43 Folders

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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Mac OS X

Quicksilver: The Comma Trick

Screenshot of The Comma Trick in action I’m still encountering folks who are big-time Quicksilver fans who don’t know about “The Comma Trick,” so check it out: when you’re using the first (and often the third) pane in Quicksilver, you can hit “,” (comma, with no modifier key) at any time to add the currently selected item to a working stack. Go ahead and try it. (important: The Comma Trick only works if you’ve chosen "Advanced Features: Beta" in “Preferences: Application??? and the “Primer” or “Bezel” command interface in “Preferences > Appearance”—switch if you need to and restart QS)

  1. Invoke Quicksilver (CTRL-Space by default)
  2. Use QS to navigate to your ~/Documents folder (or wherever a bunch of small documents live)
  3. Select a text file or a Word doc or what have you (don’t grab anything too huge for now)
  4. Type “,” (that’s a comma)
    • The icon in the pane should “scooch up” a little and the icon for the selected item now appears in miniature format below its name
  5. Select another file (again, any small file will do), and, again, type “,”
    • The icon for the item you added should now also appear next to the icon for the first item
  6. Repeat steps 3-4 a couple more times on random small documents
  7. When you’re done making your stack, TAB over to the second pane, and type til you get “Copy to…
  8. TAB over to the third pane and type until “Desktop” shows up
  9. Hit Return
    • All the files you’d added in the first pane should now be copied to your Desktop

Now consider a few possibilities of “The Comma Trick”

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Mail Act-On: Invoke Mail.app rules with custom commands

Mail Act-On 1.3 - Key Stroke Plugin for Apple Mail.App

If you’re using Tiger and Mail.app, you need to have a look at Mail Act-On, a free plugin developed by Scott Morrison and Jonathan Paisley that lets you assign keyboard commands that are bound to custom “Rules” you set in your Preferences. This is (very cleverly) accomplished by naming the rule according to the CTRL key you want to assign to it.

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Dashboard Widget for Unix 'Remind'

A few months back Mike Harris wrote us up a great article on Remind, a very cool and flexible little UNIX app for tracking date-based events. If you enjoy Remind and are using Tiger (OS X 10.4), checkout Nick Vargish’s Remind Widget. Gives you all the power of Remind in a pretty and configurable package. Great work, Nick!

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Quicksilver <3s Backpack

Good movie illustrating how Quicksilver, email, and Backpack can interact.

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More on gluing stuff together in Entourage

The main reason I stick with Entourage for all my calendar, TODO list, and—to a certain extent—archival email needs, comes down to one word: glue.

As annoying as Entourage is in so many ways, I love that I can basically associate anything with anything via the “Link” functionality. This provides a handy little landing pad for any task, note, event, email, or contact onto which you can drop any other Entourage object as well as virtually any item from the Finder (for some reason it doesn’t easily handle URLs, which seems kind of dumb: use .weblocs as a workaround). Entourage then perpetually remembers that association in both the linking and linked items. Got it? Group like with like, and then get to anything from anything (Steal this idea, Apple; use Spotlight).

So, I can associate an email message with a TODO, attach a text file to a calendar event (see my article in June’s MacWorld), and even, apparently, attach Applications and folder paths to any Entourage object. Why is this last one so freaking handy? Lemme show you.

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Uninstalling Keyword Assistant fixes iPhoto hang

iPhoto hung in Tiger until I removed “Keyword Assistant” from the installer.

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Ask MeFi on Macs and getting organized

Looks like a good thread in the green to watch and maybe contribute to.

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Tiger: New Safari tabs at your Command

As Mr. Gruber mentioned yesterday, 2.0 (Tiger) versions of Safari have added the ability to COMMAND-Return from within a web page’s form field in order to send the resulting page to a new tab (go ahead: try it in the 43F search field in the right column of this page). It also appears that you can COMMAND-Click most forms’ Submit buttons to similar effect. This builds on a feature available since (at least) the previous version of Safari in which you can COMMAND-Return in both the Address Bar and the Google Bar to generate a new, populated tab. (n.b: these also work in Safari 1.3 for Panther [Thanks, Roger.])

These may not seem revolutionary on the face of it, but as someone who’s already committed them to Safari muscle memory, I can assure you they’re wildly useful. A few random examples.

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Remainders: Notebooks, NextBus, the Wiki, and more

Our theoretically weekly roundup of stuff that didn't fit anyplace else.

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iTunes customization; Back-channel artist payments

Gabe's amazing iTunes scripts put Rube Goldberg to shame; I also make a plea for bands (and maybe labels?) to always offer a tip jar via PayPal.

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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