gilest.org

Projects 45–65
and on it goes

Piles of boxes after hours of book packing

OK. A second year of pandemic-working.

I’m still in my office (and renewed the contract in November), and appreciating the large space to call my own. I’m much more productive and creative there than I am sitting at the kitchen table. The office has its own facilities, so it’s completely Covid-safe and I can continue to work there even if there’s another lockdown. I hope there isn’t, but hey, variants gonna vary.

2021 was busier than ever, with more projects and more new clients than any previous year. My definition of a “project” is fairly broad; some projects are multi-month engagements, others might only require a day of my time. If something requires a significant mention on my digital brain, it’s a “project” and gets added to the appropriate list.

Given how hectic things have been, the digital brain, managed using Scapple, has been incredibly useful.

It’s also really handy for forward planning, which is how I already know that I’ve got work of some sort lined up for at least the first 6 months of 2022, and that the first 3 months are fully booked. Lookin’ rosy.

Adventures in publishing

The biggest thing this year was obviously The agile comms handbook, which you probably already know about. Making it was hard work but I’m very glad I did, and very glad I asked clever people like Amy McNichol and Sonia Turcotte to help me.

Sales spiked hard in the first 2 days after publishing, then rapidly settled into a more manageable long tail. The goal was never to make money, but to get myself known in new circles. That’s a long game, but I think it’s already starting to happen, so I count the whole thing as a success.

Adventures in consulting

In general, my work continues to shift further towards advice about communication, and further away from actual writing. There’s still some writing, and I’m pleased about that; I want to keep doing the creative stuff.

For a couple of clients this year, though, the focus has been at a higher level. Helping senior people think communication things through, and helping teams decipher what senior people are asking them to do about communication things. I enjoy this stuff, and enjoy having the opportunity to crack out the writing tools when I need to make a point about something.

I’ve had the chance to join a new team of particularly welcoming, friendly and smart people - that’s been a real highlight of the year.

Other highlights included:

Adventures in standing

Early in the year, I bought a sit-stand desk. Since then I’ve spent most of my working hours standing up, and felt loads better for it. I don’t think I’d ever be able to go back to seated working for more than a couple of hours - now I’ve tried it, I much, much prefer to be on my feet.

2021 in numbers


The story so far:


Filed under: work
(16 December 2021)