A Look Back At 2009 & My Plans For 2010

I was inspired to write this by Sarah and Elliot’s posts on their look back at 2009 and their resolutions for 2010.

I started blogging back in March 2009, so was a little late to the New Year resolutions party, however I’ve decided to publish my thoughts on 2009 but more importantly my plans for 2010.

If nothing else it should make for some interesting reading next January!

Freelancing

It proved to be a breakthrough year for my business in 2009. I’ve worked on a wider variety of projects this year than ever before, ranging from microsites to large e-commerce redesigns and development. This was a conscious decision on my part at the start of the year to expand my expertise and knowledge and work with a wider range of people and businesses and it’s been extremely rewarding to see this pay dividends throughout the year.

I’ve also said No a lot more than I’ve said Yes when potential projects arise. I aim to continue being selective when accepting work as it’s not just good business sense, it also means freelancing continues (for me) to be extremely enjoyable and rewarding.

One of my main goals for this year is to gain more experience within iPhone & Mobile design and development. I’ve actually just begun a long-term project with an exciting government related startup to undertake both their web design and design and development of an innovative iPhone application which will offer citizens mobile access to city & county services and information.

I also aim to further push my Consulting service which in it’s first year has been a moderate success but I feel can be developed to provide even more value. It’s also an area that the redesign and development of Postscript5 will help with.

Work/Life Balance

Being self-employed it’s always difficult to switch off when you’re in the office, we constantly want to improve profitability and productivity, so making sure we take time away from work is a challenge. This year I decided to effectively cut-out any work over the weekends and limit time spent checking emails.

One of my main shifts this year was cutting down on the amount of office telephone calls I take and over the year it’s improved my productivity tremendously. Switching to Skype and email (much like Sarah) has been a major plus and helps me to keep both organised and interruption free.

I also took up Photography early last year and found my desire to constantly think about work lessened. Now when I’m not in the office I’m usually thinking about lenses, shutter speeds and planning the next photo walk!

Having a hobbie I’m so passionate about has provided me with endless inspiration and allows me to be creative in a completely different field.

Tools of the Trade

Overall I’m pretty happy with my office setup although there are some items I’d like to add including a second monitor, preferably a Cinema Display (as I’m rather envious of John’s setup). I also need a stand for my Macbook which sits on my desk and for me the only choice is the mStand, which looks amazing and stylishly fits with the iMac design.

Projects
The year has been mixed in terms of my own web projects. My major twitter related app still hasn’t got off the ground due to lack of time which has been hugely disappointing as I know this is a rather special (and unique) addition to the many sites and apps that make use of Twitter.

However I did manage to successfully launch The Freelance Feed in late November which is the premium aggregator of hand-picked freelance resources and articles. It now has nearly 400 subscribers and over 650 Twitter followers. It was covered on a wide variety of blogs and continues to grow and attract a loyal following.

I’m determined to make 2010 the year of the Side Project!

2010 Goal Summary

  • 1. Work on at least 3 Mobile (iPhone App) related projects
  • 2. Enter two photography competitions
  • 3. Buy an L Lens and Tripod for my Canon 350D
  • 4. Guest post on other blogs at least twice a month
  • 5. Finish and launch 3 side projects
  • 6. Go to more local and UK conferences
  • 7. Redesign, rewrite and redevelop my portfolio
  • 8. Grow this blog to 5000 subscribers
  • 9. Land 6 consulting contracts

I would lastly like to thank all those who have supported both myself and this blog since it launched in early 2009. You’ve put up with a lot of spelling mistakes and also made my first year of blogging one to remember!

Now that I’ve laid out my experiences and goals for the next year, I would love to know your hopes and plans for 2010?

Image Credit

9 Comments

  1. Rebecca says:

    Great post! really inspiring!!!
    gave me some new insight for projects to take on in the new year
    e.g. photography
    have been thinking about starting up but the idea of a photo walk sounds brillant!!!

  2. Martin Lucas says:

    really inspiring post – definitely making me think about getting one’s arse in gear for this year, well the 11 and a bit months that are left.

  3. This is a really great exercise! I will have to do by myself too. Is great to review the past and make plans for the future. Thanks for sharing Grace, 2010 will be a great year!

  4. Johnny says:

    Great idea to list your goals!

    You know I’ll have to hold you to them now, right? We’ll talk in a year 😉

  5. Andy Sowards says:

    Congrats for all your achievements in 2009 Grace!

    I Just know you will knock 2010 out of the park :)

    Good luck!!!!

  6. Clinton says:

    Good luck with the 2010 list. I only completed 80% of last years goals but it’s such a good idea to jot them down.

    • Grace says:

      @Rebecca Photo walks are fantastic, especially when you have a great group of passionate photographers (whatever their level of expertise). I highly recommend finding a few people who are willing to share their knowledge. I’m lucky in that two of my best mates are fantastic photographers who have taken me ‘under their wing’.

      @Martin It’s tough to set goals and even tougher to achieve them, but it’s time to give it a go. Here’s to the remaining 11 months!

      @Adrian Cheers Adrian, setting goals is important as it gives us something to work to. Let’s hope for a great 2010.

      @Johnny I expect nothing less, you better be back in January 2011 to kick my butt if i don’t meet most of these!

      @Andy Mr Sowards, your words of encouragement are much appreciated!

      @Clinton 80% is still a great achievement. Some of these I know are going to be tough to accomplish, but I wanted to aim for goals that were tough but reachable.

      @SaraKate You’re amazing SaraKate also! I love your blog and especially the way you listed your goals. Let’s make it a great 2010!

  7. SaraKate says:

    Dear Grace,

    CONGRATS! This post is awesome and I know you’ll do just as amazing this year as you have done in the last.

    Here’s my list of goals for 2010: http://seakisst.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/058-wired-for-success-in-2010/.

  8. Dean Walton says:

    Hi Grace,

    Really inspiring read, especially for someone like me who will be launching their own design blog soon. I’ve discovered yours and it definitely seems like a good one!

    Best of luck for 2010!

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