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.

Technology for smarter ignoring

Cory Doctorow has a short piece in Internet Evolution called "The Future of Ignoring Things" that really resonated with me. Excerpt:

Take email: Endless engineer-hours are poured into stopping spam, but virtually no attention is paid to our interaction with our non-spam messages. Our mailer may strive to learn from our ratings what is and is not spam, but it expends practically no effort on figuring out which of the non-spam emails are important and which ones can be safely ignored, dropped into archival folders, or deleted unread...

Figuring out what you can afford to ignore in life is starting to seem like an art form to me. Since failure to filter incoming stuff properly over time has consequences way beyond annoyance, I'm starting to think that getting it right may be another one of those emerging knowledge worker skills.

It's definitely one I'm working on (and struggling with).

[via: BB]

cornell's picture

some thoughts on constructive forgetting

I once had a drum teacher (Afro-Cuban style, using drums like the djembe and ashiko) who, along with being a great player and drum builder, prided himself on his memory. I remember a time when he criticized people for writing down things like phone numbers, with the implication being people were lazy if they didn't work to memorize things like that.

This bothered me until I read Kerry Gleeson's book "The Personal Efficiency Program." In "Forget Remembering" he says:

Most people I speak with take a certain degree of pride in their ability to remember "everything" that needs to be done. It is a mental game they play. While that may have been okay at one time, the pace of today's work and home life has accelerated and the volume of activities we could or should keep up with has grown so much that it is impractical to expect to keep on top of 1,000 things to do. No doubt you do remember these things to do, but it may not be at the time it's most convenient or effective, such as three o'clock in the morning, when you sit up in bed and think, "Oh, I have to take care of ..." This constant thinking about, planning out, tracking everything you need to do - remembering everything you need to follow up on - simply overwhelms people.

Great stuff! More here, if anyone's interested: GTD: A tool for *forgetting*?




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. »