43 Folders

Back to Work

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

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

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

Guardian UK: Ben Hammersley on GTD and The David himself

Guardian Unlimited Technology | Technology | Meet the man who can bring order to your universe

43F confidant Ben Hammersley does a great piece on David Allen and GTD for the Guardian UK. Terrific summary of why GTD works as well as some nice insight into David’s background (DA & I share an obscure alma mater, you know).

Ben writes:

But Allen isn’t your usual prophet. A dapper, friendly man in his late 50s, he’s closer to a favourite professor than the usual big-teethed stadium-rocking personal development guru. Allen doesn’t talk elusive nonsense about self-esteem, crossing chasms or searching for excellence, and there’s no chest-beating, walking on hot coals, or team-building exercises. Rather, we attendees have paid $595 each to learn how, with a simple system of lists, folders and a labelling machine, we can get more stuff done.

This collection of uncompleted actions and stray stuff - open loops in the GTD lingo - does nothing, according to Allen, but create stress and block thinking. It rattles around in our heads and gets in the way. As we run from fire to fire, email to voicemail, meeting to meeting, modern life seems to be nothing but a fight against the rising tide of distracting stuff. We’re too busy trying to stay on top of what we have to do, that we don’t get to do any of it. Too worried about remembering that our brains are too tired to be creative or relax. It’s a vicious circle: the more things to do, the slower we’re able to do them, and the more they pile up. Sound familiar?

About Merlin

Merlin's picture


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


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »