These are a few of my favorite things… (In my head, I sang that. Did you?)
I’m a creative. I’m also a creature of habit. I also know that I’m a pretty anxious person. When things aren’t in their place, or things aren’t just right, I’m probably going to lose it or be totally unable to work. My work space is totally important, and I definitely have my favorite things to keep around to get me through my work day. How many of these are important to you?
This starts the moment I wake up and carries on through about lunch time. Sometimes, an afternoon coffee really hits the spot. I take my coffee with a bit of creamer, no sweetener.
I’m pretty particular about my coffee’s temperature, too. It has to be just right — if it’s even borderline lukewarm, I can’t even! I used to make trips to the microwave a few times during my day to nuke my half-finished cups of coffee. We ordered USB coffee warmers at one point. They were super cute, and looked like donuts. Unfortunately, they failed to heat up adequately, let alone keep our coffee warm. Then, my mom got me a Yeti for Christmas. How did I not know how amazing these things were before?! All of the hype is true. I can pour a giant cup of coffee in the morning and nurse it for HOURS without leaving my seat…and it stays the perfect temp!
Admission: on some days that I work a bit later, my coffee cup gets replaced by a wine glass when I’m winding down my day. Not even going to lie about that! 😉 I’m a white wine gal, for the most part… I do love a good sweet wine, but dry is where it’s at.
I am a faithful Limelife Planner girl. I’ve ordered my last four planners from Limelife, and I can’t even begin to tell you what a lifesaver their products are. My planner love affair started in junior high. It never failed, though, that I would use the planner for a few months and then just stop because I hated the design. (I always picked one from Target or Wal-Mart that was a generic planner.) There was either not enough room, too much room, or it had spaces for appointments that I never had.
Limelife Planners are customizable with a variety of layouts, sizes, cover options, and accessories to boot, if you’re a decorative planner kind of girl. I’m not — I’m a functional planner kind of girl, and I would legitimately be lost without it. I keep track of client deadlines, due dates, and things that need my attention. I’m pals with Leslie, Limelife’s owner. I recently joined up with their referral program, so if you use my referral link, you can save $10 on your planner!
I use Spotify either on my phone, or on my iMac. My loved ones know I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. I don’t even know how to read music because I never learned, but I could not get things done without music. The majority of the time, I have earbuds in, or we’re blasting music on a portable speaker in our bedroom/office. My hubby is a Pandora guy, I’m a Spotify girl. I’m a rocker girl, more specifically. I won’t even lie and say that I enjoy some of the slower froo-froo music or even some of the current hits on your regular ol’ radio station. Because, mostly, I don’t. Everything rock is where it’s at. Classic rock, hair band rock, Southern rock, new rock, alternative, metal, you name it.
These days, I’ve been digging Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch, and In This Moment. I love a good “get shit done” kinda tune. It’s really important for me to be able to tune out what’s around me to work on something creative.
My iPad Pro.
I’m a recent Apple convert (within the last year) and I’m still discovering the wonders of my iPad for the creative process. I don’t use it as often as I’d like, but it has been a total time saver and creative helping hand. It’s so convenient to pull up a client’s inspiration board while designing on my desktop computer, and it’s also AMAZING to cut some steps out of the design process by lettering & designing on an iPad app. I was slightly skeptical and not super sure about it at first, but the quality has been amazing. Equally amazing has been the response from clients about this new addition to our workflow and the awesome work we’ve been able to put out.
Aesthetic + set-up.
Ok, it’s not really a tangible thing. My desk area HAS to be organized, so in a sense, it’s a must-have for my work day. I work on a corner Ikea desk that’s all white, so 1-2 times a week, the stuff on my desk gets moved and it gets a total wipe down so that the dog hair and dusty bits are gone. I have a picture of my family on my desk, a Young Living diffuser and some oils (Thieves & Christmas Spirit are my favorite), my iMac, iPad, Macbook Pro, and a super sweet little call bell that Autumn gave me for Mother’s Day in 2016. (When I ring it, she still comes running!)
Overall, my desk has to be organized and clean in order for me to think clearly. I love how my desk looks, and I think that happy spaces make for better work quality. I also love that my desk is set up with our picture wall right next to it. None of our frames match, and the pictures aren’t evenly spaced. It’s more like a jigsaw puzzle, but it works and it’s very McWillough. We’ve got family pics, diplomas, awards, and a few shadow boxes.
The shadow boxes are my favorite because they’re filled with little bits & pieces of momentous occasions that mean a lot to me…whether it’s the receipt from the courthouse where Jeff and I got married, or the receipt from the pizza place in Barcelona we fell in love with (Il Commendatore — the Pizza Catalogna is the best), or a little trinket that one of the kids made for us, it really puts me in a happy mood.
Tell me – what are your must-haves? What do you like to be surrounded by in your work spaces?