3 min read
17 May

Hey Everyone!

I hope you all had restful weekends and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine during weekend number eight of lockdown/quarantine/self-isolation/social distancing – whatever you call it in your house! I hope you’re well, keeping safe and your spirits remain high during these very unsettling times. 

I’m frequently questioning whether I’m missing ‘normal’ life or not. On one hand it has been so relaxing to have no plans, nowhere to be and not stressing out about whether I’m going to be late or not (always am – blame the kids!). Then on the other hand, I miss my nearest and dearest, hugs, swimming with the boys, the park, camping and touring Solihull coffee shops with my laptop in hand. And going for a curry. Not that we did it as much as I’d like to, but we are definitely going to do it more often!

I usually work from home therefore I’m used to spending large amounts of time here. The opportunity to enjoy my usual 10am relaxing coffee break on the patio is a little tricky with four and six-year-old boys to entertain! Luckily, my husband has been on hand throughout to be with the boys in the morning, and we swap over in the afternoon. It’s tough, testing on all of us, but we’re healthy so any complaining ends there!

What has Clever Planning been working on the past few months I hear you ask? 😉

Organisations all over the world are having to make big changes. Offices are closed, events are cancelled, hot desks are a thing of the past and we are encouraged to social distance as much as possible. For many small businesses, to have a decent chance of survival it’s crucial they are open to and familiarise themselves with digital technology. This pandemic will reshape businesses in all sectors and how they serve their consumers and client base forever.

Whist I am incredibly lucky that Clever Planning hasn’t been affected by COVID-19 in terms of incoming workload, it's service structure has certainly taken a new direction.

For example, I currently I manage three of my client’s websites (two WordPress hosted and one Wix). The website maintenance I carry out is usually pretty standard – add blogs, update latest news, podcasts, replace images, add events, manage newsletter subscribers etc.. But since COVID-19 struck,  client requests have become more urgent. One client sent me an email simply stating, ‘I need to turn my whole business virtual, please help’. I am absolutely on hand to help and equipped to respond.

I’ve added eCommerce to websites to allow consumers to purchase services and products online, created online resource hubs for site visitors to access key information in various formats, added education portals for online courses and organised and promoted prepaid virtual events – just to name a few. My clients are also communicating and connecting with their consumers a lot more via email campaigns, Mailchimp and I are best mates!


Wearing my Personal Assistant hat, diary management has totally reversed! Cancelling all travel and accommodation arrangements, rearranging long haul flights to 2021, requesting refunds, arranging Zoom/Go To Meetings/Microsoft Teams video conferencing calls to replace face to face meetings, podcasts scheduled transferred onto online recording tools – the list goes on. Whilst this has been quite time consuming, my client can very much continue to function as professionally and efficiently as they could eight weeks ago. All thanks to the internet and its magic.

Earlier this year I began working on an exciting brand-new advertising project for a client I have worked with since Spring 2019. They publish a leading (award-winning!) magazine within their industry and have a monthly a print run of 4,000 copies. The magazine is packed with news about the latest developments within the sector and provides businesses with the opportunity to showcase their product or service through advertising. Working alongside the editorial team, I support the magazine by administering the advertising sales. The first edition I worked on was the April issue and to see your name printed inside was quite bizarre!  It might have been in the contacts section only – but I’ll take that! We are now in the planning stages of creating an online public facing magazine for their website following website traffic reaching 60,000 visitors a month. Another project to get off the ground – I love it! It truly has been a privilege to support a dedicated team who have been at the heart of dealing with COVID-19.

I’d say reading back through my notes I’ve pretty much shared with you my whole task list! I do enjoy writing these updates as it gives me a chance to reflect, think how the heck have I done all that and then question have I done enough! Ha, that’s an overactive brain for you.

I was planning to share this update with you on International Virtual Assistants Day which was on Friday 15th May, but between managing work and the boys I couldn’t find the time. Millions of office workers are now working virtually, maybe next year there will be a few million more celebrating International Virtual Assistants Day!

Wishing you a productive Monday and wonderful week ahead.

Stay safe.

Stacy x

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