Keeping the Creativity Flowing

Hi, my name is Julia, and I am a graphic designer at Planful. I have been a part of the Planful team since January of 2019 and have loved every opportunity and bond that working here has given me. Due to the impact that COVID-19 has had around the world, Planful, like many other businesses, made the decision to stay safe and stay home. At first, the idea of trading in my business casual wardrobe for loungewear sounded like a dream, but by the end of the first week, that idea began to fade. Adjusting to this new normal hasn’t been an easy task, but it has been a wonderful opportunity to learn about myself and my work ethic.

My “office space” that had formerly been filled with coworkers and meetings to discuss projects and catch up on each other’s lives, has now transitioned to the table in my one-bedroom apartment and conference calls through UberConference. While it’s nice to have software that allows for open conversation, as the weeks go by, I miss seeing everyone more and more. We’re a small team and our boss, Sarah, has created an environment that encourages the friendship we share with one another. 


Creating a new routine for myself has been one of the most important things I’ve done during this time. It’s easy to get stuck in the habit of rolling out of bed, opening your laptop, and working without any breaks–and that’s exactly what happened to me during week one. By Friday I was exhausted and the thought of having to look at my screen again on Monday morning was a nightmare. 


When Monday rolled around, I decided to treat it exactly like how I would a normal workday. I woke up early to make breakfast and get ready (of course this still meant putting on loungewear) and sat down to work. Only instead of not moving from my laptop, I would get up to walk around the room a few times an hour, pour a fresh cup of coffee, or grab a snack before settling back in. After my workday was over, I went out for a bike ride on our local rails-to-trails to keep my body moving and see some scenery other than the same four walls. At the end of the day, I felt better than I did any of the days the week prior. 

Since then I’ve been treating each day like I did that Monday. Getting out into nature has always been an important thing to me, so implementing that into my day whether it’s a bike ride or a hike has allowed me to clear my head and be better prepared to get back into work the next day. Defining clear times to work and time to myself has improved my creativity and workflow drastically. 


Working from home has been a hard thing to transition to. I’m grateful that our Planful family has been able to persevere and keep dialog clear and open through phone calls, texts, emails, and our task manager Asana. It’s still hard to not see your coworkers’ faces or have people to directly bounce ideas off of, but all of us are making do with what we have. There are a lot of things left to the unknown during this time, but I couldn’t be happier to have such a supportive and positive group of people to work alongside.