Category: Career

April 18th, 2017

I’ve read Stephen King’s On Writing, like everyone else.

It bummed me out.

This post originally appeared March 21st, 2017, as part of SuperYesMore’s series “The Human in the Machine”.

This is a writer with a marksman’s ability to sit, focus, and write. Not just write, but create – worlds, intertwined, 800 pages long, one after another – not in that Danielle Steele way, but in a way you totally respect – and BOOM there’s another book, and there’s another, and there’s another.

And so I tried it.

I made a special time to write. It happened for three days. I’ve tried it over and over since then, with the same result.

I tried giving myself a word count. I’ve tried creating a project that might drive me. I’ve tried and I’ve failed and I’ve tried and I’ve failed and now I’m just tired.

So.

Productivity.

We Gotta Go, Gotta Get the Job Done

Here a few things at which I’ve failed.

I failed the 43 Folders method. I failed because my tasks don’t always line up into single-day voyages. They are multi-faceted, and they depend on other people for feedback, and they float here and there, dependent upon priority. And after a few weeks of shifting papers around, I realized 43 Folders wasn’t going to work.

I failed at Getting Things Done, because (though I love the Omnifocus system as an over-complicated reminder system) the time spent trying to break down large projects into smaller tasks was better spent adjusting on the fly when the process needed some on-the-fly adjusting.

I failed at Pomodoro, because Pomodoro is not conducive to an open floor plan. It’s also not conducive to a home with curious children, or a coffee shop with a few too many distractions, or any type of work that requires a chunk longer than 20 minutes.

I fail at most productivity methods because my mind, while well versed in overanalyzing and over-categorizing, is not set correctly for rigidity.

This is my struggle. All I want in life is for things to line up correctly, and I realize they never will. I seek what I may never have.

And so I was obsessed with productivity for a bit. And so I tried everything. And it never helped.

There’s A Million Things I Haven’t Done.

Here are the things I understand.

I understand that the concept of productivity is designed to help us make the most of our working hours so that those working hours don’t spill into our non-working hours; to use our time wisely when it’s wisest to use it, and to leave no strings attached when it’s time to let go.

I understand that most productivity models are focused on tasks, with break times in between. They focus the mind during certain points, and allow for space in between our beats – they introduce white space, and they create fertile thinking.

I also understand that most productivity methods are designed for very specific jobs. For careers that allow total immersion, that can Pomodoro their way toward a better solution. Follow my plan toward glowing health. Debbie Drake your way to a new future.

It’s that last paragraph that allowed me to exhale. Because I’ve read a Debbie Drake book, and it’s not really that helpful, to be quite honest.

In understanding the rigidity of most productivity models – models created by specific people in specific jobs and adopted by well-intentioned industries as a solution for their very similar jobs – I finally understood the quandary of modern productivity: that the methods that get named and praised and raised on high … they don’t really account for, you know…

…differences.

Funny, that. Seems a common thread among widely-adopted systems these days.

You. Me. We all work differently. And bouncing from method to method is akin to trying a new fad diet, or exercise routine. The best one might be out there, but in the process we begin to forget what makes us unique. What helps our minds work. Instead, we just try to fit.

I Am Inimitable, I Am An Original.

Stephen King has a solid method. It works for him.

But the entire time I read his book, I questioned him. Every chapter, I doubted him. Every sentence, I felt further from the truth. I needed one answer.

“What happens if I’m not you?”

Productivity? Good luck. My mind is a mess, as is the mind of most people I know, because minds are messy and so is our work and so is life.

I’m not worried about it anymore, because even though sometimes I stress and sometimes I give up and sometimes I wonder why the hell I can’t stop all of my bad habits, I still get the work done. I use my flaws to further my productivity. And it’s a weird magic.

And so I don’t worry about myself.

I don’t worry about myself, because I am myself, and there’s nothing I can do to change it. I work around it.

I’ve worked around myself for a lot of things. I will never be as perfect as a productivity model assumes. So I adapt. I create. In the way that I can. And it works for all of us, because it’s real.

It’s me.

Comments Off on What Am I Waiting For? What Do I Stall For?

February 21st, 2015

When it comes to web origin stories, I usually tune out. They’re often studies in longevity, attempting to give credence to the idea of experience over expertise, written to prove Original Gangsta status.

This is not that kind of origin story. This is not about experience. This is not about proving myself.

This is just a story about a blog.

1

To be clear, my actual web origin story begins in 1997, when I got to college and had access to a neighbor’s laptop, but for purposes of this post let’s assume it started exactly ten years ago. Well, ten years and one day, to be totally exact.

I had failed at being a teacher; after four years of college and two years of on-and-off substitute teaching, I gave up. I floated into call center management, and while I was making more than I would have otherwise made as a new teacher, it wasn’t by much. I had no direction. What I had wanted to be when I grew up wasn’t actually what I wanted to do anymore. Where do you go from there?

But I liked writing. I discovered that, at least, thanks to hours of downtime during late-night shifts at the call center. And I liked the internet. We all did.

So one evening I asked my co-worker – the one who made websites on the side – if he could help me set up a blog.

And on February 20, 2005, I launched cdub.driscocity.com.

2

I stole a quote from an author I’ve still never read. “The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.”

I was going to be a writer. An author. I was going to use this to hone my craft and publish things, to place my words into the domain of public criticism and learn from my bruises. I wrote about books and I wrote about music and I wrote about sports. I wrote for my friends, because that’s all who knew about it, and then I wrote for my state because the South Dakota Blogosphere was a small place and it was easy to be noticed.

We were a small club. We drew lines and started specializing. Politics over there. Sports over here. I was the one who wrote about whatever was on my mind – ramblings from a late-20s ex-punker.

I became an advertising copywriter, and I shifted direction. I started being more selective and deliberate. I gave myself challenges – writing about every Sioux Falls Skyforce home game we attended, or writing each month about the books I was reading – and I started looking inside.

I was prolific, then I wasn’t. I wrote about kids. I wrote about death. I wrote about careers. And then I wrote about myself. About adjustment, learning, being a better person.

I wasn’t a blogger. It was never my main focus. It was just a thing I did when I needed an outlet, and it helped me work through things before I dove in too deep. I don’t write to communicate – I write to discover, the process itself helping me figure out just what the hell I’m trying to say.

If I’d have had a blog when I was learning to be a teacher, I might not have wasted those years wandering down the wrong path. I might have found my passion a little earlier in life. But that’s the past.

3

We take it for granted now, this ability to set up your own piece of real estate on the internet, especially with how easy it’s become. You may not fully own it – you may just rent it from Facebook or Medium or Twitter – but it is your sandbox. It’s whatever you want it to be. That still amazes me.

What amazes me even more is when someone takes that sandbox and builds it into something more. I was never going to be that someone. I was always going to be someone who used and ignored.

It’s still amazing to me that I was ever able to get my shit together enough to do it. That I was ever able to actually create something that I could get use out of. That’s not me. Or, at least, it wasn’t.

4

Somehow, it worked. Every small advancement in my career is due in some small part because I started a blog.

I used my blog to get a gig as a book columnist.

I used my blog to get my first paid assignments at the local paper.

I used my blog to show I could succeed as an unproven copywriter.

I used my blog to gain a larger audience through 9rules.

I used my blog to reach out to those in the local web community.

I used my blog to meet the person who would give me a chance as a web person.

I used my blog to write a love letter to content strategy.

I used my blog to prove myself, to gush endlessly about my future, to be embarrassing naive and learn from my mistakes, to gain the confidence to speak out, to take every single step from being a failed teacher to a happy and content web strategist.

I used my blog to find my voice, and in doing so I found my calling.

5

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. And most of them can be found somewhere on this blog. Every misstep, each overeager blurt, every weird phase I’ve passed through on the way to something more stable and useful.

And, yet, I’ve done a lot of good. That’s all in here, too. I’ve written things that helped people – helped myself, to be honest. It’s weird to me, still. But it happened.

I don’t write here as much anymore, but when I do I hope to make it count. I hope that you’ve found something worthwhile in it – somewhere in this weird collection of 1,473 posts. And even if you haven’t, there’s always the future.

Happy 10th birthday, Black Marks on Wood Pulp. Thanks for all you’ve done.

Comments Off on Black Marks: An Origin Story

February 12th, 2015

Used to be there was one way to become a major recording star, and that’s by finding a major recording label. You could woo the crowds in Nashville and make the crowd swoon, but you weren’t going to make millions until Capitol Records showed up on your front step.

Had stage fright? Didn’t like to travel? Didn’t want a label producer tweaking your sound? You’re out of luck. You had two paths: you can be a gigantic player, or you could go home, unknown forever. You couldn’t both be successful and stay true.

This post originally appeared February 5th, 2015, as part of The Pastry Box Project.

And then, the independents rose in defiance, bolstered by 70s punk. There was another option — a way to be nationally known without exceeding scope. The floodgates opened, and suddenly everything started sounding a little different.

Updating the Path to Success

Most of us grow up assuming the road to success is paved — that regardless of the end destination, there’s one main artery with very few exits. You go to school. You get a degree. You work within that degree. You move up the ladder and retire at the top. Any other path is an uncharted dirt road, slower and more dangerous. Drive at your own risk.

It doesn’t take long before we understand the limitations of that career arc. The closer you get to the top, the more crowded things become. The road to success isn’t even a road — it’s a bottleneck of toll booths, weeding out people as the pack moves forward.

But, like those early record companies were usurped by both the advent of a viable independent record industry and the internet, so too is the traditional sense of success. Smaller voices are being brought to mainstream attention, and in some cases we’re detouring around mainstream attention altogether.

Now, there is no need to aim for the top. You can do what you love — modestly, with attention to size and scope — without being tied to a larger concept of “success.” Those independent record labels? They were filled with fantastic artists who were trying hard to make great music — with or without the trappings of a major label arena act. Top-of-the-charts success was no longer the only path to happiness.

We’re learning this slowly in tech. Sure, some sectors are still focused on being that big dog mentality — getting backed by insane venture capitalist money, or becoming an agency executive, or landing on a powerful board of directors.

But not everyone. Not anymore. Sometimes, we’re just looking for a different destination. Not everyone wants to end up at the top. We’re slowly embracing the idea that sometimes staying small is exactly the right place to be.

On Being Happy With Small

Where I may have once measured my own success by where I fit along someone else’s career path, I now focus on what I can borrow to take me down my own road. I’m no longer looking for a map or compass — I’m looking for tools to help clear the brush.

We are fortunate to work in an industry where measures of success and worthiness have forked thousands of times. We don’t compare each other based on titles and location — we measure each other based on knowledge, community, and honesty. Which means what once felt like the traditional path — Work Hard, Get Bigger, Take Over — is no longer the assumed path.

Some people get to stay small. Some people thrive by staying small.

I may never work on a project as large as the New York Times. I may never speak on stage in front of 7,000 people. I may never own my own company. I may never write a book. I may never become the voice of my industry.

I’m okay with this, because these are not my goals.

My goal is to live a balanced life, where the work I do is important, where the time I have with my family and friends is plentiful, where I can grow and improve and do fantastic work. I don’t need the big stage to do these things.

Everything else is an added benefit. I might never get that hit record, but I’m going to have a hell of a time making something awesome.

Comments Off on Asphalt vs. Dirt

January 14th, 2014

Up until last April, I had never touched the ocean.

1.

I had been close to the ocean. I had travelled under the ocean. But I had never actually ventured out to it – never tried to take in its size, or let the salty remnants of millions of years of biological change wash over my feet. The ocean was a thing outside my realm. The ocean was as foreign as India or Japan.

Last April, I finally did it. I touched the ocean. The Pacific Ocean, scene of a million surf wipeouts and Instagrammed sunsets.

And now, here I was. Ready to do the same on the opposite coast. I got out of my car and walked toward the water.

2.

I used to dream of airports. Each was something new – a way to experience the thrills I had only encountered in a Choose Your Own Adventure. There was freedom in knowing that, given the right situation and the right funds, I could go anywhere. ANYWHERE. Any damned where I pleased, with just a few hundred dollars and the proper identification.

I still do dream of airports, but in a different way. Now, they’re weird nightmares, where I miss my flight or I show up too late to conduct a meeting.

At some point last year, travel became an occupational hazard; each ticket was a debt to my life, and though I enjoyed myself when I was supposed to enjoy myself, I had unwillingly traded my dreams for anxieties. I measured each new city by the number of days I had remaining – the number of days until I could return home. And I began to fear the consequences of enjoying travel too much, of getting too comfortable being on the road.

There’s no way to be peaceful with a new city if you’re rushing to do business and counting the days. There’s no more discovery: there’s only debt.

3.

When I was in grade school, I almost drowned at Wall Lake. I was floating on a neighbor’s inflatable pool lounger when, as I reached for a toy in the water, I fell off. The water was shallow enough to stand in, but the wake and action of thirty other swimmers forced the inflatable pool lounger away from shore.

As I chased it, the water became deeper. Each grasp pushed the lounger further away. Each step I took increased the panic, until, flailing around, my host for the day – our neighbor, who moonlighted as a lifeguard – saw me struggling. She dove in and saved me.

I had graduated from swimming lessons a few years before. I knew how to swim. I knew that I was in danger. But I still kept trying to make things right, to prevent loss, to be safe instead of smart, pushing myself just a little further into the water. In doing so I nearly lost everything.

I was still a kid. I never knew how much this would haunt me.

4.

I neglect to tell Sierra and Isaac about my work travel until the last possible moment. Sierra is riddled with the same anxieties I am: an irrational fear of natural disasters, a belief that when her loved ones leave they may never come back, a super-sensitivity to being embarrassed. Isaac carries those same concerns out of love for his sister; he’s concerned when she is, over-exaggerating each issue in the way a four-year-old does.

My kids become irrational when I’m ready to leave – clinging to me as if I was joining the foreign legion – and they become pills when I’m gone, pushing buttons on every issue. Each trip is a change to routine. Each trip is an added level of stress for Kerrie. Each trip forces the questions I never thought I’d ask.

Do I want to do this?

Do I want to travel?

Am I doing all I can to be a good father?

Of course I am. I never doubt my efforts for long. But that doesn’t mean the same thoughts don’t creep in every time I stand in a security line, one hand throwing my belt and shoes into a bucket, the other chancing upon a bracelet Sierra made, or a few coins I found hidden under Isaac’s rug. I collect these things as I toddle around the house, picking up after myself, but I always assume there’s a bigger reason they end up in that security bowl.

Then I shake it off and shove them back in my pocket as I walk to my gate.

5.

I parked a block away from the Atlantic Ocean, near a beach that shared my name. I stumbled through the sand, wondering how I would remember this moment. I felt proud. I was charged. I was going to surprise my kids by saying LOOK AT WHERE DAD ENDED UP! because I had already decided that the ocean was too much for this bummer of a weekend. I felt empowered by my sudden change of heart. I felt like the lead role in a Springsteen song.

Until I instinctively checked Foursquare.

If I hadn’t tried to check in, I’d have never known that I wasn’t at the ocean. I’d still think that Corey Beach is on the Atlantic and that I’d scored a completed pair. I’d never know that, despite that sudden change of heart, this wasn’t one of the fun Springsteen songs.

I did check. And the ocean was over there, in the distance, on the other side of the outer barrier across Patchouge Bay.

I got back in my car and stared at the beach.

6.

I was afraid of water until, one day, Kerrie forced me to buck up and jump in.

I was afraid to travel to a conference and speak until, one day, my boss told me to just go do it already.

I was afraid to leave home until, one day, I came home and my kids were cool with it all and excited to get presents.

But I still remember the time I pushed it too far. I’m still afraid of going too far past the buoy. I still stay up at night wondering when one step will be one too far, when my charge has slipped past my reach, when my energy has run out and all I can muster is a hand raised in the air as I slowly sink.

7.

When I was a kid, I took one trip a year. My family would pack up the car and we would head to Jackson. It would be stomach-turningly early when the lights came on to leave – a feeling I still encounter on the eve of a trip, where the excitement of discovery is mixed with the fear of the unknown, a queasy churning that’s only solved through a few cups of coffee and an hour of driving into the sunrise.

I knew what travel was, but my scope was limited. It included a car. It included going west. My destination was filled with loving family. It was safe, and it was comforting, and it was always beautiful.

My destination moved wherever my grandparents did, whether it was Wyoming or Kentucky or Minnesota. It was college before I knew what real travel was. I found myself in Paris, struggling with a new language. I found myself in London, seeing things I’d only seen in movies. I was in Seattle, taking mini-pilgrimages to the sites of my favorite bands. I was in Washington DC. I was in New Orleans. I was everywhere.

I wasn’t comfortable, but I was willing to learn. I was an anomaly, I think: my desire to keep moving overcame my fear of the unknown, so I just jumped on a plane and did it.

I want my kids to have a enjoy that kind of movement. I don’t want them to fear the unknown.

I want them to fall in love with countries I’ve never visited. I want them to go on trips that expose them to great friendships. I want them to wonder. I want them to understand that the Midwest is beautiful and perfect in nearly every way, but that they’ll never understand just how perfect it is until they’ve stepped outside its border.

I don’t want travel to be a fearful thing, despite the fact that I now dread traveling without them.

Because instead of enjoying the time I spend in a new city, I now fear the nights they crawl into bed and I’m not there. I fear the dinners when they ask when we’ll be a real family again. And I fear the point when I hate traveling by myself and, as an extension, hate what leads me to travel in the first place.

More than that, I fear that they will see that fear, and they will understand it as a part of traveling. I fear that I will affect their sense of adventure. I fear I will kill discovery before it starts.

8.

My heart sank.

This wasn’t the ocean. I drove here for nothing.

I saw that my short car ride had been for naught, that I had fooled myself in thinking that I was close, and I saw that my only real recourse was to head back to the hotel and watch Netflix and drink a beer and feel shitty and disappointed. It was Labor Day weekend, and I was working, and I thought I didn’t really care but suddenly I did.

But everywhere I looked I saw small people spending the holiday on the beach, making castles and diving into the waves and doing other cliche small people things as their parents looked on, exhausted from the wind but happy that they could sit back and look on. Those small people on the beach reminded me of my small people back home, which reminded me of everything back home, which reminded me that I would be doing my entire family a disservice to ditch this mission – to shake my head and give up, to admit failure. To let the pool lounger go.

So, for once, I refused to give up.

“Fuck it.”

“I’m going to the ocean.”

And I got in my car and drove south.

Comments Off on The Ocean

November 5th, 2013

Yesterday, Sierra picked up a book on the stained glass windows of the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Though the book was in English, the captions were still in French. She read them anyway.

“Less troys rosettes noter dayme dee paris est lun dess grands chefs dee lah churn-ten.”

Sierra is six, yet here she is, fearlessly hacking through incomplete French sentences as if they were just another set of words she hadn’t yet learned in first grade. To her, she’s simply learning to read, and these are new words. She doesn’t know it’s a new language because every word is part of a new language.

In each new incarnation of my professional career, I’ve been dropped into a new language, and I’ve pushed forward with fervor. When I first tasted call center middle management, I was eager and ready to work. When I became a copywriter, I devoured every resource. Now, in the impossible to contain web industry, I still find myself going off on tangents, assuming I’ll need to know everything about everything.

These early days allow us to work without history. They allow us to do what we think is right, without censorship, because we haven’t yet been proven wrong.

This happens with films and books and music. We launch ourselves into genres without regard to what’s considered “legitimate.” We fall in love with bands like Coldplay and Pearl Jam before we hear the negative reviews and backlash. We take it all in, because it’s all new to us.

Each failure tempers our exploration. We cut back on tasks and narrow our vision. We stop taking chances, because we know what we’re supposed to do.

But maybe we should just keep reading on, regardless of the content, regardless of whether or not it’s within our bounds. Of course we should learn from our mistakes, but maybe we should spend less time trying to prevent them in the first place.

Maybe we should pretend we’re French, even if only for a caption or two.

Category: Career, On..., Words, Writing

May 6th, 2013

Through one major project and two conference gigs, I’ve spent the past two months being pressed under the weight of responsibility, my thoughts rarely wandering from my workload. It was an albatross. It was always there. And now that it’s over, I am at a loss.

Which is not to say I didn’t look forward to being finished. I did. I did very much.

“Finally,” I thought. “I’ll be able to focus on something else.” Get back to writing. Get back to taking care of months of photography, of taking up all of the hobbies I had abandoned, to release my mind from the grip it had around projects and speaking and let go a bit. Exercise. Get some sleep. Kill the anxiety.

But I’m frozen. I’m stunned. I don’t know where to start.

I’ve spent the past two months being pressed under the weight of responsibility. I dug myself out from under it. I forced a tunnel out of the stress, and emerged at the other end, bathed in freedom, ready for the sun. Instead, all I can do is blink my eyes and ease back. All I can do is hunker back into the tunnel until I’m used to feeling normal again.

Category: Career, Writing

December 7th, 2012

Though we hate to admit it, we’re all, in some way, defined by the tools we use. The stuff we do and the things we love and the legacy we create is all deeply tied to the tools we use to get the job done – to embrace our inner neanderthal and the extensions we pick up.

Tools are specialized. They are created as a response to a problem, and they solve a very specific issue. Plumbers have specialized tools, and if you use those tools on a regular basis you are more likely to be defined as a plumber. Even those of us who use tools with wide use – laptops, or pen and pencil – are further subdivided by the solutions we use within that larger tool’s ecosystem – apps, programs, styles, brands.

I think the differences in toolsets – and the reasons why we choose them in the first place – is really fascinating, and for that reason I’ve always been drawn to The Setup – a site that focuses on what people use to get stuff done. There’s a definite focus on tools, here – equipment, apps, hacked-up solutions – over method, which, admittedly, can be dangerous. (There’s nothing worse than those moments when you realize you’ve spend hours getting a THING set up so you can actually begin doing the STUFF you want to do.)

Some of my favorite people have been featured, including:

Knowing I’m just some punk web strategist, I’m making the assumption that I’ll never be asked to submit to the site and, instead, I’m going to just lay it all out right here. This is my bootleg version of The Setup. (Without the cool URL, unfortunately.)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I’m Corey Vilhauer. I am a web strategist who still pretends he’s a writer. Sometimes I take pictures. I also blog about beer.

What hardware do you use?

I’m currently on a year-and-a-half old 15″ MacBook Pro. On the go, it’s just the laptop, but when at my desk at work it’s accompanied by two Samsung SyncMaster PX2370 23″ monitors – the better to cross-reference spreadsheets and style guides with, of course. My backups are also all handled at work through a 1TB Western Digital My Book external hard drive. I have a Magic Mouse, and my keyboard is wired.

My second screen is an iPhone 4S, which is what I now use as an iPod despite also having an older Classic 80GB iPod. I used to use an iPad 1, but ours has gotten so slow it’s difficult for me to use if for anything but reading from the Books app.

I write in a Moleskin because they’re wonderful. I use Energel Liquid Gel Ink pens. It’s all contained in Incase products – an Incase iPhone 4 Slider Case, an Incase 15″ MacBook Pro messenger bag that they don’t sell anymore – because I like Incase a lot.

There was a time I fashioned myself as an amateur photographer (I’m really just a hobbiest now who takes fancy pictures of his kids) but I still use an older Canon Rebel XTi (a.k.a. the EOS 400D) which is an entry level DSLR released in 2006. I’d guess 95% of the time I’m using our Canon 50mm 1.4f prime lens.

And what software?

This is where things get fun. I’ve already posted about how I write, but since then the tools have changed slightly. I write in Markdown using BBEdit as my text editor for posts that will end up as HTML, and I’ve begrudgingly turned back to Pages for documents and deliverables that require an extra level of formatting. (I used to be a MS Word guy, until it started taking minutes to open up.) My files are sorted by a weird combination of client, deliverable and version number – CLIENT DELIVERABLE YYMMDD. This helps my computer keep different versions of a document in chronological order.

To organize my life I use a sync of OmniFocus across my iPhone and my laptop. I use and often hate BusyCal when it comes to calendars, and the revolving door of calendar apps on my iPhone has landed – for now – on Fantastical. I still use Sparrow both for Mac and iOS, even after the Google purchase. I no longer know where things live on my computer because I’ve become an Alfred devotee. I also can’t remember a single one of my passwords because I use 1Password.

At work, we use a combination of a time-tracking system called Redmine and an newly minted intranet built on EPiServer. File sharing and internal discussions happen almost exclusively over Skype. When I need to edit graphics I’ve got a copy of Adobe Creative Suite 4, and when I need to mark things up and illustrate problems I’ll snap a screenshot with Skitch, which I’ve just learned is a part of Evernote.

Most strategic deliverables, as mentioned above, happen in Pages, but wireframes are created in OmniGraffle and presentations are hammered out in Keynote. In the rare case that I’m fooling around with code on one of my three WordPress blogs, I turn toward Expandrive and Smultron.

I’d talk about browsers, but my allegiance changes based on how much trouble I have with the current one. I love things about both Firefox and Chrome, and find myself ditching one for the other every four or five months. It’s a problem.

When I’m not doing work things, my software skews almost exclusively toward iOS. I use Tweetbot for Mac because I love Tweetbot for iOS, and the same is true for Reeder as an RSS channel on both devices. I use Instacast for podcasts, Pocket for time-shifted content, Lose It! and Runkeeper for the times when I’m trying to be healthy, and I use the official apps for Facebook, Instagram and Foursquare.

I read in Books because that’s where all of my books are. I listen to music with iTunes because I have a lot of music there, and when I do it’s with Bose AE2 headphones. I use Adobe Lightroom for editing pictures, and they all end up on Flickr because Flickr is the best place to host images for Much More Sure.

What would be your dream setup?

I don’t know that there’s more I’d need compared to my current set-up, though I imagine someday I’ll get the upgrade to a retina display. My work is a lot of meetings and documents, so as long as I have a fast text editor and a way to export documents to .pdf I’m set. I love the idea of the MacBook Air, but I also cherish a larger screen – when the two become more viable, I’ll jump toward that.

Comments Off on The Stuff I Use