What’s On Their Desk: Niki L.

What’s On Their Desk is a new AIGA Raleigh blog series focused on highlighting the tools and processes of creatives. Think about it: everything on your desk is important for your creative flow. Whether it’s a sketchbook, that favorite pen, or a beautiful postcard from a trip to NYC, it all helps get the job done. In this series, we’ll spotlight desks of creatives in the RDU area and learn a little bit about what makes them tick. Our first spotlight is Niki Litts, director of Design for Impact with our chapter. Enjoy!


What item on your desk helps you get in your design flow?

Achieving that precious flow is a process and there are a number of things on my desk that helps me get in the right headspace. Here is how things usually go:

1. Break out my moleskine journal and my favorite pen (must be gel ink and super fine tip) and clear my head. If there is something bothering me, I’ll write that down. If I’ve had a nutty dream that goes in the journal too. But I always trying to wrap my journal writing up with something positive. Recently, I’ve been recording all the things that bring me joy or that I am grateful for.

2. I take care of our support clients at work, so my day is made of interruptions.

“In order to keep pushing the needle forward on longer term projects, I HAVE to make a to do list.”

I try to take my time with it and make sure it’s in order of priority and that it’s nice to look at.

3. The final piece is music! I am either working in an open office or remotely so it’s important to be able to control the environment. I splurged on a really nice set of noise canceling headphones a few jobs ago. Best money I’ve ever spent. So I get settled in with something awesome like Explosions in the Sky or my wordless playlist on Spotify and get to work on making sure my clients are taken care of!


What time of day are you most productive? 

7 – 11 am are my power hours. I can crank through my entire to do list if I play things right. Then I can squeeze a little more of that kind of focus out of the day if I go out for a little jog or brisk walk at lunch and have a healthy snack.

What do you take home with you at the end of the day?

At the end of the day, nearly everything on that desk goes home with me because 50% of my time is spent working remotely. Everything needs to fit into a bag.

“The only thing that I don’t cart around with me are the art supplies. Those are sitting out as incentive to knock out my to do list so that I can go play.”


About the Author: Chelsea Brown is a UX/UI Designer on the marketing team at Republic Wireless. She is interested in an editorial approach to user-centered design and focuses her work on improving the on-screen reading experience. On her days off, she enjoys running, Jane Austen novels and day trips to the beach.

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By Chelsea Brown
Published September 12, 2016