Review of 2018

Those of you who’ve been here before will know that I like to do an ‘end of year review’. I find it a great way to remember the good work I’ve done and to learn from the things that haven’t gone so well.

What went well in 2018

The text 2018 in swirly green text, with the Webscape Gardener logo in place of the zero.

My key resolution for 2018 was to look after myself more. Perhaps a bit selfish, but also necessary as I was struggling with constant coughs and colds last winter and didn’t want a repeat of that.

One of the things I identified as a problem was the blurring between my work life and home life. To fix this, I decided to set aside one day a week as a dedicated time to do all the ‘life admin’ things that I’d previously tried to squeeze into the gaps in my work day. That wasn’t healthy or sustainable, so I think this is a good thing both for me and my clients.

The new regime is working pretty well, and I’m definitely less frazzled as a result!

It’s been a great year for learning (which is something that I love).

I spent a lot of time in the early part of the year learning about data protection, in preparation for the GDPR being enforced from May. Using this, I was able to help a number of clients to get their websites ready for the new rules and I’ve tightened up a few of my own processes to make sure I’m doing the right things to protect the personal data of my clients, and (in some cases) their clients too.

And I’ve started to learn about Gutenberg, the new WordPress editing interface, which went live just over a month ago. Initially, I focused on what the change would mean for my current clients: would they want to use it, or stick with what they know? How would it change what they did, or wanted to do? Would it actually be useful to them? If so, how could I help them learn to use it?

Next I’d like to look more deeply at what I can do with Gutenberg and how I can use it to make things easier for my clients.

Also on the learning front, I’ve kept up my French studies (and even snuck in a little bit of Spanish and Russian). I’m currently on a “streak” of over 280 consecutive days’ French practice on Duolingo. Have I improved? I hope so, but ask me after I next go to France…

Other work I’m proud of this year include the re-launch of an artist’s website, giving a fresh look to an osteopathy website (which has also led to a couple of referrals – thank you Jerry!) and more collaboration with a marketing agency, which has led to plenty of interesting – and fun – work.

Room for improvement…

Last year, I resolved to introduce a task management system, to stop the ‘little jobs’ from slipping through the cracks…
… That’s definitely one to carry forward to 2019!

I’ve just about managed to keep on top of things this year but I did discover one missed task recently that, while not a major issue for the client, has ended up costing me time and lost income, so I will not let this carry on.

It was a very quiet year for launching new sites, which – while not a problem – is a bit of a shame as it’s always a bit of a buzz to create something from scratch and see it go live. However, I’m currently working on an e-commerce site (due to launch in February) and have had several promising enquiries recently, so I’m optimistic on that front.

I been meaning to make some changes to my own website but somehow didn’t get round to it. It’s one of those things that always gets pushed to the back of the queue! But since I’m getting more enquiries via this website, it needs to be doing a better job of showing off what I can do and how I can help people.

Aims for 2019

  • Sort out a task-management system.
  • Get to grips with Gutenberg and find ways to take advantage of the possibilities it offers my clients.
  • Polish up my own website.
  • As always, keep learning!

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