How We Work 2014: Luke Hopewell’s Favourite Gear And Productivity Tricks

How We Work 2014: Luke Hopewell’s Favourite Gear And Productivity Tricks

It’s time for our annual How We Work roundup, where Lifehacker staffers and contributors share their favourite gear, software and life hacks for getting things done more efficiently. Up today: Gizmodo Australia editor and frequent Lifehacker contributor Luke Hopewell.

Location: Sydney, Australia. The internet.
Current Gig: Editor, Gizmodo Australia
One word that best describes how you work: Constantly
Current mobile device: iPhone 5s and Nexus 5
Current computer: MacBook Air and Surface Pro 2

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Why?

I’m a sucker for Chrome. I have a nasty habit of opening a swathe of tabs and bookmarking them all. I also use a lot of Google services, so Chrome is a natural choice for me. It runs on everything I use when reviewing laptops, tablets and phones, so I’m never too far away from my info. I definitely can’t live without that.

I’m also big into Twitter over at @lukehopewell, so Tweetbot for iOS and the Official Twitter client for Android are crucial to my day.

Sparrow manages my three email addresses (Gmail, Office365 and on the desktop, and dumps all of my important stuff into my iCal automatically, so that’s a must.

And of course: Instagram for iOS and Android because all those likes; all those filters.

What’s your workspace setup like?

My desk feels less like a workspace and more like a living thing. It breathes: expands and contracts based on how busy I am with review gadgets, or just lazy I’m feeling. I try to only take up a small amount of desk space, as I’m a big fan of a minimalist lifestyle. I always want to be able to cram my life into a duffel bag and move on, so my desk represents those desires.

I use an 11-inch MacBook Air (which is slowly dying) on my desk. That plugs into a Belkin Express Thunderbolt Dock for my peripherals and second monitor. I have a Dyson Air Multiplier Fan to keep me cool, and a few gadgets I’m testing connected to wall chargers.

And of course: a TARDIS miniature.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?

Write directly into the CMS, mostly because it annoys Angus Kidman.

What’s your favourite to-do list manager?

I still believe in opening a Notepad or TextEdit document, writing what you have to do in it and throwing it on the side of your monitor. It’s simple, every device has either app and they’re simple to use. Job done.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?

Can my Vespa be a gadget? Let’s say yes. I have a 2008 Vespa LX150 called Carla. Ever since I have had a licence, I have had a scooter. They’re part of my identity now and Carla is the latest ‘lady’ in my life. I couldn’t go back to not having one again.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret?

Swearing. I think to get good at it you have to find classy ways to use the F-word. Don’t just screech it like a bogan. Use it like verbal punctuation. “I do say, what the fuck” is a good one to get you started.

More seriously, however, I think I’m really good at social media. We’re always trying to push the envelope at Gizmodo to see if we can attract new readers in different ways, and I’m now leveraging my social knowledge to put that into practise. Specifically, what you need to do to be good at social is curate a list of people you think match your personal or professional brand, figure out how they communicate and integrate with them on their level. If you share content like a friend and not like a traditional “brand”, you’ll go far.

What do you listen to while you work?

My rotating Spotify playlist, and an endless cycle of mashups on YouTube and Soundcloud.

What are you currently reading?

Currently reading The Circle by Dave Eggers. Really interesting look at a hyper-extended tech giant.

I spent my transit hours at CES reading Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton (seriously recommend) and Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution by Fred Vogelstein (also seriously recommend).

On my reading list after The Circle is The Everything Store about the rise of Amazon, and Killing Fairfax, which has been on my reading list since it came out.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

I act extroverted because of my job and who I’d like to be, but I think I’m still the same introverted kid from high school who spent years in the library reading books at lunch rather than talk to anyone. Like anyone else, I’m a work in progress.

What’s your sleep routine like?

Awful for the most part. I hit the pillow at midnight, wake up at 5:50am and land in the office by 7. Perhaps I need to go to bed earlier. I have tried, but I can’t seem to fall sleep before midnight.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.

I’d love to see Jesus, Bryan Cranston, Tim Cook, Satya Nadella and Barack Obama answer these questions. If I’m being realistic, however, I’d love to see what Paul Colgan, the editor of Business Insider Australia has to say. He seems like quite a switched-on and productive chap.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

My Dad works in printing, and told me not to go into print journalism or print of any kind. He told me the internet is where everything would be when I was at the tender age of 10, and I have wanted to do internet for a living ever since. He also told me to find what I liked doing and invent a job where I get paid for it. That will likely be my next step.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers/fans?

Be nice in the comments. Please. I don’t have any scotch on my desk and I can’t read abuse sober.


  • I think it was said on another one of these, but I think the “How We Work” series are some of my favourite articles on LH. Thanks for sharing, guys.

  • I’m exceptionally fond of your favourite life hack.

    It’s like typing directly into a powershell window, then wondering why cmdlets aren’t registered when someone else uses your script files.

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