Co-Founder & Creative Director at Order In, Freelance Creative At Large
📍 Baltimore, MD
Austin Geter is co-founder and Creative Director at Order In and a freelance creative at large. A proud college drop-out, Austin left school to pursue creative leadership and was the creative lead on 5+ brand by the age of 20. Austin has worked with a large variety of clients, from international corporations to small businesses and start-ups. Austin’s ultimate passion is storytelling, which is why he focuses on helping brands reach their full storied potential through the work. Austin has also experimented with the digital nomad life (thanks #remotework!) and looks forward to getting back to it in the post-COVID world.
Favorite Farm Animal: Farm Cat
Connect with Austin
9 am - Wake up & scroll through social media/news
9:30 am - Get out of bed to shower and make coffee
10:00 am - Declutter space and digital world
10:30 am - Start working on admin tasks
11:00 am - Order In member onboarding session
11:30 am - Brand design work for a cool fintech client
12:30 pm - Meeting with fintech client
1:00 pm - Lunch break watching “Vlogmas” and playing with my kitten
1:30 pm - Joined Deep Work to work on developing a comprehensive Order In marketing strategy across social, paid, press, and more in prep for a meeting
4:00 pm - Worked on Order In’s weekly events newsletter
5:00 pm - Marketing meeting with Order In team
6:00 pm - Unwind from workday
6:30 pm - Cook yummy dinner and spend time with my partner
9:30 pm - Dive into a night shift, working on a client document design
11:30 pm - Nightly ritual
12:00 am - Reading and lights out
Hi! I’m Austin Geter, co-founder and Creative Director of Order In and a freelance creative at large. I currently spend my days building a better workday with the best team here at Order In and fill in the time with various freelance projects. I’ve been a full-time freelancer for two years now before jumping on board with Order In.
I started my day as I typically do around 9:00 to 9:30. In reality, my alarm goes off at 8:00, but it takes a good 30 or 40 minutes to stop pressing snooze. I generally like to lay in bed for about 30 minutes, catching up on messages, emails, and social media, so I did that today. It’s probably not healthy, and I wish I didn’t do it at all. But it’s a double-edged sword because, on the one hand, it’s a lot to cram in my brain right at the start of the day. But on the other hand, I’ll feel the impulse to check things later once I’m working and will get completely sidetracked.
After I finished my doom scrolling, I got up to take a shower and get ready for the day. Once I’ve showered, I always fill up my Camelback water bottle and grab a cup of cold brew that I always have brewing in my fridge. I also usually have a banana, granola bar, and some kind of baked good for breakfast. Although recently, my guilty pleasure has been those little Babybel cheese wheels - I just can’t eat enough of them!
I like to start my day by decluttering, so that’s what I did today. In general, I open up all the blinds, fold up blankets, and make the bed. Then I move to my office and start to declutter my desk, get rid of old sticky notes, etc. Finally, I like to do a digital declutter! I pretty much operate on an inbox zero system, which is more or less just inbox 10 or 15. I also like to close the windows I don’t need, go through Slack messages, get rid of distractions, etc. All of this helps me because if the day erupts in chaos, I’m not stressed out more by all the clutter.
Diving in, I did my task journaling for the day. I swear by this system; I’ve tried so many different digital project management platforms, but there’s just nothing like pen and paper to-do lists. In my task journal, I have two columns. On the right side, every Monday morning, I write every single task that I can think of for each week, divided by personal, clients, and Order In. Each morning, I use the left-hand column to pull from the overall week’s tasks and write what I need to do each day. I’ll often take this process a step further and hop on our 12:00 pm Morning Motivation Session! It’s not technically the “morning” still, but I love the mornings when I can take it easy, get hyped up at 12:00, and then really get to the grind after our session.
By the time I finished all of this, it was about 10:30. I prefer to start working by 10am at the latest, but sometimes I just need a lazier morning. This morning, I had a new Order In member onboarding call scheduled for 11:00am. With the 30 minutes I had until then, I took the time to manage a few administrative tasks such as email marketing check-ins, any small action items from clients, etc.
After the onboarding call, I had to dive into a big brand design project that I’ve been working on the past couple of months for a new fintech company. It’s been an enjoyable process for me because I’ve gotten to design my very first app. I had to prep some final logo assets and brand book files for the call, so I took an hour to focus on that work before our meeting at 12:30.
Thankfully, the meeting went well! I appreciate this client because we are very efficient. We will often put on time for 30 minutes and finish in half the time. While I love building relationships with those I work with, sometimes it’s nice to cut the small talk and get right to business. I’d say that has been the biggest pain point in my work recently–I spend so much time in meetings that I wish I could be spending creating cool things. Order In has helped me structure my day between meetings, deep work, and creative time to prioritize this better lately.
At around 1:00, after sending a wrap-up email to the client, I did what I rarely do: took a genuine lunch break. One of my favorite things about Christmas time is some Youtubers that I’ve been watching for years still do “Vlogmas.” So I took some time to eat my lunch (which is often just a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with Cheetos… I’m a child at heart!) and watch the latest vlog. I also made sure to play with my 6-month old kitten a bit!
It’s been really exciting to balance my client work and my work with Order In. It takes a certain amount of time blocking and rigorous planning to go back and forth between worlds every day, but I think freelancing set me up for success in balancing everything. After lunch, it was time to jump on the Deep Work Sprint to take advantage of my new time blocking methodology. We’re in the fun process of developing a comprehensive marketing strategy across channels, and I’m also working on a brand identity 2.0. I spent the time doing a lot of research, putting together a presentation, and of course, building out a Pinterest board for a Marketing meeting coming up at 5:00. My favorite part about the whole process was getting to think through: How can we continually tell Order In’s story throughout everything we do? Storytelling is my number one passion, so I’m always super excited to thread it throughout my work.
After Deep Work, I took the time to build out our weekly events newsletter for Order In. This typically involves keeping the same data consistent between Mailchimp, Google Calendar, Webflow, and Adobe Illustrator–It’s quite the process, but I’m finally getting the hang of it.
Thanks to all of my prep work in Deep Work, I came into the Marketing meeting with the team. I wanted to make sure that I came prepared with sources of inspiration and a clear agenda, which I feel like I did. I’m not just saying this, but it’s genuinely the brightest spot in my day when the team meets.
We had a great meeting, and then I decided to log off for the day at 6. I took some time to unwind and read a little, then ran to the grocery store. Cooking has become my favorite hobby, and tonight I cooked a yummy Spicy Rigatoni pasta and spent some time with my partner.
Today was one of the days where I had to do a night shift. It varies a lot, and I’m trying to get better about avoiding this, but: the work continues. At around 9:30, I sat down to work on a 14-page design project that I’m working on. I do ongoing design work for a fitness company, and I’ll generally turn on an easy-watching show (I’m currently binging The Crown) and knock that work out at night.
To close out the night, I have a nightly ritual where I make sure the kitchen is clean, cold brew is ready for the following morning, and feed my kitten. Then I get in bed with a good book and read for at least a couple of pages. I’m a major reader, and my biggest reading tip is to just commit to reading every night no matter how long. Sometimes I don’t have the attention span, or I’m too tired, but I genuinely can’t rest easy without picking up a book and reading a couple of pages. I’m currently reading The Lonely City by Olivia Laing, a fascinating look into how isolation affects art… Not at all relevant right now, right? After a few pages, I put my phone on the charger and called it light’s out on a busy day.
I worked at a frozen yogurt shop for 3 years! I was a manager for the second half of my time there.
I would have some sort of AI tool that has meetings for me. I feel like so much of my days are taken up by meetings because creativity is a collaborative process, be it with the Order In team or my freelance clients. Order In has already been super helpful for me because I block off specific time for Deep Work Sprints most days of the week. But I think some sort of tool that can take meetings for me would be cool to make even more time for getting my hands dirty in the creative process.
Keep a hyper-detailed to-do list that’s more granular than you think you really need. Especially if you wear a lot of hats. Because inevitably, you will forget something along the way. When it’s written down, even if you don’t get to it on a given day, you can know that you’re on top of everything and keep a level of control.
It’s my dream to work hard throughout my 20’s and then have a complete career shift in my 30’s to both have a family and solely focus on my artistry. I do various things - music, filmmaking, photography, theatre, etc. I’d love to refocus a lot of my time on my overall artistry and grow my family.