The Personal Blog

Here’s Where the Magic Happens…

Desk1865

 

Someone asked me about my workflow. For curious minds, here goes…

For blogging, I typically use a program called MarsEdit on my MacBook Pro. I have a desktop app called MasterWriter that is great for managing vocabulary. I also use Final Draft 7 for scriptwriting. I usually have Spotify or Pandora giving me some ambient or movie soundtrack background music unless I am doing some really intense writing that requires absolute concentration.

On the iPad, I’ve used an app called Elements for word processing, but I am also using the apps Blogsy, Phraseology and Terminology. Really surprised how much word processing I am doing on the iPad, but I connect the wireless keyboard over Bluetooth and put the iPad on top of the keyboard using a nifty plastic clip called Wingstand. I definitely recommend it.

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My office is also set up with a PC laptop running Windows Vista. I used it primarily in my last job to do scheduling for a television network using Broadview software, but now I use it primarily to churn out Microsoft Word documents. Using iCloud or Dropbox, I can move files from laptop to laptop. I have dedicated keyboards on top of one another.

I have second monitors for both laptops, one of which is a ViewSonic LCD monitor that pivots into portrait mode for vertical display, which is a fantastic way to view web pages. Imagine a huge iPad. Having the dual monitors allows me to multi-task like crazy. For example, I can type in MarsEdit on one screen and get a full-screen preview in the adjoining monitor. Also comes in very handy with Photoshop and Final Cut Pro.

My browser of choice is Safari most of the time, but I do use Firefox and Chrome too. Firefox is great but I get annoyed with having to constantly download updates at startup.

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For imaging, I shoot most of my content with a Nikon D7000. I photograph nearly everything in Raw and upload to Apple Aperture, in which I assign keywords for search and storage. I either drag images directly from Aperture to Photoshop CS5 or edit the raw files in Adobe Camera Raw. I love the control it gives me. I keep my personal images in iPhoto, pro shots in Aperture.

I also shoot HD video using the Nikon D7000 and capture sound with the Zoom H1 Handy Recorder. I edit HD video using Final Cut Pro and output as .MOV files to my YouTube page or other distribution. I use LiveType for graphics on video.

I store image files on two external hard drives and also have DVD disc backup for some of my photo shoots that is kept off-premises.

My studio lighting of choice consists of four Paul C. Buff White Lightning units I’ve had for 20+ years. Very rugged strobes. I keep a 9-foot-white black background ready when inspiration hits.

During my workday at my office desk, I generally have a television on, muted, most of the time tuned to CNN. I also get breaking news on Twitter, which is seen on the iPad using an app called Trickle. The neat thing is it displays single Tweets full screen on the iPad. I created a dedicated account on Twitter that follows cable news channels, prominent newspapers, people I find interesting, etc.

Also on the topic of apps, I use Remember The Milk to list tasks that need to be completed and Evernote to capture notes, mileage, etc. Both can be referenced from the web so they aren’t limited to this or that device.

 

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I use the Zite app very heavily, sharing items I like on my Facebook and Twitter. I also post photos to Instagram from the iPad and iPhone, which can also send to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, and Foursquare.

When out and about and I want to post photos I’ve just snapped with the iPhone, I may or may not use the PS Express app before posting on Instagram or directly to Facebook. I’m also very fond of the Camera+ app for iPhone and iPad.

I use the Instapaper app religiously when browsing Zite or Twitter trolling for stories that interest me.

My Twitter client of choice on the desktop is Echofon. I like how it displays photos. I have also used Tweetdeck. I’ve just started using an automated Twitter client called Tweetadder that is pretty rocking. I frequently update my Twitter accounts using the Twitter app on the iPad. When I am driving and want to update my social networks, I use Vlingo for dictation. I usually automate a lot of my Tweets and Facebook status updates every Monday using Hootsuite.

I use Skype to chat on video with friends and colleagues in Australia and Canada.

I find myself doing very little instant messaging these days, but that usually happens on Adium or Facebook chat.

For model releases, I either have printed versions or use an app on the iPad called Easy Release that allows you to sign by fingertip and mail copies of a PDF version to yourself and to the model.

When I am in a meeting and taking notes, I use the AudioNote app on the iPad.

With so much going on, I rely on Fantastical to add items to my calendar and ding my MacBook, iPad and iPhone simultaneously with notifications so no matter where I am, the device I have handy will remind me where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing there. Apple Mail comes in very handy for my Google RSS feeds and viewing my various email accounts in one window.

I use Pages from iWork a good bit, as well as the Imagenomic Portraiture plug-in for Photoshop and Aperture.

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Oh, I also have the HP Officejet J6480 All-in-One printer and fax under my desk for scanning receipts for expense reports and printing out pages. I usually print out things I type for visual editing because the eye looking at a backlit monitor can miss things, plus I use a pen to mark out printed compositions all to hell in the editing stage.

On my wall next to my desk are cork board panels. One contains frequently referenced information, an oversized Ansel Adams calendar, etc. The other is my dream board, displaying various things I want to achieve in my life because out of sight is out of mind. I also have Star Wars bobble heads and photos of my adorable daughter on my desk.

Wow, that’s a lot of stuff going on, but I’ve successfully telecommuted for the last eight years from my home office. One of my goals in 2012 is to simplify a bit without cutting down on my productivity.

 

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