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.


Break out of "phone jail" with GetHuman

In yesterday's post about putting customer service numbers onto your mobile phone, commenter Joe suggested checking out Paul English's wonderful GetHuman, a website that diligently collects and updates the phone numbers (and key punches) necessary to get you straight through to a human being at 500 well-known companies.

I realize this site is ancient news to a lot of you, but I couldn't believe I'd never featured it in its own post here; I've been loving and using the crap out of GH (and the preceding IVR) for years now. Consider the oversight rectified.

Paul also shares some smart tips for intrepid information seekers (Hint: that fast "0" mashing tip has worked great for me):

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Dansays: Put all your customer service numbers into Address Book

This morning, like a lot of other people, I was locked out of using my PayPal debit card while the site (and apparently its glass-jawed transaction processing network) took a total dirtnap. So it goes. That’s only indirectly the point of this post (although I did kind of feel like opening a “Can of Cory” on The Pal).

Point is, my pal dansays left a great comment on my whiny Flickr post laying out why he's put all the customer service numbers of products and sites he uses right into his Apple Address Book. Great advice that I'll be taking this weekend:

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GrandCentral: For a "life-hackier" phone

I do a lot these days to get pickier about where my time and attention go, and keeping unnecessary phone calls at bay is near the top of the hit list. For years now, I've pled for "Spam Assassin" or something like regular expressions for my phone. GrandCentral may not be that smart yet, but it's years ahead of the options I've seen from landline carriers.

The features of Google's recent acquisition are many and powerful, but a few of my own favorite bits bubble up in this screengrab I took this morning (from a robot UPS phone call, alerting me to a signature-required package that's out on the truck).

UPS and GrandCentral taste great together

I can't imagine going back to typical phone options after having access to:

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43F Podcast: A Phone Made of Human Ass

A Phone Made of Human Ass (mp3)

43folders.com - Everything--including this piece of crap phone--will eventually break. Prepare yourself by capturing what you want to be different next time. (3:55)

Rated...mmm...let's say "PG-13." Listen over at Odeo, and see a photo of the assy phone for yourself.

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How do you get creative with your phonecam?

Your mobile phone camera can be more than a fast way to send your kitty photos to Grandma Pearl. Like a lot of people, I use mine as a ubiquitous capture device, recording ephemeral information and visual documentation wherever and whenever it’s needed.

I’m mostly curious to hear how other folks are using their phonecams (open comments below), but I’ll get the ball rolling with a few ideas, old and new:

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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. »