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.


Additional emails addresses in one Mail.app account

The "Email Address" field in Mail.app accepts multiple comma-delimited addresses. Also sets correct "FROM" address thereafter.

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What are _you_ 'waiting on?'

A confession. I’ve been reloading this page every 3 minutes for the last week. I’m totally fixated on obtaining a copy of TextMate and have already mentally ascribed it powers that include many of the miracles described by Saints Matthew and Mark. Setting my saliva and expectations aside for just a moment, this has me thinking a bit about my “waiting on” list and just how effectively (or not) I’m using it to get things done.

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Small milestones and some Friday remainders

Wow. Crazy month. One hundred fifty thousand unique nerds stopped by here in the last 30 days. That’s just nuts. God knows I’d love to give most of you a peck on the cheek for it, but for now I’ll just say “thanks a million.”

So to concurrently celebrate our one month annniversary, 400th Google Group member, and the soft launch of our sweet 43F Schwag Room, I’m doing what any productive person would do: I’m taking the weekend off.

Still I wanted to leave you with something, so here’s another quick batch of reamaindered tips to play with and cogitate upon. Have fun, enjoy your weekend, and see you kids on Monday.

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Mental dialogues, yak-shaving & the triumph of the 'mini-review'

From time to time in the middle of an interruption-driven week, I’ll find myself in the weeds and struggling to think where I should park an item. My brain speaks informally with itself:

Oh, man, I don’t have time for this…uh…I guess it’s a TODO so, put it on next actions….but…no, it’s really got some pieces to it so maybe projects…oh, crap, I’m too busy for this, I’ll just toss it in inbox and deal with it later.

I’ve finally learned to diagnose these odd dialogues as a symptom of a simple problem: I’m mired in seemingly important details, I’ve fallen out of touch with my “stuff," and, damn it, I need to do a quick mini-review.

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Routing searches through Dowser

Fans of Sogudi or Quicksilver can re-route their automated searches through the neato Dowser script/app.

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Does this "next action" belong someplace else?

"Next actions" are the cornerstone of Getting Things Done. In the same way that you can't have a great band with a shitty drummer, you'll never master GTD until you get yout next actions straightened out.

I’ve noticed that there are often items on my “next actions” list that hang around a lot longer than they should. I scan and rescan and sort and add and delete, but there’s always a few stragglers who hang out there for a week or more. Eventually this starts to vex me, and I try to debug why things aren’t getting done.

For myself, I’ve discovered that most of the items are just in the wrong place, or, if you prefer, in the wrong time or context. It can be instructive to pull each straggler out of line and try to figure out whether he really belongs someplace else. Here’s my usual suspects, ordered by how often each is the culprit behind my unintentional slack.

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Mark Hurst reviews "Typeit4me"

This is a bit of a milestone day for 43 Folders. In addition to our new 43folders.com domain name more or less working (finally), it’s also my honor to present our first guest post, brought to us today by Mark Hurst.

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Terminal Nerds II: Electric Boogaloo

516234_3c61dab15b_o Our post about getting started with the Terminal command line and various related discussions swirling around the site have started to produce some remarkable results.

First, our home-grown OSXCLI tag on del.icio.us has yielded a wondrous crop of links for the OSX Terminal newbies. Although the reading level does seem to be inching northward, there’s still a ton of great stuff that should help folks at many skill levels.

Also, a followup CLI discussion on the 43F Google Group has provoked some very smart people to talk about how they use their Macs. The most fascinating comes from my new favorite fake nemesis and CLI stud, John S.J. Anderson, who has posted a terrific breakdown of his setup and emacs world that you should not miss:

I’m a sysadmin and the father of a two-year old, which means my life is almost completely interrupt-driven. My system allows me to quickly capture new input as it happens, and then more fully process it later, which is key to me avoiding a complete mental meltdown. [read it all »]

There are many other highlights on the thread itself that I’ve printed out for future reference. Here are a few:

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Naming project support files

I've started keeping all my one-page, per-project support files in the same folder as my GTD lists. I still use “@” as prefix for contextual lists, but now I use “&” to indicate a support file.

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Quicksilver B30 introduces triggers and content searching

New features continue to move app beyond its modest roots.

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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. »