Home Screens – Aaron Mahnke

Aaron Mahnke (twitter) is exactly the kind of creative junky that I dig. He does frelance graphic design by day at Wet Frog Studios and writes books by night. In his spare time Aaron also curates the Read & Trust Network. So Aaron, show us your home screen.

What are your most interesting home screen apps?

My home screen is honestly just filled with the basics. I have replaced the calculator with Calcbot because I prefer the design and features. Plus it’s just darn sexy, right? And Weather has been replaced by Shine. But most other apps that came with the device are still on my home screen.

Other exceptions:

I use PlainText for writing on my iPhone instead of Notes. The app syncs with Dropbox (and nvALT on my Macs), and can even be connected to Scrivener. That’s helpful if you do a lot of writing in Scrivener, and I do.

I quickly removed the iPod app from the dock (it’s easy to reach with a double-tap and a swipe) and placed OmniFocus in its place. That app is the core of my work life, and I capture everything in there. I don’t get fancy with OmniFocus, instead just depending on it as a place to file away tasks, assigning them due dates, a context and a project, and then I work from that database each night when I hand-write my paper to-do list for the next morning.

Oh, and Instacast has found a place on my home screen as well. I have a few regular podcasts that I enjoy, and also love to see my own artwork in the app (I design most of the cover art for the shows on the 70 Decibels network).

What is your favorite app?

Hands-down, my favorite app is Tweetbot. I’m a freelance designer, working from home by myself, so it’s very easy for me to look for connection through the community on Twitter. Tweetbot allows me to manage that “relationship” in ways that helps me stay productive. I can mute hashtags, twitter clients and even users. I want to stay caught up and find the quality content, but Tweetbot shines in helping me avoid the stuff that gets in the way.

Which app is your guilty pleasure?

If I’m not taking care of email or browsing webpages, my guilty pleasure is the Kindle app. I’m a writer and a reader, and sell all of my books through the Kindle store because of how easy it is to use and interact with. And so when it comes to spare time, I run right to the Kindle app on my iPhone.

What is the app you are still missing?

As an author and publisher, I frequently interact with Kindle’s KDP dashboard, where my book sales are updated live. I would love an app for KDP stats. I realize that it would probably appeal to a small market, but it would be infinitely more useful than using Safari on the iPhone.

How many times a day do you use your iPhone?

I have my iPhone on and docked beside my keyboard all day while I’m at my desk. But it gets the most use in the morning before work and in the last couple hours of my day.

What is your favorite feature of the iPhone?

I’m easy to please for the most part. I’m in love with the Notification Center. Sure, there are issues and things I’d fix (like those darn little “x” and “clear” buttons…ARGH!), but for the most part it has made using my iPhone so much more convenient.

If you were in charge at Apple, what would you add or change?

I would love to have the ability to move specific Notification Center widgets (such as Stocks or Weather) to the iPhone’s lock screen, so that I don’t have to press the home button, slide to unlock, and then drag the NC open. That would be my top request for a future update to iOS.

Anything else you’d like to share?

As a little kid in the 80’s, I used a magnifying glass to burn a small piece of scrap wood from my dad’s workshop. I burned a drawing into the wood. A drawing of a screen, buttons and nobs and switches. I really believes that someday we would be carrying our computers in our pockets.

The ten-year old me loves living in the future.

Thanks Aaron.

For more home screens clicky here.