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.



#464: Winter's Not Done with Me Yet

February 11, 2020 at 12:45PM • 1 hour 35 minutes

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

February 4, 2020 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 4 minutes

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.


#462: A Contract About Your Future

January 28, 2020 at 12:45PM • 1 hour 9 minutes

Merlin is pretty out of it this week, and Dan shares some listener questions.


#461: Dead Noon

January 21, 2020 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 32 minutes

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

January 14, 2020 at 2:45PM • 1 hour 16 minutes

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.


#459: Alley Oop to Yourself in the Future

January 7, 2020 at 1:15PM • 1 hour 8 minutes

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

December 31, 2019 at 12:30PM • 1 hour 12 minutes

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

December 24, 2019 at 5:00PM • 1 hour 23 minutes

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

December 17, 2019 at 10:00PM • 1 hour 15 minutes

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

December 10, 2019 at 4:30PM • 1 hour 12 minutes

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.