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.


Merlin speaks @ BayCHI, Tuesday in Palo Alto

Tuesday, March 14, 2006: Monthly Program (BayCHI)

Just a reminder that tomorrow night I'll be speaking at the monthly BayCHI meeting down in Palo Alto.

OSAF's estimable Mimi Yin and I will be talking about Getting Things Done partly in theory but mostly in practice; Mimi will focus on how Chandler is being developed to support GTD practices, and I'll be addressing the ways behavioral change can help enhance any tools and methodologies we've chosen to improve productivity.

As far as I can tell, it's free and open to the public, so if you're in the 'hood, stop by and watch me stammer along in front of a really, really smart audience. Talk about intimidating.

Edit 2006-03-15 07:51:15: Had a great time last night. Very fun and lively crowd. Here's my slides, if you like that sort of thing.

Apparently there will be a podcast of Mimi and my talks forthcoming, so keep an eye out. (Thanks, Steve!)

read more »

Hawk Wings: Me on Mail.app

Hawk Wings » Blog Archive » Talking Mail.app: Merlin Mann

Tim Gaden's been doing a series on various Mac folks' usage of Mail.app. He's talked with folks like John Gruber, Mathowie, and Ethan Schoonover about what they like (and don't) about OS X's default mail application, as well as the ways they'd like to see it improve.

Tim was kind enough to ask me as well, and the results are up at Hawk Wings:

read more »

Make #5 is out; "Smarter To-do" posts still available

Make Volume 05: Science

Make no. 5Another quarter, another sexy-ass issue of O'Reilly's Make Magazine. And that means another Life Hacks column from Danny and me. (Amazon.com link)

This time around, I laced-up for a knockdown, drag-out, one round intro to "Building a Smarter To-do List." The two posts from which it was inspired are still two of the most popular items on 43F.

While you can argue for the flavor and approach to task management that best suits your style, it's hard to disparage the benefits that come from getting task commitments out of your brain and captured in a consistent location. The Life Hacks research showed that most all of the alpha geeks had a "todo.txt" sitting in their home directory -- often comprising thousands of items covering every aspect of the geek's life, both past and future. In this case, we're focusing more on the to-do list as tactical game plan; until you get really good at this stuff, try thinking of your to-do list as the evolving strategy for focusing your effort and attention in the immediate future.

If you're saving your pennies, or liked the column and would like to learn more, you might want to cruise back through the original posts from last September. I still really like how they turned out --- and I actually do re-read them myself when I'm having trouble getting my stuff together. Yes, I'm actually that unproductive; I have to look to myself for advice. Pathetic, really.

Anyway, reintroduced here, "The Smarter To-do List":

read more »

Board highlights, 2006-01-31

Some of my favorite recent threads on the 43 Folders Messageboard are -- perhaps not surprisingly -- about Getting Things Done. Stop by and join the Talmudic discussions of everybody's favorite productivity system.

read more »

43F Board upgraded (big time)

43 Folders Board - Powered by vBulletin

This is just a quick programming note to let you know that the 43 Folders Board just got a posh new upgrade to vBulletin. In addition to being much easier for me to maintain (and much more scaleable, searchable, AJAX-inated, blah blah blah), vBulletin's also got some spiffy features for users. For example, it should now be much easier to navigate threads and keep track of where new and interesting stuff is happening. (Like it needs my endorsement, I'll just say vBulletin is far and away the most powerful and feature-rich messageboard I've used).

read more »
TOPICS: Admin, Elsewhere

My kGTD setup

Related to today's earlier post, a number of people have written over the past few weeks with curiosity about kGTD ("Is it worth buying OmniOutliner Pro?" "Is it worth buying a Mac?" "Will I be able to vanquish all foes?"). While I'm not prepared to do a major sales presentation, I am happy to oblige the folks who wanted to see how I've set mine up. Also gives you a little window into my current contexts (as well as my atrocious personal habits).

Screenshot here (best viewed full size): comments and questions will be entertained.

read more »

Paul Ford: Distraction commentary on NPR's "All Things Considered"

NPR : Distracted No More: Going Back to Basics

Paul Ford's guest post from last month evolved into an excellent commentary on tonight's All Things Considered. Go Paul.

Distracted No More: Going Back to Basics

by Paul Ford

Commentator Paul Ford has a solution for avoiding the endless distractions a computer provides.

read more »

Tinderbox Weekend talk: Slides and links posted

Tinderbox Weekend 2005

I've posted the slides from my talk today at Tinderbox Weekend along with links to some of the posts and cool applications I mentioned.

Thanks to all the participants for great questions and conversations.

Make #4 now available

MAKE: Technology on Your Time, Volume 04

O'Reilly's quarterly Make Magazine Volume #4 is now available for order from Amazon.com.

As ever it will be filled with new ways to turn your doorbell into a death laser or make a functional hovercraft from a Mr. Coffee or even remove the DRM from a six-pack of Mr. Pibb. It's all in there, along with the usual "Life Hacks" column from Danny and me.

This month's column features our long-anticipated showdown/throwdown on digital vs. paper. Two step into the octagon and only one, One, ONE will step out. (Well, actually: after realizing it's all been a simple misunderstanding, they shake hands and agree to work quietly on separate projects.)

An excerpt:

read more »

43F Podcast: Fake Mail, 2005-10-19

43 Folders: Fake Mail, 2005-10-19 (mp3)

43folders.com - A man from Florida wonders how to remember things the '43 Folders' way. (2:19)

read more »



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. »