My name is Chris Sabato and this is how I work


Willamette University


Salem, Oregon


Assistant Athletic Director – Media

How would you describe what you do to someone who is not in athletics?

I’m a graphic designer, photographer and social media manager. I provide technical expertise for the department, manage all the live streams, and do the timing for cross country and track & field meets. I’m a jack-of-all-trades for anything technical or creative.

Current mobile device

I just upgraded to the Google Pixel XL. I’ve almost exclusively used motorola phones since my entire life. My first phone was the Motorola StarTac, I had one before they were cool and came with your contract.  I previously had the three version of the Moto X, which you can find on this link, and I loved them. There is a couple things i miss about my Moto X, but the Pixel is really a great phone.

Current computer

My primary computer is a Dell Precision Desktop with 32GB RAM, and a Quadro K2200 video card. I also have a Dell Laptop that I use at home or on the road.

What’s your workspacre setup like

I have a three monitor setup. Dual monitors have been proven to increase productivity by 20-30 percent, so with three I should be even more productive… right? Honestly, most of the time I only use two monitors plugged into my desktop computer. My third monitor is plugged into my laptop. This is helpful when one of my computer is working on a task that makes it hard to do other things. For example, if I’m rending something in After effects on my desktop, I can being doing other work on my laptop. I use a three monitor stand to maximize my desktop space.

I have some led lights and a mic setup if I’m doing a video chat or if I need to record some voiceovers. I also have Mackie CR3’s, awesome 2‑way Monitor Speakers.

I use an old bamboo wacom tablet which for what I do works fine. I have a logitech wireless keyboard (K360) and mouse (M510) which gives me the option to move things around and not deal with the wires. If I need to do something on my desk like soldering XLR cables or replacing ethernet ends I can turn off them off and toss them to the side. Logitech makes great hardware with amazing battery life. The batteries in my mouse last years unlike my colleagues who replace the batteries in their Apple mouse every couple weeks.

Chris Sabato

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or life hack?

If you don’t already, use a text expander. I currently use PhraseExpress but have been looking at TextExpander which is available for both Windows in OS X. Basically these utilities let you create little short pieces of text that expand into longer pieces. For example I use it to help remember our hex colors. I type  #card; and it’s automatically replaced with #791716; We also use it to save time with athlete’s hometown/high school in releases. When writing a recap we have it setup to replace () after a name with (Yr., hometown / high school). If I type Olivia Mancl () it is immediately replaced with Olivia Mancl (Sr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS). Text Expanders save a ton of time I would highly recommend everyone take a look at one.

How do you manage your projects and to-do list? Paper, sticky notes an app or website?

I can’t use paper, it will inevitably get lost or not be with me when I need to write something down. My my daily to-do’s I use Todoist. It’s an website, app on my phone and even has a gmail plugin that lets me add an email as a task.

For bigger projects like our Hall of Fame induction, the Bearcat Awards and even my social media content calendar I use Trello. It’s great for collaborating on a project. I can assign tasks to other people and see when they’ve been completed.

How did you learn graphics, video, social etc.?

I’m a kinesthetic learner. Almost everything I do on a daily bases I learned by doing. I start with something specific I want to do then use google to help me figure out how to do it.

I do a fair amount a programming. While I learned the basics in my C++ classes in college all of the programming I do now I learned because I needed something. I had a specific thing that I needed to program and figured out how to do that. Then I needed something else, I expanded on what I had learned the first time and built something more complicated. This goes on and on over the years and eventually I’m a pretty good programmer.

I learned Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects and pretty much everything else in the same way. It always starts with something specific. I can’t just sit down and say ‘I’m going to learn After Effects’. I need something specific to work on. For example I want an animated lower third. I start messing around, a lot of trial and error and YouTube videos and eventually I have an animated lower third. When I’m done I don’t know after effects, I just know how to make an animated lower third. Each time after that making a lower third gets easier and I can use my lower third knowledge to make an animated starting lineup graphic. Now I still don’t know after effects, I just know how to make a lower third and a starting lineup. Each thing I create, builds on what I learned creating the previous things.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?

I would probably say my camera. Whether it’s social media or designing a schedule poster, photography is really the core of almost everything I do. For many years I used a pair of Nikon d300s’ but last year I was able to get the new Nikon d500 and it is awesome. It is a fantastic camera, but it also comes with wifi transfer capabilities. I was shooting our baseball team in the conference championship and one of our guys hits a grand slam. I was quickly able to transfer the picture to my phone and tweet it out.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret?

I believe I’m verry good under pressure. Not really in the looming deadline kind of way, but when something happens that I have to solve in the moment. A couple weeks ago we had no power in the infield an hour or so before a 25 team track meet is about to start. I’m not freaking out and yelling at people, I’m looking at solutions. What can I do to fix the problem, what can I do as a work around, how can I keep moving forward.

What do you listen to while you work?

I’m not real big on listening to music while I work, but I usually need something on in the background. If I’m working on something that requires intense concentration I’ll usually have some tv show on; maybe something from Discovery or a Netflix documentary. If I’m working on something that doesn’t requires as much focus, i’ll listen to a podcast. I have about 40 podcasts that I listen to on a weekly basis.

What are you currently reading?

I’m not a big reader, I usually listen to podcasts. If there is a good book I want to read I’ll get the audible version. The last book I read was Brands win Champions by Jeremy Darlow. It’s a great book and I highly recommend it. There’s a fair amount that doesn’t really apply to a small school, but there is still lots to learn.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

I spend 60-90 minutes a day walking my dog. It’s a good time to listen to a podcast and just enjoy being outside. Although here in the Pacific Northwest is seems like it’s been raining for the last 6 months.

Who would you like to see answer these same questions?

Mark Majewski.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers and fans?Chris Sabato

During cross country and track & field meets I operate the FinishLynx timing system. I have timed meets from middle school to Division I. I’m one of the most knowledgeable people in Oregon on FinshLynx and track timing.

Also, In 2015 I developed a website to track the social media followers for NCAA Division III athletic departments. The site ranks all DIII programs by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram followers. It also ranks programs using an index that takes enrollment size into account. After releasing I added and

My name is Chris Sabato and this is how I work
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