January 20th, 2021 was certainly an interesting day. The Presidential Inaguration, the start of the school semester at Penn, and the most interesting weather. Adding to that the start of federal work study jobs and the last few days of production for the ULI Hines competition and you have a day like no other.
Sadly it was an amazingly busy day seen from a single chair in my apartment. With every window to the world tuned into a different thing. One set on my desk following the Material Formations coding tutorials. Another logged into zoom for the coding lecture. Another showing the peaceful transition of presidency. Another trained on the weather outside, one minute a snowglobe and the next a warm spring day.
One thing is certain despite all the changes in time, in politics, in weather, the prescence of these windows to the world is only going to increase in each day. Will the computer(s) ever be turned off? I doubt it. If anything the past year of Zoomiverse has taught me how to better compartmentalize my apartment and my technology.
This semester I am starting fresh with my setup. I’ve found by assinging stations I am more productive and I can at least change up my day a litttle. I currently have a desk set up with two monitors for schoolwork. Headphones plugged in, ready to do side by side video tutorials, share screens and note taking, etc. Just below, and charged to be fully mobile, I have my ipad purely for attending zoom or streaming music when not in zoom. In another area I have set up my laptop to function solely as a “work” computer. Here I can blog, email, prepare for the upcoming job hunt, and complete non school related tasks. The tv is angled to be visible from both stations and can function as a secondary display as needed. My phone acts as a coordination device, mainly for messaging and calling others. The one non tech piece I still rely on is my calendar.
This time I went with a calendar that has both monthly/weekly pages. I find it gives me more room to get the big picture deadlines down and then specify smaller tasks to keep me in check. In addition this will help mark down my progress in non work/academic activities. Activities, goals, little dreams, all those fabulous New Years resolutions which crumble by the middle of February which I, like many people, have told myself this year WILL happen.
I am happy with my current physical set up, digitally evertyhing is further compartmentalized. Each task has it’s own window with only tabs related to it open within. Links are saved in notes for quick login to meetings. Notification settings have been updated to ensure that I recieve every update. I feel prepared for my last semester.
Interestingly one of my classes asked how to make our digital experience more seamless and productive. Naturally the answer hinged on communication tools and regular scheduling. But I am curious, how is everyone else’s digital experience? What are the platforms you are using? What has made your overall experience better? Are you ready for this next few months, whether it’s school or work?