What do you do?
I wear many hats. By day, I’m the Brand Engineer for a top 10 global mattress manufacturer, Restonic Mattress Corporation. I direct the social communications as well as all PR, advertising and branding issues that arise and help steer the direction of all those components as a whole. When I’m not dreaming up creative new ways to share our message of the importance of sleep health, I’m the founder and owner of GoGirlfriend.com, a travel blog written by and for women. GoGirlfriend was born in 2007 out of a desire to put all of my traditional travel writing to use. When I was a freelance writer, I contributed to publications like Women’s Health, the Chicago Sun and CBC radio (to name just a few). Now I share my travels with my GoGirlfriend community.
How do you stay up to date in your industry/field?
Because much of my work is online, I stay current by constantly reading what my peers are doing as well as those in other industries. Inspiration can come from so many sources and I try to be open to new ideas all the time. That can get troublesome when I’m thick in a project and realize I need to change direction – but being agile is as important as being well-informed.
Best way to stay on top of email?
Email is a tough one and it takes dedication. I turn my email off when I’m working and check it only hourly. And when I do check, I deal with it right away – and only once. My inbox is a numerically ordered system and everything gets filed as soon as it’s acknowledged. I never delete anything so the system is large, to say the least – but it’s all filed in a logical, systematic way that makes it easy to locate past correspondence quickly.
Top five applications or programs?
Word – I’m a writer so that one’s obvious.
Excel – Everything I do in Word has a counter-part here so that I never lose track of larger projects.
Skype – I live and breathe by Skype. I’ve conducted job interviews, caught up with old friends and held board meetings with this tool. Super valuable.
Hootsuite – All of my social communications are planned out months in advance and Hootsuite helps me schedule.
What is your best time-saving trick?
Deal with email once and file it. Email can be the biggest time-suck but dealing with it and filing and helps me clear my mind for the real work ahead. Busy is not necessarily productive. You can work 60 hours a week and still not move any projects forward – the key is to eliminate the stuff that distracts you.
Favourite productivity tool?
My strongest tool for productivity is my running shoes. Seriously. I have sold more challenges just by going for a walk and giving my brain the space it needs to let the dust settle and find the solution. It can be hard to drag myself away from the computer but it works every time. Doing the dishes works too but that’s not as much fun.
One non-tech thing you can't live without?
I’m actually a pretty low-tech gal. I love my iPhone and tablet, but I could live without them in all honesty. Being tethered to email 24/7 doesn’t actually help with productivity though it can help me be more agile in a crisis situation. I think the key is that technology has to serve a function in my life for it to be useful – if it’s just a shiny new toy, that’s not helpful. But the one non-tech thing I absolutely cannot live without it is my running shoes. See the answer under my productivity tool and you’ll understand why.
Structure of your typical day, how do you divide your time?
My days are all over the place – literally and figuratively. One day I could be working on a new brand promise or helping guide the design of a brochure. Or I could be hosting a twitter chat that spans the globe. I might be shaking hands in mattress stores somewhere in Kentucky or hanging out with CEO’s in Phoenix. Every day is different.
What does your workspace look like?
Because I travel so much, my work space changes daily.
Who would you like to see featured on Ways We Work?
I’d love to see Meaghan Coneybeare – I’m a BIG fan of hers!