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.

4-1/2 tiny ways to master Mail.app

  1. Turn off auto-checking, or set it to "Every hour"
    • yes, it's a classic, thanks
    • In Mail.app, go to "Mail > Preferences... > General"
  2. Turn off the "New Mail" sound
    • Same place as above
    • And, while you're there, also unclick "Play sounds for other mail actions" -- it's not a goddamned pinball machine
  3. Turn on Dock Hiding
    • "[Apple] > System Preferences > Dock" and click "Automatically show and hide the Dock"
  4. Hide Mail.app
    • In Mail.app: "Mail > Hide Mail"

The one-half tiny way? Well, if you're feeling really ballsy, you could just just Quit Mail.app for a few hours and, uh, just go work. Yeah, I know: your world would implode if you had two hours without email. You'd be fired, jailed, or might even miss that whole thread about lunch at Chili's vs. Applebee's. Friend, someday you will actually hear yourself defending your email addiction as a necessity, and it will seem very very weird to you. Bet me on it.

Seriously, though, suck it up and just check for new mail as seldom as your job and your patience will possibly permit. Really push the envelope on this, even just for half a day, and see if you don't notice a difference. The world actually can spin without you for a while (but just a little while).

Because I promise you there's always. more. email. coming. You are the single individual in this entire universe who gets to decide how often you deal with an inbox that is utterly bottomless. Own that, and you've taken the most important step toward using email as a tool (instead of the other way 'round).

Chris's picture

This week, I set my...

This week, I set my energy saver settings to turn my monitor OFF after one minute of inactivity. This way I don't see any alerts, email, bloglines, IMs, etc. I now think TWICE before I shake the mouse to turn the monitor back on (Do I really NEED to do anything on the computer right now?).

This obviously doesn't work for those that must use the computer all day long, but it should help you realize that you can actually get up out of your chair and go SEE someone instead of sending an email or IM.

Plus, it might actually save a bit of energy, too...




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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