As I write this, I’m watching a blazing orange sunrise from my window seat on a Southwest flight to Chicago. One of the joys of freelancing is our ability to work wherever and whenever we choose, and I must say this is one of the best places I’ve found: a tray table with a 10,000-foot view of Austin.

Some freelancers in the communications business can work just about anywhere. For others, like me, my location influences everything about my final product: my mood, my inspiration, my stick-to-it-iveness, my focus.

Austin offers a variety of places to take your work, whatever your mood. Three of my favorites:


Yes, the shoe company TOMS has an official store in Austin and one of the coolest coffee bars around. TOMS’ roasting business helps bring safe water to communities globally, so you’re doing good by buying it. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available – just be prepared to fight the urge to buy shoes.


The first café I patronized on moving to Cedar Park was Joel’s, so I had to include it on this list. It’s a well-kept secret because coffee was kind of an afterthought to the custom T-shirt business run by the family. So besides great coffee drinks, you can get witty T-shirts, locally roasted teas, sandwiches made to order, and handmade truffles. What’s not to like? And plenty of parking is available – a real perk in the Austin area.

The Arboretum at Great Hills

A popular Starbucks and Barnes & Noble are only the start of why The Arboretum at Great Hills is a site for almost any freelancer. The lobby of The Renaissance hotel in this outdoor mall is comfortable and quiet, with people coming and going just enough to make you feel a part of something. Outdoors, you can feed the ducks in the mall’s pond, commune with a cow in the sculpture garden, or find your own nook and make it your own.

Where do you like to work? Email me for sharing in future posts!

Cindy Dashnaw