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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.


43f Interview: GTD's David Allen on the "Someday Maybe" list

Productive Talk #03: Someday Maybe

43 Folders and The David Allen Company present the third in a series of conversations that David and Merlin recently had about Getting Things Done.

In this episode, David and Merlin talk about how people use their someday/maybe list, as well as look at some ways you can make best use of your project list and support materials. David also makes a case for capturing 100% of whatever has your attention. (10:22)

Grab the MP3, learn more at Odeo.com, or just listen from here:

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Introducing "Productive Talk" Podcast: 43 Folders meets David Allen

Sample from 'Productive Talk: 43 Folders Meets David Allen'

Starting tomorrow (Tuesday), 43 Folders and the David Allen Company will be bringing you "_Productive Talk_," a joint podcast series featuring audio of conversations that David and I had during a recent visit near his offices in Ojai.

This was a lot of fun for me to do, especially since it gave me the chance to ask David many of the questions that you and I have both had about Getting Things Done -- so, as you might expect, there's a heavy focus on implementation and best practices, as well as how to troubleshoot problems in your own GTD system. Lot of good stuff that I think you'll enjoy and will learn from as much as I did.

Subscribers to the 43 Folders Podcast (subscribe now) will receive new episodes of "Productive Talk" automatically, although you can also just stop by either 43 Folders or The David Allen Company's site for all the latest web-based updates.

Tomorrow's inaugural episode is on procrastination, with more episodes coming once a week or so for the next few weeks.

Here's a little sample from an upcoming episode to give you a taste of what's coming:

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The Tu Lan Files: Interviewed by Brian Oberkirch

An Interview with Merlin Mann at Like It Matters

Wow, I completely forgot about this. One day, when my pal Brian was in town, we hit Tu Lan and hung out for an hour or so talking about all kinds of stuff related to 43F, productivity, and how to blow lots of time trying too hard to be productive.

Given the noise level at the restaurant, I'm amazed he could transcribe the conversation, but here you go. Considering I was high on vietnamese food, there's actually some pretty good bits in there:

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Interviewing with "The Sawatsky Method"

I enjoyed this recent ATC story about the interview skills guru, John Sawatsky. "The Sawatsky Method" contrasts sharply with the confrontational attack dog methods most of us associate with people like Mike Wallace:

Sawatsky's rules are simple, but he says they get broken all the time: Don't ask yes-or-no questions, keep questions short and avoid charged words, which can distract people. In his seminar, Sawatsky points to Mike Wallace of CBS' 60 Minutes and CNN's Larry King as examples to avoid. In Sawatsky's illustrative clips, King favors leading questions that generate curt answers, while Wallace's rapid patter fails to get a subject to speak candidly.

More on Sawatsky here and here, including this gem:

The best questions, argues Sawatsky, are like clean windows. "A clean window gives a perfect view. When we ask a question, we want to get a window into the source. When you put values in your questions, it's like putting dirt on the window. It obscures the view of the lake beyond. People shouldn't notice the question in an interview, just like they shouldn't notice the window. They should be looking at the lake."

Even for non-journalists, if you need to conduct the occasional interview, Sawatsky's got some golden tips.

What would you ask David Allen?

Forums - Ask David any question

Over on the DavidCo forum, Lisa asks:

If you could ask David Allen any one question about GTD, what would it be?

It mightn't surprise you to know I'd want to learn a bit more implementation and about how David sees contexts working best for people whose work mostly happens in one place (recently).

But I'm especially curious to hear what you guys would ask, given the chance. What would you ask David Allen about Getting Things Done?




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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