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Q&A with Valentina Palladino

Multimedia journalist, senior writer at Tom's Guide

I'm Valentina Palladino and I'm a journalist currently working at the websites Tom's Guide and Laptop Magazine reviewing products and reporting on tech news.

How did you get start writing? What is your background?

I got started writing in middle school, where a teacher encouraged me to write for our "newspaper" (a stack of articles stapled together and passed around the school). I continued writing through high school and wrote for local newspapers until I got to college and decided to go to journalism school. There I did a lot of health writing and reporting, and then I fell into technology news mid-college through a news-writing class.

What are you working on now?

Currently I'm working on a lot of earbud reviews, as well as my usual wearable, fitness tracker and laptop reviews.

What software do you use for your work?

I used a lot of web-based software - I write all my reviews in Evernote before I put them in Google Docs to share with my editors. Evernote lets me get my thoughts out in my own way and in a more private manner, and I like to rearrange notes into a cohesive outline in there for my reviews and longer articles. I've also helped start the Tom's Guide Instagram, so I'm working on building that up with our social team as well.

And what hardware?

I used my work laptop, a Dell Latitude 6430u - nothing special, and my iPhone 6 for answering emails on the fly and when I'm at conferences to take notes and keep in touch with my team.

What is your ideal work environment?

I'm most efficient when I work in a quiet, private room in our office. It has big windows and lots of natural light. When I really need to focus, I go in there to shut out the rest of the world and get work done. However, we're all very social in my office and I love having my coworkers around to bounce ideas off of, and to just have a good laugh in between working.

Who are the creatives you admire most?

I'm very much into graphic design so I follow a lot of illustrators and graphic designers on Twitter/Instagram, their work always inspires me. I also read a lot of articles during the day from different tech, culture and fashion websites, and I find that work inspires me too.