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.

Roll your own print-friendly page

Use Safari and TextEdit to print or PDF just a portion of a page.

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Introducing the Hipster PDA

This article was originally posted during the first week of 43 Folders' existence, and, pound for pound, it remains one of the most popular page on the site. Please be sure to also visit related pages, browse our Hipster PDA topic area, plus, of course you can search on the Hipster PDA across our family of sites.

Recently, I got sick of lugging my Palm V around, so I developed a vastly superior, greatly simplified device for capturing and sharing information. I call it “The Hipster PDA.”

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Taking (some of) the chaos out of public transit

Nextbus Screen ShotNextBus provides real-time, per-stop predictions for several public transit systems across the U.S. (view all); we San Franciscans who rely on MUNI are fortunate enough to get accurate arrival times for any stop on the light rail line (F, J, K, L, M, N or S) as well as all stops along the mighty, ambling, urine-soaked 22-Fillmore line (don’t laugh: it stops a couple of blocks from Bottom of the Hill).

Unlike the speculative “schedules” that MUNI publishes, NextBus “uses satellite technology and advanced computer modeling to track vehicles on their routes.” So no guessing, standing in the rain, or watching as the last streetcar of the night pulls out of the station without you in it. As someone who lives 1/2 a block from a stop, I can tell you this actually, really works. And, inexplicably, hardly anyone I know seems to know about and use it.

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Archive your receipts and account info with PDFs

Mac OSX bases much of its interface on Adobe’s PDF format and opportunities to use and make PDF files are ubiquitous.

My favorite PDF trick helps me create an archived digital receipt every time I make a purchase online.

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Your Amazon wishlist when you really need it

If you're like me, a trip to a record or book store often results in a complete brain fart; I can't remember why I'm there, what I want, or what I potentially might have wanted. It's farcical, and it often leads to stupid impulse buying instead of picking up what I'd really needed.

I get around this parietal deficiency by using my Amazon wish list as a parking lot for some of the books and records I want to buy (no, I don't want you to buy me anything; I'm just showing you).

Then, evey month or so, I print out and re-stash a miniature version of the list in my notebook so I'm always up to date when I'm out of the house and happen by a store.

So try this:

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Mental Sausage, _or_ 'Hello, World.'

A boss and a good friend recently told me something really instructive. It went something along the lines of:

Y’know, Merlin, we’re really satisfied with the actual work you do, but is there any way you could do it without showing so much…I don’t know…mental sausage?

I knew exactly what he meant.

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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

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. »