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.



#345: Chow Mein Hour

October 10, 2017 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 21 minutes

TOPIC: Surface Tension.

This week, Dan and Merlin discuss names of cities in Florida, wireless neckbands, elliptical bikes, chore systems (and parental withholding), iOS battery life, canny Mac laptop battery monitoring, how battery cycles work, Todd, and things you already know (unless you don't already know them).

Two pretty good YouTube channels are recommended.

Your hosts talk about that weird thing where iOS throws up a password pop-up, including some recent bad news on how it might be exploited. Gross.

There's also some exciting news about possible Brand Synergies.

Things wrap with responding to listener questions about smart home location woes and choosing a VPN.

Murrrrrrph!


#344: The Microwave Moment

October 3, 2017 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 40 minutes

TOPIC: You're not supposed to pet the car.

This week, Dan and Merlin discuss Nest Cam updates, Ring doorbell tracking, Echo family additions, HDMI questions, the fraught landscape of 4K HDR TV stuff, and how shopping makes Merlin feel kind of vulnerable.

Two excellent music podcasts are recommended.

Dan has a new MacBook Pro and a lot to say about it.

Merlin introduces something he calls "Power Puttering."


#343: Lo Sierra Mucho

September 26, 2017 at 2:45PM • 1 hour 22 minutes

TOPIC: Publix Hustle

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about grocery store promotions, transactional help, the racket of school photos, Occam's Razor for public schools, Time Machine troubleshooting, the scourge of The Crackle, and BMO the salesman.

The boys help a lot of people by responding to listener questions about the state of Siri, making friends after college, and the seeking of universal truth.


#342: Ultraman Scenario

September 19, 2017 at 3:30PM • 1 hour 21 minutes

After some Followup and Front Matter, your hosts dive into iOS 11. (Spoilers: it's really good.)


#341: Rich Boy Phone

September 12, 2017 at 4:45PM • 1 hour 36 minutes

This week, Dan and Merlin convene to talk about today's big Apple event.


#340: It's-a Me, Dan!

September 5, 2017 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 32 minutes

This week, Dan has useful updates on Windows backup options and answers questions about building a Hackintosh. Both of your hosts extoll the virtues of their new Apple TV remote case dinguses.

The big topic this week is Nintendo Switch, and Dan has a lot of great stuff to share about his family's first weekend with their new console. (Spoiler: everybody likes it!)

Your hosts respond to listener questions about iOS wishlist items and how to freshen up a moribund OmniFocus setup.


#339: True Love Weighs

August 29, 2017 at 4:00PM • 1 hour 26 minutes

TOPIC: Don't provoke Dan.

This week, Dan and Merlin (once again) complain about what works and what just kiiiinda works with smart devices. Who's winning the voice control game, and who's struggling to play catchup? Ecosystems!

Next up, the boys talk about some surprisingly handy and useful cases for that befuddling Apple TV remote. Also, Dan needs your help to back up Cash's Windows box. Merlin has an important request, too.

Also provided are scientific updates on how much a scale weighs.

Finally, Merlin offers a whole goddamned book's worth of awesome productivity advice via a cheap notebook and five (5) daily bullet points.


#338: Ambush Site

August 22, 2017 at 2:45PM • 1 hour 26 minutes

TOPIC: It's like elevator buttons.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk a lot about komodo dragons. Also, homework sucks, seed codes rule, and @Movesapp drools.

How do we get so scared about things? How cool did flying used to be?

Your hosts respond to listener questions about the state of self-tracking, and the scourge of extraneous device notifications.


#337: Cognitive Bottleneck

August 18, 2017 at 4:00PM • 1 hour 11 minutes

TOPIC: How do you know when you're legitimately overwhelmed?

This episode, your hosts catch up on Florida, schedule and sleep consistency, ladders vs. walls, travel mania, and the fraught landscape of personal device security.

Your hosts respond to listener feedback and questions regarding feeling overwhelmed and dealing with dumb clocks.


#336: Town Centre Plaza Spot

August 18, 2017 at 3:45PM • 1 hour 5 minutes

TOPIC: Keep your hand away from the giant's mouth!

This week, Dan and Merlin look back on summer and forward to the new school year. Also, some excellent ad hoc Business Analysis about the past and future of malls and other retail outposts.

Your hosts respond to listener feedback and questions regarding domain name speculation and options for tracking multiple currencies