This week’s sweet setup interview is with my long-time internet pal, Aaron Mahnke. Aaron is a Sweet Setup alumnus from the original series of interviews I did here. His office looks the same as it did back in October 2010, but his hardware has all been upgraded and his software in use is quite a bit different now, as well.

However, I bet one thing that hasn’t changed is his answer to the question about how his setup helps him to do his best creative work:

I’ve tried my best to surround myself with tools that help me get the job done faster. I take notes in Notational Velocity, which is connected with SimpleNote, so that I never have to save, rename, or move the files again. I keep inspiration logged in Yojimbo and Littlesnapper, both of which sync across my computers. And I try my best to master hot keys to save time and effort.

Creativity is all about reducing the distance from inspiration to retention. I might not be able to react to a moment of inspiration right away, but if I can capture it properly (via screenshot, dragging into Yojimbo, or typing the idea out) I can come back to it when I’m ready. This isn’t multitasking, though. This is all about knowing your tools and having a solid system.

Aaron Mahnke’s Sweet Mac setup