Who are you and what do you do?
For my main job, I am a dentist. No kidding! But in 2001, I got a Palm m100 as a gift. I knew nothing about tech stuff or the web. However, I fell in love with that device, because it helped me a lot in my work. Now, nine years later, here I am: mobile tech-savvy, with the largest blog about mobility in Brazil, a podcast, writing in some magazines, talking on the radio and reviewing gadgets on a TV show. That was completely unexpected, because I started blogging in 2002 as a hobby. But mobile tech changed my life and gave me an opportunity to expand my original business. Today, I give dental home care to elderly and handicapped people, at their homes, hospitals or retirement institutions.
This year, I had to make the most difficult decision of my life: to take my hobby seriously. I don’t have a dental office any more — I just provide home care. I made this change so that I would have more freedom to travel for lectures and consulting. I talk about using mobile tech to improve productivity and social media as a marketing tool for non-IT professionals. I also spend a lot of time writing and reviewing smartphones and software.
What’s a typical day like for you?
While I don’t have a dental office anymore, I needed to improve my organizing and working tools. The weekly review (from David Allen’s GTD) is very important to keep so many activities under control. It’s done every Friday or Saturday, depending on my schedule. Running two businesses (www.odontopalm.com.br and www.garotasemfio.com.br) demands a lot of planning.
Once or twice a week I visit my patients around the city. The other days I am at my mobile office, or at a TV/radio studio, or in meetings with my mobile consulting clients and some press events. So as a mobile enthusiast, the world is my office.
On a typical non-dental day, I wake up, grab some coffee, feed my cats and write my web and magazine articles in my home office. I try not to check email before 11 a.m., as it always delays my writing plans. Even if I don’t answer them, thinking about the still-upcoming tasks spoils my focus. So no checking the inbox until the writing tasks are done! The rest of the day is spent testing new gadgets and software, reading the news and doing chores. I am also a housewife, and like to prepare our meals. Some days I also have a press event, radio or TV appointments or meeting to go.
On a dental day, I don’t have a set time to visit my patients. It depends on their health and needs, but visits are usually in early mornings or late afternoons. A single visit may take three or four hours. I arrive home very tired! The rest of these days, I usually spend reading a book and doing chores. I like to listen to podcasts while doing laundry or cooking as it helps me to relax.
My husband is an engineer; he is out all day and some nights teaching at the university. When he is not working, I try not to be working, too. So I plan my week with my husband’s schedule in mind as well. We subscribe to each other’s calendars.
What gear and software do you use, and why?
My smartphone is my main daily working tool. I am not tied to a specific one — I am always testing and reviewing new ones — but as an Omnifocus user (for Mac and mobile), the iPhone is always with me.
I live in two cities. In one, I keep my MacBook. In the other, the iMac. I subscribe to MobileMe in order to keep the two Macs and the iPhone in sync, like magic. MobileMe (for calendar, contacts and iDisk), Evernote and Dropbox are the tools I cannot live without. I also have a Nokia Symbian phone to type longer texts, with a Nokia bluetooth keyboard. This setup means I can keep my luggage very light while commuting — I even dumped the netbook as my smartphones fill all my mobile needs!
My digital daily tasks are mostly done with my smartphone: managing the patients’ database with Bento; reading RSS in NetNewsWire; saving interesting articles in Instapaper Pro; working with Office documents with Quickoffice; chatting with Nimbuzz; and tweeting (at twitter.com/garotasemfio) with Echofon Pro. I also carry tons of ebooks and dental reference material in iSilo, Stanza, Skyscape and Medscape.
Sometimes I’m away from any kind of computer for one or two whole days. These are very overwhelming days, so it’s important to get things done through my smartphone. Most of my email is managed on the go. I would hate to come home and have to spend the evening working in front of a computer!
What’s your favorite web working tip?
Be organized. Always. Plan your week, schedule all your activities, but be careful: Keep some gaps in your calendar. You will always have to deal with urgent tasks and unpredictable issues along the week, and these gaps will help keep you sane. I love the freedom mobile tech gives me. It would be impossible to do all the (many) things I love without it.
If you would like to be profiled on WWD, get in touch with me at simon (at) gigaom (dot) com.