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.


Recap: 43 Folders' Corvette Summer

Welcome back, friend. Per what I wrote in your yearbook back in June, I hope you had a nice summer and stayed sweet and cool. You look great. Did you lose weight or something?

Somewhere along the way over the past few weeks, I seem to have got my game on again here at 43 Folders. I wrote a few items that I'm proud of and that lots of people seemed to enjoy. I'm once again posting about stuff that means a lot to me, and I'm feeling good about the site and where it (and I) will be heading over the next year. (More on that soon)

But, if you were tanning on Ibiza or building houses with Jimmy Carter and missed out on my wordy comeback season, here's a few articles I hope you will enjoy.

It's nice to have you back; I found the Vette, and I'm pumped for Fall.

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TOPICS: Recaps

43 Folders: Best of GTD

NPR: Tech Junkies Crazy About 'Getting Things Done'

As an insufferably huge public broadcasting nerd, I was happy to hear (via our pal, Ryan) that 43 Folders was mentioned in tonight's All Things Considered story about Getting Things Done.

Since this may be the first time some folks have visited the site, I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite GTD posts from the past four years. We talk about lots more than GTD here, but it's definitely a lot of my readers' favorite topic.

Thanks for stopping by. Ton of links after the jump...

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Best of: Our Favorite Videos

Back at work killing time? Sure you are. After all, it's nationwide "Thumb up your butt" week, right? You bet it is.

So, from the archives of 43 Folders (and the on-hiatus Merlin Show), here's four of my favorite videos of stuff I've done. Hope you like 'em.

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Merlin & Leo: Gentle introduction to GTD

The Tech Guy Labs - Leo Laporte, "The Tech Guy" [2007-03-31]

On last Saturday's Tech Guy radio show, Leo Laporte and I talked about some of the basics of David Allen's Getting Things Done system. For most regular visitors to 43 Folders, this is going to be very introductory stuff, but I think it may be useful to folks who are getting started or are just curious about what "GTD" even means.

My segment appears from about 00:59:30 to about 1:08:45. Here's a link to an MP3 of the show, plus a few of the items that were mentioned in the segment:

Getting started (or reacquainted) with Quicksilver

Hack Attack: A beginner's guide to Quicksilver - Lifehacker

Adam Pash has written a terrific introduction to Quicksilver that I recommend for folks who are still scratching their heads about what all the fuss is about.

Part of the challenge is the "layers of the onion" problem. There's no explanation of what Quicksilver does that's at once brief, accurate, exhaustive, and easy for new users to immediately grok; it really does reveal its delights over time, through repeated usage, and in proportion to your willingness to learn and experiment. Adam does a good job of acquainting new folks with the basic idea and the setup, then he walks through a few of the many bits of fu that have made this app the phenomenon that it is.

Quicksilver can be used to launch files and applications, manipulate data, and seamlessly plug into almost any application on your Mac so that you can perform actions as soon as you think of them in a few short keystrokes.

Also from our own archives, here are a few popular Quicksilver items from the extended 43 Folders family (including 4 video tutorials). And seriously: if you really still don't see why QS is different, do watch the videos; writing about Quicksilver is like singing about a magic trick.

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5 Favorite 43 Folders Podcasts, 2006

43 Folders Podcast

O'Reilly and Associates logo, detail

I'm a far from prolific contributor to the personal podcasting scene, but 2006 brought several episodes of the podcast that people seemed to enjoy and that I'm pleased to have made.

If you're new to 43f's podcast (subscribe for free) or just want to amble down memory lane with me, here's my five favorite episodes from this past year. Unexpurgated, unedited and, as ever, featuring candid depictions and the occasional swear; because sometimes productivity talk is just NSFW.

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Productive Talk Compilation: 8-episode podcast with GTD's David Allen

Download MP3 of "Productive Talk Compilation"

As promised, here's the single-file compilation of the Productive Talk podcast interviews I did with David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done. The final version's eight episodes clock in at a considerable one hour and twenty-six minutes, so this should give you plenty to listen to while you're in line at the DMV.

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43F Recap: Best of iCal Tips

Wow. It's been over nine months since I quit Entourage in favor of the kGTD/iCal productivity tag-team. In that time, I could have had an infant, finished a school year, or been responsible for a couple failed sitcoms. (I mean: if I had a uterus, was still in college, and were, say, McLean Stevenson)

Yes, friends, I do still spend a lot of my day shaking my hammy fist in impotent rage at iCal's numerous shortcomings, but I've reached a kind of détente with Apple's stock calendaring app, and along the way I've discovered some modest ways to squeeze more drops of Cupertino-y goodness from its moist Jolly Rancher-like pages. Here's a few of my favorites.

  • Getting more out of iCal - "The truth is, iCal works great with kGTD (mostly of course), and once you make your peace with the perplexing stasis of its feature set, there are some not-bad hooks and affordances hiding in its pastel, roundy corners. Here’s a few I like."
  • HOWTO: Flag “penciled-in” events in iCal - "When I create the event, I just put a Spanish-language question mark “¿” (hit: OPTION-SHIFT-?) in front of the event’s title. Like so..."
  • Schedule (and choose) a dash in iCal "If you start the name of the task with the number of minutes in the dash, you have a very easy to way to see items that can be knocked down quickly (hint: sort “To Dos by Title”)."
  • Dr. Contextlove or: “How I stopped worrying and learned to love iCal” - "But why bother with organizing these into meta-groups? Ah, because it makes it so easy to reveal or hide all the tasks that I can work on at a given time, just by ticking the group’s little click box."
  • Kinkless GTD .83: Enhances Quicksilver and iCal integration, much more "I really like to plan in kGTD and then do out of iCal since it reduces the amount of fiddling and meta work temptation. That doesn’t mean, however, that I wouldn’t benefit from a little extra backward integration."

Inbox Zero: Wrapup + Open Thread

43 Folders Series: Inbox Zero

So, that's a wrap for Inbox Zero. I hope you've found stuff to make your journey to zero a bit easier and less stressful, and that you've discovered the resolve to parlay your newfound inbox emptitude into an ongoing quest for email fu.

Doubtless I've missed things or neglected to mention one of your favorite tricks. Got a good tool, trick, or attitude change that has helped you keep your inbox empty? Share it in comments.

And in case you got to the party late, here are summaries and links to all the Inbox Zero articles from the entire series:

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43F Recap: Best of Getting Things Done

GTD coverToday, I’ll be attending David Allen’s GTD: The Roadmap here in SF. Although, I’ve been yammering about Getting Things Done for months, this will be the first time I’m getting the story straight from The David. Really looking forward to that.

I know new folks arrive here every day, so it seems like an opportune time to look back at some of my favorite GTD posts from the earlier days on 43F. They’ll be familiar to many of you but — as someone who re-read Getting Things Done this weekend — I think it never hurts to go back and review.

Also, I’ll report back soon on what I pick up today.

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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