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.

#271: Gravy Dumpster

May 10, 2016 at 4:00PM • 1 hour 52 minutes

TOPIC: Grow what? Grow HOW?

This week, Dan and Merlin have a surprisingly passionate discussion about growth.

Companies gotta "grow," right? But…what the hell does that really even mean?

Lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-yous.

Also, an important update on Pek Pongpaet.

#270: According to the Cabinet

May 3, 2016 at 3:30PM • 1 hour 36 minutes

TOPIC: Opinion at Scale.

This week kicks off with a confession that Dan and Merlin are increasingly less interested in coverage of Apple's finances and the related Kremlinology and blind guessing about the company. Merlin announces the unlikely product he'd love for Apple to create (and why it'll probably never happen).

Also, lots of followup on apps and services for fitness and personal tracking.

#269: 65 Cigarette Butts

April 26, 2016 at 7:15PM • 1 hour 54 minutes

TOPIC: Finding stories and insights hiding in your data.

This week, Dan and Merlin dive deep into the new world of personal tracking. Dan has a new FitBit, and Merlin has a surprisingly complicated system involving many devices and apps. Great stuff you can try for yourself.

Also discussed: Merlin's weird cat, Deadpool, Pek Pongpaet the Professional Podcast Pundit, Alexa on Fire TV, a defense of Reed Richards, and Dan's advice on how to setup your own VPN.

#268: Tumblo Drylo

April 19, 2016 at 5:15PM • 1 hour 46 minutes

TOPIC: Putting an Overt Stake in the Ground.

This week, Dan and Merlin end up talking about the surprising stuff a Fitbit can do for you. Dan even buys one.

Also, some discussion of pope hats, NASCAR, (the amazing) Screens 4, and that failing restaurant by Dan's office that kinda looks like Terminus.

#267: Dear Iowa, I Have Enjoyed Your Corn

April 12, 2016 at 3:15PM • 1 hour 39 minutes

TOPIC: But, alas.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about Smile's updated announcement about TextExpander and the ugly problem of blind internet rage.

Also, lots of talk about ponderous 80s movies and old TV shows, including Dan learning which program had that tiny tabletop robot.

Also, we are endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bearskins.

#266: European Bachelor

April 5, 2016 at 4:15PM • 2 hours 4 minutes

TOPIC: Wow, times change.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about the challenges and opportunities of subscription-based payment models. When do they work (or not) and how quickly does autopay fatigue kick in?

#265: Especially Doris

March 29, 2016 at 4:45PM • 2 hours 4 minutes

TOPIC: Welcome to Costco. I love you.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about breakfast sandwiches, the pain and suffering of dealing with Apple IDs, managing kids and their iOS devices, Merlin's weird week with Playstation Vue, and the science (or otherwise) behind iOS's Night Shift.

The main topic this week focuses on quality, values, and self-improvement. Are Dan and Merlin just cloud-yelling old men for wishing writers (and everyone for that matter) would try a little harder? Maybe. Maybe not.

#264: This Made Me Think of You

March 22, 2016 at 5:00PM • 1 hour 59 minutes

TOPIC: Serving the super-motivated super-fan.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about:

  • a modest request from Merlin
  • some interesting new options for viewing OTA broadcast television on Apple TV
  • the evolution (and often lost opportunities) of media delivery
  • highlights of yesterday's Apple event

#263: The Working Definition of Love

March 15, 2016 at 3:30PM • 2 hours 7 minutes

TOPIC: No one cares about your demo anymore.

This week Dan & Merlin talk about realizing when life isn't all about you and getting better at learning how to say "thank you."

Also, lots of great practical (and philosophical) suggestions for getting started with or back into comics.

#262: Large Platinum Spoon

March 8, 2016 at 4:30PM • 2 hours 23 minutes

TOPIC: Staying out of Technology Detention

This week, Dan and Merlin do another giant-size grabbag episode that covers a lot of ground, including:

  • movies, kids, and ratings, oh my!
  • better text editing on iPad, faster typing on iOS
  • complexities of picking the right pairings of Apple devices
  • what's up with apps not launching in iOS?
  • Hound, and the future of voice-controlled computing
  • staying provisionally joyful about the possibilities of new technology
  • exploring Merlin's early experience with a Synology NAS