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I'm Amy O’Donnell, and This Is How I Work.

Inspired by Lifehacker’s How I Work series, Maestro is helping to provide a glimpse into the work styles of our team, as well as a few of our friends and partners. Would you like to answer these questions or is there someone you would like to see featured here? Let us know!

I'm Amy O’Donnell, and This Is How I Roll… I Mean, Work.

Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan as of July 1st. New digs downtown! Current Gig: UI Designer at Maestro Current mobile device: iPhone 5 and iPad 3 Current computer: MacBook Pro 15”

One word that best describes how you work: Can I use a hashtag? That makes it one word, right? #easilydistracted

What apps/software/tools can't you live without? Since I’m a design nerd, the first thing that comes to mind is Photoshop. The bros and I use it about 90% of the time here at Maestro. InDesign and Illustrator are a close second. I’m also a sucker for social media on my mobile devices. I check Facebook, Twitter, Instagrizzle, and Vine pretty much every night before I go to bed and as soon as I wake up. Snapchat, Skype, and GChat with my co-workers, family, and pals get me through each day. Flipboard is my go-to app to find awesome design resources. And, Spotify is clutch.

What's your workspace setup like?

Messy. Unorganized. Some even say it’s out of control. But, hey… it works for me. I’m a double monitor gal. I use my Thunderbolt display as my main desktop screen and my MBP as my secondary. Pens and paper are scattered everywhere with random notes, sketches and wireframes. Coffee stains, mugs, Camelbacks and soda cans cover the remaining space on my desk.

What's your best time-saving trick? This sounds like a contradiction, but as soon as I start slowing down and begin to label every layer, every group, and every file properly, it allows me to be faster in the long run. Organization in our files and on our desktop makes life so much easier. Oh, and save often. Lesson learned… too many times.

What's your favorite to-do list manager? When I do use an app, I go to Wunderlist. But I’m not going to lie… I rarely use anything. I’d be lost without my iCal, though. I am, however, a fan of the old pen and paper technique, but I oftentimes lose the paper. So… it’s really a lose-lose situation (literally). I’m working on it.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without? My contys or glasses. I’m legally blind and would not be able see. “Hey there, four eyes!” Or, my Camelback water bottles. The amount of water I consume in a day is outrageous. Therefore, I have to visit the ladies room almost every half-hour to hour. TMI?

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else? Saying yes to people. I just had this conversation with my mother and I’m finally realizing it’s okay to starting saying “no” once in awhile. Have I actually told somebody “no” to a favor? Yes… wait, no. Check back with me in a year.

What do you listen to while you work? You know when you were little and you used to mix all the flavors of fountain pop into one? I’d say I’m the suicide drink of music but it depends on my mood. Kind of cliché but sometimes folk music fits my personality. Other days, instrumental can move me. Pop/hip-hop gets me bouncing, country hits the heart, and rap (especially old school), is always my first pick.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? I’m totes an extrovert. Sure, there are times and moments when I’m quiet, shy and diligently working. But for the most part, I like to chat and need to be social. (My poor desk neighbor, Andy.) I’ve been told I wear my heart on my sleeve, so if something brings me down, people can usually tell.

What's your sleep routine like? I struggle with sleep lately. I’m a night owl but am getting to that age where late nights until 2am kill me the next day. I have a hard time waking up and a harder time falling asleep. Sleep and I have a love-hate relationship. I’ve reintroduced caffeine back into my life.

Fill in the blank: I'd love to see _______ answer these same questions. My best friends. First of all, let me brag about how smart and accomplished my closest girlfriends are. I’m so lucky to have them in my life and am so stinkin’ proud of them. They range from a physician’s assistant to a physical therapist to teachers. I can’t imagine what a day in their shoes is like. You girls rule. And they have awesome student/patient stories, too: Kara: “I delivered a baby, today. How was your day?” Me: “Wow. Today? Well, I spilled coffee on my keyboard, so that was exciting.”

What's the best advice you've ever received? “Dance like nobody’s watching…”


Actually a couple years ago, Conan O’Brien was given the “Tonight Show” spot and then it was suddenly taken away from him. He gave a pretty serious and moving farewell speech. One line in there really stuck with me when he said, “If you work hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” I can’t say it was advice given directly to me of course, but it certainly touched me. It kept me in pursuit of what I love doing most, designing. It’s not easy and you HAVE to work hard at it. And add kindness into the mix. Amazing things WILL happen. I promise.

Amy O'Donnell

On a scale of one to 10, Amy's competitive drive ranks about a 24. Growing up, Amy was the baby sister to four brothers. "…

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Amy O'Donnell

On a scale of one to 10, Amy's competitive drive ranks about a 24. Growing up, Amy was the baby sister to four brothers. "…

 Read more.

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