Designer of graphics, author of novels, worker from home, maker of stationery, and haver of breakfast each year prior to the Atlanta Pen Show, Aaron Mahnke is a busy man, and someone I’m proud to call my friend. Are we on for breakfast again this year? My thanks to Aaron for answering Three Questions.
1. What role do analog tools such as pens, pencils, and paper play in your day to day life?
I might work on my computer (designer by trade) and keep my list of tasks in a digital app, but all of my real productivity happens on paper. I use a daily list, written out by hand, to run my day. I don’t leave the house without my notebook, and there’s always a pen clipped to it. I’m a firm believer in the power of writing things down. I remember things better, and sometimes I can process ideas better with pen and paper.
2. What are your favorite products you are currently using?
Currently, I use a black Uni-ball Signo (.38, baby!) as my daily pen. I do have a Fisher Space Pen, but that lives in my pocket Field Notes book. I usually have a small stack of my own Frictionless Capture Cards with me, and have recently fallen in love with the Baron Fig Confidant for personal journaling. And my recent purchase of a Timbuk2 D-Lux messenger bag was the best decision I’ve made all year.
3. What creation or design of yours are you most proud of?
The physical product I’m most proud of would have to be my Planning Pads. I use the Mini version daily for planning my day and tracking notes and business details. But I love that others use it in different ways because it’s so flexible. It’s been wildly popular, selling consistently well, and at the same time, it scratches an itch I had in my productivity system, so it’s a win for everyone.