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

SubEthaEdit for meeting notes and light project management

SubEthaEdit’s document-sharing functionality must be seen to be believed. Groups of Mac users—in the same room or scattered across the world—can view and edit a single text-based document at the same time. In practice, this has some powerful applications, such as pair programming and shared conference notes. I’ve also had great luck using it as a unified project management tool, where a team’s meeting participants share notes, capture TODOs, and even provide back-channel information all in one or two simple text files.

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Capital Letter Nouns v. lower-case verbs

Over the desperately long drive home from southern CA yesterday, we were listening to a bit of the Getting Things Done audio book, and something really struck me—something that seems paradoxical but ultimately kind of profound. My paraphrasing here:

The more you focus on the details of your life and your work, the more likely you are to actually achieve the “higher altitudes” of your goals.

Looking at other sorts of productivity and organizational systems, there’s often a pronounced focus on the middle- and higher-level aspects of planning, with a premium on things like Values and Mission Statements, and other laudable motivational stakes in the ground. I definitely see the appeal, because it induces you to paint mental pictures that represent significant improvement over where you are now. Nothing wrong with that. We all need it. But I think some of these systems promote Capital Letter Nouns a lot more effectively than the hard-working lower-case verb. And verbs are really what your life is made of, isn’t it?

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43 Folders @ OS X Con

Danny O'Brien and I will be presenting at O'Reilly's OS X Con in Santa Clara this month. “Life Hacks” and “43 Folders” taste great together.

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Small milestones and some Friday remainders

Wow. Crazy month. One hundred fifty thousand unique nerds stopped by here in the last 30 days. That’s just nuts. God knows I’d love to give most of you a peck on the cheek for it, but for now I’ll just say “thanks a million.”

So to concurrently celebrate our one month annniversary, 400th Google Group member, and the soft launch of our sweet 43F Schwag Room, I’m doing what any productive person would do: I’m taking the weekend off.

Still I wanted to leave you with something, so here’s another quick batch of reamaindered tips to play with and cogitate upon. Have fun, enjoy your weekend, and see you kids on Monday.

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Mental dialogues, yak-shaving & the triumph of the 'mini-review'

From time to time in the middle of an interruption-driven week, I’ll find myself in the weeds and struggling to think where I should park an item. My brain speaks informally with itself:

Oh, man, I don’t have time for this…uh…I guess it’s a TODO so, put it on next actions….but…no, it’s really got some pieces to it so maybe projects…oh, crap, I’m too busy for this, I’ll just toss it in inbox and deal with it later.

I’ve finally learned to diagnose these odd dialogues as a symptom of a simple problem: I’m mired in seemingly important details, I’ve fallen out of touch with my “stuff," and, damn it, I need to do a quick mini-review.

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Routing searches through Dowser

Fans of Sogudi or Quicksilver can re-route their automated searches through the neato Dowser script/app.

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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. »

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