How We Work: Alan Henry’s Favorite Gear and Productivity Tricks | Wifi Walker, J B Chaparal Properties

How We Work: Alan Henry’s Favorite Gear and Productivity Tricks

Alan Henry

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How We Work: Alan Henry's Favorite Gear and Productivity Tricks Every week, we share a shortcuts, workspaces, and capability tips of a favorite experts and internet personalities. This week, however, we’re giving we guys a glance into how we work, and all a tips and tricks that keep a blogging wheels spinning. Today, I’m regulating by my favorite gear, gadgets, apps, devices, and tricks to stay inclusive when I’m on, and to have fun when I’m off.

The last time we did this series we was a flattering cranky height guy. Nothing’s altered there, and many of my hardware is still a same, yet I’ve been creation some tiny changes here and there as we get some-more gentle with my flow.

How We Work: Alan Henry's Favorite Gear and Productivity TricksLocation: Washington, DC
Current Gig: Writer, Lifehacker
One word that best describes how we work: Efficient
Current mobile device: Motorola Droid Bionic, regulating Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich.) Also in a drawer: an iPad 3 (iOS 6.1), a Motorola Droid (Original), regulating MIUI (Gingerbread), and a secure Nook Simple Touch.
Current computer: Ganymede, my 15″ MacBook Pro (2010), Deneb, my custom-built Windows PC (Win 7), and when I’m unequivocally bored, Europa, my 15″ MacBook Pro (2008) regulating Ubuntu.

What apps/software/tools can’t we live without?

On a desktop side, it would be a flattering bad day if we couldn’t use Google Docs/Drive, or glow adult Sparrow (Postbox on my Windows machine) to keep my mixed Gmail accounts underneath control. Luckily, all it’s taken adult to this indicate is an tingling undo finger and effective Gmail filters. It’d also be a flattering bad day if we couldn’t use Dashlane to conduct my passwords and logins. we gave it a hearing run not too prolonged ago, and unequivocally fell in adore with it. we still adore LastPass, yet I’ve been amatory Dashlane’s secure checkout options lately, and it’s free.

Reeder keeps me adult to date on a news both on my Mac and on my iPad, and if we have a choice, we tend to review my feeds on my iPad. On a Android side, we don’t know where I’d be yet Camera ZOOM FX, given we use it distant some-more mostly than we lift my dear Sony Alpha NEX-5N around with me. Oh, and of march Pandora, given we block my phone into my conduct section in a automobile anyway—Pandora has all yet transposed a radio during home and on a highway for me. Yay for total data!

What’s your workspace setup like?

How We Work: Alan Henry's Favorite Gear and Productivity Tricks

It’s a tiny spotless adult for this print (I customarily keep a few toys on my table customarily to fiddle with when I’m thinking) yet we try to keep it as neat as possible. The flare there pulls double avocation as a light source and a webcam stand—my Loigtech HD C920 (which we bought on the Hive’s reccomendation) is mounted there regulating a Joby Gorillapod, so when we do Google Hangouts or Skype calls a camera is tighten to my face instead of on tip of my monitor.

The core of my setup hasn’t changed, yet we combined a integrate of Space Bar organizers (When they were many cheaper and still in stock) to get a tiny additional space for keyboards to slip underneath when I’m not contrast a new one. On my Mac, we substituted out my Apple Wired Keyboard for a Logitech Illuminated Keyboard and rather like it. Still rocking a Performance Mouse MX though.

How We Work: Alan Henry's Favorite Gear and Productivity Tricks On a Windows side, we upgraded to a 256GB OCZ Vertex 4 SSD final year, and can attest for how many of a opening alleviation an SSD makes. My Logitech G9x has taken a backseat to a wireless Razer Mamba, and my aged Logitech G19 finally died, so we opted for a some-more medium Logitech G510 instead (although here we see a Moshi Luna I’ve been testing, that is a unequivocally good keyboard if we like scissor keys—it’s not even bad for gaming, that astounded me.)

Out of support is my home server/HTPC. I got into a nitty dirty there final year, yet I’ve been definition to reconstruct it or buy a NAS instead. Also out of support is my Herman Miller Embody bureau chair—probably a many costly squeeze I’ve finished for my workspace (especially deliberation we got a table during a University over-abundance store 10 years ago for $30—bonus, it has good wire government channels on a tip and in a back!) yet when we lay in front of a shade all day for work and play, you need a good chair.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?

Being intrepid with a undo key. Seriously, we was flattering good during gripping my inboxes trim and responding when we indispensable to, yet when we assimilated a group during Lifehacker those skills were put to a test. we still try to respond whenever we can, yet if we didn’t have such an tingling undo finger, I’d be drowning in email. My biggest time-saver though, one we advise everybody use: Chill out, relax, and do your thing. Angry during something, or someone on a internet is wrong? Resist a titillate to rivet and consider instead about how many time you’d rubbish on it. Then pierce on and do overwhelming things instead. It’s a improved use of a singular time.

More pragmatically, we happily compensate to automate tasks I’d rather not spend a time or income to do myself. Whether it’s Amazon Subscribe and Save deliveries, unchanging unfeeling boxes from my internal door-to-door grocery smoothness service, (something I’ve discussed in a past) I’m happy to spend as a time we get behind from a charge is value it. After all, that’s what being “productive” is unequivocally about: removing a things we have to do finished quick so we can spand time doing a things we want to do.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?

How We Work: Alan Henry's Favorite Gear and Productivity Tricks I’m now regulating Astrid on my Android phone (Astrid notifications are flattering many a customarily ones we allow, and I’ve gotten accustomed to job a line of tiny Astrid icons in my presentation bar a “squid attack”) and iPad. we even keep it open as a pinned tab. we still use Wunderkit as my personal thought bank, even yet it’s going divided soon. I’m still looking for a new thought bank—considering Asana or even Wunderlist, given many of Wunderkit’s facilities are in Wunderlist 2, yet I’m always on a surveillance for a improved to-do app.

I also use Springpad to keep lane of things around a web that we wish to make note of—recipes, gadgets to demeanour into, products to save adult for, things like that. The customarily list we tend not to use something digital for is my grocery list—I’ve tried, yet for some reason we customarily can’t get into it. For that it’s coop and paper, each time.

Besides your phone and computer, what tool can’t we live without?

How We Work: Alan Henry's Favorite Gear and Productivity Tricks Even yet we have a (sorely underpowered) XBMC HTPC, we use my Xbox 360 to tide Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, and Hulu. I’m some-more of a PC gamer, yet when we need to get divided from a keys, my consoles are there for me. we have an Apple TV in a bedroom, yet it sees reduction use. Other than that, my newly-acquired Fitbit has been instrumental to removing me off my boundary some-more often, that we unequivocally need to do. Oh, and we can’t leave out my Sony Alpha NEX-5N, one of a best purchases I’ve finished in a prolonged time. we adore that camera.

What bland thing are we improved during than everybody else?

I don’t know if I’m improved than everyone else, yet I’m a flattering meant typist. we mean, we form really fast, and touch-type during that. we can reason whole conversations with people, creation eye contact, and my fingers fly opposite a keyboard during a same time. It’s flattering handy.

I’m also kind of a purify freak—I purify as we go along when I’m cooking, I’m a tiny recurrent about mise en place, and I’m flattering good famous for carrying all of a dishes in a dishwasher and prepared to purify by a time I’m finished plating dinner. The same is loyal for all else: we try to do things when they start to me and as quick as probable so we can get them off my plate, so that’s how we tend to proceed everything: life, work, play. That approach we can giveaway adult my mind to consider about something else.

What do we listen to while we work?

How We Work: Alan Henry's Favorite Gear and Productivity TricksPandora fills a still gaps for me, and we happily compensate for a Pandora One subscription. When I’m not listening to one of my 15 or so Pandora stations, we conduct over to the formerly mentioned Noon Pacific (if we don’t get his weekly playlists each monday at—you guessed it—noon, pacific, you’re blank out) or another favorite, This Is My Jam. we also unequivocally puncture Relaux’s curated playlists, which I’ve also praised before. If I’m head-down writing, I’ve substantially saved a two-hour Freefall Radio podcast or dual to assistance get a difference flowing. Give it a try and subscribe—you won’t be disappointed.

When I’m not in a mood for music, we customarily try to fill my time with some of my favorite audio and video podcasts from a folks during TWiT and Revision3. we allow to wholly too many to name, yet we can see them in this iTunes snap here.

What’s your nap slight like?

I have a early change during Lifehacker, so I’m adult each morning around 6am ET (3am PT) so we can start a promote day during 7am ET (4am PT.) For that reason we try to be in bed around 11pm or so a night before, customarily to get a decent volume of sleep. That’ll substantially warn my aged coworkers deliberation how we hated being in a bureau early—I tend to be a night owl, and unequivocally stay adult late on a weekends. we tend to feel some-more artistic and connected after dark, so we tackle many of my personal projects in a diminutive hours.

Are we some-more of an introvert or an extrovert?

I’m a many garrulous introvert we competence ever meet. we used to consider we was an extrovert given we enjoyed being around people so much, yet even yet we adore it, we need to shelter to a private space to recharge, not a other approach around. When we devise trips to revisit friends or go to a celebration with people we don’t know, I’m customarily stressed out beforehand, even if we indeed unequivocally wish to go. You wouldn’t know it once I’m there, yet we substantially agonized over it before we left. That’s not to contend we don’t adore it once I’m there—I customarily need a flog in a pants to get out a doorway and have a good time sometimes.

Is there anyone you’d kill to see answer these same questions?

How We Work: Alan Henry's Favorite Gear and Productivity Tricks We’ve had some unequivocally implausible people do How we Work, yet I’d adore to see how Maya Angelou or Nikki Giovanni works, or maybe stream NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, given all 3 of them are people of note that I’ve looked adult to given we was a child. Speaking of science, I’ve been following Brian Greene’s work given we was an undergrad. I’m extraordinary how he gets things done, and if it’s anything like a offices of other physicists we know.

I’d also adore to see how Alton Brown works, partially given we wish he’d answer a questions on Post It records like he does on Twitter. Oh, and customarily for kicks? I’d adore to know how Hayao Miyazaki gets things done. He’s intensely inclusive and unequivocally busy, yet also creates time to recharge and maintain his creativity, even when he has a billion things to do and projects to work on.

What’s a best recommendation you’ve ever received?

Back in 2006, we was struggling with vital a kind of double life. On a one hand, we was operative in tech and going to grad school, perplexing to confirm if we wanted to work in an bureau with craving record for a living. On a other hand, we was already essay on my own, and unequivocally wanted to that into a career. we reached out to Xeni Jardin, first partner and co-editor of Boing Boing (still one of my favorite sites), on a humour for recommendation as a fledgling author looking for tips from someone some-more experienced. She replied:

Find infinite stories, things that intruigued you, and do your best to tell them honestly. There’s so tiny law in a universe these days, any tiny taste of it is a changed thing that will be appreciated, and find a beholden audience.

Don’t demeanour for “big” stories, customarily demeanour for ones that matter to you. The some-more we work during it, a improved your work will be, and a some-more people will see it.

I’m still operative on it, yet each day we conclude her words. I’d also share a quote from a 8th century father of Zen, Shitou Xiqian: “The immeasurable sky is not hindered by a floating clouds.” Something else we try to remember, generally in this line of work.

Is there anything else you’d like to supplement that competence be engaging to readers/fans?

I’ve mostly been indicted of being a robot. Mostly it’s given we have a nasty robe of responding to emails in a center of a night, staying adult late working, essay dozens of articles on mixed sites, and in ubiquitous looking like we never sleep. we have no criticism on these groundless accusations.

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