Tech Choice: Josh Arbit Talks Productivity

Posted By on Aug 16, 2013

 Josh Arbit, Wash U Entrepreneurship Senior and Co-Owner of Fresh Prints, talks Pokémon, being socially “behind the times,” and how he uses Boomerang to balance college and business ownership. 

“I was a pretty tech-free kid, I never really loved it. Once though, my parents told my older sister and I that if we didn’t fight for twelve days, we’d both get a Gameboy. Needless to say, we were successful. From then on, I was a Gameboy kid; I remember playing Pokémon Blue.

I’m a Wash U senior majoring in entrepreneurship, and I co-own and run Fresh Prints, a custom apparel company that mostly makes stuff for student groups and fraternity and sorority events. Fresh Prints is completely run by college students, so we all do a little bit of everything. We don’t have titles per say, but I talk to our twenty campus managers and work with logistics and finance people.

All of our business is completely virtual, which is why Boomerang is so helpful: when I’m emailing our managers and need a response from everyone, Boomerang tracks who’s answered me; It would be almost impossible otherwise. I use the Send Later feature so I can send an email at 7am even if I’m not awake, which is honestly a really good way to mess with people. I also use Boomerang to send recurring messages. Every Friday, the same message is automatically sent to American Apparel, but I’m convinced they still think I write it every week. It always says, “If this doesn’t apply, disregard the email,” but they’re always like, “Hey Josh, no invoices this week!” even though I’ve sent it at least thirty times. Being a student and doing Fresh Prints is a lot, but I’m able to function because of things like Boomerang.

Canned Responses is my second favorite email extension. It lets me save the types of emails I send over and over again, so I can click one and it’ll allow me to change one or two things before sending it. The most efficient system is to send a canned response and then Boomerang it for 36 hours.  Undo Send is also really cool–it can save you from some bad emails. It works by delaying your emails for ten seconds so you have that time to decide to unsend it. 99 percent of the time I don’t need it, but in one percent of my emails it prevents me from calling someone by the wrong name or doing something stupid.

I’m behind the times. I don’t Tweet. I don’t have Instagram. Fresh Prints has a Twitter and is on Facebook, but I personally just use Facebook. I receive a lot of Snapchats, but I don’t send many. I didn’t realize for a long time that you could mass-Snapchat, so I thought I was getting them directly. Turns out they were just adding everyone… that was sad.

I have an iPhone, so I always assume everyone has one, which is completely self-centered. It’s like when I refer to New York City as “the city,” but then when I’m with friends from Chicago we have extremely confusing conversations because we’re both calling our city “the city.” [laughs]  I use Google maps because it’s way better than Apple maps, and I also use Waze when I commute to the city.

I read the news pretty obsessively, like I physically get The New York Times and read it. I also read Politico, The Wall Street Journal, and ESPN pretty thoroughly. What I would really recommend is Corner Office, a blog by The New York Times. It’s run by Adam Bryant, whose job for the past fifteen years has been to interview CEOs. Their advice is so useful because my business partner and I always say that we literally don’t know what we’re doing. No one does! So this blog gives really good advice on how successful people figured their stuff out.

I like the idea of these [Tech Choice] posts. With so many tools out there, they become difficult to find. We have the same philosophy at Fresh Prints: we want to help people figure out easier ways to choose. Some of our competitors have a million apparel options, but I think that having too many choices can be very overwhelming.”

Josh was interviewed via Skype on Sunday, August 4, 2013. Neither Josh nor Baydin, Inc. received compensation for mentioning products in this testimonial. 

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