Staying motivated as a designer

These days I’ve been confronted very often to the 10-million-dollar question: How to stay motivated to do your job.

There is not a single, simple and definitive answer to that question. But I’ve been talking to a few people about the subject and there are some recurring themes I’ve found, based on the person profile.

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Alfred workflow

Sometimes I like to play with lines of code (mainly scripting, not real coding) and to make useful things to win some time.

I am a particular fan of Alfred for mac and from time to time I like to do my own workflows. This is the first I share with the world. Feel free to download it and tweak it (it’s far from perfect!).

This workflow can have four different actions :

  • Create a new Writer Pro document (keyword: nwwp)
  • Create a new Axure document (keyword: nwax)
  • Create a new MindNode Pro document (keyword: nwmp)
  • Create a new Word document (keywod: nwword)

I’ve been trying to make it work with Pixelmator without success. Ideas?

Download the “New Document” workflow

Day 8 of iLife. Another one bites the dust

  • Evernote with Notes ‹- Gone
  • Fantastical with Calendar ‹- Gone
  • Downcast with Podcasts
  • Chrome with Safari
  • Wunderlist with Reminders ‹- Gone
  • Camera+ with Camera ‹- GONE
  • TinyVox with Voice Memos
  • Yahoo weather with Weather
  • Flipboard with Newsstand ‹- Gone

Why?
Since upgrading to iOS 7 I have a bug: camera cannot remember I want my photos in HDR mode. Is it a bug or is it to prevent duplicate from newbie users? In any case, it’s gone and Camera + is back in town.

Day 4 of iLife. Surviving the cut

Today not only all apps survived, but also one app kicked some appy butt: Camera. 

So far I’ve been using Kitcam because it is great both as a camera and as a photo editor, with a simple mode (filters and vignettes) but also an advanced mode which other cameras lack.

But today I had to take some pictures fast (I was cycling to work) and only Camera app could do the job.

Given that it is easily accessible even from the lock screen on iOS 7, it remains the fastest way to take a picture on the iPhone. 

So, at least for my photo taking, I will remain with the default app. I’ve decided to do my photo editing later using Pixlr or Kitcam itself. 

So kudos to the camer app!

Day 3 of iLife. Everyone survived

Although Podcasts almost goes down, in the end I decided to give it a second chance. Being a Mexican ex-pat in Paris, I use my podcasts mainly on the move: while travelling to Mexico and while travelling on the bus or métro here in Paris.If you’ve to Paris and ridden its subway, you probably know it can get noisy and crowded, so a good volume is essential to listen to your music and podcasts. 

Downcast allows me to adjust the volume of each podcast individually (to boost the volume or to down it a little bit) in order to have a better listening experience. I use this feature thoroughly in the app because some podcasters are quite loud (mostly Americans) and some are very quiet (mostly German and French).

The problem with Podcasts is that this cannot be done directly on the app. To achieve it, you have to sync your podcasts with iTunes (desktop) and directly on iTunes, modify the volume. It will then be affected in Podcasts. But it’s been ages since my last iTunes backup, so I was quite disappointed of not being able to do this on the app.

I’ll keep using it on the go, but for now, they have all survived. A recap:

  • Evernote with Notes ‹- Gone
  • Fantastical with Calendar ‹- Gone
  • Downcast with Podcasts
  • Chrome with Safari
  • Wunderlist with Reminders ‹- Gone
  • Camera+ with Camera
  • TinyVox with Voice Memos
  • Yahoo weather with Weather
  • Flipboard with Newsstand ‹- Gone