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.


These are posts about Quicksilver, which is a Mac OS X application launcher that also lets you build “functional sentences” on your Mac. Consider starting with an intro video.

Ubiquity: Firefox Gets its Quicksilver On

Aza’s Thoughts » Ubiquity In Depth

Take a few minutes this week to look at the Ubiquity plugin for Firefox. So far, I've spent just enough time with it to have my mind blown by the Quicksilver-like interface it wants to bring to web browsing.

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Quicksilver's Back; Nerd Hope Cautiously Restored

New Quicksilver builds | Hawk Wings

Quicksilver Logo

Since going open source late last year, things have seemed pretty quiet in the world of our favorite app launcher, Quicksilver. Today, our pal, Tim Gaden of Hawk Wings, posts on the availability of a bug fix release of Quicksilver that's come out in the last few weeks. He also points to a thread on the QS Google Group that suggests Quicksilver's auteur and flippered mystery bot, A1c0r, is currently hard at work on a substantial rewrite.

Please note that this is only a bug fix version, the creator of Quicksilver (Alcor) is working on a complete re-write of the frameworks of Quicksilver and should hopefully release it soon ;)

The post by user Patrick also refers to a separate, similarly numbered "Ankur's cleaned-up QS version," which refers to the work Ankur Kothari has been doing primarily to reduce the weight of Quicksilver's code.

These have been white knuckle months for me (and a lot of other Quicksilver nerds), dreading the inevitable OS X update that might break the aging Quicksilver build we've been using. This all seems like encouraging news -- although you have to hope at some point the different folks working on improvements will be able to consolidate their efforts into one big, happy, branch.

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Spotlight on Spotlight

The good man in brown just delivered my family pack of Leopard, and I'm itchin' to go a upgradin' all through the house. I'm particularly anxious to try the new To-Do features in Mail and iCal, the two apps besides a browser that I spend most of my time in each day.

One thing that especially intrigues me, though, is the reported performance improvement in Spotlight. Like many of 43 Folders' Mac users, I'd long given up on Spotlight in favor of Quicksilver. But on their latest Talk Show episode, John Gruber and Dan Benjamin raved about Spotlight's improvement, to the point that Dan (I think) said he hasn't reinstalled Quicksilver on Leopard yet.

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How do you describe Quicksilver?

Acting without doing SOUNDS good, but... (Ask MetaFilter)

I really liked this AskMe question about Quicksilver, since it's one that comes up a lot for folks who don't get as enthused about the app as I (and many of you) do:

Everywhere I go on the internet, Mac users rave about Quicksilver. I've downloaded it a couple times, and I sort of get that it COULD be really useful, but I am not sure how...

So what am I missing with Quicksilver? I see so many other people who get a lot of use out of it, and I am sure I can fit it in somewhere, too, but I just can't seem to figure it out....

Here's a portion of how I responded in comments:

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Clever "Real Life Quicksilver" video

Very fun video by Matt McInerney -- what it would be like if Quicksilver came to life outside your Mac. I sure like it better than living in a YouTube thread.

Quicksilver in Real Life from Matt McInerney on Vimeo.

[via: tumbl.us]

Quicksilver demo by Nicholas Jitkoff

Quicksilver: Universal Access and Action

A1c0r demos and discusses Quicksilver at the Google, including a good overview of why he chose to build the app in the way he did.

Alas, the jig is up for poor Nicholas. Now you all know that he does not, in fact, have flippers, and that he is actually astonishingly good-looking.

Quicksilver proxies for fast, easy printing

Faster Printing with Quicksilver

Mark Fisher shares terrific tips on how to use Quicksilver Proxies for faster printing:

Use this method when you want to print files that are on the Desktop or are all in the same folder.

  1. Select the files that you wish to print by Command clicking them.
  2. >
  3. Invoke Quicksilver (by default, ?–SPACE)
  4. >
  5. Type the name of your printer until QS displays its name e.g. “Lexmark”
  6. >
  7. Hit the TAB key to select the next pane.
  8. >
  9. Type “open” and select “Open File”. >
    • I recommend making “Open File” the default action for when you type “open”. You can do this by Ctrl clicking “Open File” and selecting ‘Set as Default for “OPEN”.’
    • >
  10. >
  11. Hit TAB to select the next pane.
  12. >
  13. Type “current” until QS displays ‘Current Selection’.
  14. >
  15. Hit ENTER.
  16. >
  17. Your files should start printing.
  18. >

Also check out how to use the "comma trick" to print multiple files. Great stuff.

After the jump is the video for the episode of The Merlin Show where I talked about using proxies to access application menus.

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Michael Buffington: iGTD + Quicksilver + subversion

by Michael Buffington

This is the second entry in a multipart series about my recent obsessive love affair with GTD, the iGTD application and Quicksilver.

In the last entry I put the emphasis on getting my tasks written down quickly and out of my focus into a system I could trust. I could choose to spend some time later to review my tasks and do what I like to call "iGTD gardening", where I check up on all my projects and do a bit of weeding of duplicate or irrelevant tasks, and fortify those tasks with whatever information comes to mind as I'm looking at them.

Since I'm now in the habit of pushing new tasks to iGTD and immediately forgetting about them I have the refreshing ability to work on a task without ever thinking about anything else. iGTD then becomes my set of instructions to follow when I need guidance, and if I've tended my task garden well, it's a rich set of instructions with a lot of tedious thinking already finished.

This system works out alarmingly well until you're possessed by SSD (severe stupidity disorder) and delete your iGTD database without even a whiff of lingering vapors. Immediately you'll be consumed by a profound and unshakable dread as you realize your tether has been severed from the mother ship and you begin to drift into outer space, your Tang to be divided up amongst your colleagues (even the ones you loathe).

Luckily for most of us, iGTD makes database backups upon starting up the iGTD app and for a couple of other events, and luckier still, most of us don't suffer from SSD very often.

But I often do, and don't leave anything to chance.

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MacBreak Weekly 45; iPhone release night; Quicksilver mouse triggers

MacBreak Weekly 45: Talk Time


Hosts: Leo Laporte, Merlin Mann, Scott Bourne, and Alex Lindsay


iPhone gets a better battery and screen, MacGPS rumors, and Safari holes...

Here's a direct MP3 download of MBW 45.

Gotta tell you: I'm really excited about the imminent arrival of the iPhone for an unconventional reason: the possibility that we can eventualy stop talking about the iPhone. (sigh)

Anyway. Two things related to this episode:

  1. If we can scare up a video jockey, I'll be at the Stockton St. store here in SF next Friday to shoot some stuff about that evening's iPhone release for MacBreak. Maybe interviewing people in line; who knows?
  2. My tip of the week in this episode is a very cool Quicksilver trick called mouse dragged triggers. Explaining how it works is -- as you'll hear -- difficult, to say the least. So, herewith, I present my favorite tutorial on the topic, from the lovely and talented Dan Dickinson. He also has some great ideas for what to do with the trick:
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43f Feature: Michael Buffington's "How I use iGTD"

Michael Buffington is a pal of mine who's a talented developer and all-around swell fellow. I got to work with him a bit on the Stikkit project and, in some of our offline talks on productivity stuff, I was intrigued to learn about some of his ninja geek skillz.

I asked Michael to write up a series on some of his favorite tricks to get his stuff done, and he kindly obliged. Here's part one.


How I use iGTD

by Michael Buffington

This is the first part in a multipart series about using iGTD with Quicksilver and how it's changed my life, allowed me to grow hair where I never thought it possible, and more importantly, spend more quality time with my children (who are, as you might know, super humans with indescribable special abilities).

I'm a recent and somewhat enthusiastic convert to GTD. I have had the good fortune of starting to manage my digital life with GTD the same day Merlin first mentioned a great application for OS X called iGTD.

I have to admit though that I'm not a very hard core GTD follower yet. The most important parts of GTD for me are getting my tasks out of my head the moment they pop into existence, and putting them into some sort of system I can trust. iGTD allows me to do exactly that in a very intuitive way, but if I'm having a good day I only ever bring iGTD into focus when I'm not sure what's next on my list.

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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