Uses This

Interview

What do people use to get stuff done?

Dana Schwartz

Dana Schwartz

Entertainment writer (The Observer)

Who are you, and what do you do?

Hi! I'm Dana Schwartz and I'm an entertainment writer at the Observer. I also wrote a Young Adult novel that's coming out in May called AND WE'RE OFF, and I'm writing a memoir that's going to come out.. sometime after I finish writing it.

What hardware do you use?

I'm constantly on my iPhone 6. I write on a 2016 MacBook Air that I had to buy because I dropped my previous laptop in my eagerness to get to the door for my Seamless delivery and cracked the screen. Internet distraction is a huge problem for me, and so I also invested in a Freewrite - a typewriter that saves your work and uploads it directly to the cloud. I find I use it a lot for diary writing and idea generating. I'm terrible at maintaining physical journals even though I love writing by hand. I tend to use whichever one of the millions I've bought is nearest to me at the moment, and I always lose them before they're filled up.

My physical planner is essential though - I'm not an iCal person. I need my to-do list and schedules on paper, written in front of me, or I'll never remember to do anything.

And what software?

The Twitter app: constantly, obsessively, to my detriment. I used to write in Microsoft Word, but when I got the new computer I didn't want to buy it again, and so I've been writing in Google Docs. At work, we're putting our articles up through Wordpress. I've taken classes on Adobe Premiere for editing videos, but honestly when I'm doing something for work I usually fall back on my middle school instincts and use iMovie because it's so much quicker for me.

What would be your dream setup?

A giant, very neat, gorgeous desk with fresh flowers and a notebook and a black pen that you don't have to press too hard and doesn't bleed through the page. And a laptop that's not connected to the internet. And my phone very far away, in the other room, which will only ding if someone really cool texts me. And a nice view.

Previously: / Next up: