Uses This

Interview

What do people use to get the job done?

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.