43 Folders

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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.

Apple, Macs & OS X

"Perfect" iTunes equalizer setting


I noticed a lot of people are favoriting this screen grab of the "Perfect" iTunes equalizer setting (I posted it to Flickr, so I won't keep forgetting it when I need it).


Ever since I saw this in that Mac OS X Hints article, I've used it as my default equalizer in iTunes -- it seems to give a nice pop to MP3 tracks in particular.

HOWTO and specific settings from the original article:

Open the equalizer, and from the pop-up menu, select "Make Preset." Call it "Perfect," because it is, and set the following levels, from left to right (skip the Preamp section):

db +3, +6, +9, +7, +6, +5, +7, +9, +11, +8 db

Purging info-poor entries from Address Book

You may share my Address Book pollution problem — having too many orphaned names that got scribbled on a PDA or were manually added but never fleshed out (like: 10 years ago!).

Here’s a really stupidly useful Smart Group for Address Book that helps identify entries without any real information attached to them.

read more »

How to use a single Mail.app Archive (without losing your mind)

For some time now, I've encouraged people to consider abandoning the byzantine folder structure that most of us used to employ to "organize" our email. In fact, this kind of functional simplicity is something I've started to think of as a pillar of Inbox Zero.

In addition to helping explode the myth that most email messages have any life once their actions have been liberated, it's a healthy habit to actively remove any unnecessary systematic fiddling that doesn't handsomely pay back the effort that habitually goes into it.

And, as ever: yes, some of you -- because of the incredibly unique nature of your work in an office -- will need to have 500 taxonomic mailboxes, a monthly archives by project, a person-by-person collection going back to 1983, and a multiply-copied CC'd team archives, coded by color and identified with helpful icons you found on Gopher in 1992. Sure, why not. If that's working for you, by all means, keep fiddling and filing.

But, if you're ready to admit you might be turning a crank that's potentially not hooked-up to anything, here's my four favorite ways to leverage the intelligence of Mail.app for drop-dead simple archiving.

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TaskPaper: Simple, text-based task management


Jesse Grosjean from Hog Bay Software has just begun sharing the first releases of a new task-tracking app which adopts a refreshingly stripped-down approach to managing action on a Mac. TaskPaper starts with the simplicity of text files then adds just a bit of Mac magic to make it both smarter and prettier, but without giving up portability and ease of use. Jesse says:

TaskPaper makes it easy to create a list of your projects and their tasks so that you always know what needs to be done. It's simple to reorganize the list, create new items, mark items as done, and delete items that your finished with. You can also assign contexts (such as "home", "office", or "car") to your tasks so that you can later generate lists of all tasks assigned to a specific context.

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Saft for Safari on MacBreak Minute

h a o l i [Saft]

In the latest episode of MacBreak Minute (subscribe), I talked about a Safari plug-in I like a lot called Saft.

 MacBreak (iPod video) - MacBreak 84: Minute: Saft

Although my short demo only covers bookmarking a set of tabs, Saft does way more. To quote the lovely and talented Jon Hicks:

Saft is quite simply the vital extension for Safari. Its started life as a way of getting full screen/kiosk mode, but has grown to include many other features as well. Hao Li, the developer, is regularly adding new features, and updates are always available soon after a main Safari update.

Saft for Tiger is $12.00 and can be ordered online.

rooSwitch for easy, restorable application profiles

rooSwitch - Shuffle Your Settings Around

When you're testing a new version of an application (or just being a little paranoid), it can be a pain to deal with protecting your "real" data from being corrupted or overwritten. While something like SuperDuper is priceless for backing up a drive to a disk image, you want something that's not only lighter in weight, but that is smart enough to deal just with the settings associated with a single program. That's where roobaSoft's rooSwitch comes in.

rooSwitch's smarts come in being able to recognize which Preferences, Application Support folders, and related files belong to an app's settings (but, not -- it should be noted -- its documents), so that you can then backup, switch, and restore a group of settings whenever you need to. This can be quite a lifesaver.

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Macworld: Mac Gems Picks

Macworld Feature: Connect with the world

Macworld Magazine asked me to pick out a few of my Mac Gems, and I was happy to respond with four favorites.

Default Folder, for example, is a PreferencePane that I've used and loved since Christ was a corporal:

Default Folder X (****½)

You can tell Default Folder X is a classic because you start missing it the second you sit down at a Mac that doesn’t have it installed. It reduces the tedium of a handful of annoying dialog-box tasks, and it’s worth its price solely for the ability to set a per-program default location.

Quicksilver proxies for fast, easy printing

Faster Printing with Quicksilver

Mark Fisher shares terrific tips on how to use Quicksilver Proxies for faster printing:

Use this method when you want to print files that are on the Desktop or are all in the same folder.

  1. Select the files that you wish to print by Command clicking them.
  2. >
  3. Invoke Quicksilver (by default, ?–SPACE)
  4. >
  5. Type the name of your printer until QS displays its name e.g. “Lexmark”
  6. >
  7. Hit the TAB key to select the next pane.
  8. >
  9. Type “open” and select “Open File”. >
    • I recommend making “Open File” the default action for when you type “open”. You can do this by Ctrl clicking “Open File” and selecting ‘Set as Default for “OPEN”.’
    • >
  10. >
  11. Hit TAB to select the next pane.
  12. >
  13. Type “current” until QS displays ‘Current Selection’.
  14. >
  15. Hit ENTER.
  16. >
  17. Your files should start printing.
  18. >

Also check out how to use the "comma trick" to print multiple files. Great stuff.

After the jump is the video for the episode of The Merlin Show where I talked about using proxies to access application menus.

read more »

MacBreak Minute: LiteSwitch X

In the latest episode of MacBreak Minutes (subscribe), I talked about a favorite PreferencePane of mine called LiteSwitch.

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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