Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.
Unix and The Command Line
Merlin Mann | Jun 28 2008
Wow, this looks like a really interesting project to watch — a GNU-licensed, command line productivity app that finds inspiration in a bona fide classic:
You still hear a lot of people saying Agenda is the closest they ever got to their dream productivity app. And, depending on who you ask, Agenda's endless flexibility was either incredibly powerful or infinitely fiddly.
Beeswax is a very young application, but I’ll definitely be giving it a spin. There's certainly a long-standing itch for Agenda that lot of folks would love to have scratched.
The Question to You
Any of the old hardcore Agenda folks tried out Beeswax yet?
[via Anarchaia]read more »
Merlin Mann | Jun 28 2007
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.read more »
Merlin Mann | Jun 3 2007
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."
Merlin Mann | Feb 5 2007
Reminds me it's about time for another round of trying to learn Vim.
Merlin Mann | Nov 22 2006
Merlin Mann | Sep 20 2006
Version 7.0 of Vim has some sexy new features under the hood, including the ability to jump back in time -- you can undo your app to where you were a few minutes earlier, for example. As explained by All about Linux:read more »
Merlin Mann | May 2 2006
For you plain text nerds, Nick Fagerlund has developed a nifty little Ruby script for managing your lists of tasks or what have you.
The basic idea is to capture anything you need into one text file, with one item per line. He (and I) recommend using a Quicksilver trigger to append to that file of your choice as you work. When adding an item, you use a "category" tag (as in "^category") which you type at the beginning of each line you.read more »
Merlin Mann | Dec 12 2005
The explications continue.
It's been a while since I talked about how I'm using text files, and my post a while ago on Quicksilver appending reminded me of a few little changes I've made over the past year or so that my fellow text geeks might find interesting.
Reviewing: Why text?
Like a lot of geeks and aspirational geeks, I do as many things as possible in plain text files. I've endlessly sung the praises of text on 43F, but in a nutshell, they're portable, efficient, tiny, and almost endlessly mungible. They're the lingua franca of Unix and most of the civilized world.
As you'll see, I use text files for any variety of things, although my favorite use is for making and maintaining lists. The aforementioned append functionality lets me quickly add items to any file with nothing but muscle memory and a few keystrokes. Best thing ever.
I also write in text files as well as store large amounts of reference information. Text is very easy to swap into HTML (I keep almost everything in Markdown format), and text is wonderfully searchable, whether using Spotlight, Find & Replace, or just via incremental search from within the editor.
Point being: I use applications like OmniOutliner, iCal, and (formerly) Entourage to organize the relationships between silos in my life; but text files are the living repositories for as much of the actual information as I can manage.
Getting a system
Like everything, this text system benefits from a loose organizational framework that lets me quickly create and change files without having to worry too much about what it's called, where it goes, and how I'll find it again. So here's a few high points from my text world.read more »
Merlin Mann | Oct 4 2005
I’m an old-school fan of GeekTool, a smart little PreferencePane that lets you trick out your Mac’s Desktop background with a variety of customizable stats, photos, and status info. Most folks’ favorite use is to display the output of shell scripts and simple CLI commands (e.g. “
To be honest, I hadn’t used GeekTool in a while, but apparently there were some Tiger compatibility issues that were vexing fans. Now Mac Geekery’s rupa deadwyler points to a branched version (2nd item) that provides fixes for Tiger.
He also writes up a good post on a few of his favorite uses for GeekTool:read more »
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