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.


Open Thread: Whither Blackberry? What's your fallback plan?

BlackBerry shutdown closer after ruling - U.S. Business - MSNBC.com

RICHMOND, Va. - A federal judge has rejected an effort by BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. to settle a patent case and moved a step closer to reissuing an injunction that threatens the device’s e-mail service in the United States.

RIM said in a statement that it has been preparing technology that would keep its service running in the U.S., where most of its 3.65 million BlackBerry customers are based.

[ via Slashdot ]

Damn, this could be pretty big stuff, eh?

I'm guessing at least a few of you out there are rabid Blackberry users -- I've never even used one myself, but I have friends who live on theirs. So, I'm curious: How do you feel about the possibility of losing Blackberry service? If it went away today, what would you use instead? Do you have a fallback plan?

Five email tics I'd love for you to lose

For the love of God, people; can we get the word out on these? Format courtesy of my other site.

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Open Thread: The value and quality of email at work

How much time are you spending on email at work? Is it bringing the company and you lots of value?

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Researcher: "Bursty" email responses link us to Darwin and Einstein

New Scientist Breaking News - Email and letter writing share fundamental pattern

New Scientist article suggests contemporary patterns for answering email may not differ much from the way people had previously dealt with paper correspondence—we tend to respond in "bursty" patterns that give high priority and fast turnaround to important stuff while allowing the less pressing stuff to languish for weeks. The basis for comparison? The letters of Einstein and Darwin:

The pattern could reflect some basic biological encoding that shows up in everything from humans at work to birds foraging for food, according to Albert-László Barabási, a physicist at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, US...

Yet despite the differences between electronic communication and paper, the same pattern held up – both [Darwin and Einstein] answered most of their mail quickly, within about 10 days. But some of the answers took months or even years to send (Nature, vol 437, p 1251). "From the scientific point of view, the interesting thing is that there is a fundamental way that we do things," Barabási says.

I wonder if they also had to sift through 90% unsolicited ads for mens' patent medicines and daugerrotypes of Ladies Having Gone Wild.

Here's the home page for Albert-László Barabási and his book, Linked: The New Science of Networks.

[ Thanks, Mr. Kottke ]

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Mark F: Have Mail.app autoforward everything to Gmail

Boing Boing: Archiving email on Gmail

Mark at Boing Boing shares a great, no-brainer tip for making sure all your mail gets backed up to Gmail automagically.

I asked people to resend certain emails, including Charles Platt, and he gave me this great tip: set up a rule in Mac's Mail.app to send a copy of every email that goes in and out over to a Gmail account. That way, you'll always have a searchable archive of all the email you send and receive.

And, of course, I heartily second Mark's love for the indispensable SuperDuper.

MailTemplate is back!


This is terrific news. One of my must-have Mac tools has been MailTemplate which gives you a huge amount of flexibility in creating template/boilerplate responses to frequent email messages. Frankly, I use about 30 or so templates that cover 80% of my repeat mail issues, and I simply couldn't get through the day without it.

Unfortunately MailTemplate languished a bit while its talented developer wrangled some legal stuff. Well, now it's been acquired, it's back, and you should shoot straight over and download yourself a copy. Available for both Mail.app and Entourage. $14.95. Licenses start selling on 10/14.

Marc Eisenstadt: Paying the price of email overload

Eight years of email stats, pass 1

A thought-provoking analysis on the time and attention that a growing pile of email commands. Based on looking at several years worth of archived messages. The hockey-stick spam trends ends up seeming less significant than the raw volume of extra non-email work that email generates.

Marc Eisenstadt says:

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Writing sensible email messages

Writing sensible email messages

As we've seen before, getting your inbound email under control will give you a huge productivity boost, but what about all the emails you send? If you want to be a good email citizen and ensure the kind of results you're looking for, you'll need to craft messages that are concise and easy to deal with.

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Michael Hyatt: Great trick for tracking delegated emails

Tracking delegated emails + invoking Lazy Web for an Entourage Applescript

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GTD-style email in Thunderbird

Clever way to use Thunderbird’s excellent (semantic) flags to implement at GTD-inspired email triage system

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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

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. »