43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Remainders: Notebooks, NextBus, the Wiki, and more

  • Reporter update - So I got my Moleskine Reporter’s Notebooks a few weeks back (see earlier drool) and I’m ready to share two opinions. First, although the Large Reporter is beautiful and pretty well-made,  somehow it’s not really  doing it for me. Way too bulky and cumbersome to use, and the top-flip isn’t happening for me. Could be cool to use an unlined Large horizontally for sketching (if I sketched). But, the Small Reporter is totally ace. Great for jotting on MUNI. Although, I must say I’m a bit disappointed that neither model is a true reporter’s notebook in that they can’t completely flip open any better than a standard bound notebook. (Ironically, it inspired me to pick up a real $1.80 reporter’s notebook to play with. Loving it.)
  • Engineering notebook affection - Tip of the propeller cap to Josh Carter for turning me on to BookFactory.com and their amazing engineering notebooks. Apparently, it’s very important for engineers, scientists, and researchers to carefully document all their work since it may eventually need to be used to defend a patent, etc. There are tons of squirrely rules for using these things that don’t apply to us uncreative civilians, but I do love the table of contents, line numbers, page names, and how it makes it easy to point to the pre-numbered page that something is “continued on" or “continued from." Dunno if I'll keep buying the wire-o laboratory model I got for perpetuity, but there are some smart new notebook habits I’ve learned that I’ll be taking with me, for sure.
  • NextBus adds SF bus lines- My old pal NextBus has recetly added two new SF MUNI lines to their amazing, GPS-based tracking service, including the 24-Divisadero and the 33-Stanyan buses. W00t.
  • Lazyweb: Widget for SF Muni - Related to NextBus, if any of you smart Tiger-loving kids can come up with a Dashboard Widget that pulls up NextBus data, by stop, for SF MUNI, it’ll buy you a home page link from one grateful middle-aged man’s moderately popular website about filing things. Just saying. So, let’s go: chop chop!
  • Wiki getting really good- If you haven’t been following the 43F wiki—and I know it can be a little bewildering if you’re new to the wikiwiki world—there are a few bits that I do recommend you check out, because they’re growing fast and furiously. In particular the Life Hacks category is blowing up with great submissions from readers, and has even broken out into myriad sub-areas. So many great tips.
  • html2wiki - If, like me, you’re spending an increasing amount of your time on a wiki, you should check out html2wiki. It’s a badass little perl module that converts HTML into Wiki markup in the language of your choice (including converting URLs). In related news, if anyone can hack Mediawiki to work with Markdown, we should talk.
  • Quicksilver to go - We Quicksilver fans frequently complain that whenever we use a Mac that doesn't have our favorite app installed, we feel like we’ve lost a limb. To get around this baleful situation in the future, zip up the latest copy of Quicksilver and mail it to your own Gmail account. Wherever you go, you’re just a couple clicks away from sanity. I've also been doing this for a few weeks with my big pile of txt files; takes less than a minute to gzip it and mail it to myself. Never hurts to have the extra backups, either.
  • Many thanks - A few folks have kindly sent lovely presents from my Amazon wishlist and I just wanted to say “Thank you, thank you!" Unfortunately, stupid Amazon makes it virtually impossible to figure out how to contact the giftor. Grr. (Steal this idea, AMZN: make it easy to send an electronic thank you note when you receive a gift, including the ability to send in return something off that person’s wishlist. Think “online greeting card.")
  • Quote of the week - Since there seems to be a lot of fellow Anne Lamott fans here, today’s quote comes from Bird by Bird: “[Y]ou can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."

Enjoy Tiger, and have a swell weekend.

About Merlin

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Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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