43 Folders

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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.

Cyber Monday safe shopping tips

"Cyber Monday" is a new one to me, but allegedly today is the biggest online shopping day of the year. Yay, capitalism.

Get out there, type up some bargains, and have fun; but be sure to shop safe. It's a crazy world, and somewhere there's a 14-year-old Russian kid who needs one more identity theft to buy that Xbox 360. Good-looking tips for playing it safe online:

  • Online Shopping Tips [Privacy Rights Clearinghouse] - "We recommend you print out at least one copy of the web page(s) describing the item you ordered as well as the page showing company name, postal address, phone number, and legal terms, including return policy. Keep it for your own records for at least the period covered by the return/warranty policy."
  • Safeshopping.org [American Bar Association] - "Do you want to visit a site without revealing your identity? Visit www.anonymizer.com, then type the web address of the site into the 'Anonymizer' web browser. The free Anonymizer service includes a slight delay in accessing pages; for a fee, you can access these pages with no delay."
  • Shopping Online For The Holidays: Twelve Tips To Protect Yourself From Cyber Grinches, Scams And Schemes [Better Business Bureau] - "Be suspicious if someone contacts you unexpectedly and asks for your personal information. Identity thieves send out bogus emails about problems with consumers' accounts to lure them into providing their personal information. Legitimate companies don't operate that way."

As far as price comparisons and bargin-hunting, I've used Deal News, Price Grabber, and Dealazon, but I'm new to the (media-generated) world of Black Friday/Cyber Monday Mania. Got a favorite site with good deals to share? Any ninja shopping techniques you've mastered?

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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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. »

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