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.

Life Hacks

Applescript to "sync" iCal to your Hipster PDA


Mike McCamon offers a clever way to get just his task list from iCal printed onto index cards for his Hipster PDA. Applescript to the rescue:

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43F Podcast: A Phone Made of Human Ass

A Phone Made of Human Ass (mp3)

43folders.com - Everything--including this piece of crap phone--will eventually break. Prepare yourself by capturing what you want to be different next time. (3:55)

Rated...mmm...let's say "PG-13." Listen over at Odeo, and see a photo of the assy phone for yourself.

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Decision-making: Using Quicksilver to run long-term PMIs

I've mentioned before how much I dig the PMI tool for helping to make decisions. In a nutshell, it's a granular way to quantify all the likely good and bad things about a given decision, as well as the implications of making the change.

Typically you'd do a PMI at a sitting within a tabular program like Excel, and that's probably still the easiest and fastest way. But let's say there are things you just want to ruminate on for an indeterminate amount of time--low-impact changes that would still benefit from a large data set. You might try what I've started doing with Quicksilver and the mighty "Append to text file" command.

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43F Podcast: The Myth of Multi-tasking

The Myth of Multi-tasking (mp3)

43Folders.com - "Multi-taskers" are really just splitting their time and attention into smaller slices than you; no one can really do more than one thing at a time. (2:34)

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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:

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Can we learn from the proximate candy jar?

Science tackles candy nibbling: clear containers close by get patronized more often than opaque containers a bit further away.

Secretaries ate an average of 7.7 kisses each day when the candies were in clear containers on their desks; 4.6 when in opaque jars on the desk; 5.6 when in clear jars 6 feet away; and 3.1 when in opaque jars 6 feet away...

"Here's the golden lining: If we move food away from us, even 6 feet, we eat less and we overestimate how much we have eaten," the researchers concluded. "It may also work for healthier foods, such as raw fruits or vegetables. What makes the candy dish nutritionally dangerous might bring the fruit bowl back in vogue."

Sure, no duh, right? Put candy out and people eat it. Big whup. Well, maybe. But try processing this from a slightly different angle.

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NPR: Clive on "Interruption Science"

Technology forces us to juggle competing demands on our attention over the course of our workdays. Alex Chadwick speaks with New York Times Magazine contributor Clive Thompson about "interruption science," the study of the effect of disruptions on job performance.

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Recap: Overload and the interrupt-driven lifestyle

Clive's excellent article from Sunday's New Your Times Magazine has brought us a lot of new folks looking for ways to adapt to the overloaded, always-on, interrupt-driven world in which most of us are living. I've bubbled up a few older entries on these topics that you might find useful:

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Open Thread: How are you using tabs?

I live in browser tabs. Whether I'm in Safari or Firefox, I'm constantly sending links to a new tab (CMD-click in either app). It's something that most geeks take for granted but--I can tell you, I've seen the browser stats--there's still a lot of folks out there living in one Window. (*observes solemn moment of silence*)...My question to you is: how are you using tabs and tab sets?

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Tips from the Wiki for watching less TV

There's a really good, evolving page on the Wiki about tips for Watching Less TV. Some of the most immediately useful advice comes in the "Dealing with channel surfing" section:

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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. »