So what is in my toolbox? I thought I would share a few things that travel with me and others that I find indispensable to my role in developing medical content and healthcare analytics and data journalism.
On the road...
By trial and error here a few things that I always have in my travel bag. I used to lug around a briefcase but ever since Tableau Conference 2014 when we received the most resourceful backpacks I have quickly adapted to a more casual approach. Just so you know, the pockets even have pockets.
Show me something good...
Bread and butter...
I am happy to elaborate on any of the software tools that I keep coming back to but I am not going off on that tangent here. I do a lot of different writing but for the bigger projects I like to use Scrivener.
I am working on a few book projects and I like to pinball back and forth depending on new data showing up in a RSS feed or in one of the many blogs that I follow. Another type of content that I develop is a hybrid between a whitepaper and a blog. I usually work with a variety of clients that have pretty specific short- or long-term goals so I constantly gather information across all media that might resonate with our narrative and brand dynamic. Content creation has evolved into something so much more dynamic than just a bunch of PDFs to review and integrate into a flat communication.
There are quite a few sources of data to explore that can also help round out discussions on what is happening in the real world in real patient populations. More times than not, lead investigators will even share pre-publication insights or provide you with a gratis PDF of recent work.
A big part of my professional time is often spent developing or refining presentations. I know it is tempting to reach for the shiny new object like Prezi but trust me on this one, unless you are going to spend a significant amount of time learning the art of an effective presentation please spare us all the vertigo of the zoom in, zoom out, and spinning travesty. My best suggestion is to take a platform like Powerpoint or Keynote and perfect it with insights like those provided by Duarte. Although you can hear the despair of audiences subjected to slide after slide in a boring presentation that doesn't need to be the case if you just prepare and break out of the templates and create something meaningful and clear.
I also use a Mac native application, GarageBand to do quick edits
on any audio files that I create that will be repurposed. Eventually I might invest in something a little more professional but for now it fills the need.