Looking out from a cafe into a train station. A post-it on the wall reads, ‘He’s an eight-foot, two-inch, bright yellow anthropomorphic canary.’

Didn’t write weeknotes last week or the week before, so here’s a quick Sunday afternoon effort because I should definitely be doing laundry or some other life admin right now. Tame Impala on the stereo. Off we go.

Things I did

Doing this in bullet form this week because I think it’ll be quicker, and also because grouping my working week into overarching themes seems to have made this a blog all about planning.

This week I…

  • Met with a team who are relaunching their product later this year to talk about how they, digital and marketing can work together better. This was a good chance to check in and share some useful resources to help inform their work.
  • Took part in a focus group about equity, diversity and inclusion at NCVO. For more on these and why we’re doing them, read this blog from my colleagues in our EDI working group.
  • Ran a workshop with a colleague from the content team and others from our practical support team to get stakeholders’ views on an important area of our guidance content. This was the session a colleague gave me some difficult feedback about a few weeks ago. Thanks to her stepping up and challenging what we were doing, the resulting session went much better than expected. I’m glad my team is somewhere that can happen.
  • Had some more tricky planning chats with others around the organisation involved our new processes (largely from our digital, marketing and communications teams). These are really helpful, as we’re all adjusting to the new ways of working and able to listen to and support each other well. It’s also nice to feel that others are in the same boat.
  • Had my weekly catch-up with my line manager in the unbeatable Cafe Oz, and now want to eat breakfast for lunch during all my 1:1s (possible, but unlikely).
  • Set up a new tag for an upcoming digital marketing campaign using Google Tag Manager. Did this with a colleague from the marketing team, which although a bit comical and like being back at school (how many charity staff does it take to set up a tag etc.) seems to be working. There’s about five of us now who ‘kind of’ know how to use this tool. It’s a very valuable skill for us to have in-house as we’re launching new campaigns and products all the time, and agency time is expensive.
  • Helped prep an update presentation for staff about how our website redesign process is going — this is happening on Monday and I can’t wait to see how it’s received.
  • Kept my 1:1s and catch-ups with my team in the face of much chaos all around. Feeling pleased with this as I often feel like they get pushed back too much. Having monthly supervisions and weekly informal catch-ups is working well and giving my team a good opportunity to discuss any smaller issues that come up, so I’m happy with how this is going.
  • Made some good progress planning how my team is going to approach a big content update we’re running alongside the website redesign. It’s a big project, and quite different to our everyday business-as-usual work, so getting a process for it planned out and thinking about how we will really make it work is exciting. Also it’s a good chance for us to try out some new approaches like crits.
  • Interviewed some excellent candidates for a junior role in my team. Due to unexpected circumstances we had one team for shortlisting these roles and another for interviewing, which isn’t ideal, but in this case the range of brains and experiences in the room was incredibly helpful. One more interview to go, and then a tough but good choice on Monday.
  • Had a great chat with a colleague from our communications team about accessibility and how we could/should make our digital publications easier to use. These are a new thing for NCVO that are allowing us to move away from only publishing long-form content as PDFs, so there are a few tricky issues to solve around how we make sure they are as engaging as possible.
  • Updated our main planning spreadsheet with some useful new fields. This was very boring but will hopefully make life easier for me and others next week.
  • Didn’t write my weeknotes due to the aforementioned spreadsheet update which took all Friday afternoon. Oh the pain.

Things I thought about

  • Feeling supported is really important. We’re working on lots of BIG NEW EXCITING stuff right now (new planning process, new website, new strategy…) and having supportive colleagues who give me useful feedback (good and bad), share their own experiences and are willing to listen, take responsibility for things, share learning and also be great people to eat lunch/go to the pub with makes it so much easier.
  • Using good content design practice when you’ve got a tonne of stuff to publish is hard. Also, learning about good content design practice when you’ve got a tonne of stuff to publish is hard. Finding ways to give my team the headspace to do this is probably my biggest challenge at the moment.
  • Recruitment is also hard, but I’m grateful for colleagues with different views and experiences to work with on it because this makes it much easier. This guidance on inclusive recruitment from Snook is good too.

Anything else?

I’m pretty sure the only thing I read this week were COVID-19 jokes on Twitter (it really does fit well to the tune of Come On Eileen, honestly).

I also enjoyed this segment of Last Week Tonight, featuring a very catchy tune from an anti-coronavirus campaign in Vietnam.

More seriously, I really liked this thread from Kiran Kaur, one of NCVO’s new trustees, about how she came to take on the role.

Kiran’s thread encourages other young people and women of colour to put themselves forward for opportunities. She also says some great stuff about how mentoring and supporting others is important that’s really inspired me.

Besides this, I didn’t read much. Will work on that next week.

Senior content designer at the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Formerly at NCVO, the BMA and Refugee Action.