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1279 interviews since 2009

A picture of Caitlin Dewey

Caitlin Dewey

Enterprise reporter

in mac, reporter

Who are you, and what do you do?

Hi! I'm Caitlin Dewey. My day job is in local news -- I'm an enterprise reporter for the daily paper in Buffalo, N.Y., which is where I grew up and where I returned a few years ago after a stint in Washington. I'm also a regular freelance writer for a number of national publications, a fellowship advisor at the Poynter Institute, and the curator of a weekly tech and culture newsletter, "Links I Would Gchat You If We Were Friends," which has been running on and off since before newsletters were cool.

What hardware do you use?

My hardware set-up is … probably not worth writing home about, tbh? My 10-year-old MacBook died early on in the pandemic, and since then I've used my work-issued Dell laptop for everything. I have ambitions of buying a Google Pixelbook and some extra monitors, but I haven't pulled the trigger yet -- partially because I'm not 100% sure a Chromebook will be "enough" (whatever that means?) (maybe a reader can advise??) and partially because my home office is in the attic of our 110-year-old house, which we've been renovating since October. So: I don't have a desk anyway, there's no point to a fancy set-up! I also have a Kindle, where I do a lot of reading. And an iPhone, which I use to record interviews. If I'm writing longhand, I'm mostly doing it in those skinny reporter's notebooks, largely because they're free at work.

And what software?

I do almost all of my actual work -- writing, taking interview notes, whatever -- in Chrome using G Suite, especially Google Docs and Sheets. I do have to use Outlook and Teams for my day job. But even then, I send important emails through my personal Gmail account so I can use MailTracker to see if/when they've been opened.

I have also spent literal years developing a complex and deeply boring bookmarking workflow with the secret hope that someone would ask me about it... so thank you. The challenge for me, basically, is that I have to consume a ton of material for research and story idea generation, across a lot of different subjects and with several different end products in mind. To manage that, I've created a series of Google Sheets for each interest area (work research, freelance pitches, newsletter links, etc.) and attached them to Pocket through IFTTT. Every time I tag an article in Pocket "tbn," an entry goes on my Buffalo News spreadsheet. Then I can further sort and label them there, as needed.

Other tools I really like, all of them web-based and mostly free: I use Feedly as my RSS reader, Todoist as my task manager and TweetDeck to keep an eye on Twitter. (It looks like I don't follow a lot of people, but I keep a zillion private Twitter lists and searches.) I pay for P2K, which packages articles from Pocket into Kindle ebooks -- but I am using that less than I used to, so I might give it up. I use Calendly to schedule interviews and to transcribe them. I also like and the ContactOut extension for finding/verifying email addresses. On a completely unrelated note, I downloaded a great, barebones gratitude/journaling app called Morning! at the beginning of the year, and I really love it. I've cycled through a lot of journaling apps, but this is the first one to stick. (I'm also still on the hunt for a good call-recording app, if you have recommendations!!)

What would be your dream setup?

Honestly, when the construction debris clears, I think the attic is going to be it. It's a small, carpeted room with sloped ceilings, just big enough for some bookshelves, a comfy chair (I hope?), an electric kettle, a bunch of houseplants and my estate sale desk. When I get a new computer and those extra monitors, we'll really be in business.