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.

Wish Lists

The Case Against Wish Lists

Organized people keep lists: to-do lists, shopping lists, lists of books they want to read, movies they want to watch, restaurants they want to try. Sometimes, the lists become a way of taking care of the people in our lives, like gift ideas or reminders for a spouse or co-worker. I keep lots of lists, and depending on what I’m working on at the time, I might have a dozen or so sitting around to keep track of things.

On the whole, lists are a good thing. I certainly feel better when I write things down. But a certain kind of list, that long-running, chock-full wish list of stuff you want to try or buy, can do more psychic harm than good. They’re a great way to keep track of all the cool stuff you hear about, but there’s the rub. How often do you actually pick something off your wish list? And how often do you look at your wish list and feel bad because you’ll probably never get to any of it?

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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