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.



#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


#335: Personal Assistant to Darius

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

TOPIC: Start treating yourself like a dummy today.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about iOS 11, the trade-offs of running betas, and waking up to how we're using devices differently. Merlin has thoughts on the usefulness of the will to live.

Dan has a new approach to dealing with PR pitches, and the boys undertake an exciting new social experiment.

Your hosts answer listener questions about the mechanics of calendar scheduling and best practices for building new habits.


#334: The Little White One

July 25, 2017 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 15 minutes

TOPIC: Mapping Your Focus and Motivation

This week, Dan talks about a cool new addition to his Fireside.fm service, and Merlin interviews him about how he likes to choose, plan, and evolve the features of an app.

Two questions this week, both from Listener Jonathan.

First, your hosts address the era of Peak TV, including how they choose their TV services and how they recommend narrowing in on finding the best stuff to watch (and when).

Next, the evergreen topic of calendars and todos returns. How do you decide what goes where? And how do combine focus and motivation to derive a functional map of your time terrain?

Dan considers acquiring a house mammal.