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Island Treasures

O hey there! It’s Friday, and you know what that means, right? Pants are optional tomorrow morning and more importantly it’s also time for another round of ISLAND Treasures! This week we present to you a mixed bag of goodies that range from design tools, to music history, all the way back around to product management resources! Fill up your fanciest coffee cup (Mine says I’m with stupid and points to the boss) and follow along!

Cody Schumacher   |   January 19, 2018

Island Treasures

Welcome to another edition of Island treasures, we’ve been gone a little while but we promise we’ll be better at passing along these little gems more often in 2018. If you’re new to this, Island Treasures is a curated list of the coolest new things we’ve implemented into our day-to-day workflow or even just simple tools things that make life a little bit easier!


Being as it is a new year, the first thing we found is the world’s simplest tool for reminding yourself to get s*** done in 2018. 3Things conveniently lets you type the 3 most important things you want to be reminded to do this year…and best of all, they promise not to send you anything else! For example, on my 3Things list is:

  1. Learn to Swim. I figure your late 20’s is the sweet spot for learning this skill
  2. Eat Better. Currently I’m on week 2 of a pescatarian diet and haven’t had a beer in 3 weeks. PLEASE SEND HELP…I MISS 9 MILE AND CALIFORNIA RANCH RIBS.
  3. Try not to buy more dogs. I currently have 2 and apparently my wife doesn’t want to be married to the guy with one of those belt leashes..but I dunno I think Daniel Radcliffe would disagree.

Cody Schumacher   |   January 12, 2018

The Next Web NYC

This December I was fortunate enough to attend The Next Web’s New York conference. This is an annual conference put on for people in technology, communication and media businesses.

The idea of the conference is to provide a platform for startups to network, and to have industry leaders learn, discuss, and determine what the future of the web will look like. In an effort to make the conference more intimate and fruitful, TNW limited the number of attendees, and required people to apply for an invitation. I was beyond excited when my application was accepted.

This year marked the fifth edition of the conference, and they decided to try a new format this year. They had the typical stage program, with speakers throughout the day. They also had “Round Table” sessions, where an expert/leader in the industry would sit at a small table with at most 10 attendees. This allowed for very intimate discussions compared to most keynote or breakout sessions at conferences I’ve been to in the past.

My plan from the beginning was to share everything I learnt in a single blog post, but the amount of knowledge that was shared was immense. So over the next week or two, I’ll be sharing the highlights from each session I was privy to. I hope you guys enjoy. Here are the sessions I attended so you have an idea what to look forward to:

Talk: The Business Imperative for Creating A Culture Of Security
Christopher Young, CEO, McAfee

Round Table: Redesign Strategy 101
Jess Brown, Director of UX, VICE

Talk: Machine Learning for Personalization
Tony Jebara, Head of Machine Learning, Netflix

Talk: Dreams for Future Cities
David Rose, Entrepreneur, Author, and Researcher, MIT

Round Table: Mindfulness-Based Leadership
Cory Muscara, Mindfulness Coach, Google SIY

Talk: Cryptocurrency and the Future of Money
Galia Benartzi, Founder of Bancor

Talk: The Future of Emotionally Intelligent Machines
Pamela Pavliscak, CEO of Change Sciences

Andrew Scott   |   January 10, 2018

PechaKucha in #YXE

Hey, for all you creatives (and non-creatives), we invite you to check out this upcoming event in Saskatoon: PechaKucha Night Volume 1

Some of Saskatoon’s best creatives will be delivering short presentations consisting of 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds.

Andrew Scott   |   November 23, 2017

Graphic Designer Takes his Client’s Requests a Bit Too Literally

The title says it all. Check out James Fridman on twitter: @fjamie013

Here are some of our favourites:

Andrew Scott   |   September 26, 2017

Island Speaking During Small Business Week

Small Business Week runs October 16th – 20th, and Square One is putting on a series of great presentations for entrepreneurs on topics from websites, online marketing, accounting, business plans, and much more.

Island will be giving a talk titled Function vs. Form: Building a Website with Purpose. With so many tools out there such as Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly, it’s actually quite easy these days to build a nice looking website, without needing know how to code. This is great, cost-effective solution for startups and small businesses when done right. In this talk we’ll cover some common pitfalls people make, which turn their website from a useful sales and lead generation tool, into just a piece of eye-candy.

Register Here

Andrew Scott   |   September 22, 2017

The Importance of Side Projects

Employee side projects have always been a bit of a contentious issue for business owners as the inherent worry is that employees will be drawn away from focusing on their regular tasks. This worry makes sense on the surface, but we (and many more before us) think this is the wrong way to approach it, especially while working in a creative field.

So why do we encourage side projects? To be honest they just serve as an outlet that so many creative people need to have, it gives them freedom to explore ideas that may be too “out there” for clients, and above all else it helps good employees realize you care about their life and interests, not just how they can make you more money. And even then, by allowing your employees to explore their own unique ideas we believe they can learn and leverage these new skills when working on in-house projects. This helps everyone, boosts office morale, and helps fight off burnout.

So now it’s time to see what encouraging employees to pursue side projects looks like in action, not just theory.

Meet Howard & Lloyd

Our designer, Cody Schumacher, has been working on a Made-in-Canada clothing company, and it’s launching at the end of the month. His idea is to deliver the best products he can, while keeping the company simple from the get-go:

  • design what he wants – no one providing direction
  • how he wants – no rules, remember it’s not putting food on the table
  • work with as many other creatives/artists – learn from peers
  • while working with manufacturers across Canada – Why not? No financial pressure to reduce costs by ordering from overseas

If you are interested in learning more about Howard and Lloyd, visit them online at Also for you YXE folk, we are sponsoring the launch party, and it is set for September 28th & 29th at our favourite neighbourhood brewery 9 Mile. Check out his event on Facebook.

Launch Party

Andrew Scott   |   September 15, 2017

Job Opportunity: Website Developer

Now Hiring: Website Developer

Island is looking for a web developer to join our team. If you’re a self-starter with experience in both front-end and back-end website development, then you’re the perfect fit for this position. We offer a creative work environment, flexible hours, and a job you’ll never want to leave.

Andrew Scott   |   August 30, 2017

Website Launch: Sask Drinks

It’s not every day that a hobby we share in the office comes knocking at our door* with an idea for a cool website project, so we were super excited about this one from the get go!
*metaphorically knocking at our door, there wasn’t like a 9mile growler knocking at our door, although I have had an eerily similar dream.

Sask Drinks was created to help those interested learn a bit more about Saskatchewan’s growing craft alcohol industry through an online interactive map that showcases many of our province’s finest beer, wine, and spirits (of the roughly 20 makers initially featured, we’ve tried 14 so far ourselves). Everything is organized geographically so sit down at the table, find your favourite new spot, and don’t forget to click around to find out a bit more about everyone who helped make the map a reality (psssst….click on the matches).

We really hope you all enjoy Sask Drinks as much as we did creating it.

Cody Schumacher   |   July 12, 2017

Website Featured in Saskatoon Express

Last month we launched our Season of Giving winner’s website. We’re pumped to see that Naomi, and her website This Is My Self, are front page news! Read the article below, check out the website at, and be sure to share her stories of self-love.

Andrew Scott   |   July 6, 2017