2021 — from the other side

Julie Chabin
2 min readJan 1, 2021


New year, new website. ✨

It’s usually around this time of the year that I start a new side project, adding more work to my plate. But 2020 taught me to do things differently, and I’ve decided to allow myself to breathe a bit.

If the situation were different, I’d have paused all my side projects and used the extra free time to travel. The reality is, if we’re following the current plan, I won’t be vaccinated against COVID 19 before summer 2021, and we’ll go through new lockdowns and curfews before we’re done with this pandemic.

When I first started my design career, side projects were a way for me to add work to my portfolio. Later, I used these projects to take a step back from my “daily” work, which can be monotonous when you’re working on a single product.

At one point, I even left my “in-house” job to join an agency because I thought working on multiple projects would be the solution. But working for agencies never allowed me to dive deep enough into products… and I’m definitely a product person.

The problem with side projects is that they take a lot of time. When they don’t work, you slowly stop putting effort into them, and when they do work, they can become a source of stress — especially when you do everything by yourself.

So I asked myself why I truly enjoyed side projects, and I pinpointed the following reasons:

  • Designing new things teaches me a lot and brings me satisfaction.
  • Working on more than one project helps me be more creative.
  • I enjoy solving problems and helping people.

So, I’ve decided to pause all of my side projects in 2021.
At least, I’ll try to 😉

Instead, I’ll focus on the followings:

Hopefully, this new setup will allow me to have enough diversity in my work not to start unfinishable projects. I’ll learn new things that will benefit the two products I’m working on (instead of 5 😅) and my teams.

And when I’m not working, I’ll enjoy life with my incredible partner, play video games, read books, work out, try new recipes, take care of my friends and family.

I wish you the best for 2021.
Take care 💕



Julie Chabin

Newsletter → ctrlalt.club ⟡ Head of Product Design @ProductHunt , prev @AngelList , @wearetmsf , @deezer