Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.
Merlin Mann | Oct 5 2004
A confession. I’ve been reloading this page every 3 minutes for the last week. I’m totally fixated on obtaining a copy of TextMate and have already mentally ascribed it powers that include many of the miracles described by Saints Matthew and Mark. Setting my saliva and expectations aside for just a moment, this has me thinking a bit about my “waiting on” list and just how effectively (or not) I’m using it to get things done.read more »
Merlin Mann | Oct 4 2004
Danny O'Brien and I will be presenting at O'Reilly's OS X Con in Santa Clara this month. “Life Hacks” and “43 Folders” taste great together.read more »
Merlin Mann | Oct 1 2004
Wow. Crazy month. One hundred fifty thousand unique nerds stopped by here in the last 30 days. That’s just nuts. God knows I’d love to give most of you a peck on the cheek for it, but for now I’ll just say “thanks a million.”
So to concurrently celebrate our one month annniversary, 400th Google Group member, and the soft launch of our sweet 43F Schwag Room, I’m doing what any productive person would do: I’m taking the weekend off.
Still I wanted to leave you with something, so here’s another quick batch of reamaindered tips to play with and cogitate upon. Have fun, enjoy your weekend, and see you kids on Monday.read more »
Merlin Mann | Sep 29 2004
From time to time in the middle of an interruption-driven week, I’ll find myself in the weeds and struggling to think where I should park an item. My brain speaks informally with itself:
I’ve finally learned to diagnose these odd dialogues as a symptom of a simple problem: I’m mired in seemingly important details, I’ve fallen out of touch with my “stuff," and, damn it, I need to do a quick mini-review.read more »
Merlin Mann | Sep 27 2004
"Next actions" are the cornerstone of Getting Things Done. In the same way that you can't have a great band with a shitty drummer, you'll never master GTD until you get yout next actions straightened out.
I’ve noticed that there are often items on my “next actions” list that hang around a lot longer than they should. I scan and rescan and sort and add and delete, but there’s always a few stragglers who hang out there for a week or more. Eventually this starts to vex me, and I try to debug why things aren’t getting done.
For myself, I’ve discovered that most of the items are just in the wrong place, or, if you prefer, in the wrong time or context. It can be instructive to pull each straggler out of line and try to figure out whether he really belongs someplace else. Here’s my usual suspects, ordered by how often each is the culprit behind my unintentional slack.read more »
Merlin Mann | Sep 20 2004
Anil's post was swell, and I think I agree with almost all of it (esp. the meeting-up part), but it did freak me out just a little. So, I think it's time to do our exercise that helps keep the line between reality and fantasy a little less blurry; I'm glad everybody's digging the site and checking out the GTD book, but I feel like I should clear a few things up before this gets too weird.
First off, to paraphrase Clarke’s Third Law, “Any sufficiently advanced system that makes you re-examine your basic assumptions is indistinguishable from a cult.” GTD makes people enthusiastic because it satisfies their lizard brain and gives them an outlet for turning anxiety into action. There are no robes, no secret handshakes, and the most important article in the liturgy is arguably a modestly priced Label Maker. People just get into it because it freaking works, and because it returns a modicum of control in a world where handles on life can be slippery to grasp. That’s really it, I swear.read more »
Merlin Mann | Sep 20 2004
I've started keeping all my one-page, per-project support files in the same folder as my GTD lists. I still use “@” as prefix for contextual lists, but now I use “&” to indicate a support file.read more »
Merlin Mann | Sep 19 2004
Comparing GTD with concepts in programming, especially WRT prioritization.read more »
Merlin Mann | Sep 17 2004
Just a GTD quickie, but something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.
David Allen defines next actions as “the next physical, visible activity that needs to be engaged in, in order to move the current reality toward completion.” [ch. 2, pg. 34; emphasis mine]. I’m finally realizing that this subtle change in thinking can have profound effects on the way you look at the stuff in your life.read more »
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