What’s On Your Phone, Annika Presley?
Annika Presley is Managing Director at Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, a contemporary ballet company in San Francisco, CA. Prior to working at ASI, Annika was Education Director at AXIS Dance Company for eight years. Annika holds an MA in Sign Language Linguistics and originally hails from the Netherlands. In 2015, she was selected as a mentee by Dance/USA’s Institute for Leadership Training.
AMT Lab Contributor Jane Bowers first met Annika over the summer, when Jane was working as a Development Intern at Alonzo King LINES Ballet in San Francisco. Jane recently reached out to Annika to chat about favorite apps and the joy of keeping work and personal email separate from each other.
1. What are the apps you use every day and why do you like them?
There are a handful of apps that I use every day. I use WhatsApp to communicate with my family in Europe. It’s lovely to wake up to a note from my mom or a quick snapshot of my niece.
The Apple Native Calendar app allows me to see what is happening on that day or to add new meetings/deadlines throughout the day. I also have alerts set up so that I don’t forget deadlines and appointments.
I use the Mail app to check my personal email and the Gmail app to check my work email. It’s very important to me to keep my work and personal email separate and I need to actively log in to check my email (work or private). No push notifications for me. I want to be in control over when I “open my mailbox”. With these two apps I can keep the email separate and still have a very great app to open my work email in while on the road. I also love how easy it is to attach documents from Google Drive to an email using the Gmail app.
I use Google Maps every day to plan my transit, walking, or driving route. I still believe this is one of the best navigation apps and it gives me the most accurate information on how to get from point A to B.
And while I’m working, I listen to Spotify on my phone. I prefer this over my computer because it allows me to get up and walk away and just pop my phone in my pocket (instead of accidentally pulling my laptop from my desk). Depending on my mood and the task I choose different playlists.
2. Is there an app that surprised you with its usefulness?
I use the clock function on my phone so much more than I ever thought I would. Not only is it my alarm clock in the morning, but I use it to set a timer for short bursts of focused work time. For example, when I need to work on something that I keep postponing or dread working on, I set my timer for 10 minutes committing to focusing on the task/project uninterrupted for 10 minutes straight. This helps me to focus and get deeper into the project.
I also use it to constrain my time. We all spent so much time on email, often way more than we should. I give myself 25 minutes to go through my email and make quick choices: 1) answer immediately, 2) assign as task in Trello if it takes more work/is a longer project 3) delete/archive if it's not important. Once the 25 minutes are over, I move on to another task/project I need to focus on. Working in 25-minute bursts works magic for me. If you want to learn more about this, check out the Pomodoro Technique.
3. Is there an app you think developers should be working on?
For my work we use Artful.ly, an online CRM system for arts organizations developed by Fractured Atlas. It’s a wonderful platform and it would be incredible if I could access our contacts on-the-go through an app. In this way, I would always have all the information about our community, donors, and patrons at my fingertips.
4. If you could recommend one app to arts managers, what would it be?
Trello – this web based project management platform also has a fantastic app. This is where I plan my day and set my 3 MIT’s (Most Important Tasks). I also use it to make notes for things I don’t want to forget, or resources I want to read later (instead of emailing myself reminders). Trello allows you to work with other team members on projects. Members can leave updates, assign tasks, and connect documents. It’s a great alternative to the long email chains and all the information is in one place. It’s one of the apps I use the most.