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

Apple, Macs & OS X

MacBreak Weekly 47: Merlin's picks

MacBreak Weekly 47: That's Our Shooby!

Hosts: Leo Laporte, Merlin Mann, Scott Bourne, and Alex Lindsay

Universal challenges iTunes, iPhone hacks, and our software picks of the week...

Here's a direct MP3 download of MBW 47.

This time we did our usual weekly software picks, but I also got to choose our Audible.com audiobook of the week. Can you guess what it is?

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Vox Pop: To-dos on your iPhone?

As noted by John Gruber and Living with Mac, the iPhone doesn't currently appear to have built-in support for "to-dos" -- even the modest task support that's built-in to OS X's iCal. :-(

While this is difficult for me to understand (I know it's something I'd expect in even a Gen 1 smart phone), it's cool to see that web- and Mac-based developers are stepping up to the plate in the absence.

A few of the apps I've seen so far (and in varying states of reality and vapor):

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Merlin on MacBreak Weekly: iPhone Release Show

MacBreak Weekly 46: iDay


Hosts: Leo Laporte, Merlin Mann, Scott Bourne, and Alex Lindsay >


iPhones in hand our MacBreak quartet gives you their first impressions of the latest from Apple...

Here's a direct MP3 download of MBW 46.

Believe it or not, this week's episode was about Apple's iPhone. Yes, the iPhone. I know: I was surprised, too.

Also, we shot a quick MacBreak (video) on Thursday night where we visited with people queued up outside the Stockton St. store here in SF. I chatted with a bohemian clown, an expensive-looking video camera, and a man from Gizmodo who had a webcam attached to his head. Just another Thursday in Union Square.

Anyhow, the iPhone is out, it's pretty, and lots of people are buying them. For further coverage of the iPhone and the experiences of its excited new users, kindly visit the entire internet.

Michael Buffington: iGTD + Quicksilver + subversion

by Michael Buffington

This is the second entry in a multipart series about my recent obsessive love affair with GTD, the iGTD application and Quicksilver.

In the last entry I put the emphasis on getting my tasks written down quickly and out of my focus into a system I could trust. I could choose to spend some time later to review my tasks and do what I like to call "iGTD gardening", where I check up on all my projects and do a bit of weeding of duplicate or irrelevant tasks, and fortify those tasks with whatever information comes to mind as I'm looking at them.

Since I'm now in the habit of pushing new tasks to iGTD and immediately forgetting about them I have the refreshing ability to work on a task without ever thinking about anything else. iGTD then becomes my set of instructions to follow when I need guidance, and if I've tended my task garden well, it's a rich set of instructions with a lot of tedious thinking already finished.

This system works out alarmingly well until you're possessed by SSD (severe stupidity disorder) and delete your iGTD database without even a whiff of lingering vapors. Immediately you'll be consumed by a profound and unshakable dread as you realize your tether has been severed from the mother ship and you begin to drift into outer space, your Tang to be divided up amongst your colleagues (even the ones you loathe).

Luckily for most of us, iGTD makes database backups upon starting up the iGTD app and for a couple of other events, and luckier still, most of us don't suffer from SSD very often.

But I often do, and don't leave anything to chance.

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MacBreak Weekly 45; iPhone release night; Quicksilver mouse triggers

MacBreak Weekly 45: Talk Time


Hosts: Leo Laporte, Merlin Mann, Scott Bourne, and Alex Lindsay


iPhone gets a better battery and screen, MacGPS rumors, and Safari holes...

Here's a direct MP3 download of MBW 45.

Gotta tell you: I'm really excited about the imminent arrival of the iPhone for an unconventional reason: the possibility that we can eventualy stop talking about the iPhone. (sigh)

Anyway. Two things related to this episode:

  1. If we can scare up a video jockey, I'll be at the Stockton St. store here in SF next Friday to shoot some stuff about that evening's iPhone release for MacBreak. Maybe interviewing people in line; who knows?
  2. My tip of the week in this episode is a very cool Quicksilver trick called mouse dragged triggers. Explaining how it works is -- as you'll hear -- difficult, to say the least. So, herewith, I present my favorite tutorial on the topic, from the lovely and talented Dan Dickinson. He also has some great ideas for what to do with the trick:
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43f Feature: Michael Buffington's "How I use iGTD"

Michael Buffington is a pal of mine who's a talented developer and all-around swell fellow. I got to work with him a bit on the Stikkit project and, in some of our offline talks on productivity stuff, I was intrigued to learn about some of his ninja geek skillz.

I asked Michael to write up a series on some of his favorite tricks to get his stuff done, and he kindly obliged. Here's part one.


How I use iGTD

by Michael Buffington

This is the first part in a multipart series about using iGTD with Quicksilver and how it's changed my life, allowed me to grow hair where I never thought it possible, and more importantly, spend more quality time with my children (who are, as you might know, super humans with indescribable special abilities).

I'm a recent and somewhat enthusiastic convert to GTD. I have had the good fortune of starting to manage my digital life with GTD the same day Merlin first mentioned a great application for OS X called iGTD.

I have to admit though that I'm not a very hard core GTD follower yet. The most important parts of GTD for me are getting my tasks out of my head the moment they pop into existence, and putting them into some sort of system I can trust. iGTD allows me to do exactly that in a very intuitive way, but if I'm having a good day I only ever bring iGTD into focus when I'm not sure what's next on my list.

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MacBreak Weekly: WWDC Special Edition

MacBreak Weekly 44: WWDC Deconstructed


Hosts: Leo Laporte, Merlin Mann, Scott Bourne, Andy Ihnatko, and John Gruber


We run down the WWDC announcements, and John Gruber explains why Safari for Windows makes sense...

Here's a direct MP3 download of MBW 44.

Comments are open for your own thoughts on the WWDC keynote.

OmniFocus in SF, WWDC

The Omni Mouth » OmniFocus demo at the San Francisco Apple Store

My peeps at OmniGroup mentioned this, so I'll slide it in as well. I'll be appearing with my OmniBrethren at the Stockton Street Apple store on Thursday June 21st to demo OmniFocus. Huzzah:

[Merlin will] be talking about productivity tips in general and discussing how OmniFocus fits in his workflow, so it should be more fun and interesting than your basic software demo. You should definitely come by and say howdy.

Be there.

Second, I heartily second Linda's suggestion that you email (omnifocus-wwdc at omnigroup dot com) if you're interested in doing an informal OF meet-up at WWDC.

If you don't come, Ken and I will have to sit there and stare at each other and maybe talk about D&D. Please, don't make us talk about D&D.

Update 2007-06-11 09:32:34 - OmniFocus at WWDC is scheduled. According to a recent Message of the Day in the OmniFocus beta:

We'd like to invite anyone attending WWDC to join Ethan Schoonover, Merlin Mann, and the OmniFocus development team for an informal gathering on Wednesday evening. We'll be meeting from 6:15pm-7:15pm in the "Commonwealth Room" "Olympic Room" on the 2nd floor at the Westin Hotel, one block from Moscone. (Please note the change in venue!)

This should be a lot of fun. If we can wangle A/V equipment. we'll do a demo of the latest version or OF, plus we'll be available to answer any questions about OmniFocus and just generally hang out.

Nota bene: I believe that this is for WWDC pass holders only. So I apologize in advance if there's an iPortcullis in place, and really encourage you to come to the event at the Apple Store next week if you're around.

Update 2007-06-12 23:24:49: Note room change above. We're now in the larger "Olympic Room."

Getting ready for OmniFocus

(Disclosure: I am a contributor to the OmniFocus project)

According to OmniGroup, about 2,500 people are now participating in the "sneaky peak" beta of OmniFocus, and new folks will continue to be added as capacity for support allows. But even if you're not yet using the app and are just waiting to get your hands on a finished version, it's not too early to start thinking about making a smooth transition from wherever you are now.

Moving your world of action into a new application is like moving into a new house (and can be almost as stressful). This is your chance to throw away crap, rethink how you've been doing things, and just give yourself a fresh start. So before you ever fire up OmniFocus for that first time, do yourself a favor and get sorted out with your current system first. Believe me, you're much more likely to handle this well before the temptation of having the app in your hands sends you diving into using it full-time.

In short, I recommend you start by conducting a thorough review that's focused on bringing all your tasks and projects up to date and in line with reality.

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New iPhone ad: Release on June 29th

iPhone will be released on June 29th. Here's the ad from tonight's 60 Minutes.

(added a better version of the video, via Gizmodo

[Original news via: iPhone: yours on June 29th - Engadget]

Added 2007-06-03 16:48:46: Commenting on the Engadget story, Jake points to three new iPhone commercials on Apple's site. Check out "Never Been an iPod." Lovely.

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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