I’m Abram Anders and This is How I Work

Courtesy of UMD

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Why?

Sublime Text, Google Apps, Microsoft Office, Mendeley, Dropbox, Google Drive, Spotify

What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?

I try to create a daily and weekly schedule that supports a balanced approach to reaching my goals. Each day I try to make time for the activities that most important to me. As Annie Dillard wrote, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret?

I can process and synthesize information very quickly, while keeping an eye to the memorable moments, stories, and hooks that can be used to engage others.

What do you listen to while you work?

I like all kinds of music, but lately I’ve been enjoying listening to jazz and afrobeat music while I’m writing. It gives me focus and energy.

What are you currently reading?

Sprint: How to solve big problems and test ideas in just 5 days, Desert Islands and Other Texts

Are you more of introvert or an extrovert?

I’m fairly balanced. I naturally tend to the introverted side, but teaching has really helped me strengthened and rewarded my extroverted side.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

“You sell your expertise, you have a limited repertoire. You sell your ignorance, it’s an unlimited repertoire. [Eames] was selling his ignorance and his desire to learn about a subject, and the journey of him not knowing to knowing was his work.”

— Richard Saul Wurman, discussing Charles Eames in Eames: The Architect and the Painter

Where do you find inspiration and new ideas?

My personal learning network includes a lot of great sources of information. Recently, I’ve been getting some great inspiration from Twitter, Medium digests, and author Austin Kleon’s newsletter

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers?

This is my view every morning when I am making coffee — Lake Superior is a pretty great lake!

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