Earlier today while hanging out at my local Starbucks, I ran into Shannon Clark, consultant for networks and organizer of the influential Mesh Forum Conference. He moved to San Francisco earlier this year, and he told me about One Web Day, which is being promoted by fellow broadband geeks. (More about it here.) We chatted briefly and I mentioned Web Worker Daily and why I started the blog. Good man that he is, he pointed me to a post of his, which he thinks is a good way to beat the cabin fever: the solos working alone together or the SWAT approach.
The idea, which I think and hope will expand beyond Chicago, is for independent consultants and entrepreneurs to select a specific place and days. We then agree that whenever possible, we’ll work from that space on those days. It gives us a chance to grab lunch, or share a coffee with interesting people, while also getting our work accomplished.
“The idea was that if it was a regular thing, no one would feel guilty for not show up,” he explained. “But this way you can all work together, grab lunch or simply ask a question.” He used to meet with like minded people at Cafe Mud in Chicago. “It motivated and gave me a couple of days a week to not work at home.”
Of course if you don’t have a blog, you could simply email people, or send them a text message. It doesn’t have to be very complicated. So what is a good SWAT location? Clark says find a cafe with great wifi, and that is reasonably quiet. Also look for a place which has good tables and a staff that appreciates the extra bases. Has Clark found a good place in San Francisco? “No haven’t found the perfect one as yet.” He likes Muddy Waters though it is not ideal. Hopefully some of our posts should help him find the spot he truly loves.
Shannon left us some nifty suggestions already in the comments section.
Printing can be an issue for the mobile worker. In my office, or even at my home, I think nothing of printing out a long document for later reading/anotating (generally I print two pages per page and duplex to save paper and weight). More importantly when I make a transaction online I always print out the reciept and confirmations.
So when I have to do a transaction outside of the office one trick I’ve found that is very useful is to have a “print to PDF” tool installed on my laptop – that allows me to “print” the reciept/confirmation for future reference.