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.

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Recap: 43 Folders' Corvette Summer

Welcome back, friend. Per what I wrote in your yearbook back in June, I hope you had a nice summer and stayed sweet and cool. You look great. Did you lose weight or something?

Somewhere along the way over the past few weeks, I seem to have got my game on again here at 43 Folders. I wrote a few items that I'm proud of and that lots of people seemed to enjoy. I'm once again posting about stuff that means a lot to me, and I'm feeling good about the site and where it (and I) will be heading over the next year. (More on that soon)

But, if you were tanning on Ibiza or building houses with Jimmy Carter and missed out on my wordy comeback season, here's a few articles I hope you will enjoy.

It's nice to have you back; I found the Vette, and I'm pumped for Fall.

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TOPICS: Recaps

"Right Now, What Are You Doing?"

Right Now: What Are You Doing?

Right Now: What Are You Doing? I've started to become a lot pickier about where my attention goes as I observe what it means to my work when it drifts. But, I still have a long way to go. Long way.

Like a lot of people I have a bad habit of CMD-Clicking tab sets in my browser, which then spawns a dozen or more new panes of potential distraction, pointless horseshit, and 10,000 excuses not to focus on what I really want to be making right now.

I whipped up this (rather plain and inefficiently coded) page this morning, and stuck it into every tab set that I tend to abuse: as the first tab I see.

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Deciding Whether to Read a Book: Some Wildly Reductive Heuristics

Smiles!People send me lots of books, so I have to decide rather quickly whether one should be added to the ambitious pile of stuff I already really want to finish reading.

On the off chance that you care or find it useful in developing your own filtering, here's my insanely reductive, mean-busy-guy way to make a 90-second decision on whether to read a new non-fiction book from an author I'm not familiar with.

It does not matter whether you agree with these; that's how you know they're personal heuristics. Also, they are almost uniformly unfair and unkind. So.

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Ubiquity: Firefox Gets its Quicksilver On

Aza’s Thoughts » Ubiquity In Depth

Take a few minutes this week to look at the Ubiquity plugin for Firefox. So far, I've spent just enough time with it to have my mind blown by the Quicksilver-like interface it wants to bring to web browsing.

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Social Networks: The Case for a "Pause" Button

PauseJason Kottke (via Rex, via TechCrunch) points to a new feature on FriendFeed that allows users to "fake follow" people:

That means you can friend someone but you don't see their updates. That way, it appears that you're paying attention to them when you're really not. Just like everyone does all the time in real life to maintain their sanity.

As duplicitous and sad as "fake following" sounds -- and let's be honest: the whole idea's pathetic on a number of levels -- for a certain kind of user, I can see why there's a desire for this functionality. Especially on a site like FriendFeed, which has quickly become the platform of choice for the web's least interesting narcissists -- and the slow-witted woodland creatures who enjoy grooming their fur -- this is a major breakthrough in the makebelieve friendship space. Yes, primate culture may be primitive, but it is not without its evolving needs.

Thing is, "fake following" is also not so far off from a more wholesome feature that I've been begging for on social networks for years now:

Any application that lets you "friend," "follow," or otherwise observe another user should include a prominent (and silent) "PAUSE" button.

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Quote of the Week: On Multitasking

My quote of the week comes from a comment by Eideteker in this Metafilter thread on multitasking:

Multitasking is the art of distracting yourself from two things you’d rather not be doing by doing them simultaneously.

And, for what it's worth, here's what I had to say about the myth of multitasking a few years back:

powered by ODEO

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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