Tell us who you are and what you do.
My name is Daniel Baldwin and I am the Creative Director at GOOD HANDS, a creative agency in the media/fashion/tech space. I am currently based in Seattle.
How do you plan productive days in your Ink+Volt Planner?
I try my hardest to log all ideas and to-dos in Asana the minute they cross my mind. At the end of every day, I do a “brain dump” and add anything I forgot to add earlier as well as review outstanding tasks and archive anything that isn’t of importance anymore.
The problem with a task management app is that it’s easy to get carried away with hundreds of to-dos and lose focus of your goals. This is why I purchased an Ink+Volt planner. I stay productive by planning my days in advance and prioritizing my top 3-5 tasks for the following day. Anything that I add to my Ink+Volt planner is going to happen. Keeping my actionable tasks separate from my ever-growing todo list is key to staying focused and productive.
What has been the proudest moment of your career?
Earlier this year, I told my wife that I wanted to start freelancing full-time six months from that date. The next morning, I was laid off by my employer. The proudest moment of my career was being able to shift into overdrive and begin my freelance journey immediately.
The easiest part of the transition was dealing with project management and scheduling, as I had already nailed my process with the help of my Ink + Volt planner.
What makes you feel confident or successful?
Being on top of things makes me confident and successful. Working for myself has taught me that you need to have an extreme sense of self-discipline, and there is no better feeling than being done with work when my wife gets off work and being able to shut my MacBook knowing that I completed all of my work for the day.
What career advice would you give to your younger self?
Stop imitating and start improving. I spent so much time and mental energy trying to be something I wasn’t. I was following trends, analyzing the work of design influencers, trying to find the perfect formula to success. If I would have dedicated this energy into experimenting with design and evolving my aesthetic, I think I would have found that creative confidence I was looking for sooner.
What’s one of your favorite techniques for getting things done?
Work when you’re productive, rest when you’re not. I hate the concept of 9-5 jobs. I have had a few, and I admit that there were always blocks of my day where I would just stare at my computer, browse the web, and waste time. Now that I work for myself, I create my own schedule. I work when I’m productive and rest my mind when I’m not. It’s that simple. I spend less hours in front of my computer now and get more work done.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Unplug when necessary. It’s so easy to get burned out or lose your focus when you are grinding around the clock. Take breaks throughout the day. Take time off at the end of a big project or long stint of work.