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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Next actions: Both physical _and_ visible

Just a GTD quickie, but something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

David Allen defines next actions as “the next physical, visible activity that needs to be engaged in, in order to move the current reality toward completion.” [ch. 2, pg. 34; emphasis mine]. I’m finally realizing that this subtle change in thinking can have profound effects on the way you look at the stuff in your life.

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Living in XML?

Danny O’Brien, among others, has been noting how many nerds have started piping as much of their life as possible through personal XML feeds, using stuff like RSS and Atom.

I’m intrigued by this, but, apart from the 100 sites I read each day in NetNewsWire, I’m only dipping a toe into the world of personal RSS. I get a feed of shows my friends are attending and Netflix recommendations, but not too much more. I know there's a lot more out there.

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Remap modifier keys, shut off 'Caps Lock'

Kill 'caps lock' and make your life livable again, at last.

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43F Interview: Alcor, Developer of Quicksilver

Our first 43 Folders interview is with Alcor, the developer behind our favorite productivity app, the mighty Quicksilver.

Vox43 Folders: What initially made you want to build Quicksilver? Has your interest or focus changed since you started, and how?

Alcor: Quicksilver started out as a module based applescript for OS 9 using a healthy dose of AKUA Sweets. It basically supported drag and drop and performing of some basic actions and scripts on the dropped items or the finder selection. It launched stuff too, but was an unwieldy dialog of applications you had to sift through. The initial point of it was to speed up day to day tasks like emailing and file manipulation. It sometimes took longer to do stuff using it than by hand, but was mostly a fun toy. The idea behind it was sound, and that is what made it through to the OS X incarnation. The focus has not changed since the beginning, but the implementation has become far more flexible (though perhaps less reliable.)

43 Folders: Were there particular things that weren’t happening with the other launchers that made you want to take a crack at it?

Alcor: The main thing that OS X seemed lacking was OS 9’s ability to drill down into folders with astounding speed by typing portions of the names of each folder and opening them. 9 let you navigate a well organized hierarchy of directories almost completely blind just using keys. The column view in X was nice, but wasn’t nearly as snappy. Dealing with files X was just a lot less fun. LB was a huge help for a while, but back then still didn’t allow sub searching within directory contents and still required the mouse to move files about. In the hopes of bringing back the quick file system drilling and manipulation, Quicksilver was given a Cocoa transfusion and came sputtering back to life.

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Are you _really_ getting anything done?

Glassofwater_2I wanted to address a couple criticisms that get made about producticity plans in general and Getting Things Done in particular.

Not to mount a big defense, exactly, but I think there are good points to mention and discuss because they contain germs of insight about whether and how you can actually improve yourself.

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Drop the text file, and step away from the Powerbook

MacBreakZ - Your Personal Ergonomic Assistant

Designer, gentleman, and Vice-President of my Personal Board of Directors™, Doug Bowman, recently told me about this cool OSX app for reminding yourself to take frequent breaks.

MacBreakZ is a personal ergonomic assistant that monitors our keyboard and mouse use and helps us structure our computer use in a healthy and constructive manner, thus preventing computer-related injuries from developing.

I’ve long suspected that I will eventually have a hunch and a couple glass eyes from my execrable ergonomic habits, and this seems like a smart solution for reminding myself what my brain often neglects: sometimes it’s nice to stand up and walk around.

Apparently, you can even set it to lock up your box until you’ve successfully completed your break. Might be a bit much for most folks, but I’ll bet it’s a sure way to save your eyes and wrists from some hard mileage.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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