The Pen Addict before The Pen Addict

Some of you may know that I had a long running and fairly popular podcast many years ago called enough. It was hosted by myself and Myke Hurley, who now runs the highly successful podcast network Some of you also may know Brad Dowdy, who is not only the longtime show runner of The Pen Addict blog but also has a very successful podcast on the network of the same name that he hosts with Mr. Hurley.

Well, before the Pen Addict podcast got started, I had Brad on as a guest on my show. He and I got very pen and paper nerdy while Myke largely just listened in. But, if you listen close enough you may detect the beginnings of something special — Myke and Brad’s relationship forming and the spark of an interest in pens in Myke. Some might consider this The Pen Addict Podcast Beta — the show that led to the now very popular podcast and what is a years long friendship and partnership between Brad and Myke.

One of our readers and The Pen Addict Podcast listeners Samantha Kay was curious about this particular episode and reached out to Brad and I to see if we knew where she could find it. Neither of us could help. That’s where Robert Wall came to the rescue. Robert hosted an archive of enough for a while after it ended. He was able to track down that episode and shared it with Samantha who sent a copy to me.

Here it is below:

But wait! There’s more! You may hear the name Aaron Mahnke dropped a couple of times in the episode. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Aaron is the creator of the also beyond insanely popular podcast and Amazon TV Series and Book Series, Lore. Before that he was an extremely talented designer and made a line of paper products I still love and use today.

So, there you have it. There’s a whole ton of “before they were podcast stars” packed into this little podcast episode. Enjoy!

Why Paper Works – Mike Vardy – Medium

Why Paper Works – Mike Vardy – Medium

Paper works because it is only limited by what you’re willing to put on (and into) it. Paper provides an escape from your devices and does so without compromising your ability to get things done. Paper is safe and secure in that it can be both lifesaving and disposable depending on the circumstances. Paper is versatile, compatible and portable.Paper — simply put — just works.

Much agreement to be found with my friend Mr. Vardy here (via my other friend Chris Bowler)

The Analog-Digital Life | Leigh Reyes

The Analog-Digital Life | Leigh Reyes

There are days it feels like I’m living from screen to screen. I answer several messages on your phone, check Instagram, hop to my laptop to clean up a few slides. Before I know it I’ve spent half my waking life absorbed in variously-lit pixels.

Butch Dalisay showed a class of young advertising people a 500 year-old book and a first generation iPhone that still worked. They seemed a little more awed by the iPhone. Perhaps because they expect specialized hardware to become obsolete faster than the printed page.

The Posh Pen Paradox: when writers and artists fear their tools

The Posh Pen Paradox: when writers and artists fear their tools

Money plays into this fear, with the idea that you should only invest expensive materials in to a piece of work that will turn out to be a worthwhile investment, and as mere students we think: Why bother?

I wonder if it is for many of the same reasons mentioned in this article that cheap wins the day for many established authors. Also, as this article alludes, many famous artists such a Leonardo da Vinci rarely used new canvases for their most famous works. Instead, they often painted over existing work they weren’t satisfied with.

Some things to think about If you are having trouble with the fear of starting. Try grabbing a cheap ballpoint and half-used spiral bound notebook you have laying about and just make a mess. You may be surprised on how well it works.

(via Mark Lovely)

The 25 Essential Tools of Excellence (v2), 3: The Back of An Envelope – Nicholas Bate

The 25 Essential Tools of Excellence (v2), 3: The Back of An Envelope – Nicholas Bate

Sometimes an idea is bubbling. A plan, a product, a solution, a breakthrough. You need somewhere to articulate and develop that seed of an idea. That’s when you grab the back of an envelope from the small stack on the corner of your desk.

Our friend in the UK, the incomparable Nicholas Bate, would like us to consider the back of the envelope as an essential tool.

For Two Months, I Got My News from Print Newpapers. Here’s What I Learned

For Two Months, I Got My News from Print Newpapers. Here’s What I Learned — The New York Times

In January, after the breaking-newsiest year in recent memory, I decided to travel back in time. I turned off my digital news notifications, unplugged from Twitter and other social networks, and subscribed to home delivery of three print newspapers — The Times, The Wall Street Journal and my local paper, The San Francisco Chronicle — plus a weekly newsmagazine, The Economist.

This piece isn’t necessarily a praise of paper so much as it is a praise of slow, deliberate news consumption. But what’s a great way to make  consumption (and creation, for that matter) more slow, careful, and deliberate?


I read paper books almost exclusively. I read most of my news online, but every week I settle in with a print copy of the New Yorker, and I love to pick up a print copy of the New York Times when I’m at my local coffee shop. And, interesting tidbit: for the magazine of which I’m managing editor, print subscriptions outnumber digital about three to one.

The Grocery List Sketched by Michelangelo — Atlas Obscura

The Grocery List Sketched by Michelangelo — Atlas Obscura

The survival of this list is remarkable, too. Only around 600 of Michelangelo’s sketches still exist. 1518 marked the year that Michelangelo burned many of his early drawings, and 46 years later, he ordered many of his papers to be torched in anticipation of his death.

In case you were looking for some notebook inspiration today.