All the things

This year is full, and fully planned, with lots of new projects. There are mostly a couple of major client projects, a couple of big collaborations and for the first time in years, a new business or two.

One thing that definitely does work for me and is imperative with managing so many projects, is at the beginning of each year mapping out these projects - internally & for clients - and trips during the year so I can visually see where our energies and efforts need to go and what's possible and what's unrealistic. I break the year into quarters.

Throughout the year these then get adjusted. Cards get moved from one quarter into another or placed in the 'On Hold' list. Priorities shift. If we want to take on something new I can then easily see if this is possible or not. Here's an example of how this ends up looking for our year (I do it in Trello where a lot of our other projects exist):

What are your thoughts on this method? Do you do something else or what's your current process? I played it loose for years but found I needed structure to be able to set myself up into good habits and make stuff!

Tip: If you don't know your client projects ahead of time but roughly know how many you normally, or ideally, do in a quarter, you can pop in placeholders.

Internet finds this week

Do you love Stephen Fry like I do? He was on one of my favorite Dutch shows this week in a 30 minute clip talking life and Greek gods. It's in English and you can watch it here.

Right Message - an exceptional looking tool for targeting visitors on your site. We're going to play around with it on a major client trafficked project later this year. Any thoughts?

Do you use a business dashboard for all your key metrics, to keep teams engaged, easily follow KPIs etc? I've previously been a proponent of Geckoboard & Klipfolio but am setting up a Cyfe one for a client who needed more and so far it's great.

Are you a Sketch app user for your designing, pattern libraries and interfacing? Currently experimenting with Picnic, Abstract and Kactus for version control and team sharing. Have you tried something like this?

Listened to...

This week in my week

What went well?
  • I uploaded some wallpapers to my photography Instagram if you want something new for your phone (oceans, mountains and a waterfall!). You can find them on my story right now or see the Highlights.
  • I finally finished Version 2 of meetCreative my course for creatives who work with clients. It's now with some people for final review.
  • Provided the edits for the sales page video to that course to the videographer...also finally (the video was shot about 6+ months ago I suspect - oops!).
  • Rounded up one major client project for review that had had a few loose ends to it.
  • We moved to a new office! It's bigger and brighter and closer to all the street art I love.
What didn't?
  • Client communication - when I get so lost in work and have so much to do I tend to ignore everything else that I consider small. This is not a good habit. I'm addressing it by regularly updating my Slack status so people know what's happening and I'm also making a concerted effort to set aside at least 30 minutes of each day purely for going into Slack and replying, updating and getting on top of things. Also our team is much better at this than me so they're taking on a bit more and it's wonderful. Hire amazing people and get out of their way.
  • MeetCreative just keeps getting pushed to the back burner. I'm having to remind myself it doesn't need to be perfect (that's impossible) and that maybe it's my own feelings about it, and not just being pushed for time, that stop it from getting out there. It needs to be rolled out to past participants and then go from there!
What am I working on the coming week?
  • Deep in client code to get that over for review - it's a big one with lots and lots of moving pieces. This leaves little room for anything else so I've pushed most of this out to the weeks after this one.
  • Creating a new media kit so we can use it for some marketing work we're eventually going to have to do for new projects and releases!

Any questions, comments, ideas, business frustrations, future topics, casual conversations - just hit reply to this. I'd love to hear from you.

🎶 Lots of intense brain work means I need a chilled list like this one to listen to.

Until next week,