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.

Personal Productivity

Incomplete tasks and the Zeigarnik Effect

“The Zeigarnik effect states that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed ones.”

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PigPog PDA: A simplified Moleskine GTD system

PigPogPDA - PigPog Creativity Wiki [Introduction]

Michael Randall lays out a paper GTD-based system that should appeal to a lot of folks here.

What Is It?

  • A Moleskine hack.
  • An extreme Moleskine hack.
  • A simplified GTD system (What system? See our GTD Introduction), with relatively little actual organising. May be useful if you fancy Doing GTD Without Doing GTD.
  • A complete personal management system for those who’s needs aren’t too complicated.
  • A rather over-the-top system for dealing with just the capturing and processing end of GTD.


I was finding GTD a bit much for various reasons, but didn’t want to stop entirely - I needed to be Doing GTD Without Doing GTD. This is the system I came up with in the end. It’s simpler than GTD, and wouldn’t scale to the sort of level that GTD will, but it works pretty well for me, so it seems reasonable to think it might work well for other people too.

Read on for details of a clever system for turning a Moleskine Reporter into a kind of über-notebook, in which capture, processing, and related work are handled using sticky-note flags and some light templating.

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Geoffrey Litwack: Tactical advice, observations on GTD implementation

Really good post on a satisfying hybrid of paper and digital. Full of good insight and “what I've learned” observations. Best of many good lines: “The power of Greyskull is the power of the next action.” Word.

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Eight tools for streamlined decision-making

The always-enjoyable Mind Tools shares eight of the most popular and reliable tools for decision making.

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GTD-style email in Thunderbird

Clever way to use Thunderbird’s excellent (semantic) flags to implement at GTD-inspired email triage system

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To-Done: Scheduling tasks

This is an intriguing idea. Keith converts his important to-dos into scheduled blocks of work.

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Life inside one big text file

Giles takes one of the biggest, geekiest leaps you can, moving all of his stuff into a single big-ass plain text file.

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David Allen: Handy lists to maintain

David Allen’s suggestions for lists that are handy to keep around.

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Sending short email messages from within Quicksilver

Keep it brief and send it fast--right from within Quicksilver.

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Good report of a year using GTD

I enjoyed tuqqer’s detailed review of how he’s tweaked GTD to work best for him over the past year.

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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. »