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.


March 22, 2023 90 min
DISCUSSED: Steve Buscemi is celebrated, and The Big Lebowski is congratulated; the guys continue their dive into the state of smart home hardware with a focus on switches. e610-buscemi (
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Dan is curious about AI voice transcription, and Merlin has yet more smart home advice for a new homeowner.
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DISCUSSED: Merlin has some been analyzing a very misleading song about beaches, and Dan has been visiting more with ChadGPT.
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February 21, 2023 74 min
DISCUSSED: Dan has a new iPad keyboard, and Merlin is intrigued by ChatGPT. Also, Merlin almost tunes his guitar.
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February 7, 2023 72 min
DISCUSSED: Dan's takes some smart baby steps into home automation, and Merlin has a lot to say about everything.
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January 31, 2023 64 min
DISCUSSED: Dan begins a new journey into smart home living, and Merlin is excited about common misconceptions. e605-infants (
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January 24, 2023 59 min
DISCUSSED: After settling some confusion about Anna Borg, the boys settle into an amble about the state of voice assistants and the future of the theoretically smart home. As ever, Merlin is pretty excited about music, but he also needs your help figuring out where in the hell he got this new software keyboard. Alexa is doing great.
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DISCUSSED: Merlin is extremely happy with a suggestion that Dan made, and Dan has a bunch of apps he's excited about. e604-adam-12
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January 10, 2023 62 min
Typing on an iPad, rhyming compulsively, default media, and taking a young foodie out on the town.
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January 3, 2023 72 min
DISCUSSED: Merlin is excited about reading, and Dan sometimes puts his time in a box. Also: Breaking Bad.
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December 20, 2022 73 min
DISCUSSED: Merlin recommends an exciting new beta; Dan gets a new e-reader; and Merlin has a lot to say about taking notes. e600-notebook
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December 6, 2022 70 min
DISCUSSED: a classic odds n' sods episode encompassing a missing remote (and a failed system), some wallet FU, cool help with playlist management, unsubscribing in dribs and drabs, and a big-ass RV.
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November 29, 2022 54 min
Merlin is still on Island Time, so discussion is mostly limited to Columbo, Star Wars, Merlin's playlists, Ellsworth, and, of course, wallets. We almost talked about _Triangle of Sadness_
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November 15, 2022 66 min
DISCUSSED: Dan has a new concern; some thoughts on resistance; Merlin shares a new insight on creativity and sleep; Dan has FU directly from the Nosferatu band; Merlin serves a turducken of suggestions related to text editing; and, finally, Dan needs your advice on wallets, while Merlin makes a case for currency. e597-calamari
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DISCUSSED: Merlin is playing with his new dingus; Dan almost talks about wallets; try Tailscale to make your stuff work better together; why you (yes, you) need a VPN; Dan is getting enthused about Obsidian; Merlin is freshly re-enthused about Daytum; and finally Dan is very excited about a Dracula he saw.
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November 1, 2022 81 min
DISCUSSED: Halloween Follow-Up; exit interview for Season 4 of What We Do in the Shadows; how Apple could build users' confidence and stimulate their curiosity with better documentation; Merlin makes his case for spreadsheets as your potential place where stuff goes.
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October 18, 2022 66 min
Fortunately, Merlin had thoroughly prepared for 62 minutes of lizards, Morgellons, animal powers, and Tom Cruise. e594-bears
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October 11, 2022 91 min
Sleep, practice, infrastructure, power, and OCD are themes. As per usual. e593-power
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October 4, 2022 63 min
Dan has Covid, so Merlin agrees to carry him, and yet Dan improbably carries them both. Untitled e592-bale-1987 Read more
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September 30, 2022 64 min
There are a few odds and sods, but, yeah, it's mostly about adjudicating Peak Cruise. Runner-Up Titles Bespoke Slime Hole Gavin Assumed Nom De Repair Species-Ending Annoyance Mosquito Tasks One Set of Footprints The Thing You Do Before It Breaks Creating Conditions Old People Jam-Up Don't Give Me Notes The Boston Janitor Movie
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