Tools of the Trade: Jessica Zalaznick of GSD&M

By Kyle O'Brien 

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

Next up is Jessica Zalaznick, creative director at GSD&M.

Jessica Zalaznick of GSD&M poses with her paper notebook on a nice day.


What is one tool you use all the time at work, and how does it inspire your work?

I have a lot of tech tools that I turn to for specific projects, but honestly my go-to is hardly the most interesting: it’s a good ol’ paper notebook.

Why is it your favorite?

When I sit down with it, I’m committed to simply thinking and making notes. All without email alerts, chat pings, or notifications about shelter dogs looking for homes.

How did you acquire your tool or hear about it for the first time?

Guessing I heard about it in pre-K. Probably stole my first one from another kid’s backpack.

How does it help you be successful?

It keeps my ideas fresh. I’m not google searching for inspiration, I’m searching the depths of my brain for a nugget of an idea. It also helps me organize. I write down key dates for every project. And nothing beats the joy of crossing things off your work to-do list.

Does it have sentimental value?

Not at all. I hate saving things. Even my son’s artwork. And luckily, he’s not old enough to read this.

Do you think your tool could go TikTok viral? Why or why not?

I mean, I’ve seen weirder stuff go viral, so maybe. But again, would have to compete with all those freakin’ adorable shelter dogs.

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.