By Jonathan Bean, via UnSplash

Simplicity and symmetry

This article is half serious, and half just a joke.

People I work with, Tom Sacchi in particular, always make fun of my pseudo-OCD work processes, I tend to have little tricks and rules for everything. And keep encouraging me to write them down.

Whether anyone is actually really interested, I don’t know, but here goes.

Contrary to the ‘chaotic and messy creative’ stereotype, I love keeping things around me organised. Negative space is beautiful to me, and clutter makes me feel like I can’t breathe properly.

It’s a constant, iterative process driven by a passion for simplicity and symmetry. And it’s a powerful tool in my creative process too, because by taking my mind off of a problem — like writing a script, or figuring out how to film something, for example— I distract myself.

As I am someone who works in a digital environment, I extend this passion to my digital self.

Here are some of the processes I maintain daily, which I find are a healthy part of the creative process.

Email Is Your To Do List

I look at my email inbox as a todo list. Basically. Any email in my inbox requires an action – a response. Once that has been done, that email has no business being in my inbox. It’s filed away.

Screen Space Is Your Limit

I aim to not go to bed until all emails currently on my inbox fit onto my phones’ screen, height wise. That’s a max of 5 messages in all inboxes. I don’t always manage, since many emails require more complex tasks to be completed. But it’s a good goal to strive for, regardless.

My email folders also have to fit into one screen. I use generic ‘buckets’ rather than over organising. All commercial projects are filtered together, for example.

Lock-In Your Social Media

I don’t use Facebook. Twitter is less maintenance, and less clutter. And more useful.

I religiously keep my follower number at the same level. 300 is a good number, anymore and the missed tweets become overwhelming. Any less, and you loose the point of Twitter.

I keep this level of followers with one simple rule: If I follow a new person, I always unfollow someone ‘old’. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.

One Screen For All

Just like with email, I always try to fit everything on one screen. So too for apps.

All the apps I use daily fit onto one single screen on my iphone. If I download a new app, I delete an ‘old’ one.

Delete delete delete

As I have written about earlier, I am a passionate deleter. Once you start it is hard to stop. Clearing out emails, cancelling services I’ve signed up for, or sorting through files from projects that are no longer needed.

For example, I learned today that you can clear your ‘recent recipients’ from OSX Mail, so that everyone you ever emailed previously don’t show up when you start typing.

Anyway, I’m constantly on the look-out for something to delete. At the end of the day, there’s nothing quite like something that is gone forever.


I am a virtual reality and interactive film maker, working at the intersection of storytelling and experiential technology.