43 Folders

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

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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.


2006 Moleskine planners available

Just a quickie to let the Moleskine fans know that the 2006 diaries and planners are now available from MoleskineUS. (more inside)

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PigPog PDA: A simplified Moleskine GTD system

PigPogPDA - PigPog Creativity Wiki [Introduction]

Michael Randall lays out a paper GTD-based system that should appeal to a lot of folks here.

What Is It?

  • A Moleskine hack.
  • An extreme Moleskine hack.
  • A simplified GTD system (What system? See our GTD Introduction), with relatively little actual organising. May be useful if you fancy Doing GTD Without Doing GTD.
  • A complete personal management system for those who’s needs aren’t too complicated.
  • A rather over-the-top system for dealing with just the capturing and processing end of GTD.


I was finding GTD a bit much for various reasons, but didn’t want to stop entirely - I needed to be Doing GTD Without Doing GTD. This is the system I came up with in the end. It’s simpler than GTD, and wouldn’t scale to the sort of level that GTD will, but it works pretty well for me, so it seems reasonable to think it might work well for other people too.

Read on for details of a clever system for turning a Moleskine Reporter into a kind of über-notebook, in which capture, processing, and related work are handled using sticky-note flags and some light templating.

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Geoffrey Litwack: Tactical advice, observations on GTD implementation

Really good post on a satisfying hybrid of paper and digital. Full of good insight and “what I've learned” observations. Best of many good lines: “The power of Greyskull is the power of the next action.” Word.

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Ye Olde Hipster

Old-timey Hipster PDA.

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A vacation from the endless lists

Try a nice simple to-do list that you can really manage.

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Efficient little GTD package

I dig how Doug’s combined his tools (and, like, three different memetic atoms) for his Hipster PDA mod.

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Tips on cleaning, stain removal, and homemade air fresheners

As a consequence of being too lazy to take the trash out a couple nights ago, the smell of salmon took up residence throughout our kitchen. In addressing the stank, I ran across this ginormous page full of of links on cleaning and stain removal including a handy collection of homemade air fresheners.

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Turn an old Zip's case into a Hipster PDA

This is very cute—turn an old Zip disk cast and some custom-printed templates into a sexy little Hipster PDA variant or a mini-tickler file. Clever!

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Index Card Printer Review: Canon Pixma iP3000

The Hipster PDA has been extended and improved beyond my wildest dreams thanks to things like GTDTiddlyWiki, Douglas Johnston’s DIY Planner, and John Norris’s very creative templates. With this growth and interest have come a lot of requests from readers for the best, cheapest, and most Mac-friendly printer for printing directly to ordinary index cards. I’ve shared this interest since, frankly, I’ve been buffaloed as well—crippled by the crappiness of my old Epson and unsure what to try next. So I did what I always do: I asked for help.

Even as I started asking for reader advice on inexpensive printers that handle standard index cards well, I had a feeling this was going to be a tough post to put together. This was borne out by the very wide range of suggestions you all submitted—over 30 different models by most all the major companies were mentioned (although only 4 got mentioned more than once)—as well as the plain fact it’s virtually impossible to give meaningful advice on a product you’ve never used. Duh, right?

Anyhow, to put this together, I’ve adopted a blended approach. First, I took everyone’s suggestions (and warnings), compiled a tally count, and then did a bit of extra research on CNET, Epinions, etc. (including a couple phone calls to sales support and some assorted friends).

But, in the end, I decided to put my real-life money where my mouth theoretically should be: I popped in to CompUSA on Saturday morning and bought the recommended model that looked best to me—the Canon Pixma iP3000—and then spent the rest of the weekend testing it out. See how much I love you guys?

The Winner: Canon Pixma iP3000 Photo Printer

This sexy little number looks like a toaster oven from 2001 and has an awful lot of cool features given its sub-$100 price tag. Most importantly for our purposes, it takes a big pile of regular old, drug-store index cards and prints whatever you want onto them at a clip of about 10 seconds per card. It also has a 150-sheet, cassette-loading paper drawer (similar to those on the old LaserWriters). This means that you can load up the tray with plain printer paper without removing your blank cards from the top loader —no juggling, and no disruption to your “normal printing.”

It’s a great photo printer and a fast, middle-quality text printer, but if you’re looking for a cheap way to print index cards from your Mac, I think this is a great choice.

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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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. »