Education / Incubators / Q&As / Social media / Startups

How I Work: Jess Gartner, founder of edtech startup Allovue

This is Baltimore's "How I Work" series, where we'll take a look at the tools and tips the region's startup founders and creative leaders use to get through the day.

Jess Gartner's desk at the Emerging Technology Center. Photo courtesy of Jess Gartner.
This is Baltimore's new "How I Work" series, where we'll take a look at the tools and tips the region's startup founders and creative leaders use to get through the day. If you'd like to be a part of this series, e-mail us.
Update 2/12/14 2:10 p.m.: While Allovue is a member of the New York City-based Socratic Labs, Gartner is not splitting her time between New York and Baltimore, as we originally wrote. We've made the correction below.

One of six graduates of the 2013 AccelerateBaltimore class, Allovue is a web tool for school administrators to track budgets and appropriate funding founded by 27-year-old Jess Gartner. A Teach for America alumna, Gartner spends her time at the Emerging Technology Center in Highlandtown. (She’s also connected to New York City, where Socratic Labs edtech incubator advises Allovue remotely.) Gartner lives in the Hollins Market neighborhood of Baltimore city.
This is how she works:
What’s the first thing you do every day before doing any startup-related work?
My favorite way to start the day is taking the 6 a.m. class at Bikram Yoga Baltimore in Locust Point. I am not at all a morning person, but there’s an awesome group of 6 a.m.-ers that make it a little more fun to wake up at that hour and get moving. After 90 minutes of hot yoga, I’m wide awake, energized, and ready for the day.
How often do you check your e-mail, and do you use any program to get to “Inbox Zero“? 
I almost always have my inbox open in one tab in case something time-sensitive pops up, but I do a thorough inbox review about every 2 hours and aim for Inbox Zero once a week. I use a combination of filters and stars to mark items that require action or are waiting on more information.
How do you keep track of your revenues and expenses?
We use Quickbooks, which is not my favorite in terms of user experience, but it’s preferred by most accountants, and it’s easy for us to collaborate through my accountant’s portal.


Jess Gartner.

When you need to take a break, what are you turning to?
I’ll either walk around ETC [the Emerging Technology Center], skim social media accounts, or go through my Feedly to find a couple of interesting articles to read.
Where do you turn to for founder’s inspiration when you’re feeling low?
I have a close-knit group of peers and advisers that I know I can call or text at anytime for a pick-me-up. I also have an Evernote collection of my favorite essays and editorials that I read when I need some inspiration. If I’m really feeling sorry for myself, I read cheesy inspirational quotes on Pinterest.
What’s your gear?

  • Hardware: iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, FitBit, Post-Its, notebook, an assortment of colored pens, Hydro Flask
  • Favorite Apps: Todoist, Slack, Feedly, Toggl, Fancy Hands, Rdio, Evernote, Day One, Expensify

What’s one time-saving tip you have?
Fancy Hands! I use them to make my appointments, organize data, make reservations, do research, argue with the insurance company, and other time-sucking tasks that make me cranky.

Companies: Allovue / Emerging Technology Centers (ETC Baltimore) / Socratic Labs

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