Uses This

Interview

What do people use to get the job done?

Eli Horowitz

Eli Horowitz

Editor, writer

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Eli Horowitz. I edit books, and sometimes write or design them, sometimes in print and sometimes in weird digital formats. My most recent project is The Pickle Index, a collaboration with Russell Quinn.

What hardware do you use?

13" MacBook Air, Schoolio Composition Book, ballpoint pens. My favorite pens seem to be from hotels and motels. Currently I'm using one from Home2, which I guess is Hilton's cheap-but-mod experiment; I stayed there for a night with my parents and brother on a trip to Philadelphia.

And what software?

Mostly TextEdit for writing and to-do lists, sometimes Word or Google Whatever for editing, the basic Mail app for correspondence and inefficient note-keeping, InDesign and Photoshop for design, Chrome for procrastination. I suspect there are better ways to Maximize my Whatever, but I just have trouble mustering up the initiative.

What would be your dream setup?

I don't really care about the hardware or the software, to be honest - the work is pretty basic, and I find myself to be more of an obstacle than whatever tools. Because of that, what matters more is the environment where I'm working. I don't have an office, and I have weak self-discipline, so I move from spot to spot through the day - cafe, couch, library, bed, etc. But a sequence like that might only last until, say, 2:00, and then I just get lazy. And even the same cafes and libraries and beds can feel boring after a while. So my dream setup would be an endless supply of nearby spots - different sizes, different atmospheres, different kinds of seating, some with views, some with power outlets, some impersonal, some cozy, some familiar, some I've never seen before. I'm sure I'd still find a way to become lazy, but this way I might last until, say, 3:00.

(A big barn might also be nice, where I could leave all my tools in place.)