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.



#25: My Food Court of Functionality

July 22, 2011 at 6:15PM • 1 hour 13 minutes

Dan and Merlin talk about nerds getting problems and about using Markdown in BBEdit, Textmate or any text app because you need to find tools that remove friction, not distractions.


#24: The Daddy for your Destiny

July 12, 2011 at 5:00PM • 1 hour 32 minutes

Dan's in a closet, but Merlin has a lot of FU from the last show: good jobs don't get posted on Craigslist and while you may not know what's gonna happen next, you're not just gonna install Xcode and retire on your angry bird so either do your research, get mercantile and take the leap of faith or you'll be polishing your golden handcuffs.


#23: Failure is ALWAYS an Option

July 5, 2011 at 4:00PM • 1 hour 17 minutes

This week, Dan and Merlin determine that even the Chico Marx of notebooks is the right one if you're writing in it, failure is ALWAYS an option: fully committing didn't do Pickett any good, but you should commit to narrowing scope and deciding what success is. Why? Fact or Fiction: You can start a business on the side.


#22: My Baby Likes Aluminum Foil!

June 28, 2011 at 7:00PM • 1 hour 10 minutes

This week, Merlin and Dan share their Pick: The Macintosh Computer.

Also, a 17-minute experimental startup sound, catching conflicts, shivving the stagecoach, machine-gunning with SoundMaster, the dangers of ResEdit, and the future of recumbent bike baskets. But not Charcoal. Are you KIDDING me?


#21: Assistant TO the Regional Monkey

June 22, 2011 at 1:00PM • 1 hour 1 minute

Merlin and Dan talk about the problem of permanent zeroes, desiring not to desire, why "hypocrisy" is killing you, stepping back on the path without apologizing, Merlin's new tattoo, and—yeah—going a little easier on yourself.

Also, how almost everything is like a glass of water and John Siracusa is literally and uniquely Squidward. 


#20: Muscle of Failure

June 14, 2011 at 5:00PM • 1 hour 13 minutes

Merlin and Dan talk about getting started, putting on your shoes instead of shopping for pedometers, false dilemmas, doing as much work with your hands as you've done in your head, why you should leave some water in the pump, meta-fiddling, and getting better.


#19: Corner Casey Kasem

June 7, 2011 at 5:30PM • 1 hour 22 minutes

Merlin and Dan talk about mindful tool adoption, screwdriver museums, why Vi users may (or may not) be cannibalistic insects—plus debate on whether a home video of a toy horse falling down in someone's bathroom is about Humanity. Also, Dan effs with Merlin's head. Again.


#18: Forking the Question

May 31, 2011 at 6:00PM • 1 hour 25 minutes

Merlin and Dan talk about educating "That's Just a Button Guy," practicing more humane pushback, asking better questions, why laundromats don't accept "focus," plus what happens when you put WAY too much crap in your five-pound bag.


#17: Brick Building Full of Lies

May 27, 2011 at 5:30PM • 1 hour 26 minutes

Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin talk about checking email under the table to catch up on your 27 high priority tasks, a good time to use the word priority, blowing cycles on meeting with Narnia's stakeholders, and getting tasks out of your dreamcatcher.


#16: Bracing for the Blow

May 18, 2011 at 6:00PM • 1 hour 12 minutes

Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin aren't afraid of lawyers, dentists, negative feelings, or of not being afraid of something.