Joshua Wold

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Remote office

Some random thoughts on my experiences working remotely recently.

Most of the time I work from home, in an actual office room. We built this house a year ago, and I made sure to have a room set aside for work.

Recently though I’ve been having a hard time just being in my office. I think I’ve figured out what’s wrong. Having an office at home can be tricky. You spend most of your time there, and you’re alone. The environment matters a lot.

I’ve realized there’s a few things I need to fix to make the place more inviting. First, it needs to be brighter. Second, it’s time to put some things up on the wall. I listened to an interview recently by Tim Ferriss with Seth Godin. Seth mentioned that his absolute favorite place to work is his office. It has his artifacts and memorabilia from decades of work and living.

The place I go to work needs to be the most inviting place, a location that beckons creativity and interest.

I have a few tasks on my plate for that, and will update when there’s more to say.

GORUCK GR2 and travel ergonomics

Backpack

After much debate I finally settled on buying the GORUCK GR2 34L in black. My goal has been to find one bag I could travel with, one that would fit my electronic gear, clothes, and other travel stuff.

I sold my GR1 21L and swapped up for the GR2. So far I’m not quite sure if it meets my needs.

Several folks online mentioned using a Bullet 10L or 15L to put inside of the 34L as a packing cube. I tried that, but it doesn’t leave much extra room. In fact, all of the zipper pouches inside the GR2 seem not as useful for what I prefer, since I put everything in packing cubes. I’d almost prefer if the GR2 only had two large areas, but without smaller zipper areas.

Since I want to travel with just one bag, but also want a smaller bag for EDC, I was hoping the Bullet would fit inside the GR2.

Travel gear

So far it all technically works, but not with enough room to really feel comfortable. I’m now debating whether to just buy a duffle bag for travel and keep my Bullet 15L with me at the same time, so just two bagging it.

Will share an update as I figure this out.

For context I travel with the following work gear:

  • 15-Inch MacBook Pro + cords + roost stand + Magic Keyboard + Magic Mouse + mousepad + leather sleeve
  • 12.9″ iPad Pro
  • Small kit bag – For all the non MBP cords
  • Sony bluetooth noise cancelling headphones
  • Fieldnotes Steno notebook
  • Optional: DSLR and accompanying lenses

Sometimes I scrap all the laptop accessories, but then I often regret it because they help me get into the flow of work with a real mouse and unattached keyboard with the monitor at an ergonomic height.

Pictured below:

While it’s more to carry, I definitely prefer when I can have my full setup with me. It allows me to mimic my home office, minus the larger external monitor.

When a design discussion needs a sketch

Earlier today I was following up on a ticket from a colleague. He asked some clarifying questions on what was needed for the design. At first I thought of responding directly to the question with a written answer.

However, experience has taught me that a sketch often helps me with understanding the question better, helping me to clarify my answer, and often changing my own answer in the process.

The same thing happened today.

As I started to answer his question, and was sketching out a solution, I realize the answer I was about to write wasn’t actually correct, or wasn’t as easy as I thought.

If you’re curious you can follow the discussion and see my logic play out in realtime.

Show what you mean

Earlier today I was following up on a design related task. After writing up the paragraph response, I decided to take five minutes and sketch up a drawing of what I wrote. I then included that.

In the work I’ve done with design and development teams over the years I’ve found that a sketch will always help to clarify the conversation.

Sometimes my sketches are wrong, but usually they move the conversation forward by conveying meaning in a way that can more quickly bring about understanding.

Here’s the quick little sketch:


Leading to Design

I’ve started a new project. It’s called Leading to Design, a site where I share my learnings as a product designer, and the journey I’m taking to support and lead a design vision within my company.

Check it out! The first few posts are up, and you can subscribe to my something-weekly newsletter. 😀