I am borrowing the concept for this post from Bob Stanke who first got the idea from Lifehacker. My answers to the following set of questions will give you insight into my work life and might even give you a few things to try on your own. Here we go…
Name: Dave Yankowiak
Occupation: Owner & Web Developer, Lift Development
Location: Grand Rapids, Minnesota
Current Mobile Device: Apple iPhone 4 and iPad 2
Current Computer: 15″ Apple MacBook Pro 2 GHz Core i7 upgraded to 16GB RAM (tip: upping the RAM on your MacBook Pro yourself is a cheap but worthwhile upgrade). I recently added an ASUS 23″ LED monitor to my work arrangement as well.
I Work… for employment and enjoyment.
- FreshBooks – I started using this online billing app before I even started my business full-time 5+ years ago and have never looked back. Best invoicing app on the planet and it gets me paid. FreshBooks has fantastic customer service, too.
- Coda – I switched to this web coding app a few years ago after a long period of using Dreamweaver and Visual Studio. It also coincided with my big switch over to developing for WordPress. It just keeps getting better.
- Basecamp – After trying several cheaper online project management apps, I finally made the monthly investment in Basecamp and it’s dramatically improved how I collaborate with clients on each and every project. Well worth the investment.
What’s your workspace like? I currently work out of a co-working space in downtown Grand Rapids, so my workspace is relatively basic. I essentially bring my office to and from work each day in my backpack. I try to stay as paperless as possible by using tools such as Evernote and Google Drive. I’m a big fan of having a “lightweight” office. Some days I work at home just to change it up. My favorite spot is at the desk in our bedroom with a view of the backyard and the lake across the street.
What do you listen to while you work? Everything. I subscribe to Rdio so I’ll listen to a lot of different music. I find that instrumental music suits me best, but I really do listen to a lot of everything. Some days I’ll listen to sports talk radio using Radium as well as the occasional podcast.
What’s your best time-saving trick/life hack? Wear the same clothes all week. Okay, just kidding. Most mornings I like to look through my email on my phone before I get to work. It’s a lot quicker for me to read through and delete anything that I don’t need to respond to. That way I can get to work, answer any emails that need a response, and get right to work.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager? On a project level, Basecamp, but on a higher-level I’ve really fallen in love with Wunderlist. It’s what I use to plan out my weeks and make sure I am focusing on the most important tasks and projects each day. Being able to create groups of to-dos as well as sub-tasks and then sync to my iPad and iPhone is priceless.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? My canoe. I know, it’s not a gadget. While I have a lot of gadgets, there are none that I can’t live without. Sitting in front of a computer all day means that it’s important for me to have other activities that take me offline. I love a good morning paddle on one of our many quiet lakes in the area.
What’s your sleep routine like? Very inconsistent. Many evenings I’ll stay up late to work or spend time with my wife, and I am definitely not a super early riser. We’ve got a one-year old who still likes to wake up and party once in a while in the middle of the night and that definitely has an impact. I typically try to be at work by 8:30 AM.
What is one thing are you better at than anyone else? When I am really into something, whether it’s a product, new technology, book, etc., there’s nobody more passionate about it than me. This same passion drives my business. When I talk to potential clients who are considering a new WordPress website, my excitement for the platform makes it easy for me to make a sale.
What’s the best advice you have ever received? If you get an error on something you’re working on, copy and paste it into Google and you’ll probably find the answer. This seems simple and it’s a common practice but I can attribute at least 95% of my web development knowledge to some sort of Google search. I first received this advice from one of my bosses at my first web development job in 2003. I think he told me this more so I wouldn’t bug him with questions all the time, but it stuck with me and to this day if I get an error on anything I’m building, I go straight to Google. This maybe isn’t the deepest or most life-changing advice I’ve ever received, but in terms of my career it is my number one best-practice.