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.



#246: Venn Diagram of Confusion

November 10, 2015 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 54 minutes

TOPIC: Medieval or Renaissance?

This week, Dan and Merlin start out by helping listeners learn to identify the subtle differences between all things Renaissance and Medieval.

The remainder of the show is split between an in-depth introduction to the Plex media ecosystem, and a philosophical and practical meditation on choosing how to spend a given day.


#245: The Least Broken

November 3, 2015 at 5:00PM • 1 hour 57 minutes

TOPIC: First impressions of the new Apple TV

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about the triumphs and travails of their first few days with the fourth generation Apple TV.


#244: You Have to Be a Stag

October 27, 2015 at 6:15PM • 1 hour 55 minutes

TOPIC: You are who you choose to be.

This week Dan and Merlin talk about making buying decisions, dealing with unsolicited email, preventing stupid from sticking to you, and finding systems that may or may not work.


#243: The Device at Hand

October 20, 2015 at 1:15PM • 1 hour 35 minutes

TOPIC: It's Business All the Way Down.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about joys and frustrations of contemporary consumer technologies. So great yet so frustrating. So powerful yet so hobbled. It's weird how, as great as the newest tech ever gets, we so quickly find we're bumping right up against business, business, business.

Then, there's some more discussion of updates in iOS 9 and what we can now do with iPhone 6s, highlighting the astonishing power of trackpad mode.

Finally, some updates on Dan's cord-cutting and how one may choose how and what we're each willing to pay for—and how it's just no fun to amortize other people's garbage with your own time.


#242: Not My Bird

October 13, 2015 at 8:00PM • 1 hour 33 minutes

TOPIC: Procrastination is a life sentence.

This week, after some high-level discussion on the topics of Marvel and media reduxes, Dan and Merlin (maaaaybe) wrap up their initial and very positive impressions of iOS 9 on modern Apple devices.

More fawning talk of Siri, plus tips on easily adding items to Reminders and Notes.

Dan also lays out his freeing new philosophy and implementations for doing sane email on an iPad.

Then, Merlin goes off a little on why constantly feeling bad about yourself is a terrible idea.


#241: We Went to Princeton

October 6, 2015 at 1:30PM • 1 hour 38 minutes

TOPIC: iOS Amazement

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about Dan's new iPad Air 2 and continue their discussion of how much iOS 9 on modern devices is already changing how we do our work.

Also, some nerdy updates on how Merlin uses synced text files via Drafts, Editorial, and nvALT.


#240: The Third Phase Is Now

September 29, 2015 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 43 minutes

TOPIC: Speed, Reliability, and Expectations

This episode, Dan and Merlin talk about this week's massive leaps forward with the pairing of iOS 9 and iPhone 6s.


#239: Starving African Child

September 22, 2015 at 8:15PM • 1 hour 49 minutes

TOPIC: Block! Block! Body blow! Uppercut!

This week, Dan and Merlin talk less about ad-blocking and more about what kind-of feels like (but might not actually be) a point of change for web advertising, podcasting, and media as a whole, which could affect, like, everything, man.


#238: A 100-Year Problem

September 15, 2015 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 55 minutes

TOPIC: Knowing what you'll need to know.

This week, Dan and Merlin answer a listener question about how the "slow your roll" thought technology can apply to learning new skills.


#237: Slow Your Roll

September 8, 2015 at 4:00PM • 1 hour 38 minutes

TOPIC: Stop that train!

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about some ideas for noticing and then battling the surfeits of negative thought that sometimes threaten to overrun us.

Also: talk of a cool new computer mouse, evolution in the comic book industry, and what constitutes "real camping."