Tuesday, August 18, 2009 by Emily Boyd
Everyone knows about Bob T. Monkey, but who else is part of the RTM team? In this new series of "Meet the team" posts, I'll introduce (and quiz!) my fellow human team members. First up, I'd like you to meet Andrew Conkling, tech support engineer.
Andrew, what were you doing before you joined RTM? What brought you here?
Before I joined RTM, I was working at a technical support company in Philadelphia, PC Helps. I specialized in mobile devices and enjoyed helping people be as productive as possible in their work.
My wife's company recently decided to relocate to Atlanta, and I heard about the open position at RTM just as I was looking for a job, so it was pretty excellent timing.
Tell us a little bit about what you do at RTM.
I answer the questions and help identify the problems that our users ask and report, whether on the forums or via email. I try to identify any larger issues and help identify what people would like to see.
You're the newest member of the team; what's your favorite part of the job so far?
I have most enjoyed answering questions about how to do particular things with RTM. Plenty of people have a few lists of tasks, but it's interesting to combine a lot of the different features that RTM provides—e.g. tags, locations, and some clever searches saved as Smart Lists—to use their tasks in dozens of ways, all at once! It's really fun to be a part of that, to help think of new ways RTM can be used, especially when I hadn't thought of them before. The forums are brimming with excellent ideas and I wish I'd spent more time on them in years past!
Can you describe how you use RTM? What does your set-up look like?
My setup has evolved a bit since I started using RTM a few years ago. I'm a big proponent of GTD—well, its principles at least: having one list for everything, getting everything you need to do out of your head, organizing your list by contexts; my RTM setup has mirrored that from the beginning. While I had a BlackBerry, I had a List for each context and two additional ones, one specifically for wedding plans and one for shared tasks with my (now) wife. So I had about a half dozen or so Lists… and probably about 20 Smart Lists—easily my favorite RTM feature! I just got an iPhone, however, and plan to reorganize my Smart Lists more by tags and less by List.
As far as services, I typically use the website for my semi-weekly review (it's the most efficient for "heavy lifting"), use the iPhone app heavily for day-to-day, and love the Gmail Firefox extension for helping me clear my Inbox.
Besides tech, what are your hobbies and interests?
I do have a lot of tech hobbies, but aside from that I enjoy others too. Particularly being in a new city, I enjoy getting out and exploring international cuisine—Thai, Szechuan, and Indian are probably my favorites. I'm also becoming more interested in drinks of all kinds: coffee, tea, beer, and wine. It's amazing the worldwide trip you can take with just those four!
I am also a big fan of music. I grew up playing the piano and the guitar, and while the last few years have seen less playing, I hope to get back into it soon. I love classical music, and I also listen to a lot of post-rock. I also enjoy watching films across all genres; my list is far too long for my incredibly slow pace! I'm currently partway through an Ingmar Bergman marathon that has long ago exceeded my wife's patience for his films. :)
Posted in: Behind the Scenes