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Holiday: A Week in the Life of a Digital Agency


Well almost a week. The first half I was still on holiday in the sublime Lake District.

The main concern with going on holiday when running a digital agency, is knowing how best to switch off – whilst making sure that your business doesn’t.

One approach could be: F@ck it. I’m on holiday. Don’t contact me. I don’t want to hear about the client demands. Now watch this drive.

But that’s not really my style.

I do want, however, to keep an eye on any new business leads, the progress of individual client projects – and any potential pitfalls, without stepping in too much.

Is it possible to unwind and keep command concurrently?

Is it possible to unwind and keep command concurrently?

I think so. It’s a question of how.

Over the years I’ve used dozens of communications apps to try and better organise ourselves. Yet they have all had their issues:

Basecamp – tricky to find deep content
Skype – can’t segment into different projects
Action Method – nice task management, but now discontinued

So what project management apps have found their way into our workflow?

Let’s take a look:


Trello-logoTrello is our project management app of choice. It’s split into boards and lists, which can be re-organised and re-assigned very easily. I have one board set up for business development (so a mini-prospect list, top-level business tasks, future concepts etc). And another board for project work. This board is accessible by the whole team, whereas the business development board is purely for myself. Once a task is complete, it can be archived, and I can be notified simultaneously.


Slack-logoSlack has replaced Skype. Skype has done a pretty good job for us in the past, and we’re still using it to speak with a handful of clients. The problem with Skype is that it’s pretty much one stream of conversation per contact. Finding anything is pretty tricky too. Slack is different. It can organise all of my client discussions into separate channels, so there is no muddling up of client discourse. It also syncs with Trello pretty nicely. The only real downside is that, unlike Skype, it sounds a bit naff when I ask someone to “Slack me”.


Swipe-logoI use Swipes in a similar way that I used Action Method. Like the previous two apps, it’s super satisfying to use. The UX is orderly, and the UI is contemporary. Swipes is a present day to-do list, and it works very well with the GTD mindset. I use Swipes mainly for any thoughts, ideas and actions that I need to note down before I consider adding them to my Trello boards (I did try using Trello for gathering insights quickly – but the app isn’t as immediate as Swipes).

Anyway, back to the Lakes.

Was I able to relax? Yes.
Was it partly to do with feeling in control of my business? Yes.
Did I find a way to stop myself from checking emails on my mobile? Hmm.


Seabrook: A week in the life of a digital agency