From time to time, I’ve made notes about my working set up, noticing that things change a lot over the years. Inspired by my friend Peter Rukavina, but with substantially less detail, here is my current set up.
My office is located in a dormer on the upper floor which faces south and is surrounded on three sides by windows. to the west I can see the Queen Charlotte Channel, the waterway that separates Bowen Island from West Vancouver. To the west is the forested slopes of Mount Collins, and in front below me are my neighbours in the Seven Hills neighbourhood of Bowen island. In the dsitance Apodaca Ridge rises on the other side of Snug Cove.
I have a standing desk and an Ikea stool that i occasionally rest on. Our internet comes through Shaw, a switch I made this week after months of deep disappointment in the service levels and technical assistance of Telus.
My workhorse is a mid-2013 MacBook Air and a 1Tb Seagate external drive for back up and file storage. I have an iPad 2 which I mostly use for reading magazines at breakfast, and as a cook book for cooking. I have an iPhone 5c and a Kindle Paperwhite for reading. I have gone back to taking notes in a Moleskine and photographing them for posterity.
Things get printed on a wireless Canon printer.
An old iPhone 4 sitting on a Bose system provides high quality tunes and I have a set of Bose headphones for serious listening in the evening.
Elsewhere in the house we have a XBox and an iMac, both of which are used for Netflix viewing and gaming.
Everything runs through Evernote. To do lists, meeting notes, web bookmarks, pdf’s, articles and blog drafts. Evernote is my word processor, where I compose the first drafts of anything I’m working on and is my brain. If I need information I check there first to see if what I’m looking for is something I’ve forgotten. Next to that Safari, MacMail iCal and Skype are my most used desktop applications. Itunes of course for music and podcasts.
Mostly I’m off google these days with two exceptions. Many of my colleagues and my partner use Google Docs and I run my mail through Gmail mostly for the great spam filtering ability. I rarely use the web interface for Gmail, but am grateful for it when the laptop fails. Dropbox is my file storage system, containing a complete backup of everything I am working on, synched to my devices. I use WordPress on my main web site and Blogger for Bowen Island Journal. Lately we’ve been using Weebly for quick and dirty site set up and we’ll probably be relaunching our corporate site on Weebly as well. Inreader is my current feedreader on both the Mac and the iPhone.
I’m a heavy smartphone user. When I was a kid I dreamed of owning the eponymous device from the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and when I got my first iPhone I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Apps that get heavy time there include:
- CBC Radio
- Genius Scan
I’m still trying to decide what to do with my photos. Currently they are automatically uploaded to DropBox and I periodically go through them and cull, saving the best ones in nine different folders where I have a collection of pictures of family, friends, Bowen Island, and some of the adventures I get up to, sorted by year. I am wanting to keep these more in the spirit of how we held onto photos in the old days, and have an intention to print these out for safe keeping as hard copies.
I get out everyday here on Bowen. Regular morning espresso at The Snug, and lunches at Rustiquie, The Snug or Artisan Eats. Sometimes I bring my laptop and work through email. At some point I like to get out for a walk or a paddle. I like to end my day when I can with something marking a threshold. Sometimes this is an hour of contemplation and meditation at Rivendell, a pint at the pub or a walk with my partner around the lake here on the island. I try not to work evenings when I’m home, saving that time for cooking, hanging out with the family or socializing with friends. I exercise by walking and hiking, and it’s no trouble for me to walk the two miles round trip to thew Ruddy Potato for fresh food for dinner. I’ve been trying to travel less the last few years and making the most of my time when I’m here at home is important to me.
I love working from home and working as a consultant, but I do miss having a regular schedule. I play in a local co-ed soccer league and sing with a couple of choirs as well as making music with friends when I can. I find myself too often turning down invitations because I’m travelling or working, and have to work hard to limit my commitments. Recently I’ve been appointed to out local Economic Development Committee so that is where I am putting my volunteer attention these days.
The only regular commitment I have in Vancouver is to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, with whom I have been a season’s ticket holder for four years and a dedicated member of the Southsiders supporters group. Otherwise I try not to leave here unless someone else picks up my ferry fare.
That’s the set up. It all makes my work possible. What’s yours?