As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to take a look back and reflect on what I accomplished in my personal life, work, writing, and event planning.
Here are some of my highlights from 2018:
- I read 15 books this year, including books I read when I was a teenager. I still have many of my books when I was in high school, it was fascinating to read my handwritten notes in the margins. (Yes, I’m one of those readers who write in their books!)
- Saw 50 life birds, which averages out to almost one a week. A life bird is a bird species you’ve never seen before. Originally, I had set a goal of eight life birds in 2018. But when I reached that goal in mid-March 2018, I knew I needed to reconsider the challenge.
So I set my goal to be one life bird a month.
Trips to Colorado and Ohio helped me to reach that goal. It was harder for me to find a life bird in August than it was in December (fewer birds in Michigan in December).
Highlights included the Spotted Redshank in November (a bird that typically is found in Europe).
And the Brant seen in Marine City, Michigan in October.
- Return to the western slope of Colorado for vacation. We loved going to Colorado a few years ago and wanted to return. This year’s wildfires kept us from doing much hiking, but we managed to return to Independence Pass and Maroon Bells as well as enjoy time in Carbondale and Denver.
- Landscaped the backyard with more bird-friendly shrubs, including evergreens, winterberry, and ninebark which I can’t wait to see in bright golden orange foilage in fall next year.
- I launched six new websites in 2018, including three redesigned sites and a WordPress theme change for new clients. I wrote about the redesigns for Greenlawn Landscape Management and The Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast.
- Added several monthly website maintenance clients, who have entrusted me with managing, updating, optimizing, and keeping their websites safe and secure.
- Troubleshooted and resolved major issues (crashed sites) on 10 websites previously created by other designers. All the websites no longer had technical support. Converted several of the websites to paying monthly website maintenance clients.
- Conducted monthly individual training sessions for setting up WordPress, blogging, customizing theme options, and using CSS.
- With me reducing my event planning activities in 2018, I had more time to invest in my business. And it showed! In 2018, I more than doubled my income by taking on new projects I wouldn’t have time for if I continued with my event planning work.
Writing and Curation
- Published 210 blog posts on this website, including 49 weekly roundup posts. That averages to four blog posts a week.
Top posts in 2018 were How to Ask your Clients for a Google Review (Use My Template), Make Your Coding Easier, Use DuckDuckGo Cheat Sheets, Celebrating Web Standards on Blue Beanie Day, How to Add Alternative Text to Facebook Photos, and 3 Password Managers for Chromebook.
- Published 19,200+ tweets about web design, development, accessibility, WordPress, user experience, productivity, and technology. And I added a daily joke tweet in December 2018.
Why couldn't the astronaut book a room on the moon?
Because it was full.
— Deborah Edwards-Onoro (@redcrew) December 31, 2018
Meetups and Conferences
- Launched the new West Metro Detroit WordPress group in January 2018. We’ve met in Plymouth and Canton and bring in members from Garden City, Westland, Canton, Livonia, Farmington Hills, and Ann Arbor. Originally, the group was launched with two co-leaders, but I’ve been on my own since April to manage and promote the group.
- Gave three presentations at the West Metro Detroit WordPress group on changing your WordPress theme, General Data Protection Regulation, and tips for managing your WordPress site.
- Helped to plan and organize 13 events for Refresh Detroit and Metro Detroit WordPress
- Attended and wrote about two WordCamps (WordPress conferences) I attended this year: WordCamp Detroit 2018 and WordCamp Denver 2018.
- Stepped down from my volunteering with the Michigan User Experience Professionals Association
Thank you to my clients and colleagues, I enjoyed working with you in 2018. Can’t wait to get started in 2019!
How about you? How was your 2018? Share your thoughts in the comments.