[Podcast Transcript]

Welcome to Screen Space your podcast about creating usable, accessible, effective, and efficient web, blog, and digital media design for the everyday (and non-expert) designer. This is episode 16 of Screen Space, “An Interview with Shaun Slattery on ‘Information Management Techniques for Writers.’”

I am your host, Dr. Jennifer L. Bowie. I teach and conduct research in areas related to digital media, web, and blog design. First a welcome to my new listeners from Casablanca, Morocco; Santiago, Chile; and Mumbai, India. And welcome to my new US listeners from Brunswick, GA; New York, New York; and Holland, Michigan. Thanks for stopping by and design well!

In this episode, we hear from Shaun Slattery on “Information Management Techniques for Writers.” Let’s dive in and I’ll provide some exciting news about Shaun after the interview.

Transcript/Summary of the Interview

Overview of this presentation:

He felt flooded with information and was struggling o keep track of it all and get back to what he needs. So, he became interested in how people managed information to do work later—writing, web design, and other types of knowledge work. A few different types of people are talking about this:

  • Business people: Information management, Personal information managed
  • Academic disciplines like Information Science from library science, areas interested in accessing and ordering information.

So, to help him with his information glut problems, he turned to these literatures to find suggestions of best practices.

What information would he give us?

  1. Start getting clever about naming files. Be reflective. This is important especially when writing collaboratively. Think about names to find the information better.
  2. Start looking into it as a practice. Look online. Two great resources:
    1. 43 Folders: Focused on creatively and getting manage done and out of the way to get back to work.
      1. Cringe bust your to-list: Tackle cringe-worthy projects that you want to avoid. Spend a few minutes at a time to chip away at it.
    2. Life hack: tips and tricks to manage lives and projects

His three tips for us:

  1. Be thoughtful and reflective about naming stuff and putting things places.
  2. Look at other people’s practices: See if decisions were smart or bad. Being tuned in can help you make good decisions that may impact yourself and others. Coordinate with others you are working with.
  3. People pay a lot of attention to where things are. Be aware of spatial preferences and consistently apply them. Be aware of what is typical and most normal to put it in the right places for your users.


  • Getting Things Done book: Good for productively.
  • Life Hack and 43 Folders: Good web resource for this kind of practice. Blogs with neat posting regularly.
  • Beyond this: be aware of own practices and others’ practices. Can find lots of clever practices online in places like Flickr.

And that concludes that interesting interview with Shaun. Thanks Shaun, for this great information. As I said before the interview, Shaun has some exciting news to share with us, but I do not yet have it. I will update this when I do.

A note on the transcript: the transcript for this podcast is limited as I do not have time right now to transcribe the interview. If any of you want to, I welcome your help. I did provide a brief summary of the interview for my audience that has difficulty with sound.

That wraps up episode 16: An Interview with Shaun Slattery on “Information Management Techniques for Writers.” Join us next week for the continuation of the Usability Testing 101 series.

If you have questions, comments, or thoughts on what you want me to cover please send me an email at or check out the Screen Space blog— You can also follow @Screen_Space on Twitter for hints, tips, advice, news, and information on designing websites, blogs, and other digital media texts. Also, check out the blog for a transcript of this podcast complete with links and resources.

Have fun and design well!

Screen Space is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. So, feel to send a copy to your favorite digital pirate, but don’t change the podcast, do give me and Screen Space credit, and don’t make any money off of it.

Screen Space’s opening music today is “African Dance” by Apa Ya off of Headroom Project and the closing music is “Survival” by Beth Quist off of “Shall We Dance”. Both these selections are available from Magnatune.

Episode 16 Links and References:


Other links:

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