A Day in the Life of Megha Satyanarayana


Megha Satyanarayana Linda Wang for the American Chemical Society

What I’m working on:

I’m a staff writer for Chemical & Engineering News, which is based in Washington, DC. I write about chemical biology, neuroscience, cancer, and a whole host of other stuff that is nerdy and cool.

Where I work:

I work from a home office in Dallas, Texas, that I’m still in the process of constructing. We just moved!

Daily routine:

Get up around 5:30 or 6:00 a.m., wrangle adorable but hangry toddler, get her out the door, get dressed, and sit down at my computer by about 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. Work pretty consistently until about 5:00 p.m., with a short break during the day to walk the dog and recharge the batteries. Get back online as needed at night after kid sleeps, because I feel like I write better at night!

Most productive part of my day:

It depends. Again, for writing, I find that I do better at night, when there are no distractions. But other than that, my most productive time is between 10:00 a.m. and noon. That’s when I get the most interviews done, requests out, problems solved, etc.

Most essential ritual or habit:

Coffee. Walk the dog. Without those two things, I find it hard to concentrate.


Courtesy of Megha Satyanarayana


Favorite note-taking techniques/tools:

I write in Word, but I also record interviews using either Call Recorder on my phone or Amolto on my computer. And I transcribe everything I can, just to make sure I have things right.

How I keep track of my to-do list:

I use Wunderlist for everything—work, life, all of it. But I also keep an online calendar for appointments. I love paper, but it’s too hard to keep up with it, and the reminders online really help.

Essential software/apps/productivity tools:

Wunderlist. Amolto Call Recorder. Trint. Sad dog looking up at me.

Favorite time waster/procrastination habit:

Facebook. Twitter. Laundry (not favorite at all, but it needs to be done).

My reading habits:

I have a toddler, so I don’t get a lot of open reading time these days. So I try to squeeze a few minutes in at night before I go to bed. I try to read one longer news story per day while I’m working that is completely unrelated to my work.

Sleep schedule:

See aforementioned toddler. My sleep happens when hers does … or doesn’t. 🙂

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