Christmas Giveaways for 2009: Marketcircle and ThinkGeek!

To celebrate the end of 2009 and the Christmas season, we’re giving away prizes on WorkAwesome and FreelanceSwitch. All you have to do to enter is tell us the most important thing you learned about getting ahead in the office this year in the comments–but make sure you read the instructions below before you do so!

The Prizes

We have some software from Marketcircle to give away. WorkAwesome readers can get their hands on a copy of Daylite and Daylite Touch, while FreelanceSwitch readers could receive a free copy of Billings. We’ll be giving away three copies of Daylite and Daylite Touch this week.

We’re also giving away ThinkGeek products (because they’re awesome). In each article throughout the week, we’ll tell you what that day’s ThinkGeek prize is, and provide you with special instructions for entering for that draw.

Since this is a week so many people take off work and away from the Internet, it’s a great way to show your dedication and work ethic. Publicize your entrepreneurial spirit by entering awesome giveaways all week!

How to Enter

To win a copy of Daylite and Daylite Touch, leave a comment on this post telling us the most important lesson you learned in 2009 about getting ahead in the office.

Make sure you use a valid email address with your comment, so we can let you know you’ve won.

Marketcircle develops software for the Mac only. If you’re not a Mac user, we’ve got ThinkGeek giveaways lined up throughout the week, which you can enter by following the instructions on our regular content this week.


  • Employees and contractors of Envato, past and present, can’t enter (but you can bathe in the residual awesomeness of having worked with us, which we feels makes up for it).
  • I select the winners at my sole discretion, based on how awesome I think the entries are.
  • Entries close on Christmas Day, Australian timezone (that’s the 25th of December, in case you didn’t know). You can bet your mother’s uncle I won’t be checking them on that day, but that’s when the deadline is!
  • You must be 18 or above to enter. Sorry to be a bunch of Scrooges, but Santa has monopolised the youth market already.

Merry Christmas!

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Joel Falconer is the co-founder of public relations company Methodic Studios, publishes the gaming blog StartFrag, and is an editor at leading technology news site The Next Web. You can follow him on Twitter.


  1. Michael Buckingham on the 21st December

    As cliche as it sounds, you have to be a part of the team.

    This is a team sport. If you want to run a one man show, then hop on board the freelance train (yep, that’s where you can plug freelanceswitch) and call all the shots (and feel each one).

    And do what you love. Ask yourself what you’re passionate about and dive in. I believe we were all created for a unique purpose with unique skills doing anything but tapping into those is just painful.

    if you can’t be a part of the team, if you don’t believe in what you’re doing getting ahead shouldn’t be your goal, getting out should be. Trust me, I’ve been there. I chased position and money for too long…it truly doesn’t pay off no matter how much the paycheck.

  2. Samir on the 21st December

    Learned organizing project files, keeping my desk clean & most of all using weekends for work.

  3. Marius M. on the 21st December

    Learned the differences between Office-life in different countries and how people try to handle it.

  4. oykun yilmaz on the 21st December

    I hardly learned that when we work at a project as team, I should not expect same level as me from team members and find a way to make myself feel okay with team member’s works, and being adapted. so if you ask if I’m happy with what I learned in 2009 like this matter, hmmm I don’t know.

  5. Brent Alexander on the 21st December

    I’m a student/freelancer. My laptop is my office. The most important lesson I learned this year is that I cannot do everything. For everyone. For little or no pay. I’ve realized that some clients just aren’t for me and I’m not the man for the job. And when I am the man for the job I’ve learned how to charge them in a way that is fair to both designer and client. I expect to learn much more throughout as I grow in the industry.

  6. Adzar on the 21st December

    Hmmm, I noticed that getting ahead in office may have some fun.

    Workawesome’s great!

  7. Maigret on the 21st December

    Don’t be afraid of work ! This is the GOLD rule for all entrepreneurs… at least, it’s mine. 🙂

  8. Mark Dijkstra on the 21st December

    Keep a clean desk!

  9. Ashish Bogawat on the 21st December

    Punctuality! Although one’s compulsive desire to live by the clock can lead to discomfort in some teams – especially ones that include a number of disorganized individuals – over time people learn to respect this as a quality and give in to having some of it rub off them in the deal.

  10. Othman on the 21st December

    Just learned how to make the most of my weekend 🙂

  11. smashill on the 21st December

    processing my items as fast as possible to spend the rest of the time on my freelance projects. introducing other co-workers to the concept of “not being available when they cry” resulting in getting more stuff done and reducing the nick nack party whack time wasters, office space pointer: [blockquote]”Yeah, I just stare at my desk; but it looks like I’m working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch, too. I’d say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work. “[/blockquote] that are used to fill so much work time, that resulted in even more stuff done, yet more time for the side projects.

  12. Brandon on the 22nd December

    Pick your battles. Everyone always says this, but in the heat of the moment sometimes you loose sight of what is really important. Recently I went on a business trip with a coworker. We both ate at the same places and when we got back to work they really stuck it to us on our expenditures. Both of us were upset by this because we felt like we had followed the guidelines setup for traveling. I decided that paying for a few meals out of my pocket was a lesson learned and that I would move on. My coworker decided a terse email to our Manager and VP might “enlighten” them. I have since learned that he received a sit down that involved terse talking to. When you think about it in retrospect, fighting on “principal” is usually not worth it. $40 worth of meals is not worth standing in the unemployment line or pissing off your VP.

  13. Drew on the 22nd December

    I learned the importance of getting and staying organized! I’ve never been very well organized. Over the past year I’ve tried to do that and it’s helped a lot.

  14. Richard on the 22nd December

    My lesson for this year was: Don’t dispair, salvation is coming in some form.

    Keep talking about your needs and your ideas don’t shutup because you think no one is listening. The truth is they are but they can’t help, cope or are afraid at that moment in time but might be able and willing in the future.

  15. Andy on the 22nd December

    The most important thing I’ve learned this year is that providing for my family is more important than loving what I do. If I can combine them, great. But there’s nothing wrong with a job that provides even if it isn’t changing the world. Changing the world comes second. And I’m okay with that, now. Because providing for my family will soon mean I have the time to change the world once again.


  16. Paul on the 22nd December

    Hmm, most important lesson of ’09?

    I’d say it’s that communication is key. If you can’t communicate, you’re going to lose clients, whether you got skills or not! I work in the web development field, where it is especially important to properly communicate the goals of any site project. Your looking at a long frustrating relationship if you do not clearly express what is expected of both your company and the client in the project plan.

    Remeber, kids, communication is foundation!

  17. Andrew Possehl on the 22nd December

    The most important lesson I learned this year was organization and documentation. I really started to crack down on keeping notes and folders organized so I am not scrambling to find things while clients are waiting on end. It really speaks volumes to people that you have their accounts organized and they are getting the most out of the relationship. Some applications that have helped me with these tasks are Billings, Things, and Evernote. Daylite would only add to this process and make me even more put together.

  18. Dominik Porada on the 22nd December

    I’ve learnt how to efficiently isolate my work and myself from disturbances outside my desk. Mostly thanks to your blog.

  19. Tim on the 22nd December

    I learnt a lot this year. My main lesson was not to be afraid of self-redundancy. I’ve spent the whole year systemising and automating my role (where possible) to the extent that I’ve automated about 7 work days of work. This has automated repetitive low value tasks that really were unproductive for me (given my wage).

    This has freed me to attack higher level strategic tasks and unlock a whole lot of insight in our data (I work at a telco as the Network Capacity Planner) including new upsell opprtunities and the ability to accurately forecast required resources and capital. More value added through more productiveness and more efficient deployment of capital.

    So, my overarching lesson is: embrace your dispensibility – make yourself indispensible by constantly adding value to each role by systemising, automating and cataloguing knowledge and information. Even if you make yourself redundant from that role, you’ll still be valuable to that, or another, company.

  20. Dennis Baker on the 22nd December

    A way that I learned to be awesome at work is to connect with my co-workers and share. That might sound very kindergarden-ish, make sure and share. But where I work, we are all reaching for the same goal for different clients, and so one can easily stay in their cubicle and not be part of the team.

    Instead, by having a team mentality, and a willingness to share, the free exchange creates a better work flow and result for everyone.

  21. William Barrera on the 22nd December

    In any type of business organization is always important. In my case, lack of organization resulted in loss of customers and deterioration in relations with others. Goals for 2010 is to renew my system of organization and begin to grow my business.

  22. Rod Hardman on the 22nd December

    For getting ahead and staying organized I finally took charge of my own IT platform! There was a time when you could sit back and let IT look after your PC and Applications – These days “outsourcing” and “right-shoring” etc has left Corporate IT an empty shell. This is particularly true as we get ready for the mainstream adoption of “the cloud”.
    So now, I’m working on the platform of my choice – a “Universal Client”, Win & Mac OSx Virtual machines running on MacBook HW with Productivity apps that link to my iPhone – Now those Daylite & Billing Apps look good!

  23. Tim on the 22nd December

    I have another. Liberation of information – goes hand in hand with what I mentioned above. I’ve wikified all my knowledge. Now people at work don’t ask me stupid questions every 5 minutes. “CHECK THE WIKI!” yell I.

    Also the old story of absolutely not doing any work that is not germane to the success curve of what I am doing. I’ve just closed down my first business after 8 years (a snowboarding company) as it just wasn’t scalable and growing.

  24. Eric Marshall on the 22nd December

    What I learned most in 2009 was the value of planning ahead. This stems from being laid off. I always knew that it was a possibility, but I really didn’t think it would happen to me. When it did, I was unprepared. I haven’t been in the job market for over 5 years. Things have changed drastically. It has taken me about a month to figure out the “new wave” of self-promotion; using social media to reconnect with colleagues, deciphering the code in cryptic job postings, reanalyzing my professional accomplishments for promotion, and developing a bulletproof resume and cover letter.

    This process has made me proud to be an American. I am so grateful to live in a country that is willing to help a person/family out financially when they are down. I understand that this is often abused by many people, but there are millions of people out there like myself who are fighting to stay above water and aggressively seeking to re-enter the American workforce. We should all be thankful for the hand that this country offers us in our time of need.

  25. Armin on the 22nd December

    I learned how to work from home and stay productive at it.

  26. Oscar on the 22nd December

    Most important lesson of getting ahead in the office is: getting out of the office!
    I can do it myself. It can also be done in an organized manner using great software. Thanks for all the recomendations this year.

  27. Alex I on the 22nd December

    organize, organize, organize

  28. Jason on the 23rd December

    This year I’ve learned the power of accepting responsibility. Acknowledging that there is a problem, and setting out to fix it, regardless of who or what caused the problem or if it’s technically “your problem”. This is the opposite of “That’s not my job.” I’ve had a fantastic year and have gone from entry level developer to working side by side with our CEO (mid to large corporation) and now with full responsibility for what I do. I’ve seen that through the simple act of accepting responsibility, you change your role from reactively being told what to do into proactively moving things forward. People notice.

  29. Diarmuid on the 23rd December

    2 production tools… “Actionmethod” and “Evernote” … combined with one website packed with knowledge and skill “Envato” thats how I got ahead in the office in 2009 🙂

  30. Mike Branski on the 29th December

    My biggest pitfall since starting to work from home has been this: not falling a regular schedule. It’s important to have flexibility – and is certainly a big draw to working from home – but I found it’s crucial (for me, anyway) to set a schedule and stick to it. Instead of sleeping ’til whenever, then checking e-mail and getting to work, working during different hours each day, I found I function so much better giving myself a regular routine.

    Even if I’m doing the same amount of work, following some sort of structure has really helped me to stay focused and be monumentally more productive.

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