A Year in Review – Goodbye 2016!

Goodbye 2016. Hello 2017!

A new year means its time to come up with a new set of goals. But first, a moment to reflect back on some big moments for me – both personal and professional – in 2016.

Personal Accomplishments:

August 2016 – Got engaged!

  • My boyfriend of five years, Rick LaForest, popped the question, and I said yes.
  • We’ll spend 2017 enjoying engagement (and trying to remember to call each other “fiancée”).
  • The exact date for the wedding bells is in the works for Summer 2018.

October 2016 – Renewed as Microsoft OneNote MVP for a third time.

  • My third consecutive award designation was a surprise. I had the same number of presentations and blog posts as last year, but 90% of them were on Office 365 or SharePoint topics…
  • …fortunately my MVP Lead, Sim, gave me an heads up with enough notice to pump out a stack of OneNote-specific content and book some speaking events.

October 2016 – Delivered a free public “OneNote Demo Workshop”.

  • Delivered my first free, one-hour “OneNote Demo Workshop” to an audience of 25 OneNote fans.
  • Fun Fact: I have a deep-rooted fear of public speaking. I don’t stammer or black out any more, but speaking in public in front of more than 10 people still makes my heart race.
  • I learned A LOT and plan to do another OneNote event in 2017. Shoot me an email to be added to the waitlist.

November 2016 – Presented at the “Learn OneNote Online Conference”.

  • Delivered a 45-minute presentation on “Getting Started with OneNote – an introduction to OneNote, including an overview of the different version”.
  • Discovered last-minute that my presentation was opening the five-day conference that had 4,300 registered learners. No pressure!
  • It turns out that my presentation received 4,261 views from highly engaged OneNote fans, and it tied for first place as attendee’s favorite out of 21 different presentations in the post-event survey.


Professional Accomplishments:

Watching the itgroove 2016 year-in-review video is like time-traveling back over our team’s accomplishments for the year. It’s particularly fascinating how many changes took place in the last 12 months. Honestly, some of these events seem like they’ve been a part of the itgroove culture for years.

The Team Grows!

Of particular note is the addition of my colleagues Karin Skapski and Noel Feliciano to the team. I love the team dynamic

New Systems.

It’s shocking to think how many of the tools and systems that I use every single day were not here last year. Of note:

  • January 2016 – The itgroove Portal
    • It’s built on SharePoint Online in the Microsoft Cloud – that means sexy, modern lists and libraries – woot!
  • May 2016 – The itgroove Gallery
    • When people ask what sort of solutions we build, I can now send them a link to browse the gallery – where they can see screenshots and watch videos of how we can get their business and workplace technology working.
  • November 2016 – The itgroove Time System
    • I can now enter my time from my mobile phone on a fast, easy-to-use form – booyah!

New Tools and Processes.

I can’t believe how many processes we use to streamline our day-to-day communications didn’t exist 12 months ago. Here’s a few of my favourites:

  • Our daily online SCRUM meeting in Yammer to share what we’re working on for the day.
  • Our new Business Intelligence Dashboards to see what’s going on with our clients at a glance.
  • Our Planner board to get a big picture view during team meetings of what we’re all working on.
  • Our Wunderlist task lists to stay on top of personal, internal tasks and client project work.

To see what I’m talking about, check out the itgroove 2016 year-in-review video.

And check back for another “About Me” post where I propose my goals for 2017 – that will definitely include some OneNote-related activities.