Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Sharon Hurley Hall and I’m a location-independent web content writer and blogger. I’ve worked from a number of places, but am currently based in Barbados.
What’s a typical day like for you?
I’m usually up by 6:15 in the morning so I can do a quick email check before breakfast. Then I work pretty steadily till about 3 p.m., with a half-hour break for lunch. On a given day I might be working on writing blog posts, putting together a newsletter, crafting articles — any form of writing, really. I mostly do creative work in the morning, as that’s when my brain works best, and leave other tasks, such as proofreading, for the afternoons. One of the ways I motivate myself is by posting my goals for the day on Twitter. I know lots of other people who do this, too, and we help to keep each other motivated.
What gear and software do you use, and why?
I couldn’t live without Google Apps. I like to keep things in the cloud so that I have access wherever I go, so I run my email and calendar through Google Apps, keep an iGoogle home page with tabs and links for essential sites and back up essential documents into Google Docs. I also use Syncplicity to automate my backups. I love that tool because I can access the files on my desktop from anywhere in the world. I also keep a portable hard drive to which I back up everything once a week, because I’m paranoid about losing data and client files. My other must-have tool is Remember the Milk, for my to-do list. And of course I use Twitter to connect with other writers and bloggers. Skype is essential for doing interviews, though I tend to use Google Talk for IM chats. I also love my Samsung N110 netbook for when I travel, and have been using Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition software to boost my productivity.
What’s your favorite web working tip?
The best way to be productive is to play to your strengths. Do creative work when you are creative and you will achieve twice as much as when you work through a slump.
If you would like to be profiled on WWD, get in touch with me at simon (at) gigaom (dot) com.
Related GigaOM Pro content (sub. req): Enabling the Web Work Revolution