One of my reference blogs, LifeHacker, has launched an initiative to get more people to share how they work, a series that they have been doing for some time with known startup & Internet people. Hopefully there will be some good tips here for others like me that are continuously looking to hack their lives to make them better.
For those that do not know me, I’ve had an eclectic professional experience working as a journalist, producer, political adviser, marketer, and entrepreneur. The links among all these positions have been communication and the thrill of new challenges.
How I work
Location: Betacowork Coworking Brussels
Current gig: Founder of Betacowork, promoter of the Belgian tech startup ecosystem through Betagroup, Startups.be, Global Entrepreneurship Week Belgium, and others. I’m also an international correspondent for the Spanish leading blog about tech startups, Loogic.com.
Current mobile device: Samsung Galaxy Note II
As you can see, I use folders to access my most used apps in the homescreen.
Current computer: Dell Latitude E5430 and an old HP Pavilion DM3, both running Ubuntu Linux and on 128GB SSD disks.
One word that best describes how you work: Connector
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Boomerang for Gmail: My lifesaver. I’m terrible at remembering the emails that I have to follow up on or that have not yet been answered. With Boomerang I get automatic reminders when I choose to if the emails have not been answered or when I want to take action on them. When I don’t want to see and email I just boomerang it for the future, so I can work on it when it suits me.
Buffer: Most of my posting is done through Buffer. I go through hundreds of articles and interesting pieces of information everyday, usually in bursts (like when I’m riding the metro.) Buffer makes it better for the people that follow me on social media by spacing those posts so that they don’t come out all together. It improves my life by making it very easy and fast to share to my choice of networks depending on the content that I
Google Apps For Business: Gmail, Calendar, Contacts and Drive. Everything synced and available from any computer I’m working on. Plus with the Business account I get phone and email support from Google. I only sync my Google Drive files with one computer using InSync. I’ve had a horrible experience with Dropbox as a client and after testing other alternatives InSync is what works best.
Multiple inboxes for Gmail: I have tried many different strategies to work with my inbox, and the one that works for me is Unread/Read. My real inbox and To Do folder is unread emails. With multiple inboxes I have a selection of tabs with especific searches, but the most important for me is always Unread. Bold messages work for me, flags don’t. Boomerang adds the functionality I need. Everything is filtered and classified as automatically as possible.
RSSDemon: I read all my RSS feeds on my mobile phone, usually when I’m commuting on public transportation and in quiet/boring times of the day. To get more relevant news, I filter my sources through Yahoo Pipes. The day I find an Android RSS app that allows me to filter keywords and that has a similar interface I will probably switch and stop using Pipes (I have to update the pipes through my computer.)
My Logitech mouse: I use a gamers mouse at work and it is great for my arm thanks to its shape. With other mice I had pain in my shoulder and elbow.
What’s your workspace like?
A structured mess. Things are in their right place and I need to see what I have to do/act upon.if you move my papers around or put something on top of what I need to see I will forget about it and not notice until it is probably too late.
What’s your best time-saving trick?
No alarms or notifications for email or on my screen. If anything is urgent I am sure I will get a call. I’m very good at ignoring alerts on my mobile phone.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
AnyDo for Android.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I would not know, I don’t like to compare myself to others. I just try to do well what I do.
What are you currently reading?
I read 4 to 5 novels a month, mostly when I go to bed and on weekends. They help me sleep better and forget about work to rest. I’m currently reading The Birth House by Amy McKay.
On the learning side I’m working with MySQL Developers Library to become more literate and self sufficient.
What do you listen to while you work?
Nothing. The coworking space is mostly quiet and I used to work in an editorial department for magazine publications. I prefer peoples’ noise to music.
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
An extrovert that needs time with himself to charge up.
What’s your sleep routine like?
Go to bed, start reading a novel, fall asleep.
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see Ash Maurya answer these same questions.
As a thought and practice leader in Lean Startups, I would really like to learn more about how he works with his team and on a daily basis.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Rest and treat yourself to compensate for all the hardwork.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I get a lot of help and good tips from my coworkers. Working at home sucks. Join a coworking space even if it is just for a few hours a week: it will make your professional and personal life better.