Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.
Merlin Mann | Feb 11 2010
I'll have a more proper Monthly Pimp on-deck here soon, but -- time being of the essence here -- I wanted to make sure and extend an invitation for something I'll be doing in town today.
If you're one of my nerdy band of brothers who's in San Francisco this week for [MacWorld][macworld], please do come visit me between 1:30 and 2:30 (today, Friday, and Saturday), at the giant, glistening, Oz-like [Omni Group][The Omni Group] booth ([#760]).read more »
Merlin Mann | Jun 10 2008
[Disclosure: I'm a consultant on the OmniFocus project. You can blame me for having requested any of the features you don't like.]
Oh, man. It's so nice to lift the veil on this one. It's been like I knew you guys were getting the big Lego Millennium Falcon for Christmas, but I couldn't tell you until Santa had gone back up the chimney (in his black mock turtleneck and jeans). Anyway.
From the OmniGroup site:
Yum. Screengrabs and more -- including a reminder that you should totally visit me at the WWDC OmniFocus meetup tonight -- after the iJump.read more »
Merlin Mann | Oct 15 2007
You could be forgiven for being exhausted by my harangues about the importance of putting actions into their own special place outside of email, web sites, or other action-bearing media ("Email is just a series of tubes," Senator Ted Stevens, might one day say).
In fact, liberating actions from the email in which they arrived and putting them into a system that you trust is arguably the most important tenet of Inbox Zero. But it's also advice that leaves a lot of people scratching their heads: "OK, big shot, so where do I put this new task, and how exactly is it supposed to get there?"
Well, I'm happy to say that recent sneaky peaks of OmniFocus now have a pretty neat way to help with this problem. It's called "Clippings," and if you're familiar with the similar feature in OmniOutliner, you can imagine how it might work in the context of a task-tracking app and the complementary apps whose contents you want to direct to it.
Alongside the recently-added Perspectives, this is a feature that is making me very happy right now.read more »
Merlin Mann | Sep 13 2007
Pete the Tekserve Guy says seats are filling up fast, so be sure to register for free now if you're planning to attend.
This should be really fun -- and we'll all be hanging out after the presentation to talk, hang, and meet you. I'm pumped. It's my first trip to Manhattan since 1989 (and, no, I won't have a tragic mustache and a Meat Puppets shirt this time. Sorry.).read more »
Merlin Mann | Jun 6 2007
Second, I heartily second Linda's suggestion that you email (omnifocus-wwdc at omnigroup dot com) if you're interested in doing an informal OF meet-up at WWDC.
If you don't come, Ken and I will have to sit there and stare at each other and maybe talk about D&D. Please, don't make us talk about D&D.
Update 2007-06-11 09:32:34 - OmniFocus at WWDC is scheduled. According to a recent Message of the Day in the OmniFocus beta:
This should be a lot of fun. If we can wangle A/V equipment. we'll do a demo of the latest version or OF, plus we'll be available to answer any questions about OmniFocus and just generally hang out.
Nota bene: I believe that this is for WWDC pass holders only. So I apologize in advance if there's an iPortcullis in place, and really encourage you to come to the event at the Apple Store next week if you're around.
Update 2007-06-12 23:24:49: Note room change above. We're now in the larger "Olympic Room."
Merlin Mann | Jun 4 2007
(Disclosure: I am a contributor to the OmniFocus project)
According to OmniGroup, about 2,500 people are now participating in the "sneaky peak" beta of OmniFocus, and new folks will continue to be added as capacity for support allows. But even if you're not yet using the app and are just waiting to get your hands on a finished version, it's not too early to start thinking about making a smooth transition from wherever you are now.
Moving your world of action into a new application is like moving into a new house (and can be almost as stressful). This is your chance to throw away crap, rethink how you've been doing things, and just give yourself a fresh start. So before you ever fire up OmniFocus for that first time, do yourself a favor and get sorted out with your current system first. Believe me, you're much more likely to handle this well before the temptation of having the app in your hands sends you diving into using it full-time.
In short, I recommend you start by conducting a thorough review that's focused on bringing all your tasks and projects up to date and in line with reality.read more »
Merlin Mann | May 31 2007
My pal, Ethan, is a photographer who's probably best known in the Mac-o-sphere as the author of "Kinkless GTD," the AppleScript for OmniOutliner Pro that caused a sensation last year among Mac productivity nerds and helped lead to the development of the OmniFocus task management app (disclosure: it's a project to which Ethan and I both currently contribute).
Well, if you haven't visited Ethan's Kinkless.com site in a while, you'd do well to pop by for a fresh look, because you're in for a treat.
In addition to doing a re-architecture and redesign that's one of the most eye-catching I've seen on a Drupal site, Ethan has begun writing some very useful tutorials (in addition to the screencasts for which he's becoming well-known).
For example, he's recently completed his "Five Steps to a Kinkless Desktop" series, focusing on how to "clean up, prettify and streamline the usage of your desktop." He starts with "The No-Mercy Cleanup":
If your Mac and your brain need a dose of strong medicine, don't miss this.
I'm really enjoying seeing Ethan contribute his thoughts on productivity -- I've learned from working with him over the past few months that he's very thoughtful and deliberative about this stuff. Despite being a taxonomical animal, he's always focused on sharing first-person changes that will bring real, non-fiddly benefits to the lives of creative types. Looking forward to seeing where he takes this.
Merlin Mann | Jan 9 2007
It was great to hear Ken lay out OmniGroup's plans and progress on the Kinkless replacement. Thanks much to everyone who showed up yesterday.
Merlin Mann | Jan 4 2007
As most Kinkless nerds already know, OmniGroup is developing a full-on Cocoa implementation of Ethan's script that they've dubbed OmniFocus. Since the OmniGroup folks will be in town for MacWorld, they've kindly offered to host a meetup at the Apple Store on Monday afternoon. For better or worse, your Author will be the emcee.read more »
Merlin Mann | Sep 27 2006
I don't have much to add to Ethan's (typically entertaining and gracious) post about OmniFocus -- an under-development OmniGroup app that will bring Kinkless' functionality to a stable and powerful Cocoa application. But, first off: Yay! The Kinkless is dead! Long live the Kinkless!read more »
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