For followers of the ever-expanding maker movement, Mark Frauenfelder is king. As editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine, a quarterly publication dedicated to DIY projects, Mark is a defining force in maker culture. Called a “central organ” of the movement, MAKE encourages individual and group experimentation through metal and woodworking, robotics, electronics, and more. Its pages are brought to life each year at Maker Faire, a mecca for engineers, scientists, artists, and every DIYer in between.
Mark is also the founder and co-editor of Boing Boing. Started as a cyberpunk zine in the late 1980s, Boing Boing has grown into a go-to blog for everything from tech and space exploration to politics and music. How does he do it all?
Name: Mark Frauenfelder
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Current computer: 27-inch iMac, 11-inch MacBook Air
Current mobile devices: iPhone 4
One word that best describes how I work: Pinball
What’s your best time-saving trick?
I use AwayFind to stay on top of important emails and try to ignore the rest. I also make a daily to-do list and robotically go through them in order.
What’s your favourite to-do list manager?
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
What’s apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
What’s your workspace setup like?
[I have] a spare bedroom office with an iMac atop a vintage steel desk.
What do you listen to while you work?
I like silence, unless I’m using my hands to draw, paint, solder or make things. Then I listen to mainly old school punk and 60’s garage rock.
What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?
Cutting my own hair. I’ve done it since 1980 and I have saved countless hours and thousands of dollars. The downside is you end up with ridiculous-looking hair like mine.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Good, Inexpensive, Fast: Pick two.
Anything else you want to add?
I highly recommend the book Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion. It taught me to recognise when someone was trying to manipulate me, and how to prevent them from being successful.
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.