A Day in the Life of Megha Satyanarayana

Megha Satyanarayana worked at several newspapers and an online news startup before landing at Chemical & Engineering News. She has covered suburban crime, public health, science and technology, and much more. She also knows a bit about audience engagement and multimedia reporting, and is happy to have landed back in Texas, where sentences start, end, and contain in all grammatical spaces the word y’all, and it works. Really. Follow her on Twitter @meghas.


Courtesy of Megha Satyanarayana

Megha Satyanarayana

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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