The Return of Productivity (via Merlin Mann)

This post is only tangentially about productivity. It’s completely about giving credit where credit is due and supporting the reemergence of someone whom I admire. I also said that I’d be profiling people who inspire us to get back to creating, so this is part of that.

Some of you are new here, so you may not be privy to the fact that this blog and a lot of its successes are the result of inspiration from two people: Dave Seah and Merlin Mann.

Dave Seah’s influence should be clear in the planners and some of the ideas I’ve generated throughout the last few months. I’m still learning a lot from him, and if I made enough, I’d likely send him royalties. I’ve sent enough gushing praise his way in the past, so I’ll keep it to a minimum today.

Merlin Mann (and 43Folders) is a different story entirely. I got introduced to Getting Things Done through him, but, in retrospect, I learned a lot of stuff about productivity that was that good, common-sense stuff we already knew but needed someone we thought was smarter that us to tell us. There was a time that 43Folders was synonymous with real productivity and when that was actually a positive thing to say.

And then 43Folders went to crap. I can now say this without feeling like I’m backstabbing because Merlin himself said it today. Phew!

It pained me to take 43Folders off my blogroll because it was such an inspiration to me. I stopped recommending his good stuff because people in my niche forgot what it was like back in the day and that Merlin Mann actually knew what he was talking about.

I’m quite aware that I’m a small fry and that my lone actions meant very little to him, but the voice of small fries magnified throughout the blogosphere means something. I’m not sure how many of us took the time to email him and pester him (like I did), but those actions magnified starts to wear at you, I’m sure.

But today, the real Merlin Mann stood up. Seriously, read this post and see what happens when an authority asserts his credibility. It’s long but worth the read if nothing else for the smack-talking.

(It reminds me of those myths of when the sage or holy leader returns and looks down upon what happened in his absence. It’s not too hard to stretch from the Golden Calf to Tim Ferriss.)

It’s high-time for this. Luckily, I wrote “Why Productivity is Bunk” last week so I don’t seem completely like a Johnny Come lately, but Merlin said what I really don’t have the credibility or the heart to say about other blogs within this niche. (If his sweeping remarks include my own blog, then disregard any credit I’ve given Merlin and 43Folders as the inspiration behind Productive Flourishing.)

Change is a-coming. If you’ve liked some of my recent posts, I think you’re really going to like where productivity is going.

Please run over and check out these posts from Merlin to see what I’m talking about and to support, directly or indirectly, this change:

  • Merlin Mann Stands Up
  • Merlin comes out swinging and explain why 43Folders is changing direction. This is your starting point, folks, for he’s seen the changes in productivity from the top-down rather than from within the fray.

  • Making Time To Make
  • One of the best series on productivity that I have read in a long, long time. I’m still crafting posts that deal with some of the ideas presented herein.

  • Inbox Zero
  • A series of howtos and why-fors that help you manage the problem that email has become.

  • 43Folders Howto
  • Have a question about productivity? This spiffy landing page sends you throughout the best gems of 43Folders by the problem you’re dealing with.

I’ll make it clear what exactly I’m so excited about: he’s moving to talking about productivity in the context of actually spending more time creating whatever it is that you create. That, my friends, is what productivity is about.

Welcome back, Merlin!

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