At NORTH + NOMAD we're all about experimentation and trying new things. We believe in the idea of kaizen—a Japanese business philosophy and practice of continuous improvement. Here are five new tools and routines we’re testing this spring as we emerge from the cold freeze of the Northeast winter and are looking to better organize, collaborate and increase productivity.
FOR MORE EFFICIENT CLIENT COLLABORATION: Frame.io
We just ran our first test using Frame.io with a full-service video client, and we’re sold—this one is a game changer for the way we will share video project files and get feedback going forward. Gone are the days of uploading rounds of files to Dropbox or Vimeo and comparing notes over email. Now we can simply upload files to share work in progress with the team, and clients can add time-based comments or video annotations, drawing directly on the video frame to request changes or ask questions. It’s a hugely efficient way to collate feedback in one place and keep everyone on the same page. All collaborations in the future will be hosted on Frame.io.
FOR TASK ASSIGNING + TEAM ORGANIZATION: Wunderlist
Shared to-do lists, tasks, production checklists and reminders can now be organized and instantly synced across devices, and shared with other members of the team. It’s a simple tool to jot down quick notes or add to an ongoing list. Minimizes the scraps of paper floating around the house and office with handwritten scribble. Favorite new on-the-go organizational tool.
FOR MENTAL CLARITY + ENHANCED PATIENCE: Headspace
Meditation is something that I’ve always thought I should be doing more often on my own outside of the last five minutes at yoga class, and Headspace has made it so much easier to find time each morning to practice mindfulness in a routine way. Over the last several months of working the guided 10-minute sessions into our day, Simon and I are already noticing the benefits: less stressed, better sleep, more compassion. This new tools helps us remind ourselves to breathe and find calmness even when things get crazy. As long as you have a phone and headphones, you can find time almost anywhere to fit this practice into your day.
FOR PHYSICAL STAMINA + LONG DAYS ON SET: Exo Bars
When it’s a 12 hour day and you’ve been moving heavy Pelican cases of gear and running around from location to location without a dedicated craft services table, it’s always important to have snacks tucked away to eat on the run. We recently heard about Exo bars, made of cricket flour, and free of soy, dairy, grain, gluten and refined sugars. The formula was created by a three-Michelin-Star chef and sounded like an interesting alternative to the granola bars we’d been packing around for afternoon pick-me-ups. Crickets have a slightly nutty flavor, and if you can get over the “ick I’m eating bugs factor” (It’s better when you’re not told each bar contains roughly 40 crickets), they’re actually pretty tasty. My brother, a farmer in Oregon, has been telling me that crickets are going to be an important food source in the west in the future. Raising crickets has a much smaller environmental impact than traditional livestock (crickets produce 100x less greenhouse gas than cows), and 80% of the world’s population are already eating insects. What are you waiting for?
FOR EARLY MORNINGS + INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY: Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee with Lion’s Mane & Chaga
On travel jobs, we typically pack our own little Aeropress and ground coffee—you never know where you’ll end up at 4am, heading out for a shoot or flight, long before any coffee shops or hotel lobbies are open. It’s a good system as the Aeropress is compact and durable, but sometimes when you’re in a hurry or run out of beans, it’s nice to have an alternative. Four Sigmatic makes a coffee mix that combines two types of mushrooms—chaga and lion’s mane—which are superfoods and nootropics that enhance the brain’s cognitive function. It’s a healthy boost with half the caffeine of a normal cup of coffee, full of antioxidants and minerals. It’s less acidic than black coffee, and has an earthy flavor that doesn’t taste too mushroomy. We’ve found it tastes best when it’s made as a bulletproof coffee—throw the mix in the blender with 7oz of hot water and a hunk of grass fed butter to make a surprisingly delicious latte-like frothy concoction.