219 - Patrick Morgan
Better By Design is a weekly newsletter where he shares pragmatic strategies and tactics to guide the process of designing digital products.
Twitter → twitter.com/itspatmorgan
- Autonomous SmartDesk Core
- Ikea ALEX drawers
- Apple Macbook Pro 14"
- LG Ergo Monitor 32"
- Logitech bluetooth keyboard
- Apple Magic Trackpad
- Logitech C920e webcam
- Apple Airpods Max
- Fender American Stratocaster
- Taylor GS Mini acoustic guitar
- Shure SMtB microphone
- AudioBox UBC Audio Interface
- Novogratz Brittany Futon
And much more! You can view his entire item catalog here.
- Figma (Literally all the design things)
- Notion (For my personal website along with the management for my newsletter)
- Super.so (For publishing my personal website built on Notion)
- Typical tech work stuff: Atlassian, Google Cloud, Zoom, Slack etc…
- DAW: Ableton Live
- Libraries and plugins: Native Instruments, Arturia, Izotope and SoundToys
What is your favorite item in your workspace?
My Fender American Stratocaster is my most sentimental item. It was the first big purchase I saved up for and bought with my own money as a kid and it still rocks to this day. It’s not related to my work and not even that central to the music I make, but as soon as I hang it on the wall it feels like “my place”.
How do you spark creativity?
I find I personally get a lot more energy and inspiration from things that are tangentially related to my work, so I’m always pulling from other disciplines: behavioral economics, philosophy, urban planning, endurance athletics, music production, the list goes on… So I might just need to shift topics for a little bit to unlock a new idea.
Or, another tactic I use is to just set a completely arbitrary constraint to force myself to act. Like I once did an exercise where I decided to write and record 25 songs in 25 weeks before my 25th birthday. It can feel silly, but I’ve learned that if I can just get myself to start and build some momentum, sooner or later something good will happen.
How do you manage work-life balance?
I think the thing I’ve struggled with the most in the pandemic-era is finding the space (both physically and emotionally) to create at home in a non-work-oriented way. I used to keep my design work in the office and then come home feeling excited to sit down at my home desk to make music. But now I wrap up my day job at my home desk and think “well, I kinda wanna do anything besides sit back down right there!” I’ve gotten a little better at it over the last two years, but it’s still something I’m figuring out.
Also, keeping a secondary ‘desk away from desk’ where I can create in a slightly different mindset has been helpful.