My Morning Workflow Part 1: Chai and Spotify…

I thought I’d share some of my morning routines in case anyone’s looking for something to add to theirs.

Each morning, as my wife is finishing getting herself and our daughter ready for work and school, I make a pot of chai which my wife actually taught me how to several years ago when we were just dating. The principle is really basic. I fill a small pot with water, throw 4 black tea bags in, a palm full of cardamom pods, half a palm of cloves, about a tablespoon of ground ginger, two cinnamon sticks and a small piece of star anise. I bring it to a boil and let it simmer until it’s reduced by 2/3. Then I pour soy milk in until it’s a medium beige color. I add about 4 tablespoons of sugar, stir and pour. The pouring I do over the sink because I tend to spill it.

Next is to find some cool tunes. I usually gravitate to something chill especially if it’s a rainy morning. My favorite artists tend to be instrumental DJ music like DJ Shadow or Sabzi from the Blue Scholars. I also love listening to indie artists like Ryan Adams or Bon Iver. Now in the past I’ve almost exclusively used iTunes with the occasional dip into Pandora or Grooveshark. Nowadays though, I use Spotify almost all the time. It’s great because I can find artists that I don’t currently own as well as see what my friends are listening to. I usually have it running on my work MacBook which I then stream across the house to my stereo system via AirFoil and my personal MacBook. This way I can control the music as I’m working. Also I love using Butler to control my music. If I’m using iTunes, Butler has built in keyboard shortcuts for pausing and skipping. For Spotify, I setup some simple actionscripts to help with those tasks. Everything is running through Growl so I get to see what’s playing as it goes.

Occasionally I like listening to KEXP in the mornings—John Richards puts on a hell of a show. If I’m doing that I just have my stereo tuned to 90.3 FM here in Seattle, and I use a Dashboard Web clip to grab the KEXPplaylist. This way I also see what’s playing. If I want the ability to pause the music as I’m listening to KEXP, then I just listen to the station through the iTunes radio player.

With some good tunes playing, and a warm cup of Chai, I then crack open my email programs to get the day started. That however is another post. Until next time…


So, what do you think ?