Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Spotlight on 43Folders

Screen shot of 43Folders

This is the second in my series "Spotlight on the Web", I wrote about Zenhabits in my first article.

Have you stumbled across 43Folders or are you a regular reader perhaps? About a year ago I first discovered 43Folders in a Google Search. This was one of my first exposures to productivity and lifehacks on the web. One of the great things that I found about the site was that you could use many of the tips without too much effort. It wasn’t too long until I found the series that he did on Getting Things Done and his Inbox Zero series about getting and keeping your email under control.

43Folders was created by Merlin Mann. He is also the creator of The Merlin Show, 5ives, and 30 Seconds with Phone Guy. He is a host on the popular MacBreak video podcast. He appears as a regular guest on the MacBreak Weekly and This Week in Tech audio roundtables (both found on Leo Laporte’s TWiT network). There is even an entry about Merlin at Wikipedia.

Originally life hacks referred to the quick and dirty shell scripts and other command line utilities that were used by programmers to help them speed their programming along. It has since been widely adopted and spread and now tends to be applied to a whole host of tips and tricks that you can apply in various areas of your life. Many lifehacks can be used to automate routine activities and they often don’t require a lot of effort to do. When you give it some thought you can understand why lifehacks have caught on. In the project and IT worlds we’re always looking to see what has been done before so that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. By making use of lifehacks you can often automate some of your more routine activities giving you more time and energy to focus and work on more important activities.

43Folders was one of the earliest blogs to make use of term “lifehack” and incorporate it into its design and content. Merlin described the approach that he planned to take with 43Folders in his first post there called “Mental Sausage, _or_ 'Hello, World.'”,appearing on the site August 31, 2004. In addition to the widely popular GTD series and the Inbox Zero series, there are many other great posts and a forum dealing with a wide variety of topics. Merlin does an occasional podcast at 43Folders. Amongst the 43Folders podcasts, he did a very good series of interviews with Getting Things Done author David Allen. You can find 43Folders podcasts at Podcastalley. In addition within the 43Folders site, the podcasts can be found here, where you can subscribe via itunes.

Merlin Mann is a highly sought after speaker. Last summer he gave anInbox Zero Talk as part of a Google Tech Talk series at Google. I’m embedding the video below. Here is Slideshow of the talk that you can view at your own pace and you can also find the audio only in the 43Folders podcasts (it is currently the most recent one)

Do you read 43Folders? If you haven't checked it out, you should do so. Are there any other productivity/life hack sites that you recomend? If you have any other comments, I’d love to hear them. If you liked this article, please consider subscribing to the blog via RSS or email, share it on or on Digg and pass it on to anyone that you think might appreciate it .Thank you. :)

On Deck…

I’ll be publishing posts about…

  • The next in my series of weight loss strategies
  • My next Spotlight on the web.
  • More on productivity, web 2.0, family, parenting, and other things that you can use.

Other Post That You Might Also Like to Read…

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