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.

Personal Productivity

“I answer an e-mail once every 6.66 minutes”

Where Work Is a Religion, Work Burnout Is Its Crisis of Faith -- New York Magazine

This enjoyable article on burnout includes a bit that I love (and sympathize with):

Woo hoo. Re: An appendix to the principles of Jewish Buddhism. Saying hi. Re: Hey pal. Burnout. WHEN are we eating? Open Enrollment Info. Quick q. Arrrrrrrrrrgh.

You are looking at nine e-mail subject lines I received in a one-hour period last week. It was then that I realized I answer an e-mail once every 6.66 minutes. The very thought of committing this fact to paper has kept me crippled for several seconds. It doesn’t seem like the sort of thing my boss should know.

One has to wonder whether the developments of a high-speed world haven’t made burnout worse. First, the obvious: With the advent of e-mail, cell phones, laptops, BlackBerrys (or “CrackBerrys”—the argot here seems extremely apt), and other bits of high-speed doodadry, it has become virtually impossible, in senses both literal and metaphorical, to unplug from our jobs. As Schaufeli, the Dutch researcher, notes, one of the strongest predictors of burnout isn’t just work overload but “work-home interference”—a sociologist’s way of saying we’re receiving phone calls from Tokyo during dinner and replying to clients on our BlackBerrys while making our children brush their teeth.

I suspect that children will eventually support some kind of thin-client email-to-affection gateway. From an evolutionary standpoint, it may be the only solution that scales.

Actiontastic adds iCal and .Mac sync

Actiontastic 0.9 gets iCal sync support

Tim at Hawk Wings points out that Actiontastic .9 now supports Sync Services, making it easy to move your stuff to iCal, .Mac, as well as (previously added) your iPod.

I haven't spent a whole lot of time with Actiontastic, but I admire its lean approach to task work (arguably a bit too lean for some folks). Still, I always feel like the less you have to fiddle with, the more likely you may be to actually do the stuff on your list.

Also, making sync seamless and reliable is clearly something Mac users are coming to expect in most every app where it's practical. Plus, of course, it works with Quicksilver, and there's nothing wrong with that.

More on Actiontastic here.

43f Podcast: Kung Fu, Meditation, and Sexual Intercourse

Kung Fu, Meditation, and Sexual Intercourse

There’s as rich a body of literature about (and tools for) Productivity as most any subject you can imagine.

To avoid becoming an unproductive dilettante, make sure your practice of Productivity always takes precedence over your talmudic scholarship on the subject.

AKA: All the reading in the world won’t teach you as much as your first french kiss.

(Running Time: 03:47)

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Remember names at meetings by making a map

Meeting Tip: Learning Names | Gurno.com

As someone who suffers from frequent encoding errors and buffer overflows, I love Adam's idea to start a meeting by mapping the name and location of each attendant, along with their title, etc. Adam writes:

Step 1 - Reconnoiter

Draw a quick map of the table/layout of the meeting. Place yourself on it, to give yourself a reference point.

Step 2: The Combatants

As people introduce themselves around the table, fill them in. If you feel last names are necessary add those too, but don't do it at the expense of writing down someone else's name. You can guess at the last names later. If you miss one, leave it blank and fill it in as soon as you can - if someone else refers to them, etc, etc.

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Merlin & MacBreak @ Macworld: Omni Group, MailTank, AppZapper, Pzizz, Cha-Ching and Flip4Mac

A few more of my MacBreak segments from the Macworld Expo floor are now available for download:

More episodes coming later today. Never miss an episode of MacBreak by subscribing for free.


Let OS X developers at the iPhone. Please.

Sixfoot6 Archives: 30 Things the iPhone Could Do That You Haven't Thought of Yet

Ryan's list contains a lot of the tear-inducingly sexy fantasies that were going through my own mind on Tuesday morning when we all heard that the iPhone was going to run OS X.

Like a lot of my friends, I (probably naively) took the announcement to mean that, as on my own Mac, I'd be able to install Cocoa applications built to take advantage of announced features like WebKit, Core Animation, and so on. Sure, given the foreseeable hardware limitations, these wouldn't be the exact applications that we're each running on our MacBooks today, but, hell, I'd take "OmniOutliner Mobile" or "iTerm Lite" or "Textmate for iPhone" in a heartbeat. No question.

Yesterday morning, though, I started to hear rumbles about the "inability for users to install additional applications of their choosing." And then later, after Brian from Gizmodo got a hands-on demo along with a sit-down with official Apple honchos, he noted...

It isn't OS X proper, as you'd expect. And like an iPod, it won't be an open system that people can develop for. Remember, this is both an iPod and a Phone.

...and I died a little inside.

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43F Podcast: Snell & Gruber on iPhone applications

Jason Snell and John Gruber on iPhone applications

Merlin talks with MacWorld Magazine’s Jason Snell and DaringFireball.net’s John Gruber about the likely future of applications for the recently announced iPhone. Who will be allowed to play? How does it affect the ostensible competition? Will this end up feeling more like a phone with an iPod, a Mac with a phone, or something altogether different? (5:48)

Grab the MP3, learn more at Odeo.com, or just listen from here:

read more »

MacBreak coverage of Macworld


Check back throughout the week for MacBreak's ongoing coverage of Macworld 2007 in San Francisco.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

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This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »