Work inspiration with
Ann Friedman

I am a freelance writer. I write a weekly column about women and politics and culture for New York magazine and a media advice column for the Columbia Journalism Review - and lots of other things for lots of other magazines and websites. I draw pie charts for The Hairpin and speak at conferences and tell stories using GIFs. Last year, I co-founded a magazine called Tomorrow.

Hardware

I am deeply dependent on my three-year-old MacBook Pro. Also my iPhone. To round out the Mac stack, I also have an iPad that, letsbereal, I mostly use to read Instapaper and the occasional e-book. To further the young-urban-creative stereotype, I use two Moleskines: one (side-bound) as more of a personal journal, holding everything from little drawings to lists to long-winded prose, and one (top-bound) for my pie charts. 

Software

Gmail is my everything, my life archive. I have a complex priority inbox + starring system to make sure I reply to everything without going crazy. Also crucial: Chrome. And Google Calendar (though I use the Sunrise app on my phone). And Google Docs, which I use to pass drafts back and forth with the editors of my two weekly columns. I love both Twitter and Tumblr, and I'm an obsessive list-keeper using SimpleNote on my phone synced with Notational Velocity on my desktop. I send my weekly newsletter with the help of TinyLetter. I use Pinboard to bookmark and tag all of the great GIFs I find, Skype for the occasional interview, and Instapaper to bookmark and read anything that’s longer than 500 words. 

Dream

I pine for a better iPhone recording app, especially one that works well with phone calls. And a good RSS reader. I'm still searching for a decent replacement for Google Reader.

Inspiration

I'm inspired by what I read and from conversations with friends. I read across formats and platforms—books and print magazines and short blog posts and Twitter feeds and highly visual books and mid-length stuff I bookmark on Instapaper. And then I talk about what I've read with friends, and ask them what they've been reading and thinking about. I think I get 90 percent of my ideas that way.

I talk about what I've read with friends, and ask them what they've been reading and thinking about. I think I get 90 percent of my ideas that way.