Name: Chris Durham
Occupation: High School Teacher/Content Specialist/Videographer
Location: Fresno, CA
Current computer: 21″ iMac
Current mobile devices: iPhone 4S
One word that best describes how I work: Relaxed
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Google Apps. I use them everyday, both at Uhuru and at the school where I teach. My students use them as well. I like that it is cross-platform, for the most part cross-device, cloud-based, and the ease of collaboration.
What’s your workspace like?
I love the look of clean and organized cables. However, my workspaces never seem to reflect that preference. At Uhuru I have a 21″ iMac with a 2.8ghz Intel Core i7 and 16 GB of RAM. Connected to it are my wireless Apple mouse and keyboard, Wacom tablet, Sennheiser headphones and Blue Yeti USB microphone. I also sit on a large red exercise ball instead of a chair. The result of a coworkers 30-Day Challenge that ended up converting the whole office.
In my classroom I have a small desk with an old 17″ Macbook Pro and an iPad 2. Next to the desk is a large HDTV connected to an Apple TV. The Apple TV allows both myself and my students (they all have iPad’s) to display our work wirelessly. This allows me to work from anywhere in the room and still help students individually.
What do you listen to while you work?
I used to use Grooveshark.com but now it’s all Spotify. I’ve turned off sharing because I don’t like it when people know what I’m listening to. I usually use the “top lists”, start at the top and skip anything I don’t like. When I hear something new that I like I’ll listen to that artist’s album to see if I like any of their other songs.
What’s your best time-saving trick?
Outsourcing. Find tasks that do not require your specific skills or input and find something or someone to do it for you. This is easy when you have a classroom full of students, expensive if you don’t.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
I use Google Calendar as my to-do list, I schedule out things I need to do in an attempt to help with time management.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
Photography is becoming a new hobby of mine as I am also required to do some photography work with Uhuru and it’s a logical step from video. Automotive photography is becoming my genre of choice. I have a Canon T3i and a Canon Speedlite 580EXII. At Uhuru we have a Canon 5D Mark 2 and Mark 3 that I like to steal from time to time…shhhh.
What everyday thing are you better at than most? What’s your secret?
I think I’m pretty good at research. I’ve been able to learn and teach myself numerous new things and I credit that to my research skills. Part of me always wanted to be a detective. I use more advanced Google searches and I’m not afraid to interact on forums.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Just keep going”
Is there anything else you want to share?
In a previous post we covered Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity secret. I use this method for several quick activities and to keep track I use an app called Streaks. I find it very motivational and very helpful for forming habits. My longest current streak is 124 days.
Do you have any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below.
(post inspired by lifehacker)