2018 Recap and 2019 Goals

I hope everyone is enjoying their New Year’s Eve. In reading last year’s recap, I realized that our household was in quarantine with the flu and right now I’m trying to fend off whatever feels flu-y. It’s sort of comforting to know that it’s a trend. A ton of things happened in 2018 that I’m extremely proud of, but that’s for another day! Reflecting on how much I accomplished from my goal list, I feel incredibly happy with what I managed to do.

In addition to everything I accomplished, I also won Best Academic Solution at DevLearn 2018’s DemoFest, I delivered my first full-day pre-conference certificate workshop (and received pretty darn good feedback), bought a new house with my husband (and sold our first home – which was a PROCESS!), visited one of my besties, Erin, in Aspen, got to spend an entire week with my best friend, Rachel in Vegas (she will be my new Vegas pal…AMEN!), and accepted a new job that I hope will become my career. It’s been wild!

2018 Recap

Personal goals:

  • Slow down and enjoy the present; – I have made this goal for many years in a row and I SUCK at achieving it. 
  • Maintain a consistent exercise schedule; – This is a half-achievement. In July I tore my medial meniscus in my left knee, so exercise has been just a nice thought since then and until post-surgery (whenever the heck that will be…AMEN to universal healthcare).
  • Be more mindful of the food I’m putting into my body and make positive dietary changes; – I completely forgot that this was a 2018 goal, and I actually achieved it. This past year I went gluten-free, which has been both a blessing and a curse. I hate to admit that it’s been effective with my migraines and visual auras…because GF pizza crust just isn’t the same, but I’m sticking with it!
  • Run the Bluenose Half Marathon and participate in a relay race (should be do-able since I won’t be attending ATD ICE this year); and – This didn’t happen because I did end up going to ATD ICE (which was amazing).
  • Travel to Toronto with my husband for the Blue Jays Home Opener and plan and execute an epic 5-year anniversary vacation. – Went to the home opener. They got crushed. It was still great! Executed a 5-year anniversary vacation to Portugal, and it was beautiful.

Business Goals:

  • Increase business income by 25%; – Business income has been blown out of the water.
  • Attend 2 conferences; – I actually attended 3: ATD ICE, ATD Core4 Toronto, and DevLearn 2018.
  • Speak at 1-2 e-learning conferences; – I spoke at 2 conferences: ATD Core4 Toronto and DevLearn 2018. 
  • Participate in the e-learning heroes community challenges (period – not regularly, just participate); – I’ve realized that to do this, I need to discover cloning technology…I would LOVE to participate, but have been swamped.
  • Blog regularly; – This definitely happened!
  • Break 1,000,000 views on the blog; and – The blog has hit 1,025,000 thereabouts! And I cannot believe how much love and support (from you folks) that I get for this blog and the content I produce. When I hit 1 million, I actually teared up. I’m not crying…you’re crying!
  • Get more courses up on Sprout. – Essentials of Instructional Design and Articulate Storyline 360 Essentials both launched and have been enjoying a very successful learner-ship!

2019 Goals

Personal Goals:

  • Slow down and enjoy the present;
  • Have knee surgery to repair the torn meniscus;
  • Rehab the knee and then return to a maintaining a consistent exercise schedule;
  • Make additional dietary changes (maybe get rid of dairy?); and
  • Hit the cottage at least four times for max relaxing.

Business Goals:

  • Work smarter – implement processes that will make my work-life easier and more efficient;
  • Hire an accountant (something that I’ve been long overdue for);
  • Maintain relationships with my existing clients;
  • Invest in sprucing up the blog;
  • Blog regularly; and
  • Continue to grow Sprout E-Learning.

Two Coming Soon Articulate 360 Features That I’m Pumped About

This week Articulate announced some new things coming to Articulate 360, and there are two things in particular that I am very excited about:

“Create more types of interactions in Rise: Create compelling scenarios in Rise with the new scenario block. And easily create gorgeous bar, line, and pie charts that help learners make sense of information with the new chart block.”

Rise is such an easy and fantastic web-based authoring tool, and I love that Articulate keeps expanding upon its current pre-fabbed offerings. Adding in options for charts and graphs is going to be a game changer for a lot of data-driven courses.

But the feature that I’m most excited for is:

  • “Author more quickly in Storyline 360 with media library: Save time by managing all of your Storyline 360 project assets in one place. You can add, remove, replace, reuse, and export images, videos, audio tracks, and characters.”

The media library is going to be a game changer for ANY e-learning developer. Half the battle of course development is asset management…heck, I even gave a less than exciting (though passionate) session at an Articulate Community Roadshow entirely on asset management and data back up several years back. Sounds exciting right? Someone has to deliver those sessions! ANYHOW, the media library is going to help e-learning developers streamline their development approach by proactively providing developers with a library to contain all of their course assets…AMEN! Developers will no longer need to (most often) reactively create their file structures, and it will help everyone be more organized, well-oiled machines.

What new features are you excited about?!

Screencast: Make an Image Background Transparent in Microsoft PowerPoint

In this screencast, I’m showing you how to make the background of an image that isn’t transparent, transparent.

If you’ve ever received files from a client that don’t have a transparent background, but you need one because you’re placing it on something other than the image’s current background colour, this tip is going to be a lifesaver!

Check out the screencast below!