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Merlin Mann is the creator of and primary contributor for 43 Folders, a family of websites about personal productivity, “life hacks,” and simple ways to make your life a little better.
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 writing a wildly mediocre thesis on the ideological hegemony of television — Merlin was kindly awarded a B.A. from the most excellent New College of Florida.
Past lives have found Merlin toiling as a web developer, project manager, hardware store remodeler, reluctant telemarketer, and enthusiastic but unprofitable indie rock musician.
More recently, 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. 43F is enjoyed by over 100,000 unique (and very good-looking) visitors each month and is read each day by over 50,000 people via its oddly popular RSS feed. There’s just no accounting for taste, is there?
Aside from writing for 43 Folders, Merlin is also the creator of The Merlin Show, 5ives, and 30 Seconds with Phone Guy. And, in addition to doing an occasional podcast for 43 Folders, Merlin is a host on the popular MacBreak video podcast as well as appearing as a regular guest on the MacBreak Weekly audio roundtable (both on Leo Laporte’s TWiT network).
Merlin does most of what he does in front of a Macintosh computer in the western third of San Francisco, California, where the climate is foggy, but the pork xiu mai is both plentiful and modestly-priced.
Photo of Merlin by the amazing Jeremy Harris. Hire him.