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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.


Bokardo: Apple moving deeper into social software?

Bokardo » Apple Making Huge Social Software Push?

Via Andy, here's a thought-provoking post that draws from a mosaic of current and forthcoming features (including Wiki Server, iCal Calendar Sharing and the nifty-sounding Teams) to suggest that Apple's moving toward some interesting directions in social software and enhanced functionality for teams.

Joshua writes:

Notice that all of these features are about enabling communication as much as they are about creating content. It’s about getting the right information to the right person at the right time through interaction with their friends and associates. That’s how we do things out here in meatspace, so that’s how we’ll do things in cyberspace as well.

I think this is good news for Apple. As the proliferation of telephones, cellphones, chat software, blogs, and social networking sites have shown, there seems to be a market for this social software stuff…

Download Squad: Windows GTD apps

Getting Things Done Software Systems (Part 1 of 2) - Download Squad

Download Squad has posted the first in a two-part series reviewing systems for supporting Getting Things Done. It includes an overview of the GTD basics, plus apps for Windows and PDAs. The next edition will cover "online software."

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What does your inbox say about you?

Salt Lake Tribune - Your e-mail inbox is a metaphor for your life

Jeffrey Zaslow rang me up a while back for a quote that made it into his WSJ article (mirrored many places, including here) on what your email style says about you, your habits, and your "mental health." It's a fun piece, and I was happy to contribute, but I'm not altogether on-board with the thesis.

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AskMe: Motivation to do things you dislike

motivation solutions? | Ask MetaFilter

Good Ask Metafilter thread on finding ways to motivate yourself to do things you don't want to do. Good advice so far includes:

  • "Incentivise yourself, e.g. 'If I spend an hour cleaning and tidying, I definitely deserve <insert vice of choice here> when I'm done'."
  • "I set the timer for one hour every weekend and make myself tackle chores before I'm allowed to do anything else. When the beeper goes off, I stop and do something fun for a while. Repeat all day Saturday until everything truely essential is done."
  • "Don't look at everything all at once! Otherwise you won't get anything done other than worry about all the stuff you need to do. You have to pick at it, otherwise it overwhelms you."
  • "just pick one thing and do it, I pick the smallest thing if I'm feeling unmotivated. As you start chipping away the motivation will come to tackle the larger things."

Great tips, and a good time to mention The Procrastination Dash and most especially The (10+2)*5 Hack.

Managing around interruptions

Being organized means marshalling resources - The Boston Globe

Cindy Krischer Goodman's recent article on time management for the overcommitted and overwhelmed contains a gem from Stephanie Winston, who points out how senior executives learn to manage around the interruptions in their lives:

To do this, she says, start by blocking an hour or half-hour each day as power time to accomplish priorities. That may mean coming in early or hiding in the cafeteria to escape interruptions.

Break tasks into 10-minute segments; when you get interrupted, jot a phrase or cue to bring you back into the task later. When people drop in or call, give them your full attention, she suggests.

I think this is one reason why I like getting up early; time like that is so much easier to claim and defend before the world's demands start banging down your door.

What would you ask David Allen?

Forums - Ask David any question

Over on the DavidCo forum, Lisa asks:

If you could ask David Allen any one question about GTD, what would it be?

It mightn't surprise you to know I'd want to learn a bit more implementation and about how David sees contexts working best for people whose work mostly happens in one place (recently).

But I'm especially curious to hear what you guys would ask, given the chance. What would you ask David Allen about Getting Things Done?

Gina on not checking your email first-thing

Geek to Live: Control your workday - Lifehacker

Gina has a good post on ways to structure your work day and ensure you get your most important stuff accomplished, and she includes a piece of advice I've recently started practicing myself:

Get one thing done first - THEN check your email

Author of Never Check Email in the Morning Julie Morgenstern suggests spending the first hour of your workday email-free. Choose one task - even a small one - and tackle it first thing. Accomplishing something out of the gate sets the tone for the rest of your day and guarantees that no matter how many fires you're tasked with putting out the minute you open your email client, you still can say that you got something done...

I've discovered that a lot of my most unpalatable, low-priority email arrives overnight; it's when most cron jobs and mailing digests run, plus, I suspect, it's when a lot of garden-variety crazies get their second wind (or 12th beer).

Waiting an hour or so to collect the overnight haul buys me time to wake up, get some work done, and generally orient myself. By the the time I raise the electronic flood gate, I'm already feeling on top of things and have no problem blowing through all my mail in a few short minutes. Even the crazy ones.

The larger issue is a pillar of Inbox Zero: it's your mailbox, and you get to decide when and for how long it draws your attention. I recommend affecting that decision while awake, cogent, and adequately caffeinated.

Samsung A-920 as a Bluetooth Mac modem

noDRM.com » Blog Archive » How To: Use Sprint/Samsung A920 as an EVDO Bluetooth Modem with Mac

Earlier this year, like many of my siblings in the minor web dorkerati, your author was made a “Sprint Ambassador.” This is actually not nearly as fancy as it sounds — you still have to pay parking tickets and can’t necessarily have rude waiters whacked with impunity. Plus you get this really weird (Kansas? Missouri?) area code that makes all your friends think you’re a telemarketer or a Republican pollster.

Anyhow, the deal is that Sprint sends you their multimedia Samsung A-920 to use for free for a few months in exchange for offline comments (and, one speculates, the chance that their little blue unit might make an appearance in, say, a blog post along the lines of the one you're reading).

The phone’s okay, I guess — although why it takes 8 mother-scratching clicks to send a photo to Flickr from this purportedly high-end “multimedia phone” is just really hard for me to understand. Plus, until the other night, I’d never been able to use the EVDO modem functionality that’s one of the phone’s marquee features. The idea of internet access from any place that gets a phone signal made me salivate in the early days of my Ambassador tenure, but, as with so many of these things, I quickly made my peace with the usual excuse; unsupported on Macs. WANH-wahn. Still gotta drive to Starbucks to check my email on vacation. Oh, well.

Turns out I was wrong, and, boy, do I love being wrong about this.

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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