• Mac mini
  • OWC/NewerTech Ministack. This is such a great external hard-drive. I can't recommend it enough. Hard drives aren't exactly sexy, but I just can't get over how much I like this one. HOTT!!!
  • DLO homedock
  • iSight, rarely in use
  • PowerBook. Sticker covering Apple logo is by Akira Yamaguchi
  • tape & stapler (swingline, blue)
  • stack of business cards for quick grabbing
  • Pencil, red pen, black pen for editing and fact-checking
  • 19" Samsung LCD display. Quite dusty right now. Pictured is Titan.
  • Apple keyboard
  • Ancient optical Kensington mouse. Circa 2000 or 2001.
  • Motorola Razr, my first nice phone
  • Motorola HS820 Bluetooth headset. Make fun all you want. Once you use one; you'll own one too.
  • Telephone & answering machine. Volume for both typically set to zero so as not to distract.
  • Lovely paper cut outs of flower, made for me by the beautiful Harper.
  • This ugly wire is not normallly here. I needed the USB port. Subsequently removed.
  • Thai painting of Loi Khratong
  • I call this thing a "lamp"
  • iPod photo
  • This is where Mat stares when he should be writing. - mcdowell
  • Actually, mcd, I stare over here --->
    Out the window.
    Same as in Ms. Scalf's 8th grade English class.

My workspace

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Being a free-lance writer is tough. It's actually quite scary, especially when you are starting out. When I began, I lucked into a columnist gig with that helped pay the bills. But even so, for a long time money was tight, and my career, as it was, was a shambles. That was particularly true when I came back from travelling and had to more or less start all over again with no fresh contacts.

Yet from the lean days, I was able to build something resembling a career. I now do better financially as a freelancer than I ever did when I had a full-time job. But that's largely because it is a full-time job for me and I treat it like one. I typically try to work 9-5, at the very least, and to keep very regular hours. And because I have no one to answer to other than myself, I don't begin to spend as much time goofing off online as I did when I had to be somewhere else 9-5.

I want to get my work done and go play outside, because I can.

In any case, since returning from Asia, I've gotten increasingly organized in nearly all aspects of my career--everything from billing to the way I order my files on my machine. One area where that's demonstratively visible is my desktop, which was a mess for years, but lately has become, I think, aesthetically pleasing. (It could be a bit bigger, but I'm quite happy with it.) I think it's kind of symbolic of my freelance career as a whole.

Not pictured: printer, the window to my right that looks out at Page Street, the folding table I set up next to my desk when I need to spread out a lot of files, and the 5.1 system that, er, surrounds me in sound.

Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, communicatrix, and 6 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. dkerns 98 months ago | reply

    Have you ever tried to pair your headset with Skype or iChat. If so, how'd that go? Thanks.

  2. Mat Honan 98 months ago | reply

    I've done neither. You'd be amazed at how much more widely Skype/VOIP is used in Europe than it is here. (Perhaps because you have to make more international calls?) I installed it a while back, realized I had no-one to talk to, and have never thought of it again. I think that netgear skype wifi phone may help change that. But I essentially use my mobile for all communication.

    As to iChat... No, I have not. Quite frankly it would just be an extra step. But I just received a new headset yesterday that I'm going to review, and I may give it a shot with that.

  3. zombiebite 98 months ago | reply

    For some reason, I love seeing people's desk/workspace. I'll have to post mine.

  4. NetpopJosh 69 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Project Netpop, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  5. wefoundasolution 62 months ago | reply

    Hi Mat,

    I was looking for a CC image on Flickr that conveyed the concept of starting your own online business and I liked the way your workstation came out ;-) We're using the image on our site here:


    there is an alt text attribution and a link back to this page!

    Thank you


  6. communicatrix 54 months ago | reply

    Thanks for sharing this lovely photo with an equally lovely license. I used it here, with gratitude!

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