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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.

Merlin's Review of "It's All Too Much" on Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools

Cool Tool: It's All Too Much

As my battle with clutter continues, one of my favorite people (and one of the smartest guys writing for the web, period), Kevin Kelly, noticed my efforts and took note of my affection for Peter Walsh's wonderful book, It's All Too Much.

My review for Cool Tools is indeed adapted from a few posts that originated here, but I think it's worth pointing to because, a) that book has had a huge influence on how I think about my relationship to "stuff," b) I'm honored that KK liked what I'd had to say about it, and c) if you aren't already reading Kevin's sites -- particularly his consistently insightful The Technium column -- you'd do yourself a favor to get acquainted fast. Kevin's the real deal.

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Ira Glass on Working Through the Suck

YouTube - Ira Glass on Storytelling #3

Video featuring terrific advice from This American Life’s Ira Glass on having the tenacity to get better at the creative work you’re passionate about — even through the times when you know what you’re making isn't as good as you'd like.

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Beeswax: Free Productivity App in the Spirit of Lotus Agenda

Beeswax - Mind Your Own Beeswax

Wow, this looks like a really interesting project to watch — a GNU-licensed, command line productivity app that finds inspiration in a bona fide classic:

Beeswax is an information management system inspired by Lotus Agenda. It aims to recreate Agenda’s flexibility and efficiency in a clutter-free, text-based (ncursesw) user interface with vi key bindings. Beeswax views & reports will have specifications for sections, columns, filtering, and sorting…

The relationships between items of information are highly flexible. An item can be easily assigned to several different categories and the view immediately displays the new relationships. An item can just as easily be detached from categories. As you move items through Beeswax, their relationship to each other remains highly flexible.

You still hear a lot of people saying Agenda is the closest they ever got to their dream productivity app. And, depending on who you ask, Agenda's endless flexibility was either incredibly powerful or infinitely fiddly.

Beeswax is a very young application, but I’ll definitely be giving it a spin. There's certainly a long-standing itch for Agenda that lot of folks would love to have scratched.

The Question to You

Any of the old hardcore Agenda folks tried out Beeswax yet?

[via Anarchaia]

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Guide to Better Napping

How to nap - Boston.com

I'm a big fan of napping and often evangelize the transformative power of a quick Pzizz. If you're new to the nap habit -- or if you buy the propaganda that naps are only for infants and layabouts -- treat yourself to this cool infographic from The Boston Globe (shown in part above).

[via Arts & Letters Daily]

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TOPICS: Napping

Favored links for June 16th

  • Make It Stop! Crushed by Too Many E-Mails : NPR - I think somebody on Massachusetts Ave. must have called "Oy Vey, Email!" Week at NPR. Here's another one on email overwhelm, including tips and technology on "email organization." How 'bout that. At the risk of repeating myself, organizing your email is like alphabetizing your recycling! Call me, Yuki. Let's talk.
  • Spark | CBC Radio | Episode 41 - June 11 & 14 - In my latest Spark segment, I shared some ideas on how to deal with annoying forwarded email from friends and family, or what I call "turkey bacn."
  • lonelysandwich - Why Me? - Adam thinks "MobileMe" signals Apple's big move behind what used to be considered enemy lines. "Apple is removing the Mac from the Apple computer experience and laying the foundation for a browser-based OS..."
  • Jonathan Coulton » The JoCo Primer - Jonathan has a really smart series of pages for introducing new fans to himself and his music, as well as suggesting where to go next. Memo to self, internet: steal this idea.
  • Ars at WWDC: Exclusive preview of mobile NetNewsWire - Not only is my beloved NetNewsWire coming to iPhone, but let me also take this opportunity to congratulate Brent on his outstanding taste in demo web content.
  • The $100 Distraction Device - "Why giving poor kids laptops doesn't improve their scholastic performance." I dunno. I respect that there's lots of sides to the OLPC debate, but this particular one's got a bit of damp straw and double standards to it.
  • OmniFocus for the iPhone snags an Apple Design Award! - Congratulations to my OmniGroup peeps on their award. After getting lots of little sneak peeks from friends at WWDC [cough], I am so excited for the apps that are coming to the iPhone. This is going to be huge, people.
  • Start! - I'm honored to be speaking at Jeff and Bryan's amazing-looking one-day conference for indie web folks, here in San Francisco. And, talk about a bargain. Register today.
  • Word Spy - tweetup - "A real world meeting between two or more people who know each other through the online Twitter service." Kinda scared to try this; I'm pretty sure a lot of my Twitter friends are bots created by the influential Butt Joke industry.
TOPICS: Daily Links

NYT: Businesses Fight the Email Monster They Helped Create

Lost in E-Mail, Tech Firms Face Self-Made Beast - NYTimes.com

Is Information Overload a Billion Drag on the Economy? - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog

If you've seen the video of my Inbox Zero talk at Google, you may recall the moment when a few attendees start mentioning the hundreds of internal email messages they receive (and send) in a given day. I still remember, because I almost fainted.

Whenever I hear these and similar stories, the same question always comes to mind: "What does a company get out of its employees spending half their day using an email program?" Well, apparently, it's a question a lot of people are starting to ask. Including Google.

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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

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