Merlin Mann

Merlin Mann

Merlin Mann is best known as the creator of, a popular American website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Merlin was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised on Florida’s humid Suncoast. In his senior year of high school, Merlin dropped his 1st period BASIC class so he could strum Major7 chords in the school’s stage band. Somewhere in this is a story that should tell you much of what you need to know about him.

In 1990 – despite turning in a wildly mediocre thesis on the ideological hegemony of television – Merlin was generously awarded a B.A. from the prestigious New College of Florida.

Past lives have found Merlin toiling as a web developer, project manager, waiter, hardware store remodeler, court room exhibit designer, reluctant telemarketer, and enthusiastic but unprofitable indie rock musician.

Merlin’s writing has been carried in fine periodicals like WIRED, Make, Popular Science, and MacWorld, while 43 Folders has been featured favorably in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, TIME, and The Wall Street Journal, to name a few.

43 Folders is currently enjoyed by thousands of very good-looking visitors every year, with an oddly popular RSS feed that apparently gets loaded over 120,000 times every day. There’s just no accounting for taste, is there?

Aside from writing for 43 Folders, Merlin is also the creator of Kung Fu Grippe, The Merlin Show, 5ives, and 30 Seconds with Phone Guy. Merlin is regarded as a sought-after speaker and presenter, who’s received rave reviews for delivering his energetic productivity talks at Apple, Google, Twitter, Xerox PARC, as well as many other esteemed companies and organizations.

Merlins favorite projects he’s ever worked on are: 1) a decidedly NSFW podcast known as, You Look Nice Today, and, b) a short essay about work, attention, and expertise, called, "Better."

Merlin’s first book, Inbox Zero, will be published by Harper Collins in 2011.

Merlin currently does most of what he does while bathed in the cool glow of a 13˝ MacBook that’s plugged-in to wall located in the western third of San Francisco, California–a wondrous and misunderstood land in which the climate is foggy, the pork xiu mai is plentiful, and Merlin’s exquisite wife and daughter are always a few steps away.