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

Merlin on MacBreak Weekly: Wax On, Wax Off

In which Alex is still on about the notional iPhone (and its current-day antecedents), Leo loves his lumber-swinging MacPro, Scott is completely full of beans, and everyone rags me mercilessly about my fondness for new age nap software.

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kGTD tutorials: Projects and actions, Timed actions

43F Wiki user ThePolack has been putting together some great kGTD tutorials, including a useful introduction to using the Projects and Actions sections that covers several of the features that most folks only figure out after a few weeks of regular usage. Handy.

But, I want to especially highlight his tutorial on using timed and dated actions in kGTD. These are powerful features that have caused considerable confusion for users, and ThePolack provides a lucid explanation of how the different events work and how you can use them to manage all those little periodic tasks that pop up in your life.

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"My Dream App" voting open til Midnight EDT

The My Dream App competition (for which I'm a judge) has reached the first elimination round, so you have just a few hours to place your vote and help whittle the contestants down to the next round of 18.

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Open Thread: Mac Mind Mapping, and how you use it

I've recently revived my interest in doing mind mapping as a way to capture ideas and plan out projects.

Back in the day, I'd use Inspiration (which registration regrettably died a few years ago), and in more recent times I've played with free apps like My Mind and FreeMind, as well as tested more costly apps like NovaMind and MindManager.

If you also like to mind map, I'm curious to hear which of these you and your Mac are using, how you're using it, and what made you choose one app over another. Got a preference? Prefer regular old paper and markers? Using lots of images in your mind maps? Which pay app is most worth the dough, and why?

And for folks who are new to mind mapping, here's a few links to get you started:

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Process email faster with Mail Act-On

My usage of Mail Act-On, while far from novel, has revolutionized the speed with which I can blow through email processing.

If you've never seen it before, Mail Act-On is a very clever Mail.app plugin that lets you create key commands that execute Rules you've generated in your Preferences. Sounds pretty dull, right? Absolutely. Until you start putting this stuff into action and learn how painfully slow all that draggy mc drag drag business is. Here's how I've set mine up.

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Merlin on MacBreak Weekly: Apple's "Showtime" event

MacBreak Logo

MacBreak Weekly 6: It's Showtime

Hosts: Leo Laporte, Merlin Mann, Chris Breen, Alex Lindsay, and Brett Larson

Complete coverage and analysis of Apple's "It's Showtime" announcements...

As usual, the perspicaciousness of my insight reveals itself in quips like "This is pretty" and "People should buy this" and "Apple seems smart." Is it any wonder the Windows People hate us? No, friends. No, it isn't any wonder at all.

Running time: 58:49

[Download MP3 file]

Ask 43F: Handling notes in scattered places

Shiran Pasternak writes to ask:

I'm overwhelmed by various note-taking tools you've recommended in the past (so it's your fault). I use, fairly arbitrarily, either TextMate, OmniOutliner Professional (purchased for kGTD, of course), and Notational Velocity...

My main problem is how to retrieve the notes, given that they exist in these scattered applications. Should I then migrate all my notes and use just one of these (or another I may have missed)? Or, should I use a combination of the tools? If so, can you offer heuristics for when to use each note-taking application, and also, if possible, some ideas for how and when to retrieve notes?

This is a really good question -- especially given how many people are suffering from the first-world problem of having way too many cool Mac apps to choose from for this kind of work. The short answer is to slim down the number of tools you're frequently using, but to then be sure you also do something smart and repeatable with everything you've captured. The longer explanation...

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Pzizz nap app: On sale today only

Chris Messina points out that Pzizz, our favorite napping helper application, is on sale for today only at MacUpdate.

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43F: Recent MacBreak Podcasts

MacBreak Weekly

MacBreak Logo

Over the past few weeks, I've been having a lot of fun participating in the MacBreak video podcast and its little brother, the MacBreak Weekly audio podcast. Leo, Alex, Scott, and the rest of the MacBreakers do a swell job with these shows, and I've enjoyed getting to nerd out a little with them.

If you haven't caught these already, here's a quick catchup of episodes I've been on in the last month or so (reverse chronologically):

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Mini-reviews: LabelWriter 400, Polder Vibrating Timer, "Beyond Bullet Points"

I was adding a few items I recently bought and enjoyed over in the right rail, and by the time I was done writing the “TITLE” tags I realized I had three shortie reviews.

After the cut, LabelWriter 400 by Dymo, Vibrating Digital Timer by Polder, and Beyond Bullet Points by Cliff Atkinson.

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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. »