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.

Apple, Macs & OS X

DEVONthink: Integrated Information Manager

Version 1.9 of DEVONthink is scratching my information where it itches. Or something. Anyway, it's a cool app for managing lots of stuff. Read on...

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Sciral Consistency: Track Fuzzy Interval Tasks

Sciral Consistency lets you track repeating tasks using fuzzy intervals.

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Quicksilver: Setup & Troubleshooting

[n.b.: this post has been updated to reflect the release of version B32r2. --2004-11-06 15:35 PST]

Since there's new folks moving to Quicksilver all the time, I thought I'd post some more starter tips if you're following along here. If you have questions about stuff not working as described, doublecheck your setup and the tips below.

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Quicksilver: Me & My Arrow

O, Quicksilver, that little minx. The way she hides her functionality in coquettish little corners vexes and delights me. Did you know, for example, friends, how much you can do with Quicksilver and your modest arrow keys? Me neither. Til now.

So, quick review: once invoked, Quicksilver primarily uses the arrow keys to let you navigate through hierarchies and sets of matches. Up and down arrows let you surf sibling contents of a given directory or catalog, while the left and right arrows allow you to drill down and back up out of hierarchical levels, such as nested folders and the like. (Related tip: you can also surf up and down most any hierarchy using / and Shift-/)

All easy enough, right? But did you ever try clicking the right arrow key with an application selected? Well, you should.

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OSXCon apps

OSXCon | Merlin Mann

Applescpttdg_1Danny and I had a great time doing our talk yesterday at O’Reilly’s OSXCon. Met a bunch of great people and enjoyed the chance to hang with like-minded nerds. I love that people want to show me their squirrely productivity setups. Time management pr0n! Totally into it.

Our time for the session just flew by, so we didn’t have the time we would have liked to spend with all the apps. If you were there (or just like to play with OS X apps), here are links to all the things we talked about (or planned to talk about). If I left anything off or you have any questions, feel free to leave comments.

Thanks to Derrick and Vee for all their hard work, and thanks to everyone who showed up, asked questions, and just said hi. Stay in touch.

Also—since a bunch of folks had asked—the Finder replacement app you saw in the demos is Path Finder. It’s a terrific, super-functional app that adds tons of features to speed up your work flow.

TextMate projects: faking metadata

Wrote this long-winded post to the TextMate list, so I thought I’d repurpose it here. Just quick tips on adding metadata to your text files and—because I’m a dull and repetitive scold—using controlled vocabularies to keep your stuff searchable.

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Beautify Instiki (even more) with custom CSS

You probably already know about Instiki. It’s is a terrific, elegant, beautiful wiki that I personally use for half a dozen of my own projects. I’ll probably run a longer post on Instiki some time in the future, but I can especially recommend the OS X install for Mac users. If you have a server that can handle Ruby 1.8.1, I can equally recommend the regular Ruby install. The app is gorgeous and works swell either way.

One of my favorite things about Instiki is how attractive and simple it is to use (PHPWiki, you’ll always be my first love, but sometimes, you’re just too high-maintenance). Instiki even lets you apply your own custom style sheets without having to change any actual code (Dear Typepad: Please steal this idea. Love, Merlin.). Here’s a quick tip for adding your own styles to your Instiki wiki.

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Hot-rodding SideTrack for web browsing

Funny thing. I installed SideTrack primarily for its ability to emulate the “CTRL-click” (or “right-click”) on my one-button PowerBook. I tried it for a week, almost loved it and eventually disabled that one feature because it was driving me nuts (forever glancingly tapping the trackpad and getting contextual menus everywhere. Gaaah!). Well, the good news is that I love practically everything else about SideTrack and thought I’d share how I’m using it to hotrod my web surfing in particular.

So here’s screenshots of my setup, with notes where needed. Note that although I'm using Safari here, many of these bits should be even more applicable on Firefox, which generally allows more granular preferences control as well as more key bindings, I believe.

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TextMate parking lot

I can tell I’ll be spending a lot of the next few days exploring TextMate. In the interest of efficiency, I’ll park all my preliminary notes and “gee whiz” stuff in this post. I may do a fuller review/intro later, but I want to share what I’m learning since there’s so much interest in this app.

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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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

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This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »