Don’t use florescent lighting.
Don’t use energy saving bulbs in main work lamp.
Use 25W bulb - normal filament bulb in desk lamp.
In office space - even turn off the florescent lighting and use your own desk lamp!
Don’t have a white desk! Mine is red. IKEA have amazing colourful table top options. Or use a large desk blotter that is coloured with non-white paper. Surrounding ourselves in colour makes our workspace more creative.
Try to sit beside natural light.
Have natural light to the side of you while working on a computer - not behind you causing a glare on the screen. Also in front of you it offers little help.
Don’t sit in front of a projector. Get some serious distance! They are the biggest cause of eye strain / damage after florescent lighting. Like the sun - never look directly at projector light.
Turn down the light setting. Increase the colours and adjust the contrast so it actually suits you.
Some computers naturally set the light - check it as the day goes on that it is not automatically raising the brightness too much for you.
For large amounts of writing or report reading - invert the colours to white on black.
With Company work - create your own template form for word processing that is not white - this has been written on a personalised template and exported to a PDF when completed.
Pick a font that suits you - We purchased one especially for our work. It is called ‘Monolith.’ Tahoma and Helvetica are good choices. Times New Roman should be deleted from society as the worst font ever to read from. You are looking for a rounded font where the big letters and small letters look considerably different. The font colour we use is very dark purple instead of black.
Kindle and iPad settings are done separately.
Don’t use traditional paper.
Use squared / boxed paper for detail work or graph pads for layout and blank paper for ideas. Plan ideas out on larger sheets A3/A2.
Always use coloured paper where possible. Not white.
For study notes - it is good to use blank paper of different colours. Set up a colour system that helps you to remember ideas going together. You should then be able to see your page in your head when you need to recall the information!
Pick notebooks to use that suit you. Moleskine are great because the paper is off-white and offers paper choices. Escape school copy books where possible! Or stick coloured material into them.
On a white board the best colours are Blue and Purple. These are our most used pens ever!
If you are planning out ideas on a white board - buy your own set of markers. Evans in Mary Abbey, Dublin have a good selection or Eason’s (formally Read’s Nassau Street). Pick finger tips if that suits you.
Use markers to write ideas out instead of pens. They have quicker flowing ink and don’t slow down our thoughts. We think faster than we can write!
Don’t use black pens/markers. They are the hardest colours to read.
Coloured Post-Its can be great for mapping out ideas. They allow us to change the order of the ideas, form, structure effortlessly and then expand the ideas even more.
Pick stationary that suit you.
Don’t use hard roller pens and especially not biros! They are very hard to write well with.
Try Pilot Hi-Techpoint. They have two sizes 0.5mm and 0.7mm pick what suits you.
Try fine liners too as they slow our writing and it can be neater. Also loads of colours!
Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly