What I use to run my business and do my work

I welcome suggestions for

Still figuring out an efficient knowledge management process, this situation is a hot mess.

  • FA VO (beautiful 100% recycled notebooks)
  • Google docs (meeting notes)
  • Trello (kanban)
  • Pocket (save articles)
  • Notion (wiki)

Google Workspace (docs, presentations, spreadsheets, forms and basic surveys)

  • Google Workspace
  • Miro, Google Jamboard, Google Slides (digital whiteboards). I tend to use…

I was recently reminded of this very long, very good article How to make your iPhone work with you, not against you by Coach Tony. It’s a 75-minute read, enjoy.

Since I read this article over the Christmas period of 2018, I have been slowly but surely crafting a Boring Phone.

2018: Did most of the things in the article

2019: Deleted all social media and news apps

2020: Deleted the Gmail app. Apart from my daily walk, I now spend all day on my laptop, there is no good reason to check emails on my phone

2021: Deleted the…

About 50 small white cards with typed and handwritten words on them, on a table, with a Sharpie pen
About 50 small white cards with typed and handwritten words on them, on a table, with a Sharpie pen
My first pass at updating my values in 2020, using Lou Shackleton’s Values Cards. It’s ok to have 40 values, right?

Defining your values gives you confidence, stability, consistency and helps you to make decisions. I first defined my values when I went freelance, in May 2017, over three years ago. The end of this strange year felt like a good time to revisit my values, with the help of my wonderful coach, Lou Shackleton.

How I defined my values

I did some prep work with Lou, capturing significant moments of my life. Lou then posted me a pack of about 150 potential values, with some instructions for sifting through them to find the right ones for me.

When I got down to the clusters you…

An illustration of three people at work, with illustrations of sketches and charts behind them
An illustration of three people at work, with illustrations of sketches and charts behind them
Illustration courtesy of Blush

A new project to inspire and support radically better organisational development in the UK nonprofit sector.

In the last six months, the UK nonprofit sector has rapidly adapted to the disruptions of Covid-19. Within weeks, charities, voluntary and social enterprise organisations have created new services, secured emergency funding and increased partnership working. What if this rapid adaptation contains the seeds of radically better organisational development?

Open OD is a project to explore how we might inspire and support radically better organisational development in the nonprofit sector. …

The user manual for my boiler. A complicated machine, very unlike a complex human.

I’m collaborating with lot of different people and groups at the moment, from paid work with clients, to side projects with friends, to Covid-19 volunteering. I’m publishing my user manual as a way to give a quick intro when I start working with someone (thanks to caitlinconnors for the prompt). User manuals are really useful for developing your team culture and ways of working, particularly when working remotely.

A few caveats:

  • I don’t expect anyone to read to the end of this! For a team exercise, I’d create a much shorter version
  • Sharing my user manual doesn’t mean that I…

I am sharing some principles for coping with isolation that I learned through being housebound due to chronic illness. I spent September and October 2015, and February, March and April 2018, mostly at home. It was self-isolation, but because I was too fatigued to work, walk very far or talk to people. An uncertain and fearful time. Would I get better? Would I be able to work again? Routines and plans didn’t work for me, but, looking back, I can see that learning to follow these principles helped me to cope with isolation*:

  • Options, not timetables
  • Let things emerge
  • Become…

My favourite tree in the park nearby. This was my screensaver on my phone when I was housebound. A little bit of the outside, inside.

All this Coronavirus and self-isolation business is triggering for me. I was mostly housebound for some weeks/months in 2015 and 2018 due to Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (more on that here). With luck and vigilance, I am mostly well these days, but I am afraid of getting another viral infection and the potential for fatigue relapse (the ME Association has a good post on Coronavirus and ME/CFS, and here’s a Twitter thread about ME/CFS and viral infections).

One of the hardest things about being housebound and ill was having no external validation for my worth as a person. Our culture…

A team designing their ways of working

“I’d like to know more about organisation design, is there anything you could send me?” — Curious designers and digital folk

People ask me this question fairly frequently. I have an “org design primer” email that I send to curious people, but thought it might be more useful if I chucked it into a public post.

Organisation design is a jumble of disciplines and capabilities, which, depending on who you talk to, includes some of the following: organisational development, learning and development, systems design, user-centred design, agile working, digital transformation, culture design, organisational psychology, leadership and team coaching, HR and…

Artwork by young people who are refugees and migrants, in The Children’s Society’s Birmingham office. Sketched hearts with “love” written in them.

I spent August — December 2019 working with The Children’s Society to prototype how they might operate differently to better achieve their strategy, which includes being systems-led. I have struggled with the academic nature of a lot of systems change writing. Like everyone, I’ve personally experienced broken systems, but I haven’t seen (or perhaps haven’t noticed) many examples of tangible systems change and how it was implemented. Until I worked with The Children’s Society.

Systems change is a small, experimental (but growing) part of The Children’s Society’s work, led by practitioners. What I heard during my user research with practitioners…

What I do when my body reacts to human interaction like it’s the flu.

Photo of a toddler hanging their head and standing in front of a large dramatic stone staircase.
Photo of a toddler hanging their head and standing in front of a large dramatic stone staircase.
Image: this toddler faces a mammoth task… a bit like working with chronic illness. Thanks, visual metaphor! Photo credit: Photo by Mikito Tateisi on Unsplash

In 2015, I caught a nasty virus while travelling. The virus is long-gone but it left behind Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS). PVFS is a chronic illness (similar to ME/CFS). It’s a bummer, and makes working tricky.

In December 2018, after 10 months off work recovering, I started a new organisation design project with the wonderful People and Culture team at Addaction. During this project, I learned a lot about how to cope with working and having a chronic illness. I hope that writing about it might help others who have chronic illness, and perhaps even healthy folk who struggle…

Emily Bazalgette

Organisational design consultant for social change. Coach. #chronicillness advocate. She/her. Newsletter: thismightresonate.substack.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store