As I mentioned in a previous post I started the year by upping my course creation quota. It went so well in January with the Scrivener 3 Styles course that I decided to commit to creating at least one new course each month for the remainder of 2018. A fine aim but how is it panning out so far?

Well February went very well considering! Considering what? Well it’s a short month and I’d booked a long weekend away at the end of it. So I had less time than I would have liked to complete a course but I still managed to get it done and the last week in February saw the Scrivener 3 Scratchpad course launch at Skillshare.

March arrived with such promise 😉 and within days I had a whole course planned. Never one to sit on my laurels I decided to challenge myself with the creation of a different type of course. Instead of a course showcasing an app or a feature of an app this one was dedicated to a piece of hardware and how to get the very best from it.

As I tend to do with new things, I planned it meticulously and was soon ready to start the recording process. That was when disaster struck, in terms of me suddenly feeling decidedly ill. There was no way I could get in front of a microphone for long enough to do any good in the course creation department at all.

One day became two which quickly became three and before I knew it I’d lost a whole week. However, finally feeling much improved I knuckled down and two epic recording sessions later I had all the audio the course required in the can. I was on a roll, it hardly needed any editing either … WIN!

The trouble was by this stage it was the last week in March, and taking other commitments into account, it was looking decidedly dicey that I would have the time to create all the imagery, video and assets this course demanded. Still I soldiered on for another 3 days before deciding that short of extending March by a week there was no way I was going to be able to complete the course by my self-imposed deadline.

What To Do?

Every challenge is an opportunity

One option was just to accept that things happen and complete the course in April. But every challenge is an opportunity, a commitment is a commitment, and the only thing for it was to swiftly establish a credible Plan B.

With 48 hours to go until midnight on the 31st I decided to create another course!

I know what you’re thinking: She must be absolutely crazy! One unfinished course is bad enough but taking on the creation of a whole new course in addition to that is just plain madness.

Indeed it would have been complete insanity but for a few pertinent factors:

  • Over 20 years experience means I can define the content for a course and its structure very quickly
  • I love my tech and I have a huge range of apps to choose from when I need something inspiring to teach
  • Apple had just had an education event where they announced some updates to the iWork apps, yes my beloved iWork apps!

All of which meant I was able to choose a very specific feature update to Keynote as my topic, research it, outline a mini course, create the required data and produce the course in a little over just a day. Not too shabby given that that little word “produce” includes a whole range of tasks like; scripting, creating demonstration data, recording, editing, exporting, encoding, uploading and finally adding all the detail to the course page.

So with a full two hours to spare I clicked the publish button on a mini course showcasing the new Image Gallery component in Keynote announced by Apple only 4 days earlier. Success!

Course poster for the Keynote Image Gallery Course

And the other course? Well after taking a few days off over Easter as we do every year I intend to return to production and ensure that it’s published well before the end of April.

The only thing that could have made the Plan B any easier would have been to have it in place earlier, so that’s just what I intend to do from now on. During the first week of course planning I intend to plan the intended main course and a backup “Plan B” course. If that Plan B course isn’t needed for a particular month then it can either be the backup for the following month or be added to a pool of potential “low hanging fruit” course ideas for rifling through when disaster next strikes! Lesson learnt.