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.

April, 2005

Podcasts of non-commercial and public radio shows

Got a good link that collects free podcasts from non-commercial radio shows? Have a favorite or obscure program to recommend in podcast format?

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TOPICS: Podcasts, Tips

Remainders: Notebooks, NextBus, the Wiki, and more

Our theoretically weekly roundup of stuff that didn't fit anyplace else.

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Anne Lamott: Put the puppy back on the paper

I’ve previously mentioned Bay-area writer Anne Lamott in the context of her fondness for index cards and her belief in the importance of capturing ideas at the moment they come to you (it’s something I also really believe in). It’s fun to hear her talk about this stuff, too. She has a discursive speaking style that’s, by turns, insightful, frustrating, and very funny.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reading her book Bird by Bird a section or two at a time whenever I have a few minutes, and I have to say, it’s one of the most inspiring books I’ve read in a long time.

As a guide for young or aspiring writers, I’d put it up there with On Writing Well and Writing Down the Bones in terms of practical, really useful advice. She strips away so much of the pretense and BS about the writing process and encourages you to just start writing—focusing on small assignments (all you need to do is fill a 1″x1″ picture frame with words) and what she calls “the shitty first draft.” Great stuff.

But I think some of the most amazing passages in the book have little to do with writing, per se. It’s all about how we choose to look at the world and ourselves.

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Park on a downhill slope

Jeffrey Windsor shares a great tip for making it easy to start work in the morning—by always leaving your work at a point where it will be easy, intuitive, and interesting to pick things back up. Instead of grinding away until you're drained and out of enthusiasm, quit while you're on a roll.

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MDM articles in 6/2005 MacWorld

A couple articles I wrote will be appearing in the June, 2005 issue of MacWorld, including this piece on overhauling your approach to email.

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Choosing a daily GTD action plan

Chris Murtland's "revolving workflow strategies" for GTD

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Danny O'Brien: Question on geeks and games

Danny asks: "When you have a regular, mind-crushingly dull task to do, do you have a little game you play with yourself to make it easier? What is it?"

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Guesstimating portions with real-world objects

Typical Portion Control Tips/Guidelines

“Deck of cards, Merlin; deck of cards,” my friend Dennis would always say as we sat down to eat ribeyes the size of kittens.

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Everyday tips from MonkeyFilter

An assload of great (and sometimes asinine) everyday tips.

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Mentat: Wiki on becoming a better thinker

Cool wiki full of memory tricks, mnemonic systems, and other mental parlor tricks.

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iTunes customization; Back-channel artist payments

Gabe's amazing iTunes scripts put Rube Goldberg to shame; I also make a plea for bands (and maybe labels?) to always offer a tip jar via PayPal.

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Let us now praise Post-it notes

Phil's cool trick reminds me that I do love me some Post-it notes. How do you use 'em?

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The Globe and Mail on the Hipster PDA

Tralee Pearce did a nice piece on the Hipster PDA and adopting analog tech in today’s Globe and Mail.

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Custom index cards from your own printer

Neat, simple tricks for printing your own index cards--either as templates or as stuff you've been storing electronically.

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Anne Lamott on index cards

Lots of people had been suggesting I read Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird (subtitled “Some Instructions on Writing and Life”) becaues she mentions how much she loves and relies on index cards for more than just composition.

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Quicksilver, summarized well

Good explanation of what makes Quicksilver so useful.

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April Power Hacks!

Start the new month and the new quarter off with some 43 Folders power hacks!

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Jason Fried on The Project Triangle

On the elegance of The Project Triangle.

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Posts, posts, posts.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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