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Back to Work

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Back to Work is an award winning talk show with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discussing productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more. Hosted by Merlin Mann & Dan Benjamin.
460 Episodes
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460: Listen to the Jar

460: Listen to the Jar

2020-01-1401:16:34

DISCUSSED: A fun and creepy new face swap app; Twitter is not creating much new happy; this leads to a discussion of generational perceptions about what's acceptable or even desirable (especially with Apple products); praise for the podcast, The Dream; Merlin gets a new clock; the origin of #MerlinsPoopList; who pays $168 for a bikini?; Merlin has uvula problems; Dan explores P&S Liquid and an upsetting gurgling noise; and, finally, "Back to the Mac 2020™" kicks off with a first dive into the magic of Obdev's LaunchBar.
Merlin needs help in the NOC; Dan discovers sensitive sauce; there are thresholds; hurting your roller skating muscles; new printer; and, finally, Merlin conducts a long exploration of unnecessary efficiencies, evolved technologies, and the minimum viable productivity system.
458: 2 Fury 2 Road

458: 2 Fury 2 Road

2019-12-3101:12:50

For this very special end of the century, fin de siècle episode, Dan and Merlin make bespoke personal recommendations for music, podcasts, apps, TV shows, YouTube videos, and gadgets.
457: A Buddhist Gift

457: A Buddhist Gift

2019-12-2401:23:57

DISCUSSED: holiday lizard talk; some benefits of using "Environment" and "Journal" calendars; nostalgia for the Palm family of products in general and Graffiti in particular; responses to listener letters about: finding a "hook" for a new habit, physical media follow-up, HomeKit dinguses, Markdown editors, the joys of the TaskPaper lifestyle, advice on recovering from a disruption, and, finally, some thoughts on the unexpected benefits of disruption.
456: Urinal Cup

456: Urinal Cup

2019-12-1801:15:111

DISCUSSED: Dan presents a curious new bathroom project; some thoughts on OCD, procrastination, and empathy; praise for Fury Road, Inglourious Basterds, and Dunkirk; Dan has follow-up on his awesome new laptop and the state of Unix shells; Merlin makes the case for occasionally getting unused to things.
455: Talc Mandala

455: Talc Mandala

2019-12-1001:12:25

DISCUSSED: Drafts for Mac is out!; check out Damon Lindelof on The Watch; suggestions for HomeKit power strips; and responses to listener letters on rediscovering the joys of physical media and getting started with addressing chronic pain.
454: Enough Women Nation

454: Enough Women Nation

2019-12-0301:08:37

Discussed: the commercials you get in your head listener feedback on music management first results of Merlin's own deep dive on music management alternatives thoughts on the "safety" that ends up making us less safe the perverse magic of "ghoti" thoughts on Dan's cool new laptop getting the shell you want sometimes Daddy needs to go in the closet
453: Shoulder the Brunt

453: Shoulder the Brunt

2019-11-2701:19:11

DISCUSSED: Merlin has an email confession; Dan steps up with a shoulder; listeners have given your hosts a season of the show; praise for HBO's Watchmen; a discussion of curating media for kids; Merlin exercises Personal Privilege; everybody is different!; praise for the new MacBook Pro (and who it may or may not be good for); the beginnings of what could be an extensive series on reclaiming control of your own media; some Plex homework for both listeners and your hosts; a brief rant on the downsides and limitations of renting other people's music; Merlin is birthday-gifted with Planty II plus some awesome @pants materials.
updates on travel and packing a new notebook Merlin likes finding a notebook that accommodates both your brain and the shape of your day Merlin's bespoke six-block notebook method Dan struggles mightily with his hotel room a notional badge for gauging lifetime exposure to a ubiquitous TV celebrity some more travel talk, including the promise for a future dedicated episode on travel updates a suggestion for trying iOS Voice Control finally, in some detail, we return to Synology Corner
Our worst episode ever. Enjoy!
450: Slow-Motion Hypocrisy

450: Slow-Motion Hypocrisy

2019-11-0501:06:59

Dan is getting a Synology, Merlin has been making stuff, plus the return of "Cool Things I Learned This Week."
449: Tom Hardy Blindness

449: Tom Hardy Blindness

2019-10-2901:17:26

DISCUSSED: coincident birthdays; mathowie's gigantism and very online Ex Machina house; extensive actor and media talk; you probably hadn't heard, but, The Revenant was very difficult to make; Apple TV+ is getting…not great notices; success is a great deodorant, but could iPhone : 2010s Apple :: Windows : 1990s Microsoft?; hardware follow-up on Merlin's new modem and UPS setup; the value of always showing hustle, and why you should always run out first base; Dan's in a jam-up with his internet provider over a seemingly unnecessary piece of harware; further hardware follow-up from Merlin on spreading his wings with his Synology; Dan has a new keyboard he loves; praise for several Logitech products; and, finally, why Merlin just can't quit his MX Master Mouse.
448: Spaghetti on Spaghetti

448: Spaghetti on Spaghetti

2019-10-2201:20:35

This week, Dan and Merlin dive into the benefits (and fun) of a NAS project. Also, Merlin goes off about the horror show of letting old people determine the future. Also, also, hey, kung fu movies!
447: Mating for Life

447: Mating for Life

2019-10-1701:18:23

It's Infrastructure Week! Dan and Merlin start with California's power crisis and end up pivoting to phones, cable TV, and, of course, Apple. What happens when a resource we think of as a solved part of our infrastructure suddenly isn't so solved? And, what would Apple look like if it treated all of its services as seriously as it once treated the Mac? Also: lizard updates, but please don't Google "hornworms."
446: Charm Offensive

446: Charm Offensive

2019-10-0801:09:152

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about living in a world of hardware choices. How do you decide which device is best suited to a given task? Which ones do you find yourself preferring to use because they're friction-free—or just fun? And, in what ways do our previous behaviors, habits, and expectations end up unconsciously coloring our future decisions?
445: Hipster DMV

445: Hipster DMV

2019-10-0101:15:39

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about Apple's OS rollouts, changes in Apple retail, and week two with the new Apple Watch.
444: Seasoned Horologist

444: Seasoned Horologist

2019-09-2401:35:13

This week, Dan and Merlin focus on the new Apple Watch.
DISCUSSED: Merlin has a cool new voice from talking to friends late last night; Dan has an automotive collision anecdote, while Merlin has thoughts on how preparation fails us in extreme moments; in follow-up, Listener Steve has terrific advice on dealing with bad hotel room technology; your hosts love insider information from pilots and other category pros; Dan ordered a watch, and Merlin is apparently not actually wrecking a plane; the guys respond to listener letters about ages of people in movies, Dan's world-destroying Disney fact (that he can't remember), plus a listener's concern about company password hygiene; and finally, Dan has great news about refreshing an iMac, but less great news about household password hygiene.
Dan and Merlin discuss the upcoming big Apple event and why this one's potentially interesting. Also, dog anecdotes.
441: Boggle, Boggle!

441: Boggle, Boggle!

2019-09-0301:43:491

hurricanes! hyperactivity exposing kids to the canonical films that weird, affected Hollywood accent a name for that time comparison phenomenon making your voice interactions more fun catching up on the Platinum Age of TV dealing with device charging at scale
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Comments (3)

mohsen noghly

Very good

Jan 9th
Reply

Deion Gonzales

make it loud

Oct 15th
Reply

Deion Gonzales

mucus loud

Oct 15th
Reply
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