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.


The Missing iPhone To-Do App: Not Missed

I thought for sure the one thing that would nag me about the iPhone when I finally got one was its lack of a to-do list app. To my surprise though (and maybe it makes sense, as I'll explain), now that I have an iPhone I haven't felt the need for a to-do app at all. It's an egregious omission for most people to be sure, but for me it's turned out to be a non-issue. To understand why, I need to provide some context.

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Life Without a Laptop, Week 1

When the iPhone came out this summer, I was locked into a contract with another cell phone carrier, one that I couldn't escape on pain of a $200 surcharge. So I waited it out, and dreamed my little iPhone dreams all alone with my Plain Jane cell phone and suddenly archaic-looking iPod Video.

To be honest, I didn't really need an iPhone. I work from home, rarely more than a few yards from a computer (we had two laptops and a Mini in our house at the time). I don't travel for work, and when we go on vacation, I never bring work with me anyway. When I do leave the house for extended periods of time during the day, running errands, taking appointments, etc, it doesn't matter because I'd trained myself to plan ahead for that situation. Besides, I never get any messages that can't wait a couple hours until I get back to a computer anyway.

I was amazingly good at rationalizing away my need for an iPhone, but I still wanted one ever so badly. So last week I created a way out.

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Vox Pop: What's on your iPhone app wish list?

Now that Steve has announced there's an iPhone/iPod Touch SDK coming in February, what's at the top of your application wish list?

The Question to You

What’s the first application for iPhone you’d like to see? Where’s the biggest hole in your iPhone world right now?

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Dansays: Put all your customer service numbers into Address Book

This morning, like a lot of other people, I was locked out of using my PayPal debit card while the site (and apparently its glass-jawed transaction processing network) took a total dirtnap. So it goes. That’s only indirectly the point of this post (although I did kind of feel like opening a “Can of Cory” on The Pal).

Point is, my pal dansays left a great comment on my whiny Flickr post laying out why he's put all the customer service numbers of products and sites he uses right into his Apple Address Book. Great advice that I'll be taking this weekend:

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Google releases iPhone-friendly gCal

Updates from Google Docs and Google Calendar

Whoa, check this out:

The Google Calendar team, along with the mobile team, released an upgrade to the Calendar interface on the iPhone. It is now tailored for the iPhone, and you can now see your different calendars in distinctive colors. You can see the new Calendar interface by going to http://calendar.google.com on your iPhone browser.

As an iPhone user and recent convert to gCal: Daddy like.

TOPICS: Apple, gCal, Google, iPhone

gDocs and Apple would taste great together

I've become an ardent Google Documents fan over the past few months -- especially as its support for Safari has improved (didn't say perfect; just improved). I use it for collaborating with clients and 43f guest authors, as well as for managing small projects and keeping various small teams organized. Personally, I find it simpler than a wiki and a lot more powerful than using a static .doc.

My favorite use right now is to use a single shared document as a common space that 4 or 5 people have access to and that they can use to give each other to-dos, ask questions, etc. I know stuff like Basecamp does this better and certainly with more sophisticated features, but I'm really attracted to the simplicity of the one-document approach -- especially for informal, remote teams.

I think my gDocs cincher was the first time that it occurred to me to see if I could even look at my documents on my iPhone; I was gob-smacked to see that it actually worked. Obviously it's not optimal for doing lots of editing, but you can see and perfunctorily edit your documents without a laptop, and that's just pretty mind-blowing to me.

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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.

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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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. »

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This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »