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.


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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Gift Card Sprees

If you're like me, you probably got a whole playing deck worth of gift cards over the holidays, those presents that say, "I felt like I needed to get you something, but put the least amount of thought into it." And if you're like me, getting one of these cards is a mixed bag of emotions. For one, there's the "Woohoo!

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TOPICS: shopping

Luggage Pr0n: Five Head-Turning Bags for Your Notebook

Transitions can be a bitch. I’ve just traded in my big black Sony Vaio tower for a slim silver MacBook Pro not-laptop (because it runs so hot). On the one hand, I’ve said good-bye to a 750Gb RAID drive and a dual-monitor video card capable of running two 30-inch Cinema Displays. On the other hand, I’ve also said good-bye to daily virus updates and the constant fear that my entire system is going to become unstable and turn into a Russian Zombieputer overnight and start to spam myself about how small my penis is.

Now, I can carry my digital world around with me. Convenient, sure, but also it presents a quandary to a homosexualist like myself. Pardon me if I seem cliched and stereotypical, but it’s important for me to try to look good no matter what I’m doing, and that goes for my computer, too. If I’m going to be hauling my notebook into the latest trendy coffee shop and stare at my 15” glossy LED-lit screen as I sip a latte and nosh a bagel, I need it to look good not just sitting there glowing softly, but also look great coming and going.

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Adventures in $40 eyeglasses

Glasses purchased online Last year, I stumbled upon a blog post about buying prescription eyeglasses online. It sounded too good to be true: you could get any frames you wanted quickly and cheaply, and the comments were filled with optometrists freaking out. Eventually, the author launched a dedicated blog for it called Glassy Eyes. When the site was recently mentioned on MetaFilter right around the time I was getting my 2-year exam, I decided to take the plunge myself and order some glasses online.

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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. »