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Older Tech

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Harrison Malone

One thing I’ve found kind of strange since starting this internship is how old some of the software we use is. A lot of it is outdated and inefficient from a writers perspective.

We can download apps from the Mac store for our own personal use but this only solves some problems. Many issues will exist until an agency wide shake up occurs.

For compatibility and simplicities sake everyone in the firm should be running the same apps. And we should be power users always learning new features and shortcuts by running internal workshops. We could even release video tutorials on our blog.

I guess there is some basic logic as to why we use a lot of the old slow tech. People like to stick with what they know and are afraid of change. Even if some kind of software is a million times better it would be difficult to get this type of person over the line.

What I’d Do

Now as an intern I obviously don’t have the power to change any of this. But here are some of my ideas as a start.

We currently use Mavenlink. From my experience it does the job but lacks a really satisfying user experience. It feels forced and difficult to find content that you need.

Last year I was constantly hearing about how good Slack is. Whilst doing a trial at a sports magazine I was invited to one of their Slack groups. To put it simply comparing Mavenlink to Slack is like comparing an iPhone to an old Nokia brick. Both get the job done but you get the picture.

Slack could also solve another problem here which is time sheets. We currently have to use Windows Remote Desktop on Mac to get to Account Works which is glitchy at the best of times. It’s also been confusing to use as there is copies of the same company but with different codes. I’ve just done a quick search and Nikabot looks like a perfect solution.

The biggest problem is the fact that we are slaves to Office 365. Outlook is horrible mail client that makes your eyes water when looking at it longer than 5 minutes.

I can see the merits of email. It will never die but something has to give when it comes to its usage. The team should be hooked up to Airmail but we should also all be on Messenger. This would diminish the need to send internal mail.

Microsoft Word isn’t that bad. I don’t mind using it but its nowhere near the best processor out there. Google Docs is by far and away the best tool for typing, editing, making suggestions and commenting on a collaborative project.

Its integration with Google Drive is also incredibly easy to use for backing up files. Every project that I work on here, big or small, I’ll back it up on Drive and kind of use it as my portfolio. When I meet people I can show them my work on my phone no matter the file format.

This also helps to explain what I actually do as a copywriter!

My Workflow

Ironically, I’m actually becoming less software based. I mostly draft and write all of my notes on paper.

Firstly, I’ll do a brainstorm in flowchart style with a black sharpie. I’ll then use this as a reference to get a draft out on lined paper quickly. I like to write with double spaces as this leaves plenty of room for corrections. It’s also just a lot more readable.

I then edit this draft in iA Writer which I believe is the best word processor in the app store. There is basically no formatting options which means you focus in on your writing distraction free. It’s extremely responsive when resizing which makes it easy to read something on Google Chrome and type.

I also like its word count and reading time functionality. An extremely useful tool in hitting a brief.

Note storage for specific projects is best kept in Evernote. This could even replace Slack in certain teams. I’m not using it a whole lot right now, but I certainly would be if I had an iPad Pro and an Apple pencil.

For now I’ll just be getting my notes out on paper, even if things end up a little disorganized and unsearchable.

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