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

Open Thread: What's your killer app?

The other day I was talking with someone about the novel and non-obvious ways that people use Excel in their work and home life. Gotta say, I've personally seen some pretty amazing stuff happen when people take a favorite app, get really good at it, then bend it to their will. (And Excel is perfect for this.)

This tracks to Danny's Life Hack concept by which the alpha geeks were achieving lofty heights of productivity partly by mastering 1-3 "killer apps" -- then using them to solve most of their information and functional problems in fairly novel ways.

So my question for you: What's your killer app? Is there one place where 80% or more of your activity takes place (by choice)? Vim? Excel? Perl? Firefox? Post-it Notes? What's yours and when did you realize you'd become a badass at using it?

mc's picture

Okay, forgive me, but I...

Okay, forgive me, but I have to say it:

My Newton. I use Smultron to write on my laptop, but the laptop isn't with me all the time. The Newton is. With the (released last night!) updated software for transferring OPML files via bluetooth, I am now easily able to move right to MyMind, where I can create excellent MindMap pictures of my workflow. I don't have deadlines and next actions so much as I have a flow of duties. A good picture helps me more than a list.

For most all communication, Mail.

I use Hallon to add due dates to emails. Why not iCal/MailTags? I like that Hallon lets me tag Finder items (see below) as well. If I have a due date for a document, I want to see it from my organizer window.

For making my life sane and fast, Butler. (Quicksilver ALWAYS crashes on me, taking away drag'n'drop capabilities. Why am I the only with this?)

And the most obvious one for a guy who lives in text as much as possible and doesn't want to use databases that might corrupt and don't let me EASILY get at the data: The Finder.


That's my combination, it doesn't cost me a dime, it keeps my data mostly in text format so I can recover it if needed, and I carry the Newton with me all the time.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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