Location: New York, NY (Flatiron District)
Current gig: Associate Director of Project Management, Alexander Interactive
Current mobile device: iPhone 6
Current computer: MacBook Pro
One word that best describes how you work: Passionately
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
My GTD Army
I use every single one of these tools daily to Get Things Done:
- Todoist: I use this for task management, prioritization, and to essentially run my life.
- Evernote: I use this for all sorts of data management. Tagging is key.
- Dropbox: I use this for file management and to be able to access files on any device. Dropbox has become my new “local” and what I use to transfer files between my devices.
- Flickr: I’m the one who always can find that photo. Flickr is my tool for photo storage. It’s the forever home for my photos all placed in albums.
- Alfred: I use Alfred to access things on my computer quickly.
- Dashlane: I use Dashlane to save passwords, contact info and credit card info to make logging in and checking out on websites much quicker.
- Text Expander: I setup snippets once and then type using abbreviations for words and phrases that I use all the time to save time and brain space.
- IFTTT: I use IFTTT to create recipes for automation to connect systems that I already use to minimize the duplication of effort.
- Feedly: Feedly aggregates all blogs and sites I want to read from grouped by topics I have created.
- Pocket: This is where I save things to read for later. My Feedly feeds my Pocket.
- Pinterest: This is where I save things to buy later or browse later as gifts or for myself.
This may seem like a lot, but most of them are doing the work for me. I set them and forget them.
What’s your workspace like?
Surround yourself with things you love. Visual cues help to get things done but also remind you of things that just make you happy. I surround myself with my favorite color, photos of my family, an image of a kettle bell to remind me to go workout and finish up work so I can. What you surround yourself with brings perspective as things come up throughout the day. I’m also big on keeping a clean desktop, both on my computer and physically the space I’m working on. It helps me focus on what’s in front of me.
What’s your best time-saving trick?
Using TextExpander snippets for things I type often or things I often mis-spell, and not just your typical ones.
My favorites are for:
- Excel formulas I use all the time but can never remember
- People’s last names that I can’t spell
- My template that I use to take notes in for all meetings
- Various email signatures depending on the situation
- Todoist date syntaxes when typing due dates within email forwards
- My home and office addresses
- My conference line number and access code
What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
Todoist. This is, by far, the most important tool in my toolbox. Without Todoist, my work would not get done. I’ve tried tons of task management tools and Todoist is the one I keep going back to. I’ve stopped trying others. I’ve introduced dozens of co-workers to it and even used it to plan my wedding. If it’s not in Todoist, it doesn’t get done.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
My external battery power banks:
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Leaving no detail untouched and being methodical, but not robotic. It’s important to always remember that there’s a human behind the work that needs to get done. I make it a priority to add photos to every single contact card I have; not only does it make it easy to recognize who messages are from in my inbox at a glance, but it reminds me that there’s more to the message than just the text — there’s a human behind those words, and seeing their faces impacts my response.
I manage teams through the web design and development lifecycle and tout my athletic and team-oriented background for much of my success. Growing up playing sports and a NCAA Division I collegiate volleyball player, I bring an extra team-oriented focus from the court to the office; you’ll often find me high-fiving my co-workers, and sometimes even my clients. I genuinely believe in the power of team as some of my best memories and life lessons have come from being part of them. Being in the Project Management field has made it possible to immerse myself in an environment that really fosters the power of team through individual performance and provides countless opportunities to lead.
At the end of the day, I manage people, not projects.
What are you currently reading?
- Siddhartha, a 1922 novel by Hermann Hesse
- My Feedly queue of blogs I follow within the following categories: Health / Fitness, Geek, Gossip, Project Management, Productivity
What’s your sleep routine like?
I get anywhere from 5-8 hours of sleep a night. I workout in the morning and sometimes double up and do an evening workout as well. It keeps me sane and everything else, especially my work and my daily interactions with humans, benefits from it.
Before bed every night I write down 10 things I’m grateful for in a notebook that I keep on my night table. There’s no better way to end the day than with reflecting back on the day and closing your eyes with a smile and gratitude.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Your journey has molded you for the greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think that you’ve lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.” - Asha Tyson Writer, Public Speaker
Essentially, everything is perfect, and every moment that lead up to this point had to happen to bring you to where you are now and who you are now. There’s comfort in knowing that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A few tactical things:
- Implementing visual cues is huge — these are equivalent to what we do for users on websites within our UX/Designs to make it easy for them to get done what they are looking to get done. For example, color code items per project or per client to recognize colors associated with projects (e.g., calendar appointment categories, Todoist projects, physical folders to hold paper, etc.). Visual cues can also be text. For example, I sort my iPhone folders by verb - watch, listen, pay, eat, etc. after reading about it on Lifehacker three years ago.
- I create iPhone alarms with text based on what I am waking up for and to motivate me to get out of bed. If you define your “why” as to what you keep showing up for and putting in work for and always remind yourself of that why, the stress seems to melt away.
- I add photos and sometimes emojis to contact cards on my phone so it is easy to associate messages and calls with people - e.g., my husband gets a heart emoji next to his name and one of my best friends with a star tattoo gets a star emoji next to hers so it’s easy to find them when scanning my list of contacts.
- There are certain passwords that you can’t autofill. For those, make them something you want to remind yourself of or a word that makes you happy since you have to always type it.
- Make health and wellness a priority. Self-care, in whatever form it takes for you personally, is extremely important in growth and development in all areas of life.
Lastly, entrepreneur, Scott Dinsmore, once said:
“The world would be an altogether different place if we all did work that actually mattered to us. Don’t settle for anything less than a life filled with passion. Hold those you love close, tell them how much you love and appreciate them. Do something that matters. Love deeply, and surround yourself with people who believe in you. The best way to do this is to surround yourself with passionate people. There’s no bigger life hack from getting where you are today to where you want to be than the people you choose to put in your corner.”
No further commentary needed. It’s just that simple.
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