What do you do?
I am a freelance graphic designer. I also run Design vs Cancer, using my talents as a designer and working with other designers around the world to help aid cancer fighters financially through the sale of our shirts and posters.
How do you stay up to date with trends in your industry/field?
Panda for Chrome is the single handed best tool I have for this. It allows me to stay up to date on the latest and most popular news from Designer News & Sidebar, as well as keep up with some of the best dribbble shots at the moment. I also use Twitter to see what’s being passed around and talked about from other friends and folks I look up to in the industry.
What are your top five applications or programs?
Adobe CS 6 Slack Flow for Mac FontExplorer X Pro CloudApp
Best way to stay on top of email?
Turn off your notifications and the icon count in your dock. Seriously, get rid of the distractions and only read your e-mail when you can dedicate the time to it. There’s nothing worse then being in the middle of a project and things start whistling and jumping up and down to force you to stop what you’re doing and get sidetracked with an e-mail. Be efficient at what you do. Mailstrom.co is also the best tool I’ve found to keep your e-mail under control and at least get “close” to Inbox Zero.
What is your best time-saving trick?
Turn off your notifications for everything non-vital. Believe it or not, you’ll survive and the world won’t come crashing down if you don’t know the second everything in your digital life occurs. You’ll suddenly realize how much you can get done in a day when you don’t get distracted 150 times when your phone buzzes or desktop notifications drop down from a corner.
Favourite productivity tool?
It’s a little toss up between Flow for Mac and TeuxDeux. I use Flow for Mac with my team for client work, but I love the simplicity of the rollover tasks for my personal life in TeuxDeux. They each serve their purpose.
One non-tech thing you can't live without?
The love and support of my wife. She’s my biggest fan, critic and supporter.
Structure of your typical day, how do you divide your time?
6:30am – Wake up and eat breakfast
7am – Bike to gym
7:15-8:15am – Workout
8:15 – Bike home & shower
9am – Check and respond to e-mails
9:15am – Check out latest design news, RSS blog feeds for inspiration
9:30am – Check in with team via Slack or Skype Conference Call regarding current project statuses.
10am – Start work on current projects
1pm – Break for lunch ( I work from home, so this is generally heating up leftovers and getting right back to work)
1:15-4p – Wrap up client work for the day
4-5p Work on personal projects & package and ship orders for Design vs Cancer.
5-6p Cook dinner with my wife
6-8:30p – Family time & relaxation
8:30p In bed (since my wife and I are clearly an elderly couple in disguise)
I’ve found I work much more efficiently having a consistent daily exercise routine. I no longer worry about trying to force an “8 hour workday” since I find I am able to work more effectively and with “laser focus” for about 6 hours maximum. You can get more done in less time if you stay focused.
What does your workspace look like?
I’ve got an extra long Ikea desk that my wife and I both share. I added an extra shelving unit to the site for my 2nd monitor. I try to keep myself surrounded by items and posters that inspire me. To prevent back and neck pain, I use the TwelveSouth HiRise for my MBPr and a Haworth Zody Task Chair.