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

Remainders: Coin envelopes, sprints, binder clipping & more

Our usual Friday skip through the meadow of Merlin's marginally-productive brain.

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Entourage & txt: In which the farmer and the cowman become friends

I love that Entourage lets you link  files to any item (task, contact, appointment, etc.). I use this feature all the time to point to text files on my Mac.

Why bother? Why not just use the built-in notes capability of Entourage? Ah, if you were a fan of text files you wouldn’t need to ask that, and if you were a fan of Quicksilver, the gears would already be clicking.

Among many features—as we all know by now—Quicksilver lets you append or prepend to any arbitrary text file without changing out of your current app. Once learned and ingrained, this will become one of your favorite things to do on the Mac, bar none; but Entourage doesn't currently support it. Still, this tip helps you get around it in a satisfying way—letting Entourage handle all the busy work, while your beloved text files do all the heavy lifting.

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Five fast email productivity tips

There’s been a lot of great discussions about email productivity going around on sites I enjoy, so I thought I’d throw in five no-brainers that I’ve seen help a lot of folks.

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Using Categories & Tasks in Entourage

Snapshot of a few categories in Entourage 2004 Categories are a powerful tool for organizing any of the information you store in Entourage 2004—whether it’s email, contacts, appointments, or notes—but I think they really shine as a way to provide context for your task list. I use Categories almost synonymously with the idea of "contexts" that David Allen discusses in Getting Things Done—as a way to identify the location, conditions, tools, or focus needed to work on a given item. As I said the other day, I try to use my Categories to provide ready answers to the "How," "Where," and "When" of a given task as clearly and uniquely as is reasonable. You want to be analyzing and thinking about this stuff when you’re planning it, so you won’t have to process it again when it’s time to actually do it.

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Friday remainders, 2005-02-11

You know the drill--items that never or shouldn't find their way to a full post. Digital Chow Mein.

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In further praise of Markdown

In which my affection for Markdown bleeds into the domain of longhand. Hilarity ensues.

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Friday night remainders, 2005-02-04

It’s been a while since we’ve had a round of remainders—good stuff I've wanted to mention that never found their way into a full post. Here's a few to chew on over the weekend.

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Delicious Library: Personal media management

DeliciousLibraryIcon I finally picked up an iSight camera from Amazon the other day. Not so much to share my meatbeard with my iChat buddies as to finally play with Delicious Library, an OS X app that lets you create a personal catalog of your books, CDs, DVDs, and games by either manually entering the info or, preferably, by just scanning their barcodes with an iSight. Library is a very pretty program, and I can see why it might appeal to collectors, but it didn’t immediately click for me until I hooked up the iSight and started scanning. Even then, I have to confess a few reservations.

First—no question—it’s just really fun to use. It’s satisfying to hold up a CD, hear the little “I got it” tone, followed by the robot voice reading back the info on your latest entry (which it pulls down automagically from Amazon.com). Once entered, catalog items can be modified, sorted, munged, and grouped however you like using an elegant bookshelf metaphor. You can also view related titles and do other stuff with your collection via Amazon info and links. Although, candidly, it’s a little cheesy that a $40 commercial product won’t let me change the Amazon Associates ID from theirs to my own (or that of a favorite charity, or what have you). That really should change in a future release.

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How to be a product 43 Folders loves (and reviews)

(Pardon a largely administrative post.)

I’ve been pleased to receive so many inquiries from people who’d like me to look at their application or hardware device in order to mention it here on 43 Folders. This is good. I love looking at stuff. It’s what I do.

But to save us both time and misunderstanding going forward, here’s a rough idea of the factors that are more likely to get your stuff mentioned here (in more or less descending order of importance). Only #1 is really set in stone, but please do read all the way through before prodding me to talk about your product—especially if it costs anything at all to use.

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More cool searches for Sogudi & Quicksilver

More of the neato little search shortcuts I like to use. Includes UPS/RSS

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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