Back to Work

Back to Work

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 and Dan Benjamin.

#555: The Accretion of Non-Essential Things

November 16, 2021 at 5:15PM • 1 hour 35 minutes

DISCUSSED: Dad stuff; flying too close to the smart home sun; appreciating the magic of Wes Anderson; the virtues of UPS battery backup; and, finally, Merlin starts tentatively sketching a unified field theory for rethinking how we think about and use space.

#554: Not the Water's Problem

November 9, 2021 at 1:45PM • 50 minutes

DISCUSSED: please stop changing the clocks; our kids are not us; the people of England have spoiled or corrupted several very good words; The Ellis Island Bit; surnames mean things; getting pelted with rocks and garbage; a Michael Penn playlist for 1 to 3.5 of you jackals; some Mad Max talk; it's always two things with Kevin Kelly; and, finally, some Marvel talk.

#553: Bioavailable Chambers of Flexibility

November 2, 2021 at 2:15PM • 1 hour 4 minutes

This is what happens when Merlin stays up til 2 a.m. watching a movie and then has to record a podcast at 9 a.m.

Because, your day is a continuum.

#552: Youth is the Anomaly

October 26, 2021 at 8:00PM • 1 hour 30 minutes

Dan has all the waiters singing at him, and Merlin tries to buy the non-existent SIMS 4 for the Mac.

Main topic is considering how best to set up a device that provides structure and motivation without all that beeping, beeping, beeping.

#551: Life Is for Using

October 19, 2021 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 25 minutes

DISCUSSED: Your hosts talk about music, Apple Watch, and getting out of your kid's way. Also: life and MacBooks Pro.

#550: Ampersands and Raisins

October 12, 2021 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 39 minutes

DISCUSSED: Dan and his son are up to Daniel Craig in their Bond journey, and this leads to an exploration of how our feelings about movies and their characters can change over time; considering the media you're scared to rewatch since it's probably not as good as you remember; your hosts dive further into browser extensions and why they're so critical to filtering your world.

The Leftovers
The Leftovers

Neil Breen
Neil Breen

License to Clown
License to Clown

#549: A Typical Feisty Boy Child

October 5, 2021 at 7:00PM • 1 hour 21 minutes

DISCUSSED: Exploring rural voices; the things that kids (and we) have had stolen away over the past couple years; what movie would get your butt back into a cinema seat?; an opinionated dive into Safari's new approach to tabs (and why it feels so concerning); and, finally, Merlin shares a bunch of Safari extensions that do new stuff—or do old stuff in a cool or interesting way.

Howard gets a little ride. Way of the future.


Three Dark-Haired Brunettes.

#548: The Results of This Dog

September 27, 2021 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 14 minutes

DISCUSSED: Merlin considers a black market medical purchase; the anatomical anomalies of the problematic sleeper are considered; some favorite YouTube finds are discussed; and, finally, your hosts begin scratching the surface of iOS 15's many clever and life-enhancing new features.

#547: Backyard Butt Doctor

September 21, 2021 at 8:00PM • 1 hour 8 minutes

Dan and Merlin almost talk about iOS 15.

#546: Snow Day for Nerds

September 13, 2021 at 1:00PM • 56 minutes

Reporting live from the show floor and looking at options for time tracking.