By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
“How I Work” is one of my favorite recurring features in Inc Magazine as well as via Lifehacker’s This Is How I Work Series, and a few years ago we started our own series.
Every single week we highlight a new B2B sales, marketing or business leader here answering our version of the “How I Work” questions. You can catch up on everyone we’ve featured thus far in the “How I Work” series here.
This week I’m thrilled to feature Amanda Levine, content marketing manager for PathFactory. Amanda has held numerous content roles at a variety of tech companies, and has also taught science at a school in the UK.
Here in her own words is how she gets stuff done.
Location: Toronto, ON
Number of unread emails right now? 20 (although that number ranges from 0-100. I do periodic purges and I’ll often leave emails as unread as a reminder to take action later).
First app checked in the morning? Instagram or the weather app. Toronto weather can be a crapshoot so need to know if I have to wear a turtleneck or t-shirt!
First thing you do when you come into work? Small talk with my amazing teammates. Relationship building is important to me and very central to ‘how i work’. And check my email.
What is your email management strategy? I try to route things into folders (although it’s not a perfect science). I’ll do bulk purges to trim the fat. Then I’ll go through and answer anything that needs my immediate attention or use Gmails ‘star’ feature to tag things for later.
Most essential app when traveling? Slack for work and Maps for life.
How do you keep yourself calm and/or focused? I’ve been trying hard to stick to a meditation routine. Even if it’s just 5 minutes a day. Also, yoga is life.
What’s your perspective or approach to work/life balance? I feel like these days it’s more about work-life integration. With email and messaging apps, work follows you everywhere you go. I somehow managed not to have work email on my phone up until a few of years ago. Now, I keep a folder of work apps on the second page of my home screen and I have the notifications turned off. I try hard not to check them on evenings or weekends (unless there’s a big launch coming up and I know I have to work overtime). My team is also really respectful of personal time and rarely emails or pings me outside work hours or if someone is on vacation. I think baking that kind of respect into org and team culture is essential for finding some sort of balance.
Are there any work rituals critical to your success? Weekly 1-on-1’s with my manager. We use Soapbox to collaboratively manage our meeting schedule. Having a weekly touch point is essential to make sure we have full transparency and can deal with any major roadblocks ASAP. That and coffee. I I try to get a colleague/friend out for a coffee walk & talk once a day. A breath of fresh air is important to keep the mind clear and human interaction helps keeps me sane. So easy to fall into the bad habit of emailing and Slacking everyone, even when they just sit a few desks away!
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? So many. The Google cloud suite of tools (Docs, Sheets, Calendar etc.), Slack, Trello, Sprout Social, Asana
What’s your workspace like? Let’s just call it organized chaos 🙂 There’s also usually a dog around somewhere.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? I’ve been doing a lot of video content lately. Using rev.com to transcribe raw video before I edit has been a total time-saver.
What are you currently reading? All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I’m really fascinated by any book about or set during WW2.
Last thing you do before leaving work? Check my calendar for the next day.|
Who are some mentors or influencers you wish to thank or acknowledge? My former manager and current mentor Jane Flanagan, Director of Content Marketing at FreshBooks. I pivoted from a teaching career 7 years ago and Jane was central to the beginning and forging of my content marketing path. She’s also one of the most clever people I know.
Name some supportive people who help make it possible to do what you do best? My manager and Director of Integrated Marketing at PathFactory, Cassandra Jowett, as well as my VP of Marketing, Elle Woulfe. I’m lucky to have these two strong and intelligent women to learn from and look up to. I also get a lot of freedom and autonomy to be creative and take risks in my role—having that has allowed me to grow so much in my 2 years at PathFactory! And also my dad. He’s really great at giving me honest, unbiased advice.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? The things in life that are most worth doing are the ones that scare you.
Name a guilty pleasure TV show. The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise. I just can’t help myself!
Anything else you want to add? I’m passionate about dog rescue and often have a foster dog following me around the office (I spear-headed the development of the dog-friendly office policy here at PathFactory). Being involved in the dog rescue scene is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things I’ve ever done in my life. Plus, having office floofs around is great for general mental and emotional well being (aka free puppy therapy) and forces me to leave my desk and go for a walk a couple time a day. P.S. #adoptdontshop
Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions. Justin Keller of Sigstr