In this post (and the previous one) Mandi shares a few of her workspace photos. Here is a bit more explanation about how and where she gets her work done. Good stuff!
About Mandi’s Workspace
When I first began blogging, I always worked from the family room sofa, right in the middle of the hubbub of our home, because I was a work-at-home mom and it was the only way I could juggle mommyhood with work.
After my husband became a stay-at-home dad, he built me a beautiful desk and we designated the upstairs loft as my office. I worked consistently in that area for a year or so, but slowly I found myself gravitating back toward the family room.
The truth is that while I am more productive in my office, I like being in the middle of the hubbub (most of the time!). After all, the reason I worked so hard to be able to work from home is because I wanted to be with my family during the day. It drives my husband a little crazy when I’m sitting on the sofa and I get frustrated with the kids for talking to me (and rightfully so!), so we’ve had to compromise. It’s important to me to be there — to be the one checking their homeschool work and to be able to cuddle with a little one while I work — but that means I’ve had to accept the interruptions as well. And when I need to work without interruption, I move either to our bedroom (which is not ideal because I know working in there affects my sleep — but I still do it because it’s my favorite room in the house!) or up to my office.
Occasionally, I’ll try to sneak in a day to work at Starbucks. Being out of the house makes me more productive because I know I need to make the most of that time (especially because it’s a bit of a drive from our home in the boonies), so I find myself going there more often during busy seasons or while working on a special project.
And one more thought…
As I was taking the time to answer all of these questions, what struck me is how often my answer isn’t the “right” one. I wouldn’t necessarily advise other people to avoid social media or to work in the middle of their family room rather than an office. And yet, those are the things that work for me. And I think it’s important to find what works for you because blogging (and working for yourself in general) can be exhausting and thankless, and if you’re doing all the “right” things, but you’re unhappy, you’re only going to be able to keep going for so long!
Mandi’s Gadget and App Recommendations
1. What computer do you use? (i.e. MacBook Air)
2. What kind of phone do you have? (i.e.Samsung Galaxy III)
3. Do you use a tablet? If so, what model? (i.e. iPad 4)
4. What blog platform do you use? (WordPress, Blogger, Typepad etc)
5. If applicable, what blog theme/child theme do you use? (Genesis, Thesis, WooThemes etc.) Or feel free to use this space to give a shout out to your designer.
6. What web hosting company do you use? Do you recommend them?
Agathon Group. I highly, highly — highly — recommend them. After a somewhat disastrous experience with a friend’s hosting company, Andrea from AndreaDekker.com recommended Agathon group, and they have been phenomenal from the start. Not only were they able to move my site to a high-performing, affordable, scalable cloud hosting plan (as opposed to the more expensive dedicated server that had been recommended by others), but they also found and fixed a tiny error that had been causing huge performance issues, and they are available 24/7 for those times when my sites are having trouble. I really could not be happier with their service or expertise!
7. What app do you use to write your posts?
I write directly in WordPress, which sometimes bites me in the butt when I hit preview or publish and end up losing my post instead!
8. What are your most useful computer/web apps?
I feel like I’m pretty low-tech here. I use:
Firefox for blogging
Word for printables and ebooks
Photoshop for images
Gmail and Google Calendar
Dropbox for backing up files
…and that’s about it!One tiny program I love is Clip-X, which saves my copy history so I can copy multiple things at once, access things I copied earlier in the day, etc.
9. What are your most useful phone/tablet apps?
I use my phone for social media and photos but not much for actually working, so I don’t have a ton of apps!
10. What other tech do you use? (Camera for photos, mic for podcasting…etc.)
I have a Sony DSLR camera, but I’ve been using my iPhone for pictures more and more.
Q & A with Mandi Ehman
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