Talking tech with Scott Belsky

Scott Belsky is on a mission to organize the creative world. I met Scott over a decade ago at a SXSW party and have admired him ever since. He’s the founder of Behance (now part of Adobe), a best-selling author (Making Ideas Happen – a must read!), investor (Pinterest, Paper) and maker of my favorite notebooks, Action Method. Curious as to how he continues to execute so flawlessly, I asked Scott to divulge his workflow secrets.

Scott Belsky

Even though email hasn’t really changed in years, which client do you use and any tricks you can share?

Apple Mail became too slow for me. I tried Sparrow for a bit, but it also couldn’t keep up. So, I’ve resorted to Gmail in the browser. What an opportunity for the right engineering and design team!

What are your top 5 mobile apps and why?

As I look on my home screen at apps I use quite often, the big 5 are ActionMethod, Uber, Path, Circa, and Pinterest. Of course, Twitter, Spotify, and Instagram should really be included as well. Circa is one of the companies for which I am an investor/advisor; they boil down news into bullets – a daily briefing of sorts on what is happening in the world – and I love it. Highly recommended.

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

Make stuff, and take action, with meaning. And when you care enough about what you’re doing, you’ll be rewarded for it one way or another. With everything you do and say, consider whether it will move the ball forward or backwards. And if you think it leaves the ball idle, realize that noise and worthless chatter just moves the ball backwards.

Consuming content has evolved quite a bit since the days of going to a single website. What’s your favorite way to read content? (i.e. blogs, books, magazines, etc)

Likely the Twitter stream at this point.

What’s your go-to social media platform of choice?

Behance (of course), Twitter, Pinterest, Path, Instagram, LinkedIn.

Let’s talk cloud-computing for a sec. Do you backup your data and if so, where and how-often?

Yes, and often., Creative Cloud, Google Apps…

What’s your favorite music service and why?

iTunes and Spotify. Only caveat is I wish Spotify charged MORE and paid the artists MORE. I think the willingness to pay from Rdio and Spotify users is much higher than these companies realize. If this whole business model could reset and charge a few hundred dollars a year (at least) – or varied charge based on usage – I think the creative world would be better off.

What’s your take on the popularity of second screen?

5% Interesting, 95% Distracting. 100% Inevitable.

What’s your current tech set-up look like?

Mac Book Air for the road. In the office, my desktop is a suped-up 27inch iMac with a second 27″ screen. Also enjoying the iPad Mini for the moment on the road. And I use my Sharp EL-738 Calculator, figuring out sign-up and metric growth rates much more than I care to admit.

Is there a specific method to tackling your daily workflow?

I spend a ton of time ploughing through Action Steps every day, using of course. My productivity on a daily basis comes down to capturing and completing Action Steps, and I think big things only happen as the result of many little things getting done. I use windows of time for email completion, trying to limit the email creep. Bottom line is I don’t want to live a life of reactionary workflow – constantly reacting to what comes in to me. On the contrary, I think a lot about managing my energy in a way that allows me to be proactive in what matters most.

What’s your go-to for watching video content?

Netflix for the most part.

Scott Belsky

My browser’s homepage is set to ______ because ______.

Behance, because my Activity feed is equal doses inspiring and humbling on a daily basis.

Browser wars – where’s your loyalty and why?

Safari and Chrome interchangeably.