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.



#516: The Steely Dan Dad

February 2, 2021 at 2:15PM • 1 hour 3 minutes

No way am I even going to attempt a description this week.

With that said:

[this is a good one]


#515: Please Do Not Tapdance for Me

January 26, 2021 at 2:00PM • 58 minutes

DISCUSSED: There are things that one wants to see less or fewer often; is this particular button actually hooked up to anything?; there is literal must-see TV and you must see it literally immediately; everything is catching on fire; four basic steps for being a successful adult (who has to deal with other adults); thoughts on creativity and focal length; the process of unpandemicizing, or: do we still know how to put a Casual Corner in a mall?; Dan is loving his iPad; Merlin introduces a theory on The Velocity of Writing Instruments; and, finally, a quick celebrity cameo.


#514: Chicken Wipe

January 19, 2021 at 12:45PM • 1 hour 2 minutes

DISCUSSED: Dan continues to explore the exciting possibilities of his latest hardware acquisition.


#513: A Preferred Testicle

January 12, 2021 at 6:00PM • 1 hour 16 minutes

DISCUSSED: life's relentlessness continues apace; Cash enjoyed Dan's modified Godfather trilogy; celebrating Lil' Inappropriate Books; a terrific recent use of "Layla"; some Inside Baseball talk about a recommended app segment; then, for the balance of the episode, your hosts start diving into Dan's exciting new acquisition and how best to put to good use.


#512: You Have a Mustard Fetish

January 5, 2021 at 3:30PM • 1 hour 12 minutes

DISCUSSED: Merlin looks at a shelf and then, for some reason, discusses it; walls and Japanese beds and jokey-sized dishwashers all benefit from wheels; life is different when you live on a boat; it's important to find the right tool for the job; some people see forests, while others see trees; Merlin performs his very good Gordon Ramsey impression; Merlin also performs his very good David Lynch impression; in Follow-Up, we learn the extremely unsatisfying reason Personal Requests weren't working on a HomePod; there is discussion of the power of Siri alongside frustrations with its poor documentation; interesting bugs are discussed; your hosts explore the similarities between good documentation and good recipes; weird comic book feet are explored; tips on good media your hosts are enjoying; and, finally, there's some rapid-fire app and scripting recommendations.


#511: One Ringy-Dingy

December 29, 2020 at 2:30PM • 47 minutes

DISCUSSED: Making a problem go away is not the same thing as solving the problem.


#510: I Cannot Afford Your Loyalty

December 22, 2020 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 37 minutes

DISCUSSED: The generational struggle to understand things we can't understand, dealing with other people, and Star Wars.


#509: The End of the River

December 15, 2020 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 2 minutes

Sometimes, no one can see the ball—let alone reach the ball.


#508: Oscarbation

December 8, 2020 at 2:45PM • 52 minutes

DISCUSSED: Habits, cycles, and patterns of thinking. Why it's difficult to rehearse success—but surprisingly easy to rehearse failure.


#507: Voltron of Luck

December 1, 2020 at 3:15PM • 43 minutes

Discussed: the paths of thought and emerging from a rut the size of the Grand Canyon.