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.



#398: So Much Unnecessary Beauty

October 30, 2018 at 2:45PM • 1 hour 23 minutes

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about Apple's Fall event in Brooklyn today. They liked the event.


#397: My Manager is Water

October 23, 2018 at 12:45PM • 1 hour 20 minutes

Discussed: nailing it, the optimistic valence of Tuesdays, difficulties finding replacement parts on Amazon, headphone preferences, Alexa's service outage and new whisper mode, Austin's big water crisis and what it says about epistemology, reason, and society, plus 20 years of The Big Lebowski.


#396: Bean in the Sleeve

October 16, 2018 at 11:00AM • 1 hour 21 minutes

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about the FitBit Charge 3 and where it fits into their worlds—as well its place in the larger tracker and smart watch ecosystems.

Excursions also include: BroBot, weather stations, weather apps, some TV and movie talk, some space talk, plus children's failures to understand how time basically works.


#395: My Sleeves are Dynamic

October 9, 2018 at 4:00PM • 1 hour 7 minutes

Discussed: the tyranny of earliness, the benefits of timeliness, an interesting horology episode about Apple Watch, more watch talk, a blog recommendation, a quick look at Merlin's new FitBit, an update on home WiFi options, Merlin raps a little, Dan gets wired for Ethernet, what we'd like so see in an updated Mac Mini, some listener followup on Bear export and (deliberately) slow interfaces, considering oneself touch-ed, skeuomorphic sounds, and various Florida wildlife encounters.


#394: Dead or Angry

October 2, 2018 at 1:00PM • 1 hour 16 minutes

This week: some TV and movie stuff, Dark Mode and accessibility, OS stability and beta temptation, Merlin has an anecdote, the powers and frustrations of Siri via Apple Watch, updates to the Fitbit family, tech that does enough, Dan tried Bear, updates on the Chrome login thing, and an intriguing listener comment about Apple's ASP/inch3.


#393: Legacy Meat Stuff

September 25, 2018 at 4:45PM • 1 hour 28 minutes

This week, Merlin's got a LOT going on. Full Catastrophe Living!

Discussed: booger colors, some tv and movies, a dream deferred, various X-Persons, loving GoodTask 3, plus Dan and Merlin just cannot remember many, many things.

Next, your hosts dive into their first day with Mojave and reminisce about the days when you could make your Finder look all steampunk. This leads to a deeper dive on what the future of Macs might be and why they feel how they do (hint: they are both kind of old).

They also both want to know what the heck is going on with Chrome, and Dan pitches a movie.


#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.