Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Elisabeth Fosslien

Elisabeth Fosslien

Illustrator

in illustrator, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Liz. I'm the co-author and illustrator of the Wall Street Journal best-seller No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work and the Head of Content at Humu, where I help teams and leaders develop the skills and habits they need to succeed at work. I live in San Francisco, love doodling, and have a long history of eyeballing leftovers and then choosing the absolute perfect tupperware container. You can see my latest piece here.

What hardware do you use?

For sketching and note-taking, I use a gel ink pen and unlined Muji notebooks that I highly recommend. The Muji notebooks are light (so you can carry them anywhere) and cheap-ish (so you won't feel bad scrawling over pages). For digital illustrations, I use a Wacom tablet and stylus.

I do all my work on my MacBook Pro with my Jelly Comb ergonomic mouse. I highly recommend an ergonomic mouse if you've ever had wrist or arm pain. It made a huge difference for me.

And what software?

I use Adobe Illustrator for anything illustration related. I tried to switch to an iPad Pro and the program Procreate recently but I found that you don't get the same precision that you do in Illustrator. I write everything in Google Docs. My old coworker created this amazing thing called Draftback, which lets you play back your revision history in a Google Doc. It's super fun to see how much even a paragraph might change over time. I love seeing people's revision history. It's like getting a peek into how their brains work, and their writing processes.

What would be your dream setup?

I like all my current tools. I'd love to live somewhere more rural, like in a big house in a more wooded area. I probably have the same aspirations as many creative introverts: a second-floor office with big windows where I feel safe and tucked away from the rest of the world. But still close to a Trader Joe's.

Uses This is supported by ZSA, makers of the Moonlander, ErgoDox EZ and Planck EZ keyboards. They also publish an awesome newsletter.