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.

Merlin's blog

How to be a product 43 Folders loves (and reviews)

(Pardon a largely administrative post.)

I’ve been pleased to receive so many inquiries from people who’d like me to look at their application or hardware device in order to mention it here on 43 Folders. This is good. I love looking at stuff. It’s what I do.

But to save us both time and misunderstanding going forward, here’s a rough idea of the factors that are more likely to get your stuff mentioned here (in more or less descending order of importance). Only #1 is really set in stone, but please do read all the way through before prodding me to talk about your product—especially if it costs anything at all to use.

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More cool searches for Sogudi & Quicksilver

More of the neato little search shortcuts I like to use. Includes UPS/RSS

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Using a kids' CD filer for organizing index cards

Locker CD holder is a simple way to keep your cards together.

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Mark Taw on Procrastination

Mark's article gets to the core problems that cause people to get derailed, distracted, and perpetually off-target.

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The Beauty of the Recurring Task

Handy way to "set it and forget it."

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Patching your personal suck

50 Strategies for Making Yourself Work is a terrifically useful and very entertaining list of hacks, tricks, ciphers, and fake rules for helping yourself write. Or more specifically, it helps you get unstuck, unblocked, and out of that hated procrastinating mire. It’s actually a much better version of my “Hack Your Way out of Writer’s Block” that I somehow missed in putting my ideas together.

I have to say, I’m really pleased to have discovered this article today, because it comports with some stuff I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and with the approach that sums up my feeling about “43 Folders-esque” ideas: in order to find what works for you, it helps to understand why the old stuff doesn’t

By now, everybody knows that I swiped the basic idea for 43 Folders from my pal, hero, and personal muse, Danny O’Brien. His work on the original Life Hacks presentation was centered around research into why some people, especially those overachieving alpha geeks, seem to get so much more accomplished over the same 24 hours we mortals start with each day. Some of them, like Rael, just seem preternaturally organized and focused. Others, like Cory, are blessed with an ungodly gift for effective multi-tasking.

But many of the other productive nerds, as you soon realize, have just gotten really good at identifying their weaknesses and developing the compensatory psychic muscle needed to shore up their vulnerabilities. Forgetful? Write stuff down. Easily distracted? Set timers. Saddled with pointless interruptions? Leave the office. Find the bad code in your system and eliminate the bugs. Find the fastest, easiest, most elegant solution that could possibly work. Can it really be that simple?

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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