43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.


Collection of our MacBreak Weekly application links

Oh, man, I'm so glad someone is doing this. If you want to see the apps we recommend each week on MacBreak Weekly, now you're good to go:

read more »

Ideamatt on GTD with support staff

Matt's Idea Blog: Best practices for GTD and administrative assistants

Matt Cornell has posted some useful notes on emerging best practices for doing GTD with an administrative assistant. There's some practical and thoughtful stuff here, and I recommend having a look.

While I have a gut feeling most 43f readers probably don't have/are not a dedicated admin, I know that most of you do work on teams and do have support staff (or are support staff). And one of the constant themes I hear from people is the need for more advice on how to implement GTD practices outside one's own half-acre (here's my interview with David Allen about just that issue). Articles like Matt's can be useful in considering how information might flow with less friction in your workplace. Great way to get the conversation going, for sure.

I think the theme I like best here may have virtually nothing to do with GTD, strictly speaking, but has everything to do with informal standards, team culture, and divisions of labor. As David said numerous times in our recent interviews, you want to get to the point where you don't need to interrupt one another to trust that any new input makes a responsible entry into a team member's world. But that requires certain shared expectations and, in many cases, a physical external system that everyone understands and utilizes.

To this end, I like Matt's notes on collection:

read more »

David Seah on wall-based productivity pr0n

David Seah explores a treasure trove of lo-fi productivity pr0n, as provided by the vertical-surface-loving folks at Magnatag:

read more »

Bandwagon: Links not to miss, 2006-11-27

A few of the links that have been pretty popular on other sites, which I’d be remiss not to mention in passing here:

read more »

HOWTO cook a moister turkey: Ice it, pilgrim

Although I’m not much of a hand at generating tasty birdflesh, I heard a great tip a while back, gleaned from Mr. Harold McGee, author of the all-time-awesome geek food book, On Food & Cooking.

read more »

Particletree: Excellent email guide roundup

Particletree » A Guide to Email Roundup

Over on the lovely Particletree, Chris Campbell has posted a valuable collection of links for tips on dealing with email.

Email is fantastic. We use it to stay in touch with friends, contact clients, and handle support requests. It’s easy to use, low cost, and less intrusive than a phone call or meeting. But with email being such an integral part of our lives, are we using it as effectively as possible? To find out, have a look at the techniques these articles recommend on ensuring that your messages are read.

What I like about his choices (including, I suppose, the 43f link *blush*) is the focus on _results_. Instead of being about simply the blah-blah-blahs of netiquette and style, these are suggestions on how best to get something accomplished -- and, yeah, sometimes that means just knowing how to keep it standard, simple, and easy to grok. Very good, tactical, battlefield stuff.

I especially dug Kaitlin Duck Sherwoods exhaustive 'Beginner's Guide to Effective Email' (ca. 1995!), which was new to me, and which I do recommend checking out. Even for the veterans out there, it might be useful to read up on kicking it old-school -- from the days when a crap email would earn you a Clinton-era eBitchslap from all the beardy Pine users in your life.

Naps: Endangered species in modern life?

My Make column on napping is overdue, and yet right before dashing off to steal a rejuvenating 20-minute nap, I take a spin past del.icio.us/popular to find this little gem:

read more »

Dethroner on the 1.0 of incremental weight loss

Dear Grady, You Asshole at Dethroner

Joel, situated in day two of Dethroner's topical "weight loss" week, throws down on the need for what I like to call a 1.0; yeah, we all want to be perfect, but first we just have to suck less -- in Joel's case, that means the need to just intake less, even if it's pre-packaged, non-organic, non-artisanal cuisine.

The compulsion to be perfect, immediately and eternally, is one of the most profound causes of procrastination for the garden-variety human, and it most certainly gives each of us all the reason we'll ever need not to even try. Or, as Joel puts it, to commenter "Grady:"

read more »

Open Thread: Doodle & your favorite simple web tools

Doodle: Scheduling meetings

This has been mentioned here before (just in comments, I think), but I have to repeat: I can't say enough good things about Doodle. It takes the idiotically over-complicated problem of figuring out when all of n people are available to do something, and in the simplest way conceivable, polls all the participants to find the optimal time and date.

I'm always thrilled when colleagues send a meeting invite in the form of a Doodle email; it requires zero fiddling on my part and pleasantly skirts the need for the endless email threads that most people rely on to get a group of people extant in one time-space unit.

I'm risking the indignity of a double-post on an "old" link for a good reason: with all the foam and fuss over "Web 2.0," and the ever higher (Ever! Higher!) technology we shovel to solve stupid human problems, it's refreshing to see adoption of a tool that ends up being no more complicated than a white board with electrical-tape columns.

I wish stuff like Doodle would inspire more developers to start with the Simplest Thing That Could Possibly Work. No Arial Rounded, no whizzy AJAX, and no angel-round-attracting gradients. Just a modest solution to a single dumb problem. That is a life hack, defined.

What's your favorite idiotically simple web tool right now?

Open Thread: The '43 Folders' of money management sites?

You tell me. What are your favorite sites about managing your money? Any places out there you think might especially appeal to 43 Folders readers? Feel free to toss in your favorite books on the matter, too.

read more »



An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


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. »