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Editor's Note

Controlled Chaos

The parallels between my desktop and my brain.

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MY MIND IS LIKE an internet browser. Seventeen tabs are open, four of them are frozen, and I don’t know where the music is coming from.” This is how actress and singer Zendaya described what it’s like to be inside her head.

I could not relate more. Not only is this what’s happening in my mind, but it’s also literally what my laptop looks like. Word, InDesign, Google Chrome, Gmail, Finder, Excel, Slack, iMessage, iCal, Notes, all open and being used all day long. One time, I left a news article open in Chrome (the kind where random videos start playing after a certain amount of time) and I could not figure out why I was hearing two strangers discuss the world’s current state of affairs.

For some (like my husband), my desktop is an actual nightmare. I can see the look of terror on his face whenever he uses my computer and sees 47 open files staring back at him. But it works for me. I guess you could say I’m an unorganized, organized person. I know everything I have to do, but rarely is it straight forward. I have a giant to-do list, but there are usually 10 to 15 other things going on that never make it to my Notes app. I currently have 17 emails in draft mode as a reminder to stay on top of projects. I’ll start on something, then jump to Gmail, get distracted, start working on something else, only to find the original article in a Word doc as I’m getting ready to end my day. It all gets done, but it’s far from doing it the “right way.” Research suggests solo-tasking, as opposed to multi-tasking, is more productive.

But is there a right way? If it works, does it have to be right? The August issue is an example of what’s recently been on my cluttered computer and bestrewed brain. Does it get the job done?

Smart Tips From This Issue

  1. Push the boundaries with creative out-of-home graphics. You could win an OBIE Award. (Special Feature, 22)
  2. Boost sales, enhance collaboration, and improve morale by adding a bit of humor into your workday. (The Big Story, 32)
  3. Consider on-demand, dye sublimation printing for a more sustainable approach to the fashion industry. (Special Feature, 42)
  4. Measure your client’s sample with your spectrophotometer to obtain a LAB number and a “perfect” color match. (Big Business, 53)
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Adrienne Palmer joined Big Picture magazine in 2012 after graduating from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism with a BA in magazine journalism. During her time with Big Picture, she has held the roles of assistant editor, associate editor, and managing editor, and is now serving as editor-in-chief. If she isn’t traveling, she’s planning her next trip.

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