One Direction

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As I walked by Musique Plus on Monday morning, a group of about seven girls were camped out on the front steps of the building wrapped in an assortment of blankets. I only noticed it because it was still pretty cold out. Leaving work that night, the group of “campers” had grown and stretched around the block onto Bleury St. — by now the temperature was well below 0°C. I had no idea that all these people were facing another 20 hours outside in the cold. The original group of seven had now been out for at least 10 hours!

Tuesday morning came and the chaos walking up to our agency was pretty intense by 8am Montreal standards; a thousand people waiting to catch a glimpse of the band “One Direction“, road closed off, and shrill screams enough to power a city block. Sarah and Warren walked into the crowd and the rest of us unwittingly took part in the scene as those screams pierced our glass windows and drove us all to headphones-mode until it all wrapped up at 3pm.

Post Mortem

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We’ve committed to making post-mortems a key part of every large project we take on in 2012. We’ve always done them, but in an ad-hoc way and sporadically as it seemed the best fit. The team gathered and closed the doors. I’ll use some discretion in talking about this specific project’s ups and downs, but I can say that some great and unexpected pieces came out of the review.

One of the largest issues we have to tackle (as do many creative agencies) is how to show ever-complex, single-page, highly interactive designs to clients and everyone involved at an early stage. It’s a battle we can win, but it’ll take a great workflow to do it. Plank is up to the challenge.

Going the extra mile with Google Docs

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We use Google Docs for a lot of our work. Plank’s owner @warrenwilansky led the charge last year, diving in head first and leaving MS Office as far behind as possible. We’re learning new tricks everyday, from better ways to import, professional formatting, to an ever improving workflow while editing docs in unison. This one caught our eye, especially as we’re currently improving our analytics reporting tools and are interested in functions within Google Docs that allow us to capture more information ‘automagically’. Worth a look.

Plank Hack Day

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I’ll save the details for an upcoming blog post but this was the major highlight of our week. We’ve been wanting to set aside a full day to work on some of our own ideas for some time now. That day finally presented itself last week. With no major deadlines and the majority of the week’s work behind us by end of day Wednesday, we organized into teams, added a dash of friendly competition to the mix, and set off exploring. We tweeted a couple of items from the day, but really it was more about shutting off external distractions and working on some fun and interesting ideas.

Outtake photos

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Have you checked out the updated Plank timeline? Lots of history has already been added, with much more on the way. This year, we wanted to tell the story of Plank— Facebook’s Timeline is the perfect (and timely!) platform. We’ve taken a whole bunch of new photos to help support this effort. Here’s one that didn’t make the cut, but we liked what’s happening with these reflections.

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