Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.
Merlin Mann | Jun 6 2006
Paul Stamatiou lays out some of the ways his Mac helps him be more productive.
Paul's hit parade includes:
Merlin Mann | Jun 5 2006
Related to "Thanks. No." and email filtering, I wonder how hard it would be for Mail.app, etc. to have a rule by which messages with more than n recipients in the "To:" line could be flagged for (depending on your preferences and courage) filtering, auto-archiving, or deletion. Maybe via AppleScript?
I've heard from several friends who filter all non-work email for which they aren't the exclusive "To:" recipient, but it would be handy to have some flexibility in what your own magic number is -- plus of course what you'd then do with emails that exceed your limit would be up to you.
But in an edge case, for example, if I get an email that went to [>=90 TO: recipients] and [<=25%] of the recipients were in my Address Book, the message would be flagged as "possible friend spam." (And, yes, I was once on a "Hey, this is funny" list that went to 96 people multiple times each day. Good times.)
So, any thoughts? Bonus points if it's a rule that's easy for non-geeks to recreate in GUI apps like Mail.app, Entourage, and Outlook, etc. Comments open for brainstorming.
Merlin Mann | May 17 2006
I think Deane's insights on procrastination and programming might actually be even more true of writer's block and for many of the same reasons. But perhaps unlike coding, the gestation period of a writing project almost always benefits from a series of very small starts.
While there are dozens of tricks for psyching yourself out of a perceived writing slump, you eventually learn that blocks are sometimes there for a theoretically plausible reason -- because you really haven't figured out what you're trying to say yet, but suffer crippling anxiety and dread about even committing the "shitty first draft." So, as with the programming example, your brain beats itself up for being such a laggard and you may stay locked in creativity-sapping inaction. But the truth is you're probably working on it already. The only way to find out is to start someplace. Anyplace.
As Neil Fiore wisely points out in his excellent book, The Now Habit, we usually have more than enough information to just start most any job. Don't begin by fussing about perfection or the "right" place to start, just start. You can get help midwifing the process through tools like outlines, mind maps, or talking to a duck.
But, if you've truly procrastinated even getting to the point where proper gestation and idea seeding can begin, you're understandably in a bit of trouble. Because now you have to go straight to producing the artifact (the code or the article or whatever) while your brain still craves that extra bit of time to turn it all over. Like they say, a pregnancy takes nine months, regardless of how many women you've put on the job. Don't slip on a deadline that makes you try to make an infant in one night.read more »
Merlin Mann | May 5 2006
Merlin Mann | May 3 2006
Merlin Mann | May 1 2006
Merlin Mann | Apr 21 2006
Like most 43F articles on economical carriage and stowage, the Jimi post attracted a lot of interest. Makes me think it's time for an open thread: What's your favorite minimalist wallet? Jimi? Slimmy? Moneyclip? Coin purse? Goin' commando? Spill in comments (and feel free to link to canonical product pages or price compar-i-nators like Froogle).read more »
Merlin Mann | Apr 17 2006
As an update to my previous post about wishing full-screen mode were more ubiquitous, I wanted to share a combination of apps and tips that's been working well for me (thanks in part to the great comments over in that thread).
Tools you'll need
Ta-da. A serviceable full screen mode for minimizing distraction and the myriad attractive nuisances in your world. Maybe not as fancy as the built-in functionality in MacJournal, DevonThink, or Ulysses, but close enough for government work -- and usable across the range of apps in your life.
Merlin Mann | Apr 11 2006
Ubiquitous index cards; you'll look completely insane, but feel really relaxed. Just as God intended. (3:10)read more »
Merlin Mann | Apr 10 2006
Ever wonder what all those electronic poking sticks might be doing to your attention span?
Psychiatrist Edward Hallowell has identified a late-onset cousin of ADD that he calls "Attention Deficit Trait," a "condition induced by modern life" and the endless "chatter" generated by our beepy devices and interrupt-driven lifestyles.
I don't know enough to evaluate the rigor of this theory in the eyes of a researcher or physician, but this CNET interview with Hallowell is filled with enough right-on quotes to have me nodding along all day.
(read through, after the cut, for our first Mindfulness Exercise)read more »
|EXPLORE 43Folders||THE GOOD STUFF|