How I work (or try to!)…

This post is directly inspired by the amazing Emma Coonan. I cannot even begin to claim that my post will even match her awesomeness.

I’m not sure if anyone even really cares about how I work but I really enjoyed reading other people’s posts so I thought I would give it a go. Don’t expect greatness people. Just saying.

Location: Cambridge (UK)
Current gig: Senior Library Assistant at the Scott Polar Research Institute (basically Deputy Librarian in all but title. I run stuff.)
Current mobile device: A Sony Xperia thingy. Can’t remember the model type.
Current computer: Dell with a very nice widescreen flat monitor. Very ergonomic.
One word that best describes how you work: Creatively

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Google Calendar (and Docs), Zotero/Mendeley, Mozilla Thunderbird and the occasional distraction of DeviantArt if I want to look at something pretty when melting my brain with spreadsheets. Twitter is pretty good too for keeping up-to-date on things and talking about spy jobs with colleagues.

What’s your workspace like? Uber-tidy. I have a place for everything and everything in its place. This is mainly to stop me from panicking when I can’t find that sneaky bit of essential paperwork that has got tucked inside/underneath something banal.

What’s your best time-saving trick? Being tidy. I file obsessively and regularly tidy out and reorganise my files. While I have an organised chaos ethos at home, I can’t do that at work because it isn’t good for my stress levels. If I can’t find something within 30 seconds, I’m done for. Psychologically that is.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager? One of many battered notepads that I have stashed about the place. Also, my policeman’s notebook works well with its handy little pencil.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? My Sony MP3 player with Welcome to Nightvale podcasts loaded on to it. Everyone needs their H.P. Lovecraft/Twin Peaks inspired darkness in their lunch break.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else? Keeping calm when being asked about tourism in Nigeria, when I work in a polar-based collection. That did actually happen. I suppose I’m good at labelling things. Lots of things. All the things.

What are you currently reading? Feminism: A Very Short Introduction; Geek Manifesto by Mark Henderson; Skulls: An Exploration of Alan Dudley’s Curious Collection by Simon Winchester. I tend to dip in and out of books. It is an annoying habit.

What do you listen to while you work? The sound of my ever increasing demise as we all march slowly towards death…loljk, I mostly hear my colleagues engaging in some form of banter or the local Catholic school kids going ballistic in their very swish playground next door, punctuated by the Catholic church bell.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? Introvert. Definitely. Not that that is a bad thing. We’re the ones plotting new services and interesting ways of doing things in the corner you know.

What’s your sleep routine like? Pretty good. I’m a night owl but my partner is the opposite. My sudden burst of frenzied house tidying at 11pm is rarely appreciated.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see Heather Lane answer these same questions. Or Libby Tilley if she hasn’t already!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? If you find yourself just ticking over and not being challenged on a regular basis in your work, look for something new. It will help you and it will help your colleagues.

Is there anything else you’d like to add? This was quite fun really. Also it is really fun to read other people’s working methods because of course, we’re all so different. What works for one person might be hell for someone else. I like that diversity.

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