Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.
Merlin Mann | Oct 18 2006
Part II: GTD and Extreme Programming
by Robert Peake, David Allen Company
I have to admit that I'm not a perfect adopter of Extreme Programming. We don't program in pairs, for example -- quite the opposite, our coders are flung far and wide, tethered together only by a broadband connection. However, as much as GTD is "advanced common sense", so to my mind is Extreme Programming a form of "best practices on steroids" -- and for this reason, there are not only many parallels, but great crossover when it comes to managing programming projects.read more »
Merlin Mann | Oct 17 2006
Robert Peake is the brainiac CTO for the David Allen Company (a/k/a, "DavidCo"). I first met Robert when I was down in Ojai a few weeks ago to record some stuff with The David, including our Productive Talk podcasts and that TechGTD panel we did with Robert and Eric Mack.
Robert really impressed me with his humor, his insight, and his mad Macintosh skillz. Also -- off the record -- I happen to think Robert's probably the most articulate evangelist for geek GTD I've ever met. He really gets both pieces so well that, of course, I demanded he write an article for 43F, right on the spot. He was kind enough to play along, and flipped around this terrific piece in record time.
As he covers in this series, a lot of Robert's time over the past few months has been spent putting together the GTD Connect membership program, as well as making sure all the company's lights stay on from a technology standpoint. Since I know a lot 43F readers share Robert and my interest in GTD and programming, I'm sure you'll dig hearing from him. He successfully pulls together some pieces I've had floating around in my own head, and I thank him much for sharing this.
[Note: Part 2 of Robert's article, entitled "GTD and Extreme Programming," appears Wednesday on 43 Folders.]
Getting Software Done
by Robert Peake, David Allen Company
Since launching GTD Connect, we have gotten a lot of great feedback not only on the content, but on the technical underpinnings of the system we built to deliver the audio, video, forums, podcasts, and other goodies on the site. What a lot of people may not realize is that, to my mind, a lot of the elegance expressed in the technology that drives Connect stems from the fact that we implement and use the GTD methodology in our software development process. We really do "eat our own dog food" at DavidCo, and I'm convinced that necessarily translates to a more positive user experience overall in every product we produce, and especially software. A lot of people also don't realize how highly relevant GTD is to the software development industry specifically, and how many interesting parallels there are between software best practices and workflow best practices (i.e. GTD).read more »
Merlin Mann | Sep 12 2006
As usual, the perspicaciousness of my insight reveals itself in quips like "This is pretty" and "People should buy this" and "Apple seems smart." Is it any wonder the Windows People hate us? No, friends. No, it isn't any wonder at all.
Running time: 58:49
Merlin Mann | Jul 13 2006
Earlier this year, like many of my siblings in the minor web dorkerati, your author was made a “Sprint Ambassador.” This is actually not nearly as fancy as it sounds — you still have to pay parking tickets and can’t necessarily have rude waiters whacked with impunity. Plus you get this really weird (Kansas? Missouri?) area code that makes all your friends think you’re a telemarketer or a Republican pollster.
Anyhow, the deal is that Sprint sends you their multimedia Samsung A-920 to use for free for a few months in exchange for offline comments (and, one speculates, the chance that their little blue unit might make an appearance in, say, a blog post along the lines of the one you're reading).
The phone’s okay, I guess — although why it takes 8 mother-scratching clicks to send a photo to Flickr from this purportedly high-end “multimedia phone” is just really hard for me to understand. Plus, until the other night, I’d never been able to use the EVDO modem functionality that’s one of the phone’s marquee features. The idea of internet access from any place that gets a phone signal made me salivate in the early days of my Ambassador tenure, but, as with so many of these things, I quickly made my peace with the usual excuse; unsupported on Macs. WANH-wahn. Still gotta drive to Starbucks to check my email on vacation. Oh, well.
Turns out I was wrong, and, boy, do I love being wrong about this.read more »
Merlin Mann | Jun 8 2006
NYT talks with Ed Reilly of the American Management Association on technology's "double-edged impact in the workplace."
For my money, though, this one is the quote of the week:
Merlin Mann | Jun 5 2006
Couldn't track down the source material from the UK productivity study referenced in this press release, but, if they're accurate, some of the data are interesting to say the least.
Seems conservative to me, but -- you know -- I'm a terrific karmasuck about these things.
Also intriguing are these bullets on "average times wasted each day:"read more »
Merlin Mann | May 30 2006
I've been Googling around for good advice on how people deal with "email overload," and I think this 1999 report from the CommCore Consulting Group may contain some of the more sound and evergreen advice out there for not contributing to the noise (cf: "Writing sensible email messages").
It covers etiquette and best practices for both voicemail and email. Some of the best tips on email:
And on voicemail:read more »
Merlin Mann | Mar 30 2006
Steven Levy on continuous partial attention and "The Attention Economy" at ORA's Emerging Technology Conference.
I have to concur on the ironic hilarity of an ETech ostensibly being devoted to the topic of "The Attention Economy." As someone who's been both on the dais and down in the pit, I don't think I've ever seen so many overstimulated people struggling to find even more stimulation. It's harrowing.
[ via the 43F Board ]
Merlin Mann | Dec 1 2005
[ via Slashdot ]
Damn, this could be pretty big stuff, eh?
I'm guessing at least a few of you out there are rabid Blackberry users -- I've never even used one myself, but I have friends who live on theirs. So, I'm curious: How do you feel about the possibility of losing Blackberry service? If it went away today, what would you use instead? Do you have a fallback plan?
Merlin Mann | Oct 20 2005
As ever it will be filled with new ways to turn your doorbell into a death laser or make a functional hovercraft from a Mr. Coffee or even remove the DRM from a six-pack of Mr. Pibb. It's all in there, along with the usual "Life Hacks" column from Danny and me.
This month's column features our long-anticipated showdown/throwdown on digital vs. paper. Two step into the octagon and only one, One, ONE will step out. (Well, actually: after realizing it's all been a simple misunderstanding, they shake hands and agree to work quietly on separate projects.)
An excerpt:read more »
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