A digital strategist based in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, Jeffrey leads the Innovation Studio, the research, design and development laboratory at Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Mildly obsessed with the collision of art and technology, Jeffrey has spent the last decade helping cultural heritage institutions adapt and thrive in the digital age.
Kate Martin: What are the apps you use every day, and why do you like them?
Jeffrey Inscho: My professional life revolves around three apps: Omnifocus, Basecamp and Slack. I would seriously be lost without these three productivity tools. I adhere tightly to the GTD system and Omnifocus is the best GTD-friendly task-management app I’ve tried (and I’ve tried them all). We manage all Innovation Studio projects in Basecamp, a fantastic project planning and implementation service, and collaborate as a team via Slack, a modern alternative to email.
KM: Is there an app you think developers should be working on?
JI: I would love an app that told me if I was close to works created by my favorite artists. Like when I get off the plane in a new city, the app would send me an alert like, “There are currently 12 DeKoonings on view nearby.” It would also provide information about & directions to the museums/galleries showing them.
KM: Is there an app that surprised you with its usefulness?
JI: I keep notifications at a minimum on my phone, but I absolutely love Dark Sky’s weather notifications. The app is tied into real-time radar and location data, and can ping you 5 minutes before it starts raining. That feature’s kept me dry numerous times!
KM: If you could recommend an app for every arts manager, what would it be and why?
JI: The Innovation Studio team tracks our time with Toggl. It’s an extremely useful tool that helps us visualize the time and effort we spend on various tasks. We learn a lot about project budgeting this way, but we also learn about organizational (in)efficiencies like time spent checking email or in meetings. All arts organizations, and by extension arts managers, are staff- and budget-strapped. An app like Toggl can go a long way in helping us make the most out of limited resources.