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.

Mac OS X

Textpander: An end at last to email from 'Melrin'

Peter Maurer [Textpander]

It took me about 5 seconds to fall hopelessly in love with Textpander.

Like so many wonderful things in the world (*waves to Unix apps*) it does exactly one thing: it replaces text you type with other text (or images). So, how would you use this? God, how wouldn’t you? Here’s the bullets from the Textpander page:

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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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GTD-style email in Thunderbird

Clever way to use Thunderbird’s excellent (semantic) flags to implement at GTD-inspired email triage system

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Sending short email messages from within Quicksilver

Keep it brief and send it fast--right from within Quicksilver.

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Quicksilver: Revenge of the PyObjC plug-ins

Cool new plug-ins for Quicksilver.

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Interesting 43F Stats

Talking blog stats is dull, tacky stuff, so I usually avoid it like the plague. But here’s a couple data points you might find interesting.

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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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Last call: Printers that handle index cards well

43F Google Group: Research for a Post: Printers that handle index cards well

A few weeks back, I posted a message to the Google Group, asking for advice on the best printers for printing onto standard index cards. There have been a lot of suggestions (HP and Brother models seem to be popping up a lot), but there hasn’t been a decisive winner as far as I can tell.

I’d love to post a summary of the three or so best printers people are using—I hope some time in the next week—so this is your final chance to chime in on the model that’s rocking your world. I know a lot of you have been printing to tons of index cards lately, so there must be some printers that can handle the little fellas better than others.

Just to toss this out, here’s a few of the things that I would be looking for in this printer:

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More Quicksilver Power Tips

As long as we’re on a run with Quicksilver tips, here are a few of the ways that I use Quicksilver that include pieces of the program that many folks aren’t familiar with yet.

Note that these are intermediate to advanced tips, so, again as ever, please look over the documentation (such as it is) and my setup guide—make sure you're using the latest version, read up on Quicksilver, load up on plugins (available via “Preferences > Plugins” in the Tiger version), and make sure you’re running in beta mode before asking for help.

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Quicksilver: AppleScript to quickly add Entourage Tasks

Entourage - Fast Task.scpt

A hacker who wishes to remain anonymous has answered my prayers by creating a modest one-line AppleScript that lets you pipe input from Quicksilver into a new Entourage Task with zero cruft—no Category, no Project, no date, and no reminder. Perfect for fast capture any place, and something I’ve craved for over a year.

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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