A Day In The Life Of The Tech Blogger, Part 1


(I’ve been a bit busy with my social life. But I wrote something personal. Enjoy)

I’ve been writing tech posts about technology in Ghana, tech events and other tech related issues for a while now. But today, I wanted to be a bit self indulgent and talk about me for a second.

I don’t know what kind of following I get but from the stats from the blog, I get a few number of readers from the US as well as some numbers from Canada, UK and actually got one person from Iceland (Hello Iceland!)

So I thought it would be nice to talk about what I do on a daily basis when I’m writing tech posts and complaining about how terrible banks are in Ghana.

So, I thought about writing a two part series about what I do and my tools of the trade (My smartphone and laptop).

In this first part, I’m going to talk about what I do and how I navigate the world of tech from my smartphone.

Who Am I?

First of all, my name is Joseph. I’m a User Interface and User Experience designer currently working on my Masters in Management Information Systems.

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I do this: User Experience

I’m a tech guy by nature but I have a design side as well.

I’ve been blogging for a while now. I started in college at the University of Houston. I started following gadget sites like Engadget and CNET and I thought I could write my own tech pieces as well, offering my point of view about technology.

Actually, if you were go to go the beginning of this blog site, you will see that I’ve written an awful amount of stuff. It even surprised me with the amount of stuff I wrote. I wrote some good posts and some awful ones. There’s a post about my predictions for 2010 and I actually thought that Facebook would trend downwards in the foreseeable future. Boy, was I wrong!

Now, I’m busy with my Master’s program but also doing something alongside User experience (UX). I’m with a startup company and we’re making headway in putting together a UX lab in Ghana. It’s really exciting and I can’t wait till we’re fully up and running.

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Example of a UX Lab room

Back To Blogging

So, I decided to continue with my blogging in Ghana because I felt like there wasn’t enough coverage when it came to tech related stuff. Of course, you would get the occasionally news headline about a tech event but hardly would you read in detail what happened in that event.

So I decided to try and fill that void by blogging about some of those events.

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It’s not easy due to my schedule. I’m working on a bunch of stuff including some personal projects and finding time to relax and follow what’s happening in the tech scene in Ghana is not easy. But I manage to post something here and there and try to go to as much little tech launches as I can. It’s tedious, it doesn’t pay but I think it’s beneficial for some people out there so I continue writing.

Ok. So since I’m a tech guy, I need some tools to keep me going. One of those tools is my smartphone. A jack of all trades and a great companion for work and blogging purposes.

So, what kind of device do I have?

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Huawei G8 (GSM Arena)

I use a Huawei G8 to keep me up to date with stuff. Is it a good phone? Hmmm. It’s ok. It’s not the best phone in the world but it’s capable of getting the job done. The only thing I don’t like about this phone is the OS. Huawei uses Android but they put their own skin on it and I am not a fan of how this phone looks. I prefer stock Android. Apart from that, it’s an OK phone.

(On the real, my dream phone at the moment is the OnePlus 3. So if anybody has a store where this is sold in Ghana, hit me up)

Ok. So this is what my homescreen looks like.

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My homescreen

That “82” notification number you see at the top are a bunch of Whatsapp messages I haven’t gotten to. Ever since Whatsapp decided to introduce Groupchats, I’m always inudated with tons of messages. Seriously, I can’t keep up. Thank God for the mute button.

Currently, I have 133 apps sitting on my phone including system apps.

Most of the apps were downloaded for testing purposes and for some reason, I haven’t deleted them yet. (It’s just procrastination).

So what kind of apps do I have on my phone? Here’s a small list:

Productivity and Scheduling

sunrise
RIP Sunrise

Sunrise used to be my go-to-calendar until Microsoft bought it and killed it. So now I use Google Calendar which is an OK replacement.

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OneNote and Google Keep are notekeeping apps I use when I’m in town and just want to quickly note something down. I find them very handy.

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Outlook is my go-to for emails. I would seriously recommend the Outlook app on your phone. I think it’s the best app out there for email.

Going Social

I have pretty much all the social media apps except Snapchat. Seriously though, I don’t get Snapchat. Sorry. I used it a couple of times but I still don’t think I’m the audience for it.

I have the usual suspects like Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Viber, Skype and Slack. They’re used quite often and are actually a welcome distraction from all the work.

Money Apps

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My favorite go to app on my phone is ExpressPay. I love using that app because I can pretty much pay for anything without moving from my house. If I need to buy phone credit, I just use the ExpressPay app to purchase it. I can’t remember the last time I bought physical scratch cards. I also purchase Surfline credit and use Mobile Money all from the same app. This app is really a life saver and a great companion for people like me who don’t like going out.

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I can’t tell you how thankful I am that the bank I use actually has a good banking app. In my last post, I lamented about how most banks either don’t have banking apps or their apps are not very good. Thankfully Stanbic has a good app which I find quick useful. Very clean design and easy to use.

Transport Apps

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Google Maps is my trustworthy maps app. If I need to go to an event and I’m not familiar with the location, I just plug the address into the app and I get turn by turn directions with voice. Neat!

 

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So ever since Uber arrived, it’s my go to app if I have car trouble and I need to get a ride to go somewhere. Fair to say, it works as advertised and is a good alternative to the local taxis.

 

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I also have the Uber driver app since I signed up for that service as well. If you want to know about that experience, you can check out my post about it. (Experience as an Uber Driver In Accra)

 

So that’s just a couple of my apps. Other apps include some games, a WordPress app I used to keep track of traffic and comments on the blog, a speedtest app I use to check the speed of internet service providers I’m testing and some other miscellaneous apps.

So that’s just a few notes about my mobile stuff.

In reality, 90% of my blogging and work stuff is done on my laptop.

But I’ll save that for my next post. I’ll be writing about my design work, the whole User Experience field and why companies need to pay attention to that and also talk about my writing projects and a couple of other stuff you might find interesting.

If there’s anything else you would like to know from this post, just hit me up in the comments. I’ll be sure to answer them.

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