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 Mike Monteiro
Photo by Jeffrey Zeldman.

Mike Monteiro

Designer, director (Mule)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Mike Monteiro. I'm a designer by trade, and the Design Director at Mule. I suppose I'm also a writer. Both are accidental.

What hardware do you use?

Oh man, I just got myself a shiny new 13 inch retina MacBook Pro, so I'm still in the honeymoon phase with it. I spend a lot of time staring at the screen and saying "Wow, that's nice." I also have an iMac at work that's starting to get a little long in the tooth which is probably getting put out to pasture as soon as Apple revs their displays, and I get something to hook up to the MBP.

But that's all boring.

My secret hardware weapon sits on the corner of my desk. It's a phone. Plugged into the wall and everything. You can do amazing shit with it. For example, I've found that you can consolidate a 24 volley e-mail thread with a client down to five minutes if you call them on the phone. And, unlike e-mail, you can read people's tone and awkward pauses. Not to mention you can actually hear them "LOL". So I get a kick out of hearing people mention they no longer use the phone.

I take notes in a Moleskine, although if Jim Coudal is reading this please tell him that I actually meant Field Notes. And I wish I could tell you that the notes were interesting, or that I "sketch", or whatever people are now calling it. But, honestly, it's all chickenscratch. I do, however, make a habit of writing down the name of everyone who's sitting around a table. I suck at remembering names.

And I write with a Uniball Roller. Fine point. The black ones. All other pens suck.

And what software?

I still use Photoshop quite a bit, but not as much as I used to. I use Illustrator when I need to, but never without breaking into a cold sweat as I dread how much time I'll have until it force quits. (It's still not as good as Freehand was when they killed it.)

I wrote my entire book in Google Docs (err, Drive) which made everyone very, very nervous. Although I've been toying with Editorially lately and it looks very promising.

I love Keynote probably more than anyone, with the possible exception of Tom Coates, but he uses it in very unnatural ways.

We use Campfire, with a Flint strap-on, to communicate throughout the office. And Basecamp to communicate with our clients.

Haven't used a feed reader since Twitter launched. And I get that through Tweetbot, unless I'm on the desktop where I just go to the site.

And I still prefer Safari to Chrome, because the Chrome UI is a goddamn eyesore.

What would be your dream setup?

An incredibly big work table lined with bins full of LEGO, sorted by color and shape. What? You did say dream.