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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.
470 Episodes
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470: Battery Car Man

470: Battery Car Man

2020-03-2457:20

Difficult times and the Venn overlap between anxiety and OCD. Hang in there, everybody.
469: Israel, Jr.

469: Israel, Jr.

2020-03-1701:18:54

DISCUSSED: “CATS — Now and Forever!”; BokBok.wtf; on civic responsibility; Dan browses worms, and Merlin finds him a spider; Dan wants some keyboard advice, and Merlin just needs a ride; some thoughts on engaging versus escaping right now; praise for Danny Elfman and Oingo Boingo; suggestions for leveraging the wonder of libraries today; Dan is working on a big Minecraft project, also some listener letters.
468: Cancellation Christmas

468: Cancellation Christmas

2020-03-0901:11:56

DISCUSSED: heck, yeah, there's a lot of uncertainty; the woeful knock-on effects of COVID-19, from SxSW to presidential handshaking; Dan graciously accepts Merlin's apology; it's so important that you not touch the fish's face; Dan's Podcast Method is back, baby; you can tell an ecosystem is healthy when the advice about it diversifies; Dan explains the Kelvin Timeline and why he hates it; a Celebration of Bones emerges; Merlin is intrigued by Otter and a little unsure about Jumbo; Dan wants you to know it's still him; breaking handshake news; the boys get a nice letter from a listener; Merlin kinda busts a gut about where his head was at when Back to Work launched; audio is afoot; recommended starter episodes are offered; and, finally, praise for Lost and Japanese Queer Eye.
467: I Loved My Garden

467: I Loved My Garden

2020-03-0301:15:03

DISCUSSED: Merlin's uvula thing is back; some handy one-liner suggestions; the boys are loving uBar, and this leads to a dive on how they use the macOS Dock; praise for Witch; Ultraman is back, baby!; 500,000° is very, very hot; some nebulous, initial thoughts about a bracing call to focus on doing the work (and not how it looks to others when you're doing the work); a listener letter on alternatives for music hosting and streaming in the Apple ecosystem; wow, hard drives sure got super-cheap, huh?; nostalgia for those awesome old Jasmine BacPac hard drives; and, finally, a listener needs your help finding good episodes about surviving and thriving while working in a corporate environment.
DISCUSSED: Skype steals focus, and Merlin ate your poem; music is pretty great; some odds and sods and recommendations; everyone should have a bell; learning to trust your system (and yourself); listener mailbag; Dan loves his new backpack; more on bulwarks against madness.
465: That 20-Minute Sting

465: That 20-Minute Sting

2020-02-1801:25:33

DISCUSSED: Merlin isn't quite awake yet and has some audio struggles in the midst of a new project; Dan is bringing back The Podcast Method; committing something to media can still be very special; podcasts are cool, and you should make one; praise for Temple Grandin, a Jason Snell video, and a big upgrade over the stock Home app for iOS; solid syncing has raised a lot of boats; updates on the iOS text editor landscape; and, finally, thoughts on the future of sustainable iOS app development.
DISCUSSED: new muting!; infrastructure is hard; on dogs; Dan gets a podcast recommendation from his fish guy; who we're 'shipping on Star Trek; a free musical performance for a beloved sponsor; some good TED talks; do we like ligatures in monospace fonts?; Dan is getting restarted with OmniFocus, and Merlin has many, many thoughts and suggestions; finally, your hosts conclude by communicating The Pig Joke. Classic.
463: Begloved in Otherness

463: Begloved in Otherness

2020-02-0401:04:59

DISCUSSED: thoughts on hand-washing and habit-building; Dan has a really good scarecrow joke; Merlin still can't figure out how many 12-year-olds Dan owns; Dan has a question about laptops and backpacks; the Tao of Backpacks; how to listen to a podcast; Dan has a question about iPhone cases; what we talk about when we talk about ad blocking; Merlin recommends a TED talk and a podcast about delight; Dan's new Picard podcast is going well; Dan has questions about OmniFocus; finally, Dan has questions about Los Angeles and, then, repeatedly ruins Merlin's very good endings.
Merlin is pretty out of it this week, and Dan shares some listener questions.
461: Dead Noon

461: Dead Noon

2020-01-2101:32:56

DISCUSSED: strongly-held podcast preferences; Skype hates you; praise for Rogue Amoeba and Strong Songs; a small B2W milestone passes; Dan likes 1917; what Jack did; praise for Match Game; a couple app and font reccos; tips for tricking out your Logitech mouse; no, seriously, Skype actively hates you; Merlin nabs an excellent new domain name for the program; Merlin continues his deep dive into LaunchBar; and, finally, some thoughts on burritos and tacos.
460: Listen to the Jar

460: Listen to the Jar

2020-01-1401:16:341

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

2019-12-1001:12:251

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!
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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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