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.

Schedule (and choose) a dash in iCal

scheduling dashes in iCal

If you're a fan of any flavor of the procrastination dash, this one might come in handy for you. I've started scheduling some of my work in time-based dashes -- right in iCal.

If you start the name of the task with the number of minutes in the dash, you have a very easy to way to see items that can be knocked down quickly (hint: sort "To Dos by Title"). E.g.:

  • 05dash - File archived folders
  • 10dash - Sort Salvation Army pile
  • 15dash - Respond to email
  • 20dash - Fix site bugs, per list

Note that, using this format, you can also perform a fast search on any/all tasks that are "dash-able" at a given time.

dash-able tasks

This can even be a nice, game-time way to plan your day based on "natural planning," meaning you could, theoretically, use this as a way to do time estimates for most any of your tasks based on how "hot" they are at the time (or how badly you've been putting them off). It's probably more trouble than it's worth for most of us, but if you're someone whose work only affords sudden and small windows of opportunity, it could be a real life saver.

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


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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. »

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. »