Let’s talk coffeeshops. I just love the coffeeshop culture, even if you don’t like drinking coffee (which I do, just want to put that out there). I am obsessed with this cultish trend of hanging out at coffeeshops. I can hang out all day. The most obvious and great thing about visiting coffeeshops is that they are built in caffeine fixes scattered throughout the city. Wherever you go, you have a caffeine dealer near you. It’s brilliant. That’s the most notable reason for heading to the coffeeshop. For me, however, the best thing about coffeeshops is the opportunity to rent some real estate to check your email or have a meeting for the cost of a not-cheap-fancy-latte-with-designer-froth. Okay, I said it. Coffeeshops are fantastic for many reasons, but they excel in the purpose of having a public place to work when you want a little break from the norm (e.g.your office) or you are logistically mobile (i.e., you have an hour to spare and emails to check, where do you go?). This is definitely the case when you are a freelancer and need to get work done in between dropping off kids and going to the grocery store to shop for the week’s groceries, etc. I have a flexible schedule, which makes me also mobiley flexible. Because I’m primarily taking advantage of coffeeshops for a place to park myself and bum wi-fi, I’ve often wonder how it is that coffeeshops make money off of all these people in there occupying said precious real estate and using the generously super fast wi-fi for the sake of OUR convenience?! There is coffeeshop etiquette and we should all abide by it, even first time coffeeshop loungers … please, don’t make the rest of us look bad.
As a designer, I just love the coffeeshop vibe. The atmosphere is trendy yet comfy (at least that is the hope) and there is always a buzz in the air, many thanks to the caffeine infused ventilation. I love coffeeshops that are “local” to the community. They are super fun to explore, whether in your own city or in new places you are visiting. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate Starbucks (they are super reliable when you are traveling, especially abroad, and not sure where to go), but my favorite are the local shops. I even follow some curated coffeeshops on social media, for instance Atlanta Coffeeshops and Coffeeshop Corners on Instagram. The design of the shop is a great indication of how welcoming they are to freeloaders, I mean patrons. You have the communal table with the outlet in the middle that says “come people, share this space and stay a while because we are giving you plugs” and are so welcoming. In these situations, it is nice to feel that it’s super okay to stay; after all, the furniture and space planning say so. The free and fast wifi is key, you can’t have a modern coffeeshop with no wifi, everyone has a device these days and let’s face it, most people at the coffeeshops are there for the reason that I am … they need to have a place to go to hop on line.
To bring it back full circle and how Notebooks & Honey and my coffeeshop obsession goes hand in hand, well simply put, I always have my laptop with me (at least on the weekdays when I am more in work mom mode) and this allows me to be on the coffeeshop circuit whenever possible. I often need to pop by a coffeeshop after a meeting or do some work before picking up the kids. Believe me, when you work on a project by project basis, including managing “oh ya know, life” , sometimes you just need time to target the tasks at hand and sometimes that is getting things done in 30 minute increments. I have left one coffeeshop and gone to another because the wifi was crawling and have been to multiple coffeeshops in one day because I was constantly on the go and it just wasn’t convenient for me to drive home or to the office to take care of business (although, I have worked from my car at carpool on countless occasions … that’s for another post). I have my laptop with me in my bag and it’s just a part of my everyday. I don’t need a separate laptop bag, I need a bag where I can have a designated space for my laptop but then have all my other stuff with me. The flexibility my bag and the coffeeshop culture gives me in order to be productive and stay on top to things is top notch.
My last love note about coffeeshops that is not wifi related is this … I just really like being there, it makes me happy. I enjoy “going for coffee” with friends. I am also pretty anti-social when it comes to talking on the phone and much prefer face to face chats, so coffeeshops are a great place to go … plus, I already mention that I am capable of drinking a lot of caffeine, so am always open to getting more coffee. It’s a fun way to check out different coffeeshops all over the city. Also, when you are traveling, coffeeshops are a great little corner to pause, catch your breath, have a snack/caffeine and hopefully, soak up some of the local coffeeshop vibes. Or you can park yourself there for the afternoon if you have work that you need to get done while you are on your trip 😉.