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.

#379: Permanent Hole

June 5, 2018 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 11 minutes

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about some of their favorite announcements at the big computer show.

They also deep dive into how to handle the Benjamin family's need for a new phone.

#378: A Hong Kong Phooey Situation

May 29, 2018 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 10 minutes

Discussed this week: media dustups, the deleterious career effects of social media, a week or so of Instagram, love of dogs, a podcast appearance, two great services for spotting fake Amazon reviews, some Netflix recommendations, Inspector Gadget, remastering Star Trek, kids and black & white movies, serious mail, inventing The Sabbath, and some freestyle advice.

#377: Packs a Lot of Lux

May 22, 2018 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 17 minutes

Discussed: trust my method, beards, foo bar baz, casting Mysterio, villains of Peter Spiderman, an unpaid debt to Dan, medieval electric billing, endorsing Evil Genius and Belief, the power of Spotify podcasts via Alexa, more on Apple TV and voice commands, the pain of scrubbing, 4k HDR via Movies Anywhere, a question on soundbars, Hulu's awesome new "Live Guide" (finally!), a word on TV remote usability, eero's new "Labs," updates to Spark, a new light therapy lamp, and some suggestions on getting a FitBit.

#376: Alexa, Light It Up!

May 15, 2018 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 10 minutes

Discussed: lame patents, Salvador Dalí, allergy season, backpack discrimination, friend cosplay, things Dan can't say, AT&T woes, Merlin saw a bear, a YouTube rabbit hole, and some excellent historical Disney content.

Dan and Merlin answer a listen's questions about sleep tracking and leveraging Alexa at the office.

#375: Night Punching

May 8, 2018 at 3:15PM • 1 hour 19 minutes

Discussed: time flies, nesting dolls, cloud saves for Switch, oy vey the service subscriptions, wheat and chess boards, WiFi and health, abdomen cinchers, more Netflix recommendations, the hollow face illusion, Marked 2 update, and a couple more recommendations.

Dan and Merlin answer a listener's question about balancing work momentum and "down time."

#374: Pouchboy

May 1, 2018 at 2:45PM • 1 hour 25 minutes

Discussed: places that are closed, dinosaur eyes that follow you, a TV show about makeup, some thoughts on Infinity War, the joy of content that really nails the medium, more on B2W shirts, Merlin hates everything, eminent domain, Dan has questions about Venom, Merlin recommends Uncanny X-Force (Remender & Opeña), and Rob Liefeld's pouch life.

Your hosts also answer listener questions about finding a mentor and knowing if it's time to move on from a job.

#373: Red Cheekums

April 24, 2018 at 3:30PM • 1 hour 48 minutes

Discussed: Dan's gummi vitamins, vitamins in general, the childhood shame of those weird plaque pills, exotic sickness images, Fifth Disease comes to Austin, Dan's car troubles, Faraday Cages and how to build them, a potential t-shirt for you.

Dan was cleaning out his garage, and Merlin has a lot to say about the philosophy and practical components of getting rid of junk at scale. Also, Dan really kills it on eBay.

Merlin is very excited about Fantastic Four coming back and has some potential warnings about the new Wes Anderson film. Spoilers: there's nothing weak about knowing what freaks you out.

Also, the boys discuss why Merlin changed his mic setup. Which is fascinating.

#372: Hole That Rabbit

April 17, 2018 at 2:45PM • 1 hour 31 minutes

This week, the boys discuss Drafts, The Archive, Merlin's love of Spotify, some great playlists, and weird rules for cheerleaders.

In extensive follow-up, your hosts talk about the listener who was having trouble with addressing employees and social media use. This goes lots of interesting places.

Next up, even more input from listeners on social media policies and living life in a fishbowl.

#371: Avocado People

April 10, 2018 at 3:45PM • 1 hour 34 minutes

Bula vinaka, bee tee dubs nation! This is an epic odds and sods episode, replete with TV follow-up, font follow-up, and Wild, Wild Country follow-up, along with book recommendations, happy Splatoon 2 talk, and a pretty terrible 70s board game. Also, ubi sunt retail amirite?

Also, your hosts finally (finally!) address a listener's excellent and very difficult question about her millennial employee's use of social media. Lot of levels!

#370: King Jeremy the Wicked

April 3, 2018 at 4:00PM • 1 hour 40 minutes

This week, Dan and Merlin discuss Jessica Jones and the problem of super power constitution, plus some more Netflix recommendations ("Look away! Looooook awaaaaay!"). They also do a dive into updates on the monospace fonts they like and use. Next, up they talk about the new app, The Archive, contrasting with nvALT.

Finally, your hosts answer an excellent listener question about struggling to manage more experienced developers.