Smooooooth Sailing: Frictionless Capture Cards

I was all set to write about a pen today, but then found myself absolutely LOVING Aaron Mahnke’s Frictionless Capture Cards. So, an executive decision was made (All in favor say aye. AYE!!), and I quickly shifted blogging gears.

The beloved cards

To be honest, I’m not sure where I first heard about Aaron’s cards. It may have been on Twitter or on the Mikes on Mics or Home Work podcasts, or maybe from the Pen Addict himself. Doesn’t really matter. I’ll admit that I had a couple packs in my online shopping cart, then thought better of it. “Do you REALLY need these cards?” the voice on one shoulder whispered. I listened to that voice and deleted the contents of the cart. Then I sensibly went to Staples, picked up some plain old ordinary index cards, and heard a second voice say, “Those Frictionless cards don’t cost much more. Go for it!” So I put DOWN the ordinary cards, ordered four packs of the Frictionless cards, and haven’t looked back. Voice #2 is apparently the wise, wise voice. Voice #1, not so much.

Sturdy cards!

When I opened the package, a few things struck me immediately. First of all, these cards are sturdy. Because they’re printed on 70 lb premium card stock, a stack of 100 Frictionless cards measures about double what a stack of 100 ordinary index cards would measure. The thickness is, to me, absolutely perfect. They’re so substantial that your mind immediately takes them seriously, rather than looking at them as a throwaway. They hold up great, even when dragged through day-to-day activities. No more flimsy cards for me.

Structured, yet flexible

I was also immediately smitten with the layout and colors. LOVE the pale grey grid, which gives enough structure without getting in the way. And the colored header and footer felt very natural to use. I don’t spend a bunch of time spinning mental wheels about what I should write where. I instinctively write the subject in the upper grey box and a reference date in the upper red box. In the body of the card, I create itemized lists of action items for projects, meetings, and even groceries. I pen in tiny check boxes, then color them in with red when the item is completed. Once everything on the card has been completed, I write a celebratory “DONE!” in the grey footer, then file the card for future reference. I should mention that the back of the card is gridded as well, and features a narrow red header, and a grey footer with a white grid. Both sides are equally usable.

While attending a conference last week, emails continued to roll in for work and life in general. I kept a couple of cards handy, and jotted down everything that required my attention during and after the conference. Everything was quickly and easily captured. I could let go of the emails, hunker down at the conference, and enjoy some free time without that endless loop of responsibilities swirling around in my brain. Frictionless? Yeah, it kind of was. (Thank you, Aaron!)

Keeping it all straight

Now that I’m back at work, there’s lots to be done. I’m using the cards to keep each project straight. It may look overwhelming, but because everything is captured and organized, I can easily review where I stand with each project and chore. And I love coloring in those little boxes.

Pen-wise, I’ve mostly been using the Pilot Frixion 0.5 mm pens, as well as my Render K and Pilot Hi-Tec-C, as the fine line of these pens plays nicely with the grid on the card. But the cards are not fazed by fountain pen ink, and I can create neat notes using my Lamy Safaris (EF & F nibs) and Pilot Vanishing Point (F nib) with various inks. I haven’t, as yet, experienced any feathering.

Can you believe that I’m going on and on about 3×5 cards?! Yeah, me neither. But the Frictionless Capture Cards are that good.

I simply love this tool.

Your fan,