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.

Colleen Wainwright on email as PSD

Treat your email more like Photoshop

My pal, Colleen, has written up a short, designer's take on handling email. She suggests you treat messages the way you'd handle Photoshop PSDs; streamline, automate, and fear not the rule nor template:

Once you’ve done enough of the same kind of work in Photoshop or Illustrator—say, resizing photos or creating a certain size of flyer—you devise ways of creating your templates quickly...

Apply the same principles to processing your inbox and you will vastly reduce the time you spend horsing around in your email client. There are as many “best practices” with email as there are organizational gurus, but the same principles generally apply:

  1. Handle things once
  2. Process all at once, at scheduled times
  3. Clear your inbox, don’t use it as a holding bin

Right on. And as good a point as ever to re-point-out my beloved MailTemplate, which is still the easiest way I know of to create customizable boilerplate templates for Mail.app and Entourage.

Random Bonus: Here's some video (direct MOV download) of me interviewing the MailTemplate/MailTank guys at Macworld back in January.

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. »