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.

How to Use 43 Folders

A very simple guide to leaving here quickly so you can get back to making something awesome.

Ask yourself…

Why am I here right now instead of making something cool on my own? What’s the barrier to me starting that right now?

This is not an insult or put-down. It’s a useful question. Please, think about it, then search the site to see if we have anything that might inspire you to make something awesome today.

What Sucks?

Looking for specific answers to what sucks for you today?

More ideas

Still sucking? No problem. Here’s more places to scratch around.

Still Lost?

Try a mental sweep, do a shitty first draft, or consider a modest change.

Maybe just get away from the computer for a while by taking a nice walk. Without your phone. We’ll still be here when you come back. Promise.

How to Know When You’re Done Here

You’re done here whenever you’ve found just enough information to get you back on track for today. If we don’t have the right fit for you, we sincerely hope it won’t take you half a day of surfing to figure that out.

We love having you visit with us here, and we hope you’ll return many times — whenever you think we might have something that might help you get over the hump. But.

The Only “Productivity” That Matters

The best advice we can offer is to just put your head down, push yourself harder, and try to figure out what you need to change today to get a little better.

“Productivity” isn’t about about making more widgets per hour or being efficient and organized for its own anal-retentive sake. Real productivity means getting faster at moving the crap off your desk so you can have room to focus on the creative work that only you can do.

Figure out how to do that every morning, and you’ll be ready to go pro.

About Merlin

Merlin's picture


Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

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