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.



#307: #43 on The Ladder of Kindness

January 17, 2017 at 5:15PM • 1 hour 38 minutes

TOPIC: Youth is the aberration.

This week, Dan provides updates on his Hackintosh project, which leads to a discussion of finding reviews and advice with context. The hosts realize, acknowledge, and quickly move past their program’s 6th anniversary, spending more time on that drum sound Merlin makes with his mouth.

Recent email pitches are discussed, and advice is offered on smarter ways to pitch strangers on practically anything.

Merlin responds to a question from a listener about learning to find inspiration in the absence of crisis.


#306: Sunday Pant

January 10, 2017 at 4:15PM • 1 hour 47 minutes

TOPIC: Reframing the conversation with yourself.

This week, Merlin talks about his weird mortgage ads and compliments the literally fancy pants he got from the silver underpants people. Suggestions are offered for running a dehumidifier in a “smart home.”

Dan and Merlin have a lot to say about terlets (hey, it’s been a while).

Merlin shares a service for intelligently correlating personal tracking data, a listener has success with some B2W email advice, and another listener asks for tips on doing better self-talk.

Dan shares his cool new project to build a Hackintosh.


#305: Quadruple Down

January 3, 2017 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 29 minutes

TOPIC: This is a feeling I'm feeling.

This week, your hosts look at the announcement of Dish's new Air TV box, along with the rapidly evolving landscape for cord-cutters. Also, fantasies of monk holes are entertained.

The big topic this week is a discussion of a listener's question about the role of positive thinking. [This is a good one.]


#304: The 2016 Compilation Episode

December 31, 2016 at 5:30PM • 1 hour 1 minute

This is the Best of 2016 Compilation Episode, featuring your favorite moments of the show over the last 12 months. Each clip was suggested and submitted by you, our amazing listeners.

Have a great new year!


#303: A Liver Runs Through It

December 20, 2016 at 3:15PM • 1 hour 32 minutes

TOPIC: Is Tim firing us?

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about the challenge of dealing with email that's only kind of from a real person. There's some follow-up on Apple and wishing they'd just give us a "Get out of here!"

Merlin recommends some podcasts and a terrific new clipboard manager from Tapbots.

Dan talks about why he finally gave in and treated his eyes to a bigger phone. Just don't get him started on progressive lenses.


#302: Rabbi for the Rabbi

December 13, 2016 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 15 minutes

This week, the boys talk about slicing sand, unboxing videos, Overwatch, and some recommended TV viewing. Odds and sods, as you say.

Main topic is follow-up re: listener feedback on recent Apple conversations.


#301: Not on My Timeline

December 6, 2016 at 3:45PM • 1 hour 41 minutes

TOPIC: Vaio Life!

This week, Dan and Merlin respond to listener feedback and talk about the tightrope walk of caffeine consumption.

Merlin suggests a new AudioDharma talk, which leads to a discussion of whether you have to be an X to learn about Y. Spoiler Alert: you don't.

Dan updates us on his son's hot new gaming PC, and your hosts can't stop themselves from ruminating (again, again) on why Apple's hardware choices feel be so frustrating…and disappointing.


#300: A Room Where I Don’t Matter

December 1, 2016 at 4:00PM • 1 hour 51 minutes

TOPIC: Kipple and Boomboxes

This week Dan and Merlin start by talking about purging junk and answering listener feedback about kids and phones and teachers dealing with email.

Main topic this week is whither Apple? Based on how the company is evolving, who do we think their future products will be for?


#299: Unhook from the Comparison

November 22, 2016 at 6:45PM • 1 hour 14 minutes

TOPIC: Your "backstage" vs. their "onstage"

This week, Merlin shares some useful thoughts (via Patrick Rothfuss) on being careful about how we compare ourselves to others.

The hosts also share some terrific listener suggestions for fantasy books for kids.

Also, Dan has strong feelings about poultry.


#298: Night Boot for Big Beef

November 15, 2016 at 3:45PM • 1 hour 25 minutes

This week, Dan and Merlin do another of their beloved Odds 'n Sods episodes, with tons of great recommendations for movies, TV, apps, services, and nighttime medical appliances.