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someone asked me how I organize myself in the mornings and manage to get a podcast out the door every day plus two on Wednesdays (the Financial Aid Podcast and Marketing Over Coffee, the best marketing podcast ever made at a doughnut shop).

The answer is that I use a Mac. I’m not being a pimp or being facetious. I use Spaces in Mac OS X Leopard (virtual desktops) like crazy, which helps me stay organized. Here’s a snapshot of my desktops – all 8 of them, which is my layout for the morning. Jeff Pulver calls this his social media sunrise.

My Mac Desktops

In desktops 1 and 2 (top left), you have the browser, Google reader, a text editor, and Garageband. I do my research in this pane for the show and document show notes here, plus surf blogs and GMail. No office software as I usually do most of my workday stuff in Google Docs.

In desktops 3 and 4 (top right) is my social network window. Here I run Twitterific, Adium connected to 12 different IM accounts on 5 services, and Spyder, my MySpace data manager. I’ll check profiles, answer messages, leave comments, and respond to Twitter here.

Desktops 5 and 6 (lower left) contain a terminal window and iTunes. Once the podcast is done, I convert it from AIFF to MP3 using LAME 3.98.1 on the Mac – the encoder is much better than iTunes, but it requires you to compile your own source code – and then dump it into iTunes for branding (ID3, lyrics, cover art). During the rest of my workday, I also manage processes in this window, such as renicing (changing priority) of running programs on the command line. Of course, I also control music in this space. If I’m ding an interview, Skype runs in this space as well.

Desktops 7 and 8 control blogging and server stuff. When the podcast is ready to upload, I’ll use Cyberduck here; I also use Cyberduck to manage any on the fly redirects, etc. In the bottom half of this space I run Ecto, which lets me control and edit all of the Student Loan Network blogs at once, making adjustments as needed.

In the menu bar I also run Google Notifier, which keeps me apprised of emails and calendar appointments, Spanning Sync, which syncs my Google calendar with iCal (which then syncs to my iPods), iSync, which syncs Google Calendar and iCal to my Nokia N91, Growl, which displays Skype and Twitter notices, and SMC Fan Control, so I can alter the speed at which the CPU fan runs in case the MacBook clearly shows signs of warming up.

In non-space I run QuickSilver as an application launcher and general utility, so I never have to actually find application icons to launch them.

This may seem like a lot of stuff to run, and it may be, but it’s how I accomplish a lot in a short amount of time.

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