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.



#388: Defcon Water

August 21, 2018 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 26 minutes

Discussed: courting a vegetarian; The Information Problem; FU on Dan's new slide remote and keyboard; also, belts; travel pre-screening options; a recommended article on hypocognition; Dan saw IT; thoughts on Twiki and Erin Grey; and Dan's recent home problem.


#387: Deploy the Dongle

August 16, 2018 at 10:00PM • 1 hour 11 minutes

Discussed: tech that's gotten so much more dependable (and, yeah, so much less dependable); Dan needs a new presenter remote; Marvel's First Family (finally) returns; who would win if The Hulk fought The Thing?; Merlin introduces Dan to the Ponyverse; some camp equipment follow-up; and Merlin goes off on the awesomeness of libraries with some hot new service recommendations.


#386: Cherry Brown

August 7, 2018 at 2:45PM • 1 hour 21 minutes

Discussed: Merlin sounds like a saxophone, keyboards are extensively discussed, pros and cons of various MacsBooks Pro, Dan likes using one monitor, pining for best-of-class hardware from Cupertino, Merlin has dorky and boring follow-up, recommending an Apple Watch sleep app and an iOS location tracker, some excellent ice replacements, Dan's favorite bespoke cooler, a disappointing belt, a very good belt, Dan gets a creepy email, Merlin did NOT forget something, Cash gets more cool stuff, and Merlin recommends a Zelda tome.


#385: A Picture of a Clown

July 31, 2018 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 17 minutes

Discussed: current monospaced font preferences, experimenting with text sizing, getting on the sucker list, old McDonalds had some styrofoam, new tech that would kill old stories, kids bewilderment with old tech, the bonkersness of Face/Off, wonderful listener gifts for Cash, a book about anxiety Merlin likes.

Dan and Merlin also answer listener questions about mise en place and doubting one's future after college.


#384: Cosmic Jazz Hands

July 24, 2018 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 8 minutes

Merlin really likes the ones where Dan prepares.

Discussed: four-twenty in The Mile High state, some tv and movie recommendations, the creativity that comes from constraints, The Information Problem, plus thanks for some lovely gifts to Cash from listeners.

Most of the episode focuses on a provocative new article about whether podcast hosting should be "free."

Merlin nerds out on iOS Trackpad mode, and Dan drops a Science Corner about heat versus temperature. Also: Star Trek.


#383: Funding the Unicorn

July 10, 2018 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 15 minutes

This week: Dan may or may not be sanguine, and Merlin is having another meetup; comics, movie and TV discussion (and recommendations) abound; Cash is impatient for a red DS; the magic of ubiquitous capture is extolled; Merlin has a problematic thumb and spends hours on the phone with AT&T; a book about anxiety is endorsed; handles for the emotional suitcase are offered; a new unicorn is born; and, Merlin has a summer project for you to try.


#382: Bad Tech Dad

July 3, 2018 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 18 minutes

Dan's ex-cold, some media recommendations, strobe light problems, Dan's new phone, bad eyeglasses, your fault versus your problem, plus listener feedback about estimating hours and costs.


#381: Sandwich Doctor

June 26, 2018 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 12 minutes

Discussed this week: head colds, Florida, vitamin shots, Pleiades, Pigeon Pose, a new kind of spam, some media recommendations, iOS 12, and a listener question about a job they just don’t wanna do.


#380: Chung Chung Machine

June 12, 2018 at 2:45PM • 1 hour 32 minutes

Follow-up on the Benjamin family phone plan, what it's like to use a phone that's not a phone anymore, excitement for Siri Shortcuts, an AR measurement app recommendation, Dan's new TV recommendations, some travel headphone recommendations, massive disruption in the fizzy water space, some pseudo-insider-ish follow-up on Siri, plus Dan's adventure back into the world of Android and how it went.


#379: Permanent Hole

June 5, 2018 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 11 minutes

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about some of their favorite announcements at the big computer show.

They also deep dive into how to handle the Benjamin family's need for a new phone.