Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.
Ryan Norbauer | Nov 6 2007
It seems that many of us otherwise computer-oriented geeks have a surprising and earth-unfriendly confession to make: we love paper. Notwithstanding the entirely digital nature of my own trade, for example, I'll freely admit that there is really nothing quite like the smooth glide of a mechanical pencil over a big sheet of crisp, white office paper to facilitate good writing and thinking.
I can't plan out a new piece of software—or write an essay for that matter—without first messily scribbling my ideas out as mind-maps or rough user-interface sketches onto paper. My brainstorms are too messy and flow too quickly for the computer to be able to accommodate my chaos, yet that early disorder is essential to crafting the order and structure that will follow.
And yet I used to have serious reservations about this tendency to spoodge my thought process onto tree carcasses. It wasn't until I finally learned how to get rid of paper, that I was able properly to embrace its use in my work.read more »
Merlin Mann | Oct 22 2007
I really enjoyed this video presentation by Michael Wesch on how we make, find, and share information in a world where we've shed the idea of paper as our sole medium for storage and communication -- where ideas can munge and mix freely, thanks to digital collaboration.
Now, of course, as a fan of paper for certain kinds of work, I always feel like jumping in at this point to defend our pulpy little friend from what sometimes turns into a blanket party.read more »
Merlin Mann | Aug 13 2007
After you've done a major purge of your closet, remove all the remaining clothes that live on hangers, and put them back in backwards, such that the open end of each hanger now faces you. Got it?
Then, mark your calendar for six months (or whatever) from today, and go back to your business as usual. Except that after every time you wear a shirt or a jacket or a skirt or what have you, when you replace the item, make sure the hanger faces the opposite/usual way (with the opening in the back).
When your n months have passed, and your calendar reminds you that it's time, open your closet and remove every piece of clothing on a backward hanger; the chances are good you can give it away without the slightest pain, because you just clearly demonstrated that you don't wear it.
Here's why I love this.read more »
Merlin Mann | Mar 19 2007
Merlin Mann | Feb 20 2007
Cool-looking collection of CC-licensed Hipster PDA templates include iconic "capture notes," research notes, and (here's a new one for me) a "yarn sorting card." Neat stuff.
Merlin Mann | Jan 29 2007
Merlin Mann | Jan 12 2007
As someone who suffers from frequent encoding errors and buffer overflows, I love Adam's idea to start a meeting by mapping the name and location of each attendant, along with their title, etc. Adam writes:
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Merlin Mann | Jan 3 2007
Like many of 43f's readers, Kevin's contributors also obsess about shaving:
Merlin Mann | Dec 28 2006
My head swims with the number of Mac GTD apps that have sprung up over the last year or so, one of which is the Quicksilver-friendly Actiontastic. Although I haven't spent more than a few minutes playing with Actiontastic, as described by Podophile it appears to merit a look for Hipster PDA-centric iPod fans:
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Merlin Mann | Dec 20 2006
While OmniFocus is under development (and yes, friends, I have seen it: it is actual software that does things), we Kinkless users will have to make do as we can for now. And while I still find my own kGTD setup oddly stable given its byzantine under-the-hood workings (think: innards of Cylon Raider meets Brazil's pneumatic tubes), there are definitely times when I crave just a bit more canonical GTD functionality.
One of the most vexing shortcomings in kGTD (God bless it) is the lack of a formal Project list -- one easy location to glance just all of the obligations and desirable outcomes that are on your horizon, without reference to the tasks that comprise them. David Allen has repeatedly said that the project list is critical (as I recall, his quote in our interviews was "...the Project list is king."), and, honestly, lacking an all-in-one Project list for your weekly review is kind of like sitting down to the SATs without your two sharpened #2 pencils.
My solution for this has two components -- one mostly behavioral and one mildly technical. Both are squirrely and lofi and your mileage may vary. As ever.read more »
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