Anna Holmes launched Jezebel in 2007, sparking a movement of new online content for women. Its distinct blend of smarts and snark gained an immediate following that hasn’t slowed down since.
In 2010, Anna stepped down as editor in chief to focus on, among many things, bringing Jezebel to life in book form. The newly published Book of Jezebel, written by a group of female contributors and edited by Anna, is a celebratory encyclopaedia of everything (and everyone) from Jane Addams and Mae Jemison to Hollaback! and yoga. I caught up with Anna to chat about relaxed workspaces, procrastination, road trips, and more.
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Current gig: Writer/Editor
Current mobile device: iPhone 4S
Current computer: Macbook Air
One word that best describes how you work: Chaotically
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
TweetDeck and my external MyCharge iPhone battery. TweetDeck because it helps me to keep up with what is going on in the world and what my friends are talking and arguing about. MyCharge because I am often away from home for long stretches of time and this allows me to not worry about running out of phone juice… which means I can answer more emails and read more Twitter.
Pictured at left: Anna’s iPhone homescreen.
What’s your workspace like?
I sit on my bed or living room couch cross-legged with my laptop in my lap. I used to have an enormous work set-up in my old apartment — a 6-foot-long desk with an external monitor, keyboard and mouse, plus a small flat screen TV and printer — but I don’t have the room for this in my new place and I sometimes feel that the more relaxed I am physically, the more relaxed I am while I work.
What’s your best time-saving trick/life hack?
I don’t think I have any time savers, shortcuts, or life hacks other than when I’m stuck writing or conceiving of something, a long walk will usually jump-start my imagination, energy, and creativity.
What’s your favourite to-do list manager?
I use Stickies on my computer desktop in lieu of a paper (or electronic) calendar or to-do list. It’s not necessarily recommended, but the Stickies are always within my virtual reach and the app never needs to be shut down or re-opened.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
My iPad. It’s a first generation and it is starting to exhibit wear and tear, but it’s my favourite way to relax, which is to say: To read books, play games, and do the NYT crossword.
Pictured above: Anna with The Book of Jezebel. Upload your own shot to Instagram and Twitter with #bookofjezebel.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else? What’s your secret?
Finding myself drawn to the most interesting, down to earth person in any given room. I’m not sure I have a secret other than being very observant, listening, and asking questions.
What do you listen to while you work?
Most of the time I work in silence but sometimes I’ll put on classical music because it makes me feel smarter.
What are you currently reading?
Are you more of an introvert or extrovert?
What’s your sleep routine like?
I am usually in bed no later than midnight and I try to get up between 7 and 8am. I use my iPhone as an alarm.
Fill in the blank. I’d love to see _______ answer these same questions.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Nobody knows anything.
Is there anything else you want to add for readers?
I am a terrible procrastinator who works best under pressure and on deadline. I’m not sure how to change that — or if I should.
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.