Jaime Derringer is the editor of Design Milk, an online magazine devoted to modern design. But that is just one of her many hats. She also edits Art Milk, collaborates with Erin Loechner on Bakery (they ‘bake’ businesses) and contributes to AOL’s blogs on home and design. I checked in with this busy woman and found out it takes a good dose of organization to get all that work done – and a lot of energy.
How long have you worked from home…and where is ‘home’? I have been working from home since July 2009. It is like a dream come true and I wake up every day thankful that my boss is so nice. Actually, I’m lying – she’s kind of hard on me. I’ve never worked harder in my life than I have now that I quit my day job but I couldn’t be happier. I live in Southern NJ right outside of Philadelphia, PA with my husband Jordan and my two dogs, Beans and Lulu. We spent a few years in San Diego, CA but moved back about a year ago. We’re trying to figure out how to live in both places at once.
What does an average work day involve? I usually get up and get going immediately. I can’t just lay around. I need to be moving because as soon as I wake up my mind just starts to go. I spend the first part of my day reading and answering emails, reading my RSS feeds, checking on my blogs, looking at stats, and checking Facebook and Twitter. Much of the rest of the day is spent writing and editing posts for Design Milk, Art Milk, BAKERY and also my AOL blogs, ShelterPop and DIY Life. It depends on the day which blogs I focus on. I do work in the office, rather than on the couch because it helps me work harder and helps separate my living space from my work space. But I won’t lie — I do have a Macbook and spend a lot of time on the couch after regular work hours, but often I’m also watching TV or house-hunting rather than really working.
I just got the new Apple mouse and it’s amazing. It has definitely changed the way I work. Is there any form of technology that really inspires you? All Apple products inspire me, from their design to their functionality. I own just about the whole catalogue. I’m really into the idea of community, in other words, manufacturers who create devices that can be added on to by just about anyone. For example, the iPhone and other phones’ applications and Facebook’s platform, where users can create what they want and need. I love the idea of technology being a foundation or vehicle for further advancement.
How do you organize your space? I’m thinking here of your physical space but also your virtual space. Any particular software that helps keep things under control? I can get messy when I’m engrossed in projects or super busy, but I am one of those people who washes the dishes while the dinner party is still underway. I like to keep things clean and put all my toys away when I’m finished playing with them. Basically, I like a clean, simple desktop. [The IKEA drawer unit above nestles next to Jaime's desk and acts as excellent storage].
On my computer, I also apply the same logic – file it away when you’re done. My current favorite virtual programs are Google docs and iCal. I can’t function during the day without iCal. The Stendig calendar [on the wall above her desk] I get every year from Unica Home. I use it every day despite my obsession with iCal. My chair is the Cobi from Smart Furniture (Smartfurniture.com). When I finally find that perfect house and it’s time for an office upgrade, I’ve got the Aeron and Eames Aluminum on my short list. (The Philadelphia poster is from Ork Posters.)
What item from your desktop can you not do without? Besides my computer? Probably my printed blogging schedule. I’m old school so I like to print it out each week and check off the posts as I schedule them. My current favorite accessory is my WTF snowglobe that my mom got me for Christmas after I posted about it on my blog. It just makes me laugh and keeps me from taking anything too seriously.
What inspires you? I recently attended a blogger conference called Altitude Design Summit and I have to say nothing inspires me more than my peers. More inspiration comes from blogs, other motivated and determined people, mountains, Apple products, and my brother who is legally blind but just got a master’s degree in interactive entertainment (gaming).