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

New model: Moleskine Reporter Notebooks

Spanking new Moleskine Reporter notebooks look really nice. Can’t wait to pick one up.

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Stever Robbins on email overload

Great article on dealing with high email volume that focuses on what you can do to craft email messages that are easy to process, read, and answer.

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Lifehacker: Canadian Press Secretary on his HPDA

Gina talks with Ian Capstick, who coordinates complex press interactions for NDP party MPs using a favorite tool of ours.

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Giles Turnbull on Macs & GTD

Giles was able to use some bits from email exchanges we had in his very good intro to using Macs for GTD. I especially like the tools overview.

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Mark Taw on GTD contexts and next actions

What context do I put my Next Actions in? :: MarkTAW.com

Mark Taw consistently provides some of the most lucid and realistic productivity advice I’ve come across. Today he eloquently addresses a common question of beginning Getting Things Done nerds.

If you have 15 lists, but they’re all full of things that you can do from the same starting point, you have 14 too many lists. It doesn’t matter if it’s a phone call, email, or going to the printers to pick up your business cards, your lists should contain no more detail than that. And don’t complain to me that your list would be too long that way, breaking it up into more lists doesn’t give you any fewer Next Actions, it just lets you procrastinate some of them more by putting them on a list you’ll ignore entirely.

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Use Quicksilver to navigate around dialog boxes; Default Folder plug

Handy little tip to avoid unnecessary drill-down, plus a plug for an old Mac evergreen.

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Custom feed refreshing in NetNewsWire

NetNewsWire is one my favorite Mac applications. It's a beautiful RSS/Atom reader with so many wonderful features that it's easy to lose one of it's smartest ones in the lights.

I've talked recently about the value of setting your email program's "autocheck" frequency to something more realistic than "every minute," as so many folks currently do. It's an easy way to minimize distraction, plus it encourages the smart habit of "ganging" email work into focused sprints of activity—rather than dashing away from whatever you're doing every minute or two like Pavlov's drooly puppy.

NetNewsWire has a setting that supports this same good habit in your site surfing habits. Under "Preferences > Downloading > Feeds", you can set "Refresh all subscriptions" to any of [Manual only | Every 30 Minutes | Every Hour | Every 4 Hours]. While the last one is optimal for server load etiquette and reduced distraction fu, I think you could be forgiven for wanting updates every hour. But what if you want even more granularity—to further minimize distractions from time sink "fun" sites? Easy.

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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. »