43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

What's the frequency, Kenneth? OR: What's the status of your trusted system?

So, I was at Target, Fry's, and Staples within the last week, and I had a strange revelation: I have settled into my tools for the most part. There are a couple of things that I would like to do like replace the cheap cardboard file folder holder thing I have been using with a rope case from Levenger and buy a letter-size Circa. And buy a nice paper trimmer. But those things can wait until I have the funds.

But, by and large, I am settled on my tools. I have two great label makers, an awesome pen, a pencil and clic eraser, and a rope case for index cards. I have a couple Moleskines and a Junior size red leather Circa. I am using MailTags, Act-On, and DockStar with Mail.app for managing Dynamic Digital Organization setup working well. I am effectively tracking my calendar and tasks on my W600i.

More importantly, I don't feel drawn toward every new app I come across. (With the exception of my digital reference system. I'm almost positive I have settled on Journler, but the lack of encryption is problematic.) When I see something new (case in point, iGTD) I just shrug and go, "My system is working for me quite well."

Moreover, I have shrunk GTD to fit (phrase lifted from Ethan Schoonover's description of OmniFocus) my work. I don't keep separate lists of NA's by context. "HERESY," you declare, and indeed you may be right. I work off my projects list more often than anything else because it works for me! If I find it doesn't in the future, I will adjust. But what I won't do is adjust for the sake of adjusting or for the sake of canonicity or orthodoxy.

This is all great, right? Of course it is. The problem is that now I have stopped faffing about trying to get the perfect coffee cup and I have to actually drink the gd coffee! Of course, this is the goal, to enjoy the coffee and not to give a damn about the cup as long as it doesn't have a hole in it. I guess the next thing is to decide what blend to enjoy and keep the cup full.

I guess what I'd like to know is are there any of you who have settled into a good system and are enjoying the coffee? Is there one last component that you're struggling to get a trusted grip on?

[Admins, feel free to move this to another part of the board if you think it might belong there better.]

About Berko

Berko's picture


Berko is otherwise known as Jamie Phelps. He runs a web design business in addition to pursuing a degree at TCU. Jamie is married to his wonderful wife Ann Margaret and they have eight pets and a fish.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


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. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »