The Productivity Giants Series with Zack Onisko, CEO of Dribbble


Zack Onisko has made a career out of designing products for fast-growing startups. He started out as a designer working in Silicon Valley after the dot-com bubble burst, and made his way up the ranks, pivoting his career to managing growth teams. He’s since worked as head of growth at notable startups such as Creative Market, Branchout, and Hired.


These days, Zack serves as the CEO of Dribbble – a dynamic community of designers of all kinds. Dribbble is a place to show and tell, discover, promote, and explore design – and it’s now a profitable company focused on helping design talent share their skills and get hired. Dribbble has made quite the name for themselves as being the go-to site for connecting with designers all over the world.


We talked to Zack to learn more about his career, daily workflow, and how he stays productive and focused as a CEO. If you want to read more content like this, check out other interviews in our Productivity Giants series.


What does the first 90 minutes of your day look like?


We are a 100% remote team, which is a pretty amazing way to work. I can wake up, get a quick workout in, shower, walk 20 feet to my home office and do my best work of the day while my brain is fresh. I used to commute into San Francisco for my former job. I’d lose an hour each way. Beyond those commute hours, the rest of the day is free from interruption, office chatter, etc. Working from home has 10X’ed my daily productivity.


What’s your number 1 productivity tip?


I’m old school. I have a drawer full of sticky notes. Every morning I start my day creating a list of what I want to accomplish that day or week. Items from the day before are added to the top of my new list and I cross out items as I tackle them throughout the day. This has been a highly effective productivity tool throughout my career. I can’t recommend it enough. I tell myself that one day I’ll move to digital to-do’s, but there’s something about pen and paper that I can’t get away from. I guess I enjoy crumpling up yesterday’s sticky note and tossing it in the can too much.


Any favorite tools?


Slack. Zoom. Google Docs. InVision.


What’s your pre-bed/nightly routine?


Wine. Put my kids to bed. Read. Wake up at 2am and play Dots until I fall back asleep. 🙂


#1 Email tip?


Unsubscribe from lists. Mark cold sales outreach as Spam. I leave important messages unread until you have time to respond thoughtfully. Aim for inbox zero (even if it’s a pipe dream).


If you lose focus, what do you do to regain it?


Unplug from Slack, turn on a ‘Focus’ playlist in Spotify, and plug into the work.


What’s your definition of productivity?


Productivity to me means being in the zone – when you’re able to be free of distraction and get 3 days worth of work done in 3 hours.



Follow Zack on Twitter.


P.S. Dribbble and Ello have joined forces for Make Good, a limited-edition, coffee-table magazine featuring 50+ artists and designers. We’re donating 100% of the proceeds to All Hands Volunteers, a non-profit that helps communities impacted by natural disasters. Pre-sales are open now. Learn more: