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.



#392: Gentleman's Calling

September 18, 2018 at 1:30PM • 1 hour 20 minutes

A classic odds-and-sods episode, featuring important discussions about sleep tracking, the Apple Watch, Succession, sound bars, Chris Nolan's Batman, and Nintendo Online.


#391: The September Issue

September 11, 2018 at 4:00PM • 1 hour 16 minutes

Discussed: upcoming Apple announcements; do people with bigger screens use more apps more often?; some follow-up on adaptive testing; and comics for kids.

Your hosts answer a listener question about knowing when it's time to quit something.


#390: A Festive Merry-Go-Round for the Very Lonely

September 4, 2018 at 4:15PM • 1 hour 15 minutes

Skype gets way too ambitious; sprinkling sauce on a service; a mandatory social network for doorbells; Dan acquires a new deity; some excellent listener follow-up on Computerized Adaptive Testing; Dan takes his boy to see a bona fide cinema classic; Dan has some great TV recommendations; Merlin reports in from the deep weeds of a fraught smart speaker ecosystem.


#389: Butt Baking

August 28, 2018 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 24 minutes

Discussed: homework and testing; wallets and wallet philosophies; things to learn from wallet philosophy; how to fall asleep; watching Star Trek; Dan's new smart speaker; Merlin yells at Alexa several times.


#388: Defcon Water

August 21, 2018 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 26 minutes

Discussed: courting a vegetarian; The Information Problem; FU on Dan's new slide remote and keyboard; also, belts; travel pre-screening options; a recommended article on hypocognition; Dan saw IT; thoughts on Twiki and Erin Grey; and Dan's recent home problem.


#387: Deploy the Dongle

August 16, 2018 at 10:00PM • 1 hour 11 minutes

Discussed: tech that's gotten so much more dependable (and, yeah, so much less dependable); Dan needs a new presenter remote; Marvel's First Family (finally) returns; who would win if The Hulk fought The Thing?; Merlin introduces Dan to the Ponyverse; some camp equipment follow-up; and Merlin goes off on the awesomeness of libraries with some hot new service recommendations.


#386: Cherry Brown

August 7, 2018 at 2:45PM • 1 hour 21 minutes

Discussed: Merlin sounds like a saxophone, keyboards are extensively discussed, pros and cons of various MacsBooks Pro, Dan likes using one monitor, pining for best-of-class hardware from Cupertino, Merlin has dorky and boring follow-up, recommending an Apple Watch sleep app and an iOS location tracker, some excellent ice replacements, Dan's favorite bespoke cooler, a disappointing belt, a very good belt, Dan gets a creepy email, Merlin did NOT forget something, Cash gets more cool stuff, and Merlin recommends a Zelda tome.


#385: A Picture of a Clown

July 31, 2018 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 17 minutes

Discussed: current monospaced font preferences, experimenting with text sizing, getting on the sucker list, old McDonalds had some styrofoam, new tech that would kill old stories, kids bewilderment with old tech, the bonkersness of Face/Off, wonderful listener gifts for Cash, a book about anxiety Merlin likes.

Dan and Merlin also answer listener questions about mise en place and doubting one's future after college.


#384: Cosmic Jazz Hands

July 24, 2018 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 8 minutes

Merlin really likes the ones where Dan prepares.

Discussed: four-twenty in The Mile High state, some tv and movie recommendations, the creativity that comes from constraints, The Information Problem, plus thanks for some lovely gifts to Cash from listeners.

Most of the episode focuses on a provocative new article about whether podcast hosting should be "free."

Merlin nerds out on iOS Trackpad mode, and Dan drops a Science Corner about heat versus temperature. Also: Star Trek.


#383: Funding the Unicorn

July 10, 2018 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 15 minutes

This week: Dan may or may not be sanguine, and Merlin is having another meetup; comics, movie and TV discussion (and recommendations) abound; Cash is impatient for a red DS; the magic of ubiquitous capture is extolled; Merlin has a problematic thumb and spends hours on the phone with AT&T; a book about anxiety is endorsed; handles for the emotional suitcase are offered; a new unicorn is born; and, Merlin has a summer project for you to try.