Felicia Day got her start in Hollywood as an actress, appearing in such shows as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Today, Felicia has emerged as a leader in the world of online video production.
She not only acts in, but also writes and produces the hit web series The Guild. Based on the lives of online gamers, The Guild has been viewed more than 150 million times. (Check out the first episode of season six here.) Earlier this year, Felicia launched Geek & Sundry, an original YouTube channel. Home of The Guild and three unscripted series, Geek & Sundry aims to "present the very best of indie geek culture". It's already being praised as a trailblazer for the future of network TV. We talked to Felicia about how she manages it all — from the apps that keep her organised to the advice that keeps her inspired.
Name: Felicia Day Occupation: Producer of Geek and Sundry, a YouTube original channel Location: Los Angeles, California Current computer: iMac for day-to-day work, 11-inch MacBook Air for mobility, and a killer gaming desktop PC for fun Current mobile devices: iPhone 4, waiting for my iPhone 5 to arrive I work: relentlessly
What's apps/software/tools can't you live without?
Dropbox. I work [in] three or four different places a day, so synching my files across computers is key. My life lies in Gmail and Google Drive. We tried other things to organise all the Geek & Sundry work, but nothing proved flexible enough for us, so we stick to shared Google Docs to do a majority of the work. Backupify assures me all my social media and Google stuff is backed up, and 1password makes me feel better about my account securities. I love Day One diary software as well because it syncs across computers and reminds me politely to record my life in little snippets.
What's your workspace setup like?
I have a small office in my house with my iMac and gaming PC where I do the majority of my busy work, editing notes, emails, etc. I also have a back office I converted from a garage where I go to do creative work and shoot my weekly show The Flog.I recently got a treadmill desk too in the den, which is literally the best purchase I've ever made. So I rotate throughout the day in those three spaces when I'm not at the Geek & Sundry office, which is most the time. I like to work reclusively.
Pictured above: Felicia's home office.
What do you listen to while you work?
When I am creating something I have to do it in absolute silence. I think that stems from my time as a violinist in my childhood and college. For several hours a day though, I'm just doing social media and editing notes and other busy work, and then I have a Pandora station I go to. I don't have time to thoughtfully put together playlists unfortunately. I need discovery to be a key of my listening and Pandora does that perfectly.
What's your best time-saving trick?
My most efficient times are when I force myself to create for one hour after getting up, and then do emails. That way I'm grounded in my own work before being available for other peoples' needs. And to-do lists the night before are the only way I can really be efficient about planning my day smartly. My godsend lately has been an email auto-response that basically says, "I'm just not checking email," and referring to other people at Geek & Sundry to help solve problems. I have a bit of OCD guilt where I need to respond and help every single person, and I just had to cut myself off because I was destroying myself with overwork.
What's your favourite to-do list manager?
Post-it notes and TextEdit. I know it's not sophisticated, but the simplicity helps me manage the 18 projects I have going on in separate folders and files. I am an organisation software junkie, but lately I just had to be ruthless and pare down to the smallest obligation, and syncing TextEdit docs through Dropbox just happens to be the simplest for me now.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without?
My Kindle. I don't think I could keep my sanity if I didn't read every night for an hour or more.
Pictured above: Felicia on The Guild set. Photo by Nikita Bogolyubov.
What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What's your secret?
I think I'm really good at switching hats. I was trained early in web video to be sufficient at every job (because we had no money to hire anyone), so changing from actress, to writer, to producer, to social media has become very easy for me. I think the key is training yourself to be objective, seeing yourself and your actions through other peoples' eyes. As destructive as internet comments can be, I think years of reading them has made me quite ruthless with my own work, and gives me the space to see my work like someone else would see it. That's how I feel like I can tap into big picture vision.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
"The way you do one thing, is the way you do everything." I heard that in an acting class and it resonates with me every day. Especially when I feel tempted to half-arse something.
Is there anything else you'd like to add that might be interesting to readers/fans?
Stop planning to do that thing you want to do and just do it!
We've asked a handful of heroes, experts and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces and routines. Every week we'll feature a new guest and the gadgets, apps, tips and tricks that keep them going. Want to suggest someone we should feature or questions we should ask? Let us know.