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.


Organic, grass-fed remainders, 2007-06-21

Herewith: news bits, remainders, and low-threshold links for your dining and dancing pleasure.

  • ChronoSync | Handy Tips for Using ChronoSync | Econ Technologies - I've mentioned before that I'm a fan of ChronoSync for automatically backing up or syncing folders between two Macs. This is a bunch of handy tips and recipes for setting CS up to do your bidding.
  • Rule the Web - My pal and frequent co-conspirator, Mark Frauenfelder, sent me a copy of his swell new book, Rule The Web, which is an up-to-date edition that answers the years-old question: "So, what cool stuff can I actually do with the internet?" While many of Mark's tips and links will be familiar to most of you, this would make a fantastic gift for friends and relatives who are new to intermediate web surfers. Recommended, as is Mark's companion site for the book. (And thanks for the very kind words about 43f, Mark)
  • The Universal Traveler - Speaking of books, I keep meaning to write a followup to the post about Ze Frank and "morphological synthesis" since it led me to a couple good books on creativity. I'm particularly enjoying The Universal Traveler (whose title I mangled horribly on The Heather Gold Show last Friday). It's a lo-fi, somewhat hippie-looking tome, but don't let the clip art and Courier 12 fool you -- this thing is chock full of great ideas for approaching any kind of creative challenge. I love that the authors understand that different people and different problems will require a wide-ranging set of tools and approaches. Good stuff.
  • YouTube - Microsoft Surface Parody - I'm sure you've seen it already, but I just can't get enough of this Microsoft Surface sendup, courtesy of Sarcastic Gamer. I'm a long time fan and advocate of the adjective big-ass, so this cracked me up.
  • MacBreak Minute: Sogudi (1080p) - Episodes of MacBreak's tiny little brother, MacBreak Minute, have started going out. I did a quickie on Sogudi (featured on 43f twice previously) that you can download in either iPod size (yikes, tiny!) or 1080p (yikes, ginormous!). Related: please remind me to shave next time I do one of these.
  • Tonight in SF: Merlin's OmniFocus Demo - Finally, a friendly reminder that I'll be at the Stockton St. Apple Store tonight at 7pm to demo OmniFocus and talk about how I use it. OmniGroup's CEO (and lead fantasy-gamer) Ken Case will be in evidence too, and we'll be happy to answer any questions you have. It's free, open to the public, and I hope I'll see you there.
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Hand-picked, artisanal, remaindered links, 2007-06-04

These are lower threshold links to stuff I've recently enjoyed.

Submit your ideas for links to del.icio.us, and be sure to include the tag "for:43folders."

Remaindered links, 2007-03-21

Lower threshold links to stuff I wouldn't want you to miss. It's been quite a while since we've done some shorties, so what the heck.


  • Inquisitor 3. Spotlight for the web. - I tried Inquisitor when it first came out, and, for some reason, it didn't move me. But now, I love its smartypants, mind-reader replacement for Safari's search bar. Sogudi is still my first love for ad hoc location bar searches, but the ability to add custom search engines to Inquisitor is hot hot hot. Free as in beer, too.
  • Picked up one of these Behance notebooks the other day. It is very lovely and well-designed. Not sure if it's a quantum functional improvement over a sheet of printer paper, but it's definitely a classy piece of productivity pr0n. And the Helvetica! Ah the Helvetica.
  • Service Scrubber - I've mentioned before that I think OS X Services are one of the most woefully under-utilized tricks in the current Apple world. But the actual Services menu can, over time get cluttered. This handy little donationware app will shut off Services you don't want to appear in the menu and let you re-map the key bindings of ones you do use. Very handy.
  • 010: Interview: John Vanderslice, Part 2 | The Merlin Show - John Vanderslice on high-volume email: "You can't make sense of all that correspondence. You just can't."
  • On the advice of my pal Katie Spence, I picked up Unstuck, which looks to be a pretty neat little book about generating ideas and then seeing them through into real "stuff." Presented in a "choose your own adventure" style that makes for interactive fun. They also have a website that (with a bit of typo-correction and expansion) could turn into an excellent adjunct to the hardback edition (the book clearly wants to be hypertext).
  • Gizmodo reports on less costly options for hooking up your new Apple TV. My take: A) it's crazy for Apple not to include at least gratis composite cables for a device aimed at the fat part of the media-viewing curve, and B) the charlatans at Monster and their ilk should be horsewhipped for what they're charging media noobs for cables.

Cool Stuff Remainders, 2005-12-15

A few books, apps, and other baubles I've enjoyed lately.

  • As a kid, I devoured dorky books like Haley's Hints, and I'm convinced it's partly what made me into the sort of person drawn to the life hacks phenomenon. If you suffer from the same affliction and nurse a passion for clever little tips on removing stains, moving furniture, or drying a sweater, you'll love this one, too. It's nicely indexed and the nano-sections make it perfect bedtime (or bathroom) reading.
  • SuperDuper, the most excellent backup tool/disk cloner, had a recent upgrade that added scheduled, non-attended backups and several other nice features to the mix. I love this app. Love it.
  • Xinha Here so rules. True WYSIWYG HTML editing inside Firefox may be (I say for the umpteenth time) what finally moves me to The Fox and keeps me there. Combining Xinha with Writeboard -- or even Writely, I guess -- gives me a glimpse of where the web might be heading (and Redmond's Office team may have a lot to find troubling about it). Great little chunk of func. Go, Firefox. [via LH]
  • A wonderful reader gifted me with a much-desired item from my AMZN wishlist -- a terrific little book called Buddhism Plain and Simple. In the 20 years I've flirted with learning more about Buddhist practice, this book has brought the clearest and most practical presentation I've come across. Re-framing Buddhism not as a religion but as a way of seeing has really flipped a switch in my head. Great little book that I can highly recommend (and many thanks to my kind giftor for bringing it to me).
  • On a recent field trip to pester my friends at Mule I found myself jealously coveting a lot of the toys and tech on Mike Monteiro's desk, including a most excellent wireless Microsoft mouse. As a consequence, I dropped by CompUsa on the way home, picked up the Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 and have been really pleased with it so far, I'm happy to say. It has a bunch of programmable buttons, nice precision, and a wacky "zoom in" feature that's probably fun at parties. I also love that the scroll wheel goes side-to-side as well as up-and-down -- if you ever have the kind of hot and heavy makeout sessions with Excel that I do, this is a Very Good Thing.
  • I also nabbed me a RadioShark which is kind of like a TiVo for your favorite local radio stations. It's a plastic thingee that connnects to your USB port and ships with some fairly janky software for automating recording. The reception also sucks, and it has a very 1.0 feeling in general, but combining it with RadioTime is actually ace. You can use the RadioTime site to schedule all your favorite shows (local and otherwise accessible via the web) and RT does all the heavy lifting of recording streams, bodyslamming the RadioShark in line, then dumping the product right into iTunes. At $39.95 a year, the RadioTime service is steep, and I do wish the next-gen Shark could be "flashed" in a way that allows for independent (un-connected to the Mac) recording. Still if you're a huge Public Radio nerd like me, it's nice to know you'll never miss another "Fascinatin' Rhythm" or "Writer's Almanac".

Remainders: The Multiple Self, OS X plugs, a year of 43F, and Grandpa's crappy art

It's been a while, so how about some Friday remainders?

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TOPICS: Remainders

Remainders: Notebooks, NextBus, the Wiki, and more

Our theoretically weekly roundup of stuff that didn't fit anyplace else.

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Remainders: Coin envelopes, sprints, binder clipping & more

Our usual Friday skip through the meadow of Merlin's marginally-productive brain.

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An Oblique Strategy:
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