We’ve hung up a new calendar. We've ushered in a shiny New Year.

This should be an exciting time. But in the past, I've tended to focus on what I did not accomplish in the previous 12 months, on the items I did not tick off the to-do list. This had me stepping into each January working from an emotional deficit.

Well, I made up my mind to change things up this year.

To keep a positive outlook going into 2015, I set aside a healthy chunk of time this holiday season to focus on my personal and professional successes of 2014. And I asked members of Team TTT&T to join me.

First we identified, and celebrated, all that we achieved in 2014:

I established a great Team with whom I was able to maintain forward momentum in building the TTT&T vision, mission, and brand despite a messy international move that included my only daughter leaving the nest and my dog going missing for 72 hours among strangers in a strange land. (Fortunately, the Brits love dogs and we were able to get dear Gryffindog back before Lily knew what was happening.)
— Sarah
We solidified a great collaborative working dynamic in which we feel confident encourage each other as well as offer helpful critique when necessary. But the biggest success is that week after week we all keep showing up!
— Dan
We quickly committed to communicating with our audience and fan base on a regular, weekly basis. We developed that goal as a habit, which is getting easier to accomplish with ongoing practice.
— Emma
Our communication around our mission and vision is much clearer and is resonating well with our fan base, which more than doubled in the last year. And our followers are much more engaged than they ever were before.
— Caitlin

Then, we sought to build on those triumphs as we strategized for the year ahead. We brainstormed our goals for 2015 -- the initial list was crazy long! So we chunked them into similarity groups, and unpacked them into actionable tasks to which we attached milestones.

Et voila! our 2015 calendar was born!

Finally, we wrote a Mission Statement that would communicate our goals in one succinct sentence:

That no young person says, “History is Boring,” ever again!

We invite you to be our accountability partners this year,
to hold us to – and help us celebrate the achievement of – the following goals:

To raise funds, grow investment, and earn income
in order to ensure TTT&T’s future sustainability

To continue to grow both
audience engagement & brand awareness

To increase our author network and
continue to build our story library

Stay tuned for our first big announcement. It may come sooner than you think ;)

In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy this little gem – something we found while going back through our past blog posts. Originally created for my and Julie Hedlund’s presentation at SCBWI-LA, we all agreed that while my Brief History of StoryApps and Interactivity needs updating, it still packs the intended punch. It shows:

  • how quickly the world of digital storytelling has evolved, and

  • how quality storytelling combined with technological innovation has the power to turn kids on to just about anything. History included!

Click the image below to view.

Did you have a favorite app in 2014? If so, we want to know. Please let us know in the comments.
Sarah & Team TTT&T