Who are you, and what do you do?
I'm Eileen Webb and I'm a content strategist focused on structure and systems architecture. I like organizing content and making clever data models, and especially I like working with teams to figure out how to document and communicate that strategy and structure so that everyone can use it well. Practically speaking, I:
- sit in front of a screen all day
- read people's websites and internal documents
- talk to team members about their frustrations and hopes and dreams
- design better systems and processes so people's work lives are happier
My official job title is Director of Strategy and Livestock. I live on a small farm and raise poultry and lambs and pigs and rabbits. I cook a lot, raise a big garden, make some of my own clothes, and spend a lot of time hanging out in the woods.
What hardware do you use?
I have a MacBook Pro that's a few years old. The most taxing thing I do is join Google Hangouts (hey cooling fan heyyy), so I expect it to last me for a while longer. My partner and I have only a single iPhone between us, which people think is crazy, but there's not much cell signal up in our mountains so there's no reason to have two.
I have a Passap Duomatic 80 knitting machine, passed down to me from my grandmother, and I use it to make a ton of sweaters and socks and other soft wooly things. It came to me many years ago, but it's got such a steep and inscrutable learning curve that until Ravelry took off, it sat in the barn collecting dust. Now I'm connected to hundreds of people around the world who have the same machine, and we share patterns and pitfalls and help each other figure out why the yarn keeps breaking in the middle of a row.
I swear by Premier electric fence netting for protecting all our animals. Technically a bobcat can jump right over a 42" fence (while carrying a full-grown turkey! ask me how I know) but most of the time it's enough of a deterrent to keep everyone safe.
Also I love having a window-mount bird feeder near my desk. I get visitors all day.
And what software?
In the summer my primary software is the hammock on my back deck. I've figured out a way to wedge my laptop securely between the sides, and it's a pretty great way to review spreadsheets.
Before this laptop I had a Linux desktop, and when I switched to the Mac I decided that I was just done with customizing and tweaking my setup. So mostly I use the default programs with their default settings: I like Pages and Numbers and Keynote, I use Gmail in the browser, I keep my desktop completely empty except for this anthropomorphic emmental that I upload as a custom emoji in every Slack I'm part of.
I use iA Writer for all my writing and note taking because I like how simple it is, and the way it formats Markdown. I use TextMate when I need to write code; I did take the time to customize the syntax highlighting to make the comments across all languages a calming pastel pink.
Whenever I need to buckle down and focus, I put on headphones and fire up Brain Wave. Supposedly it's adjusting my brain frequencies to be better focused and energized, or maybe it's just a Pavlovian association I've created between listening to that ambient sounds and getting good work done. It's at least 62% pseudo-science, but who cares?
What would be your dream setup?
It's buggy here, so I would love a screen porch. I should probably have a more ergonomic screen/keyboard rig, but to be honest I'd rather just spend less time typing than more time making it comfortable. I'd make good use of a tea station (boiling water, bar sink, etc) upstairs in my office, instead of having to trek downstairs to the kitchen like an animal. We really need a legit barn (instead of the collection of sheds and hutches we have for the livestock now), but I think that will have to wait for our next house. These are all extra luxuries, though. My life is good.
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