Working Out of a Coffee Shop

By on July 21, 2014

For some people it may be a cliché for others a classic, but when a lot of people think of freelancers we often conjure up the image of a casual professional silently working away on their laptop at a café. It’s actually not a bad place to get some work done.


Read the tips below to get the most out of your coffee shop workplace experience.


Get some good noise cancelling headphones

earphones for freelancing

As relaxing as a coffee shop can be and as pleasant as the lively atmosphere may feel, there are going to be a lot of distractions. Loud people, crying babies, and sometimes even a few mean aspiring musicians. While sometimes the ambiance may be welcome this will lead to distractions. It helps to plug into some of your own music. I would suggest some relaxing music and nothing too lively that gets the heart pumping. There are some really nice work playlists on Songza and Spotify. A good pair of headphones like these that block out outside noises really helps you get focused as well. Not only will you be able to work to your own soundtrack, but you’ll be able to drown out everyone else’s.


Find an Outlet

Creative Outlet

It kind of goes without saying, but you will need to find a power source for your computer. Find a seat where you can plug in and get ready to go. I like finding ones that don’t have a herd of people plugged in around them. However, if you know you’re only going to be working for a few hours, you can also make sure that your laptop is fully charged before you leave the house.


Stay out of The Sun


The sun is going to make you uncomfortable and will impair your vision, hurt your eyes, and become very annoying. It can also create a glare on your screen making it almost impossible to work. Dear Apple, please bring back the matte screen Macbooks Sincerely, the entire visual creative community.


Make sure you actually Work

graphic designer working

Don’t spend so much time drinking coffee, eating, and listening to distracting music that you forget why you’re actually here. Distractions will abound, but focus on the task at hand. The whole reason you left the house is so you could focus and get some serious work done.


Have a To-Do List:

to do list

One thing that helps you get the work done is to set specific goals. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish and write it down. Then make sure as you’re sitting in the café you’re checking an item off your list as you complete each one. This will be a good way to keep your mind disciplined and focused and allow you to have a visual update on your progress. I use Trello as to-do list. It’s a free app (both for your browser and your phone) that let’s me check of things I need to get done.


Block All Distraction-Ridden Websites

work distraction

You’re not here to tweet about how good the coffee smells or look at your Aunt Agatha’s cat pictures on Facebook, so to avoid the temptation set up a block on all of your favorite fun and useless websites. Try an App like Google’s Website Blocker or if the internet as a whole is a distraction for you a program like Freedom will keep you off the Web altogether until work time is over.


Don’t order too much

iced frappe

If you’re hungry you’ll need a bite to eat, you can’t work on an empty stomach after all. Plus the growling will ruin all your creative moments. Make sure you don’t order too much though. Remember your there to make money not spend it. It’s also not good for you to eat too much, if you hang around the coffee shop every day downing those doughnuts and ham sandwiches you might see some unwanted weight gain. Even most coffee-based drinks are a few hundred calories each. Too much caffeine is also not only bad for your heart, but it can make you unable sit still work.

Your Go To Drink: Iced Coffee, it’s only $3 at Starbucks, and if you get a gift card, register it, and use it enough, you get free refills. Depending on the creamer and sweetener you get (2% milk, no sweetener for me), it’s only a few calories!


Bring Business Cards

Freelanceer Business Cards

A benefit to being outside your home is that you get to meet new people! This includes potential clients or people who could possibly get you clients. Make sure to have at least a handful of cards on you I love this card holder for keeping cards from bending in my pocket), and backup supply of cards in your laptop bag or purse. Since the custom cards I get made are usually quite expensive, I usually don’t make it rain with them, but hand them out strategically.


Just follow all of these steps and you’ll have a fun-filled one-booth office going in no time. Also, we’d love to hear any thoughts or improvements you have working at a coffee shop. Comment below and let us know!

David Beaver

About David Beaver

David B. Beaver has been a writer in heart since childhood. He began to take his career as a writer and author seriously in January of 2012 when he began to write for the Yahoo! Contributor’s Network. Shortly after he began freelancing for where he has written articles, short stories, blog posts, web content and much more. His published works include the short stories Squire Ryanus and Mage Finals, as well as his self-published fantasy novels Epic War and the First Free King of the North. David B. Beaver hopes to some obtain a full time career in writing as well as to create a fantasy world that everyone can enjoy. You can see some of his fantasy works and more information about him at his website: