Carson Samson – Designer

Carson Samson began working as a graphic designer in 1999. In 2005, he launched Samson Design Studios. Carson has partnered with a talented group of professionals and innovative minds to provide full-tilt creative services, catered specifically to non-profits, charities and NGOs. He writes on the topics of Design, Branding, Evernote and Small Business at Design+Business.  These are his good things.

Good things to read.

The Newspaper. Not only is it easier to read news online, it’s far more up to date. That’s why I cancelled my newspaper subscription. But the weekend edition of your favourite newspaper provides a refreshing break from the screen-viewing. As a bonus, weekend editions are usually loaded with Arts/Culture and opinion pieces. I’m a Canadian, who prefers a national perspective, so I read The Globe and Mail. But I will often pick up my local paper as well. I encourage you to sit back with your morning coffee and get a little ink on your hands. There are some real gems hidden within the pages of your favourite paper.

Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind. Jocelyn K. Glei and Behance founder, Scott Belsky have culled the brightest minds and most successful entrepreneurs to present a series of essays on – you guessed it – getting the most out of your workday. Steven Pressfield, Cal Newport and Seth Godin are but three of the contributors. This book is part of a series developed by 99u.com, who strive to deliver “the missing curriculum you didn’t get in school”. It’s an easy read, packed with useful tips. If you adopt but a few of them, it’ll change the way your value your time and deal with distractions.

Song of Ice and Fire (Book series) by George R.R. Martin. Whether you are a fantasy fan or not, Martin’s epic series is a literary masterpiece. There are currently five published books out of – what is expected to be – seven in all. Of course, it’s gained a great deal of popularity over the past few years since HBO picked up the series.

Good things to watch.

Breaking Bad. I’m certainly not the first person to promote AMC’s flagship program on 27GoodThings, so I won’t go on and on. If you have Netflix, and you haven’t yet watched an episode, please do. The first season is a little slow to start (all that character development and so forth), but by the time it comes to a conclusion, you’ll be a Breaking Bad junkie. Which is by and large a lot better than being a Meth junkie.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Best Christmas movie ever. It’s stood the test of time. My wife and I watch it 3-4 times a year. I even watched it from my hotel room in Kalamazoo, MI in July. It was on cable – In July. Huh? You’ll likely find a DVD copy for under $10, and it’s also on Netflix.

Conversations with my 2 Year Old.  Father daughter hijinks reenacted by 2 grown men. You don’t have to be a parent to find the humour in this.

Good things to use.

Evernote. This is the hub of my digital life. Both professionally and personally. I keep everything from project files to Lego instruction books. Despite Evernote’s claims to help users remember everything, It hasn’t improved my memory one bit. But having a near infinite supply of stored notes at my fingertips has saved my ass on more than a few occasions.

Moleskine notebook. Like reading the newspaper, writing stuff down on paper is still a very gratifying act.My notebook of choice is the Evernote edition, which (once captured by a smartphone) syncs nicely with my digital notes. There are a lot of imitators out there, but no other notebook matches the quality of Moleskine.

Coffitivity. Regardless of whether or not you put any stock in study results that link increased productivity to tinkling glasses and humming espresso machines, sometimes your office is just too quiet. The developers of Coffitivity provide a coffee shop vibe direct from your desktop, or mobile phone.

Connect with Carson on Twitter,  @carsonsamson, or on Facebook, at fb.com/SamsonStudios.

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