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.


Gmail Outage or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love GTD Contexts

My Toot about the Gmail outage

Like thousands of people yesterday, I was annoyed and inconvenienced by Gmail's unexpected 2-hour dirtnap. But, wow. Apparently, it just irrevocably hijacked the whole day for some folks. And even sent a few into a Dark Afternoon of the Soul that most 19th-century Romantic poets would have found a bit histrionic.

Now, as a user, polemicist, and nemesis of Apple's MobileMe problems, I'm not here to criticize the frustration about a broken cloud service; I know that feeling all too well and have the dents in my wall to prove it. But, I do want to talk about some strategies you can choose to employ whenever a change in access to anything unexpectedly rearranges your day. Because things do break, and there's no reason you have to break with them.

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Gmail IMAP Settings, Straight from the Google's Mouth

This may not count as a real find since it's on the Google's own support site, but this list of recommended IMAP client settings is interesting in that it differs from many of the Gmail IMAP how-to's I've seen so far.

Regarding Sent mail:

Do NOT save sent messages on the server. If your client is sending mail through Gmail's SMTP server, your sent messages will be automatically copied to the [Gmail]/Sent Mail folder.

...and Junk folders:

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Why don't you just shut up?

I subscribe to a lot of email discussion lists for the various secret yet high profile projects to which I contribute. Most of these lists are active, with five to ten new threads every day, each consisting of several messages. Even when the lists stay on topic, most of the time, my contribution to (and interested in) the conversation only lasts a few messages.

This creates a problem for me, as I am a neurotic email checker. Constantly seeing a stream of new messages that I am not reading makes me feel stressed out. I do not feel like I have to read them, but I do feel like SOMETHING must be done. But I cannot silence the threads by reading the messages, or by deleting them -- as soon as a new message comes in, the thread will be back, bolding up my inbox again.

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TOPICS: Email, gmail, inbox, mute



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. »