Tools of the Trade: Gale Tan from Anchor Worldwide

By Kyle O'Brien 

Welcome to Tools of the Trade, a new AgencySpy feature to help highlight the many tools that help make advertising and marketing folks successful. The tools can be anything that helps them perform at your top form, from their favorite drafting table to their best software program to a lucky pen, a vintage typewriter or a pair of headphones.

First up is Gale Tan, senior designer at global creative, production and media agency Anchor Worldwide.

Gale Tan and her notebook.


What is one tool you use all the time at work?

My notebook.

Why is it your favorite?

It’s something I have used for a long time and it’s become a staple for me in my day-to-day process. No fuss, no wait-time, no updates required. I usually have it beside me to take notes, make to-do lists or even sketch out ideas before taking things digital. I take it with me everywhere I go and also end up using it as a personal notebook. You will find ideas for artwork, badly written poems or even food menus scattered within the pages.

How does it help you be successful?

It frees me from my digital tools and allows me to test out bad ideas quickly. I always jot down the tasks that I have to tackle—and keep track of what I need to accomplish for the day. The satisfaction of crossing out your accomplished tasks on paper is so much more fulfilling than clicking a checkbox on the computer.

Why go analog?

As a designer, most of my time is spent working on the screen, so it’s always a nice change to swap out the mouse for pen and paper once in a while.

We want to know what tools you use to make you successful. If you’d like to contribute or know someone who would want to be featured in Tools of the Trade, contact and fill out our survey.