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

Calling all Terminal nerds

When you find a web resource that would be helpful to a new OSX Terminal user, post it to del.cio.us with the tag, “OSXCLI”. It's a project or something.

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Full keyboard access and Finder shortcuts

Simple System Preference changes yield sexy results

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Quicksilver: moving around and training yourself

Most people pick up Quicksilver as an application launcher—a virtual valet that shortens the path to your desired application using a couple of intuitive moves. It’s powerful stuff, that, and it’s reason enough to use something like Quicksilver in your workflow. But, the sexy stuff comes when you learn what you can do to stuff with Quicksilver. Let’s start with some baby steps, then look at the advantages of making yourself use Quicksilver as much as possible.

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My GTD txt template

As a kind of addendum to the previous post on hacking Getting Things Done , I thought I’d share my Hamburger Helper template for a new GTD list. It’s pretty underwhelming, I have to admit, but it has a few features that are kind of neat.


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How does a geek hack GTD?

MytxtsetupProductivity programs like Getting Things Done obviously have been developed around the needs of managers, sales people, and entrepreneurs. This makes sense given that those are largely the people who are buying the books, listening to the CDs, and attending the seminars (or certainly represent the largest market share of potential customers).

But, one of my main goals with this site was to discuss the way that productivity plans and methods designed for the business world can be reframed in a context that's useful for developers, programmers, and garden-variety geeks. This is not to say that geeks don't fill many or all of these managerial roles in their work, but they also tend to have work styles, deliverables, and skillsets that are markedly different from the average, notional GTD user.

The prime example: "@computer." Man, geeks don't just use a computer for occasional work or to "look something up on 'The Interweb.'" They live on their laptop and take it anywhere they'd bring their wallet. They eat wireless like potato chips and crank out code for a living. They have an IM window and an IRC channel running all day. They're streaming conferences in and live-blogging conferences out. In short, if they follow the stock GTD setup, they will have a very, very long "@computer" list.

So I wanted to start a conversation about how geeks handle their lists, their projects, and their agendas--not so much in terms of the tool they use to store the information, although that's fair game--as with how they segment the information and decide when to break it into pieces. I'll start by providing the setup used by a San Francisco web developer who spends a lot of time on his PowerBook: me.

(Please note: since I'd love to see a lot of discussion about this, please post your response on your own site and just send a single trackback ping to this post (hit: http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/1128456). Comments below are ok for short responses or for posting links to your non-tracback-able site, but please try to limit yourself to a paragraph or so. Thanks.)

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Saturday night remainders

It’s Saturday night and time to clear out my inbox. Here’s a hodgepodge of little tips, tricks, hacks, and unsolicited advice.

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Removing chrome, plus more Safari tricks

Just mentioned in a comment here, but worth repeating since a couple people had asked about the “skin” on Safari shown in my screen shots.

It’s actually not a skin but a “chrome-less” version of Safari, courtesy of a great little app called Safari Enhancer. It lets you—among many things—remove the aluminum/chrome look from Safari. It also lets you hack up things like link style and colors, deactivate the cache, and import bookmarks from a bunch of different browsers. Most importantly perhaps, it can enable a debugging menu under which a wealth of fantastic features await you. (How about “Open this page in Firefox” and “Change my user agent to ‘IE 5’”? Great stuff.)

As long as we’re off on a Safari day, I’ll also mention the other Safari tools I swear by.

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Keyboard commands for Safari favorites

Access bookmarks in your Safari Bookmarks Bar with CMD-1 through CMD-9.

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Getting organized with OSX labels

Shawn Medero suggested the subject of using OSX labels to get organized.

Here’s a quick tip: think of labels less as ornamentation or overly-specific vertical tags. Think of your labels as a system of functional markers that complement your existing organizational system—that provide information you might want during a search, backup, or time-based script events and reviews as an example.

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In praise of the junk folder

I often end up using my Desktop as a parking lot for current files. Not exactly an inbox, but given how easy it is to hit CMD-D in a dialog box, it’s where a lot of tmp files, exported jpgs, and assorted stuff naturally ends up. Still, I find it distratcting when too much stuff accumulates there, so I also keep a “Junk” folder on the desktop.

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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. »