Snail Studio, written in a wobbly sans serif font. A wiggly, floaty shape sits above the writing.

how I run the studio

Rules aren’t really in a snail’s nature.

The tightest regimen they tend to follow is: see a leaf, eat the leaf, locate next leaf.

But the right rules make things run relatively smoothly, which is why I’ve got a few policies and ideals I stick to when it comes to running this place.

I don’t have regular daily working hours. Sometimes I’m out of bed and straight to it, sometimes I don’t start until the evening.

I work on bigger, longer-term projects, making sure not to take on more than I can handle. That generally looks like two projects at a time, with two days a week reserved for retained client work.

And I don’t do rapid turnarounds or crunch deadlines. I’d hope that’s obvious.

Superscript reckon I’m a safe bet and have provided me with Professional Indemnity Insurance to the tune of £250,000. Our work together is covered.

To whom it may concern,
Superscript hereby certifies that the following described insurance is in force at this date.
Policyholder: Joseph Clarke
Account ID: PA6FK4KR7
Trading as: Snail Studio
Types of insurance:
a) Professional indemnity
b) Business tools and equipment
Limits of liability:
a) £250,000.00
b) £2,500.00
Start date: 04 July 2023
Certificate expiry
date: 03 July 2024
This document is provided to you as a matter of information only. The issuance of this document does
not make the holder an additional insured, nor does it modify in any way the contract of insurance.
Cover is subject to the policy terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions.
If the contract is cancelled, assigned or changed during the policy period in such a way as to affect this
document, the undersigned accepts no obligation to inform the holder.

Nothing truly urgent has ever been communicated over email. That’s why I don’t respond immediately – and why I’ll never expect you to, either.

I prefer speaking over email, but if we work together, you’ll find my phone number in our contract.

Phone calls and emails are the only ways I communicate about work.

If you’ve got a specific way of organising your work, I’ll happily use it.

If you don’t mind or want me to choose, Notion is my project management tool of choice.

All sensitive data is kept under lock and key — plus a few technological aides give us some real muscle.

Passwords are kept in encrypted, secure storage.

All log-ins are reinforced with biometric data and 2FA.

All of which is to say, I doubt you’ll ever share anything top-secret with me, but I’ll keep everything secure regardless.

I will not work with gambling, military, arms, tobacco, oil and gas, animal agriculture, or other businesses that I personally judge to be rapacious, harmful, or ethically misaligned.

Snail Studio is just me—there is no legal or moral separation between ‘business me’ and ‘human me’.

I’m good at what I do, but not if I’m hunched over my laptop from 9-6 every day. If I’m jumping between emails, Slack, social media dopamine hits, and every other thing that pings and dings on my computer, I’m not going to do the great work you’ve hired me for.

These systems, processes, and checks and balances are for both our sakes.

You get the best results.

I get the space to do what I do best.

And we both push back against the idea that being busy is a badge of honour.

taking time off gets taken seriously around here

I take a week off every 6 or 7 weeks. It’s for the good of my health and, consequently, my work.

I’ll always let you know about any time off I’ve got planned well in advance. I’ll also make sure our timeline for completing our project isn’t affected.

  • December 19, 2022 → January 1, 2023
  • February 27, 2023 → March 5, 2023
  • April 17, 2023 → April 23, 2023
  • June 19, 2023 → June 25, 2023
  • July 24, 2023 → August 6, 2023
  • September 18, 2023 → September 24, 2023
  • November 6, 2023 → November 12, 2023
  • December 25, 2023 → January 7, 2024

Snail Studio tech stack

I use the following tools and technologies to run my business and recommend them – in painstaking detail – to anyone who makes the mistake of asking.

It might be a bit weird putting all this on my website, but I know I get curious about how other people run their businesses. Get nosy, my friend.

Some of those are referral links. If you join any of those services from those pages, at least one of us will get a small kickback. If there is an incentive involved, the page should make it clear and explain what we’ll both get out of it.

If you’ve got any questions or want to know why I give these products the thumbs up, just email me and ask.

Slow News Day

Forget the politics, bloodshed, and doomsday reporting.

I’m much more interested in enjoying the quiet and silly stories that pop up when moving at a slower pace.

Subscribe if you’d like a weekly reflection from life in the slow lane—and a reminder that you can slam on the brakes and join me at snail’s pace, too.