Universal Robina Corporation, GSK – Sensodyne, and Goldriver Management (Beauti Drink Collaskin) will give out amazing deals. Shopee users can also enjoy fantastic promotions from brands like Spyder, SoFab!, Figlia, Herschel, Johnson & Johnson (Aveeno, Johnson’s Baby, Modess, Neutrogena, Listerine), Garnier, Klean Kanteen, Nokia, and Robinson’s Appliances.

Download the Shopee app for free via the App Store or Google Play.

About Shopee

Shopee is the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. It is a platform tailored for the region, providing customers with an easy, secure and fast online shopping experience through strong payment and logistical support. Shopee aims to continually enhance its platform and become the region’s e-commerce destination of choice.

Shopee has a wide selection of product categories ranging from consumer electronics to home & living, health & beauty, baby & toys, fashion and fitness equipment.

Shopee, a Sea company, was first launched in Singapore in 2015, and has since expanded its reach to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Sea is a leader in digital entertainment, e-commerce and digital financial services across Greater Southeast Asia. Sea’s mission is to better the lives of consumers and small businesses with technology, and is listed on the NYSE under the symbol SE.

Details provided by Shopee in a recent press release

7 Must-see features of the awesome new TECNO POVA

The newly-rebranded POVA smartphone series combines premium performance and competitive pricing

With the arrival of its POVA series in the Philippines, global premier mobile phone brand, TECNO Mobile, has once again provided consumers with a high-performance phone at an affordable price tag. 

Officially launched on October 15, 2020, POVA is exclusively available at the TECNO Mobile PH Official Store in Shopee Mall. This smartphone comes in two attractive colors, Magic Blue and Speed Purple, and is priced at PHP 6,999.

Previously released as TECNO Pouvoir, POVA retains key elements from its predecessor, including an outstanding processor, brilliant screen, and superior battery. Built to provide optimal value to users, the new POVA series is flexible and adaptable, capable of delivering the best mobile experience.

What exactly can users expect from this performance beast? Here is a list of 7 must-see features of the awesome new TECNO POVA. 

  1. A 6000mAh super battery with a standby time of 30 days, and the ability to play music for 8 days straight, on just a single charge.
  2. An 18W dual IC flash charger, which can increase charging efficiency by 20%
  3. A Helio G80 Gaming Processor, which unlocks intelligent resource management in game mode, and enhanced power management for high intensity gaming
  4. A 64GB + 6GB memory with HyperEngine Game Technology for a dynamic lag-free gaming experience 
  5. The exclusive HiOS Operating System, built on Android™ 10, with an all-new design that allows a wide-range of user customization
  6. A 6.8” dot-in display screen with an extremely sharp display, and a 90.4% perfect screen ratio that provides a better viewing experience 
  7. Enhanced artificial intelligence cameras for professional quality photos – Four 13-megapixel focal length cameras on the rear, and an 8-megapixel AI selfie front camera

For a limited time only, POVA will be available at the special launch price of PHP 6,499 to the first 3000 buyers on the TECNO Mobile PH Official Store in Shopee Mall.  Be one of the first 1000 buyers to use voucher code GADGETZONE8 starting midnight of October 15, 2020 and get POVA for only PHP5,999.

Visit the TECNO Mobile PH Official Store in Shopee Mall to check out the new POVA series, and see the latest offerings. For updates and other information, visit www.tecno-mobile.com/ph.

Details provided by Tecno Mobile in a recent press release.

SKY treats new subscribers to GrabFood discount codes

SKY is giving new subscribers an irresistible treat as it partners with GrabFood—discount codes for their next food delivery when their application gets approved from October 1 to 31, 2020.

Perfect for their next binge-watch and snacking session, this sumptuous offer entitles subscribers to at least two discount codes or more depending on the plan that they have subscribed to.

For every P500 monthly fee of subscribed plan, new subscribers will receive two P69 worth of discounts. For instance, a SKY Fiber Unli Broadband 25Mbps + All in Box plan worth P1,499 will get six GrabFood discount codes with a total value of P414.

Each discount voucher is valid for single use and may be availed of upon checkout for a minimum food order amounting to Php690 on GrabFood. The discount codes will be emailed to new subscribers within three to five days of successful installation of their SKY service.

To avail of this latest SKY promo, subscribe to a SKYcable or SKY Fiber plan via mysky.com.ph within the promo period. For more details about the promo mechanics, visit mysky.com.ph/grabfood.

Image and promo details provided by SKY in a recent press release.

Tips for organizing your home for the New Normal

It has now been several months into the quarantine, and many of us, albeit reluctantly, have found ourselves making adjustments to cope with our New Normal.

A huge part of our new reality is that we are spending more and more of our time at home. Being the space that is wholly under our control, the home has become our safe zone, a refuge from the many risks and dangers from the outside world.

If you haven’t re-organized your home since the start of the quarantine, you might want to think of doing that now. We may be stuck in our current predicament for a long while yet; the sooner our personal environments are set up to be useful in the New Normal, the better off we will be.

Basic principles

The good news is that the basic principles of home organization still applies, albeit with a few tweaks.

Eliminate the non-essentials.

Non-essentials are items that currently have no clear use or purpose in our current situation. These basically clutter up our spaces and leave little room for us to move around to do our work or accommodate what’s actually important.

Look through your belongings and see what things you may have no use for in the coming months such as cosmetics, office attire, formal and travel wear and more.

Items that belong in this category can either be thrown out, or donated to someone who might be able to use them.

Find the proper home for each essential item.

Items that have a clear use and purpose should be housed or stored in areas that maximize their utility.

Also remember: out of sight, out of mind. An item that’s deemed useful but cannot be found when it’s needed is not really useful at all. It would be advisable to store essential items in such a way that they can be easily seen and obtained when needed.

Organize according to how you live.

Don’t rearrange your stuff in a vacuum. Consider how you and everybody else in your household move around and use your spaces.

Items that are placed well out of reach of those who need them, or areas seemingly made inhospitable to some family members because of how they are arranged, will become wellsprings of resentment later on.

Consider as well how some things just logically go together. Group together items that have similar functions and house them near the areas where they are used most frequently.

Establish and maintain the organization system.

Once you’ve tidied up and created well-organized spaces, you need to maintain them. Agree with your household members on which item goes where, how to keep everything neat, and how often to do major and minor cleanups.

From time to time, you will need to check if your system for organizing your spaces and belongings is still working for you. It may need to be adjusted as your situations change whether as a result of the quarantine or other factors.

Each room’s purpose

To apply these principles to the various rooms in your home, you should think hard on what purpose you will assign to each room especially in the New Normal, then design and arrange the room’s layout and contents accordingly.

Bedroom

The bedroom should be a place to rest and regain one’s strength at the end of the day. It should be a haven for you where you can spend the slow and quiet hours for rest or reflection.

Organizing Your Home During Quarantine

To have a bedroom that serves as the relaxing spot where you can slow down and recover from the day’s challenges, keep the area around the bed, especially the floors and the nightstand, free of items that do not contribute to having a restful experience. Stow away items in your dresser or under the bed to improve the flow of the room. Having a couple of indoor plants will also add some spots of color and life to the space.

Closet

Many of us have the tendency to just stash our stuff in our closet and hope that we can find them when we need them. Seldom does this work, however, and we end up wasting precious time and energy searching for a piece of clothing buried beneath piles of other clothes.

As the central repository of your clothes, your closet determines how you present yourself to the outside world. It should, therefore, equip you with what you need to wear, depending on the season and situation. This will not be possible with a disorganized closet.

Organizing your home during quarantine

As you regularly update your wardrobe throughout the year, so should you also be decluttering and arranging the contents of your closet. Group similar clothes together and consider tossing out those that are too worn to be presentable, or ones you haven’t worn for the past year. Especially now, when you may be working from home, items such as formal blazers and suits may just be using up space in your closet. Consider placing them on storage or tossing some out to free up space for clothes more suitable for our current situation.

Kitchen

Given all the lockdown restrictions on dining out, as well as our reduced food budgets, many of us are cooking and baking at home nowadays. Some have even begun to sell food online as a business. To help us in preparing food that nourishes our family or brings money to our pockets, we need to have our kitchen items in order.

Organizing Your Home During Quarantine

Check out the food stored in your pantry and refrigerator for those past their expiration date. Toss out utensils and equipment if you already have something to replace them such as old measuring spoons or worn out egg beaters. Remember: your kitchen drawers are prime real estate when it comes to storage so they should contain items that are ready to be used everyday.

Dining Room

The lockdown, in a way, has provided households and families with more opportunities to share meals. Such times are welcome instances for everyone to catch up on each other’s activities and enjoy each other’s company.

Organizing Your Home During Quarantine

The dining room, therefore, should be a place that encourages sharing and conversation. The dining table and chairs, for example, should be clear of items that are not needed during mealtimes. When meals are served, the items on the table top should be within easy reach of family members. When mealtimes are done, all dishes, utensils and linens should be cleared away as well.

Living Room

With more family members spending more time at home, the living rooms has been seeing a lot more action. This area is sometimes made into a makeshift classroom, or the family’s home theater for movie nights. What’s important is that this should be a space for family members to comfortably congregate and spend time together.

Organizing Your Home During Quarantine

To achieve a family living space that’s welcoming and relaxing, make sure the space is free-flowing and clutter-free. Get rid of papers or knick-knacks that may have accumulated on the console table and other flat surfaces. Organize the cords under the TV and other devices by clipping them together. Utilize the space behind a sofa by placing a trunk to store throw pillows or a low bookcase to showcase the family’s book and movie collection. Move furniture around to free up floor space and improve the flow of movement around the room.

Home Office

Now that more people are working or learning from home, we are realizing the importance of setting aside space where we can think and concentrate on our work.

Organizing Your Home During Quarantine

As usually directed to us in our offices or classrooms, our workstations at home should also be kept neat and uncluttered. Plus, we also need to tidy up the surrounding areas to have presentable backgrounds for our video calls just in case we haven’t set up fake ones in Zoom.

As our primary base of operations, our homes should be set up to support our goals and activities as we all adjust to living in a postCOVID19 world.

How do you plan to re-organize your home for the New Normal?

Photo credits: Header (Jason Briscoe), Kitchen (Naomi Hebert), Bedroom (Shop Slo), Closet (JamestheThomas5), Dining Room (Danill Silantev), Living Room (Patrick Perkins) and Home Office (Isabel Achison) on Unsplash

This post contains affiliate links.

Buyers’ guide for charcoal grills on a budget

If the sight of dancing flames giving way to glowing red charcoals, the smoky aroma of the barbecue tickling your nostrils and the satisfying sound of sizzling food as they cook on a gridiron make your mouth water, then grilling is for you!

There’s something so primal about creating and tending a fire in the great outdoors to cook your food. It seems to harken back to when our cavemen ancestors would gather around bonfires to cook the spoils of their hunt. That prehistoric experience is mirrored in backyard barbecues, with people gathering around in a festive atmosphere while most of the action takes place on top of the grill.

Charcoal Grill

Charcoal grills comprise the most popular category of outdoor grills, dominating pop culture images of barbecues from movies to TV ads. While some cooks would cite the time it takes to stoke a fire up to the temperature required for cooking as a disadvantage, expert grillers would argue that the authentic smoky flavor it brings to grilled food as its strongest appeal.

Charcoal Grill

Even if you’re considering to buy a grill on a low budget, you still need to consider other factors to help you choose the right one for your needs, such as:

How many people you plan to grill for.  This will help you choose the size of charcoal grill to buy. A small one (26 inches at the widest point or less) is suitable for grilling for two or for a small family.  Medium-sized grills (between 27 to 33 inches) are perfect for grilling for larger families, while large ones (34 inches or bigger) are appropriate for large clan gatherings or neighborhood cookout parties.

Where you plan to use it. If there is a designated area in your patio or backyard for it, you can choose free-standing grill that can stay in a fixed position.  If you don’t have a fixed spot for it or you plan to bring it along when you travel, you would need one that’s more lightweight and portable.

How to manage temperature. Maintaining the right temperature can spell the difference between a juicy piece of premium steak that will get your tastebuds tingling to one that’s all wasted potential.  Temperature is managed in a charcoal grill by manipulating the fire: features that facilitate stoking the coals, adding fuel or adjusting airflow will make grilling so much easier.

How easy to clean and maintain. Buying a charcoal grill is quite an investment so you would want to have it around and functioning well for a long time.  Proper clean-up becomes really important as wet ash left in your grill can wear the metal away over time and can accumulate to become an unmanageable mess, so be sure to look for features that facilitate easy ash removal. Check on the availability of accessories that will prolong the life of your charcoal grill such as a cover to protect it from the elements. You may even opt for a disposable charcoal grill so you won’t have to worry about cleanup and maintenance!

Buying a charcoal grill may be your first step towards many tasty food adventures so be sure to take the time and the effort to weigh your options and choose carefully.

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Aiah makes selling online easy for small businesses

In the Philippines, small and micro enterprises form 98% of businesses. Out of 1 million SMEs, only ten percent are online, and out of this pool – only one percent have a website. 

However, the average Filipino spends almost 10 hours a day online and ninety-seven percent of these internet users are on chat apps such as Facebook Messenger.  

This is a wide gap – and gives a big opportunity for these small businesses to reach this wide audience of consumers. However, small businesses think that automation is too expensive. 

This is why the Aiah Commerce platform was built.

With Aiah, a small business can build a fully functioning commerce platform on chat in just thirty minutes. The digital store can automatically speak to customers so it frees up time and effort for the business owner.

It can also easily track orders, payments and deliveries in real time. Business owners can also update product and service information in a few clicks. They can even send rewards to loyal customers. 

As small businesses have the potential to help uplift the economy at this difficult time, they need to all the help they can get. Therefore, automation should be easy and accessible for small business owners in the Philippines.

Aiah believes in using tech for good. To help more small businesses grow today, it is currently offering its services for free.

Sign up at the Aiah website or inquire via its webpage.

Image and details provided by Aiah.