322 - Rachel How
Rachel How is an Independent Product Designer.
Currently, her focus is on UI/UX design projects, building Webflow and Framer sites, and creating educational videos on her YouTube channel that has over 170K subscribers.
She was previously featured in edition 75 of Workspaces. This is her updated workspace.
Inside Rachel's Workspace
- 27" Apple Studio Display, non-height adjustable
- Chair: Herman Miller Mirra 2 (Triflex Back)
- Apple Magic Trackpad & Keyboard
- iPhone 14 Pro with MOFT phone stand/wallet
- 14" Macbook Pro, M1 Max, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD
- Grovemade Desk Shelf (Large), Pencil Holder, Maple Dish
- Grovemade Wood Macbook Dock
- Apple HomePod Mini
- Apple AirPods Pro
- Sony A7IV with Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 Lens
- Xiaomi Mi LED Desk Lamp
- Figurines and plants
- Cup warmer (not in the pictures)
What is the most useful item in your workspace?
Right now, it's the Apple Studio Display. I appreciate that it has a beautiful screen, speakers and webcam all in one aesthetically-pleasing product. It syncs well since I'm using the Apple trackpad and keyboard. I just love it so much.
How do you spark creativity?
Honestly, I struggle with this a lot. Things that worked for me so far are:
- Caffeine (coffee/tea) to get in the zone
- Noise-cancelling earphones or focus music (classical music is great!) to focus
- Gather inspiration from various sources. It could be creative advertisements from different brands in different countries, listening to great podcasts, flipping through magazines/books, going to a café that you've never been before, trying something new, sketching on the notebook.
- Take a break. Switch it up. If you design every day and feel like you're lacking creativity, go and do something else, like cooking or camping or whatever that you enjoy.
What does your typical daily routine look like?
On weekdays, I start my day with a cup of hot coffee or Malaysian milk tea (we call it 'teh c' here). Then, I sit down at my desk and look at the events scheduled for the day, as well as my to-do list. Few times a week, I review my to-do lists and decide which to eliminate. Being my own boss means that I can work at any time I want, depending on my energy levels. I love what I do - hopping between multiple responsibilities in a day - Product design, entrepreneurship and content creation. My days are unpredictable and I don't function well with rigid schedules, but I try to make sure I get 2 to 4 hours of uninterrupted work time. Apart from that, I follow my heart/gut and do whatever that is most important (to me) for that day.
You say that you are currently building 8 different income streams. How does this work and how do you manage it all?
Yes, I have 8 income streams but they all span from 3 main focuses - Client work (UI/UX design services), content creation (creating YouTube videos), and digital products (resume templates etc). So, these are the 3 things I spend my energy on, every Monday-Friday. The by-product of these income sources are things like YouTube ad revenue, brand deals, affiliate income, and donations. I'd love to expand more on digital product income as it is more passive.