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

The Beauty of the Recurring Task

Handy way to "set it and forget it."

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Quicksilver: Arrow Into Web Pages

Another cool trick with the mighty right arrow.

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I Want a Pony: Snapshots of a Dream Productivity App

There’s an early episode of The Simpsons where Homer learns he has a long-lost half-brother named Herb who’s a major automobile mogul. Out of love for his newfound family, Herb lets Homer design and build his ultimate car. The result is a piece of pure American id, in which Homer’s most extravagant obsessions combine to create an unmanufacturable $82,000 boondoggle—complete with bubble windows and a place to put a really, really big fountain drink.

In that pioneering national spirit of favoring geegaws and fantastic chimeras over practicality, here are a few completely random ideas about a notional productivity application I’d like to see someday (as well as few bitches about the lame state of the ones we have now).

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SplashShopper: Shopping List Manager for Palm (and the Desktop)

Click for a full screen shotI have squirrely phases that repeat like clockwork. An abortive pass at creative drawing, an oddly devoted infatuation with the early ELO, and the sudden yen to play with my old Palm V—each reappears every 7 or 8 months, and each, in its fashion, passes in less than a week. Turn, turn, turn.

Last time that the Palm bug bit me, I learned about SplashShopper, the heir apparent to my previously favorite PDA app, JShopper. Both Palm apps excel at tracking Have/Need items for a bunch of different stores, which you can customize to your heart’s content. This means, for example, “2% Milk??? can be associated with Safeway, Trader Joe’s, and Costco, as well as the bodega around the corner.  So you have a persistent, reusable, totally contextual shopping list for wherever you happen to be. Best use of the Palm ever, this shopping list tracking stuff. But, SplashShopper attracted me with two big additions.

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DEVONthink: Integrated Information Manager

Version 1.9 of DEVONthink is scratching my information where it itches. Or something. Anyway, it's a cool app for managing lots of stuff. Read on...

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Sciral Consistency: Track Fuzzy Interval Tasks

Sciral Consistency lets you track repeating tasks using fuzzy intervals.

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Quicksilver: Setup & Troubleshooting

[n.b.: this post has been updated to reflect the release of version B32r2. --2004-11-06 15:35 PST]

Since there's new folks moving to Quicksilver all the time, I thought I'd post some more starter tips if you're following along here. If you have questions about stuff not working as described, doublecheck your setup and the tips below.

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Quicksilver: Me & My Arrow

O, Quicksilver, that little minx. The way she hides her functionality in coquettish little corners vexes and delights me. Did you know, for example, friends, how much you can do with Quicksilver and your modest arrow keys? Me neither. Til now.

So, quick review: once invoked, Quicksilver primarily uses the arrow keys to let you navigate through hierarchies and sets of matches. Up and down arrows let you surf sibling contents of a given directory or catalog, while the left and right arrows allow you to drill down and back up out of hierarchical levels, such as nested folders and the like. (Related tip: you can also surf up and down most any hierarchy using / and Shift-/)

All easy enough, right? But did you ever try clicking the right arrow key with an application selected? Well, you should.

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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