43 Folders

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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.

Mac OS X

Applescript to "sync" iCal to your Hipster PDA


Mike McCamon offers a clever way to get just his task list from iCal printed onto index cards for his Hipster PDA. Applescript to the rescue:

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Decision-making: Using Quicksilver to run long-term PMIs

I've mentioned before how much I dig the PMI tool for helping to make decisions. In a nutshell, it's a granular way to quantify all the likely good and bad things about a given decision, as well as the implications of making the change.

Typically you'd do a PMI at a sitting within a tabular program like Excel, and that's probably still the easiest and fastest way. But let's say there are things you just want to ruminate on for an indeterminate amount of time--low-impact changes that would still benefit from a large data set. You might try what I've started doing with Quicksilver and the mighty "Append to text file" command.

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Textmate: Recent enhancements

TextMate: The Missing Editor for OS X

It's been a while since I've checked in on Textmate--my steady date this last year for most text editing work.

The updates have been coming fast and furious lately, and have included tons of tiny features I love. In the last couple days, we've gotten a cool little menu bar that lets you change code highlighting language or run bundle-based commands, macros, and snippets (how I love you, snippets).

The lack of polish that a lot of people ragged in the app's early days keeps being corrected with smart, good-looking little tweaks. It's still a lean and mean geek app, but I like where it's headed. Might be worth having another look at if it's been a while for you.

(Also, here's the appcasting RSS feed of the changelog. Yes, thanks, I am a huge dork.)

Review: iPod Nano, 2GB

Product Image: iPod Nano, 2 GB

iPod Nano, 2 GB

While I don’t really “move” much except to place orders for food delivery or to occasionally evacuate my bladder, my girlfriend runs a lot and for long distances. She loves to have music with her but hates lugging the deck-of-cards-sized 40 Gig iPod I bought a couple years ago (for, I don’t know—like, $1800 or something). She has an iPod Shuffle, but it recently started acting really squirrely plus it never had quite the capacity she’d have liked. But, friends, the iPod Nano I got her for her birthday has been an especially huge hit. Big time. And now I want one, too.

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Open Thread: How are you using tabs?

I live in browser tabs. Whether I'm in Safari or Firefox, I'm constantly sending links to a new tab (CMD-click in either app). It's something that most geeks take for granted but--I can tell you, I've seen the browser stats--there's still a lot of folks out there living in one Window. (*observes solemn moment of silence*)...My question to you is: how are you using tabs and tab sets?

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Mark F: Have Mail.app autoforward everything to Gmail

Boing Boing: Archiving email on Gmail

Mark at Boing Boing shares a great, no-brainer tip for making sure all your mail gets backed up to Gmail automagically.

I asked people to resend certain emails, including Charles Platt, and he gave me this great tip: set up a rule in Mac's Mail.app to send a copy of every email that goes in and out over to a Gmail account. That way, you'll always have a searchable archive of all the email you send and receive.

And, of course, I heartily second Mark's love for the indispensable SuperDuper.

MailTemplate is back!


This is terrific news. One of my must-have Mac tools has been MailTemplate which gives you a huge amount of flexibility in creating template/boilerplate responses to frequent email messages. Frankly, I use about 30 or so templates that cover 80% of my repeat mail issues, and I simply couldn't get through the day without it.

Unfortunately MailTemplate languished a bit while its talented developer wrangled some legal stuff. Well, now it's been acquired, it's back, and you should shoot straight over and download yourself a copy. Available for both Mail.app and Entourage. $14.95. Licenses start selling on 10/14.

GeekTool's new Tiger compatibility (and using it to build your own _Batcave_)

Mac Geekery - Geektool and Bash One-Liners

I’m an old-school fan of GeekTool, a smart little PreferencePane that lets you trick out your Mac’s Desktop background with a variety of customizable stats, photos, and status info. Most folks’ favorite use is to display the output of shell scripts and simple CLI commands (e.g. “cat ~/todo.txt” or “tail -n 10 /var/log/crashreporter.log”)

To be honest, I hadn’t used GeekTool in a while, but apparently there were some Tiger compatibility issues that were vexing fans. Now Mac Geekery’s rupa deadwyler points to a branched version (2nd item) that provides fixes for Tiger.

He also writes up a good post on a few of his favorite uses for GeekTool:

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Review: 'Kinkless GTD' for automated, elegant OS X task management

Kinkless GTD 0.61

Kinkless GTD

I think Ethan J. A. Schoonover may have struck a wonderful balance of power, simplicity, automation, and low-key good looks with his “Kinkless GTD” System.

By combining the stupendous OmniOutliner Pro with a bit of Applescript and pixie dust, KGTD provides a sensible way to manage Projects and Next Actions in one very clever little document. For those of you not already using and loving OO, this is a beautiful chance to see it in action.

The heart of the app lies in dedicated views (top-level outline rows for OO fans) for your Projects and their daughter Actions. Project view shows all related Next Actions, and Action view shows those NAs by customizable context (@home, @shopping, etc.). Additional views for periodic Reviews, Trigger Lists, Someday-Maybe, etc., make this a true GTD implementation—not just a tarted-up To-do list.

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Tiger's Spotlight: Smart Folders to monitor for large files

As my media collection grows and my downloads get larger and more frequent, my poor PowerBook is almost always this close to being completely full. Having an overstuffed drive can hammer your performance as well as take you off-task (“You Startup Disk is almost full…”), so regular deletion of crufty files is a part of most folks' regular Mac maintenance.

Although OmniDiskSweeper is my favorite way to exhaustively comb a drive for fat-assed files, it can be time-consuming on a large drive. So I often do a surgical strike with a few simple Spotlight Smart Folders to identify the most likely candidates for fast deletion. A few very basic suggestions:

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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. »