A day in the life of...Sean Atkins, Digital Director, FuturePlus

There's a scene in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, the 1970s Gene Wilder one. Anyway, it's the scene where Willy Wonka has just led the ticket winners into a dead-end corridor. There's seemingly no exit, they're crammed, they're shuffling, they're stressed and Roy Kinnear looks ravenous! Just as they've all but given up hope, Wonka slowly grabs the handle of the door they originally entered from and quietly announces "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls (as the door opens)... the chocolate room"

That's where my head's at as I begin this Day In The Life piece (I'm halfway through my 30 minute walk to the centre of Bath, dictating this to Siri, thanks for asking) - full of optimism, excitement for today's shiny new things, mild apprehension that this particular packed day won't do my 'typical day' or my agency justice and really hungry!

View photos of Sean's day on Flickr >>

Arrive at FuturePlus HQ, bag down, cup of tea, catch up on Flipboard, emails and with the team (Scott's new wellies are possibly too warm, Stu found a sinister painting of a donkey in his shed and Jamie has a 'cunning plan' which he'll reveal later - it's all happening).

First up is a conference call with one of our lovely clients about the 'industrial strength' iPhone magazine we've been putting together for the last few weeks. The team have really pushed the boundaries on this one with a determination to create the world's most advanced iPhone publication. As is always the way when you're desperate to talk about the fun stuff, timelines, deliverables and technical milestones are first on the agenda. There's a pause. "So you've been playing with it for a day - what do you think?" I ask. "We feel like kids in a candy store" is the spookily 'on theme' feedback. Twenty minutes of upbeat action points and the design team get back to polishing some of the finer points of our re-imagined navigation. So far so good.

View photos of Sean's day on Flickr >>

Check in with team on newly launched client blog. Stats are great, content plan is rock solid and social elements are really coming together. Well that was a short meeting.

Weekly catchup with our Client Services Director (or 'Around The Client World In 80 Minutes' as I call it - no, she doesn't laugh either). Progress on all web, video, app, mag app, social and email activity digested and prioritised. Not as dry a meeting as I just described it, honestly. As the late Neil Armstrong used to frequently say, "you had to be there".

Time to test augmented reality magazine pages for one of our technology clients. They work like a dream and, most importantly, genuinely add value to the information and experience. This stuff can be easy to over-egg, but our London team have done a great job here.

View photos of Sean's day on Flickr >>

Desk lunch while catching up on Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee before Jamie reveals his 'cunning plan'. He's just launched a pop-up blog dedicated to stuff that Scott (who sits opposite him) says throughout the day. Already some great quotes, Scott isn't amused. Should I post the link here? Probably best not actually. 

The latest edition of Tesco Technology & Entertainment lands on my desk. Have a good read. Brilliant issue. Take a couple of snaps and tweet (@welovecreative) before heading upstairs to the editing suites.

Sign-off customer vox pop videos for an upcoming pitch. Very happy. 

This is one of the great things about FuturePlus being part of a media plc. Cutting edge video, web development, photography, research, advertising and app teams (which is where I'm heading next) are only ever a few floors away.

View photos of Sean's day on Flickr >>

Regular FutureFolio update meeting with the app team. FutureFolio is our in-house tablet magazine creation software which has helped make Future the world's leading iPad publisher. Its development rate is, as usual, astounding. New features, devices, stats and marketing initiatives are revealed and discussed. If you'll allow me to get all salesy for a second, if you're at all interested in a super-advanced, dead easy and really affordable tablet publishing solution - do get in touch

Get together with the creative team for a FuturePlus rebranding 'pit stop' meeting (mental note: 'pit stop' is another of those phrases we're going to ban). Website, blog, Twitter page all looking good. Have a good play with the new FuturePlus app too. Couple of tweaks needed, but just lovely. You'll be the judge of that.

Winding down a little now and attempting to plan my tomorrow. Zip through today's calendar invites - 80% accepts, 20% declines (not bad). 

Reply to a flurry of emails. Fiddle about with my latest in a series of 'go to' to-do list apps, 'Clear'. It's pretty, but still not an entirely satisfactory experience - anyone reading this found the perfect iPhone To-Do list app yet?

Download the latest 'Vergecast' and 'Here's The Thing' for the walk home later. My favourite podcasts, although Frank Skinner runs them close. &

I'm going to give myself 15 minutes to polish what I've written here (let's face it, I can always make it up - I've read the previous pieces, no way were they 100% real) and finish this closing paragraph before joining some of the FuturePlus creative and digital team in The Cork next door for a couple of cheekers.

Done. So that's my day. Time for The Cork. I'm getting that feeling again "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls (as the door opens)... the chocolate room."

View photos of Sean's day on Flickr >>

Sean Atkins, Digital Director, FuturePlus

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Posted in Member news
3rdDec 2012

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