Back to Work-logo

Back to Work

Career >

Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin on productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more. Back to Work is a regular podcast scheduled for live broadcast every Tuesday at 2PM EST. Episodes may sometimes be rescheduled or cancelled due to Mann's travel schedule.

Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin on productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more. Back to Work is a regular podcast scheduled for live broadcast every Tuesday at 2PM EST. Episodes may sometimes be rescheduled or cancelled due to Mann's travel schedule.
More Information


Austin, TX


Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin on productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more. Back to Work is a regular podcast scheduled for live broadcast every Tuesday at 2PM EST. Episodes may sometimes be rescheduled or cancelled due to Mann's travel schedule.






5by5 Broadcasting 5114 Balcones Woods Drive Suite 307-292 Austin, TX 78759-5273


368: Call the Mouse Guy

This week, your hosts discuss Steely Dan, digital mastering, The Police, Dune, high-quality VCRs, and Dan's brother-in-law's close call. Next, they dive into a fascinating article on why projects fail. Finally, the boys respond to a listener's question about cautious workplace enthusiasm.


367: A Favorite Child

This week, your hosts talk about some stuff they're doing, loving Spotify, some Echo podcast-listening tips, the attraction of Google Drive, some thoughts on backup strategies, getting swole, the joys of rock tumbler ownership, scary times in Austin, weird iMac problems, some more thoughts on backup strategies, Merlin's obsession with drumming videos, and yet more Apple TV foibles.


366: Five Sides of the Street

This week, your hosts talk about using Windows, technology modalities, making sane decisions as a developer, reality TV, 20th anniversary of The Dude, Merlin's new fondness for Spotify, analyzing takes on the HomePod, options for high-quality in smart speakers, dealing with recurring financial (and psychological) eels, competitive heat in the smart home ecosystem, Canadians, and the name of Scotland Yard. They also answer a listener question about feeling overwhelmed by content options.


365: Volume Eight

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about weather as a thing and giving up on Cash's dumb iPad problem. This leads to discussion about the risks, opportunities, and frustrations of having lots of data in different places (probably). The main topic this week is an exploration of TickTick. Neat app. They also almost talk about Black Panther.


364: The New Fudge

This week, Dan and Merlin talk a little too much about Harry Potter, but also manage to cover some other media properties as well as the shockingly limited options for British casting. Dan has a new task management app, and Merlin decides to give it a spin too. The need for help from the jackals who make Cash's iPad app is escalated. In a somewhat classic style, the conversation moves to considering Big Issues around work, friction, modality, usability, and apps for pound-sign...


363: She's My Horcrux

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about lots of recent experiences with the weird and often-frustrating world of streaming TV. What a mess. There's also some discussion of sauna suits, The Eagles, Mummers, and Dan's victorious t-shirt. Also, Dan needs your help with solving a terrible problem with one of Cash's iPad games.


362: A Yuck and a Yum

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about the Eagles' big win, what constitutes a catch, Dan's cool new shirt, Merlin's surprisingly positive interactions with Kabletown, the seeming magic of Movies Anywhere, some recent TV recommendations, and a great listener tip for using Nuzzel. Your hosts also respond to Listener Daniel's question about new job responsibilities making him feel like an impostor.


361: Caveman Arithmetic

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about crazy kids' homework, Dan's exciting nerd field trips in the Bay Area, the magic of PIXAR, a handy Netflix companion site, and using Siri on Apple TV. Things get a little heated during a discussion about all the weirdly fawning coverage of HomePod—and whether or when Apple's new speaker dingus might find a place in your hosts' lives. Recommendations include a podcast with Hawkeye Pierce, an excellent boiled eggs recipe, and some cool TED-Ed videos. Your...


360: I Haven't Lost My Knife

This week, Dan and Merlin talk a lot about writing and respond to feedback from listeners.


359: You Can't See Inside the Dog

This week, Dan has some weather, Cash makes a battery, homework can be a silly drag, management is about scalability and quantification, how to figure out how much you have to do, 80s movies can be problematic, ultracrepidarianism, making fish wanna get nasty, and you gotta give people ONE suggestion. Great listener feedback on the evolution of pro kitchens, real-life risk aversion, and a terrific use of Echo's drop-in functionality. Also, the possibilities and shortcomings of Machine...


358: Dumb Ohio Mouth

This week, your hosts cover some odds and sods, share some recommendations, design some fantasy podcast apps, and introduce an exciting new feature involving the Internet Science Site. They also respond to a listener's thorny question about dealing with negative chatter in the workplace.


357: Scrolling Carousel of Pain

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about why they're trending, an exciting update on the Mr. Robot ATV bug, the frustrating opacity of using Apple's stuff, Dan's love for Nintendo Switch, nostalgia for NASA, Merlin's love for the Amazon Spot, the problem of fish food and regret, updates on your hosts' sleep technologies, possible solutions for killing spam on iPhone, and some more thoughts on dealing with Netflix's filtering, ratings, and…jeez kinda just everything about their dingaling...


356: Politics or Gender or Iron Man

The boys wrap up a big year—a huge year—with an unintentionally thematic episode about feelings, expectations, nostalgia, and the black boxes of life, technological and otherwise.


355: Eleven Dollars and a Bottle of Yoo-hoo

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about keyboard preferences (and their noises), Merlin catching Dan's weird "Mr. Robot" bug on Apple TV, feedback about "inside jokes," exclusion as a weapon, more good Robert Wright interviews, a deepish dive on Netflix personalization techniques (alongside some speculation on how well it's working), platforms and technologies as lobster traps, the problem with cartoons about screaming, how much kids love YouTube, the challenge of partnering with podcast...


354: One Whale

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about (partial) resolution to Dan's Apple TV bug, some venting about delivery problems, general complaining about customer service, a good TV podcast episode, a very good Buddhism podcast episode, some excellent Buddhism talk, listener follow-up on Dan's strange video mail package, shakeups and wild innovation in the TV bidness, that creepy/mean Netflix tweet, and a listener's question about whether the tech requirements at a promising new job should be a...


353: Superagency

This week, Dan and Merlin discuss theories on Dan's Mr. Robot/Apple TV bug, living in an opinion bubble, an update on flu shot efficacy, Dan's recent insane mail delivery, speculation on how giant ad buys work, consternation about memory-holed media. Your hosts respond to a listener's question about the difficulty of choosing a career path that wasn't what you'd expected. Merlin also explains his shaving strategy.


352: Get Away From My Formular!

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about…so many things. Merlin had a lot of coffee. Big topics include: Flickr nostalgia (and smart photo backup tips) Dan's crazy Apple TV bug A terrific podcast episode about Buddhism and the human mind A tough listener question about gracefully leaving a job


351: Your Chest Is a Tunnel

This week, your hosts discuss: holiday disruptions, life patterns, the joys of regularity, discovering unnecessary existential vulnerabilities, scheduling as a video game, getting your head around sous vide cooking, modern kids' arithmetic, CBD dosage stuff, using the Sway app, meditation for improving attention management, dealing with the character who speaks your internal voice, some hot tips on starting meditation, a historical video series Merlin's family likes, a quest for a...


350: Stacking Stones and Inspiration

TOPIC: Integrity and Fear. This week your hosts discuss: sandwiches, solar power, some recent movies and what makes them memorable (or not), the glory of Edgar Wright, fun movie commentaries, Dan's rowing machine, big changes for Chairman Bendis, a cool free font from IBM, awesome creativity from a listener, some thoughts on apps for meditation and relaxation (and the important distinction between those things), the downside of Competitive Mindfulness and similar, some excellent feedback...


349: The Kid Who Never Won Anything

TOPIC: Trials, Trophies, and Trying Harder. This week, the boys arrive from either the past or future to talk about Dan's spoon problem, the refuse racket, the slog of incremental improvement, the perils of black and white thinking, folding paper seven times, and Dan’s mad cart-riding skills. This leads to this week’s main topic: an epic exploration of success and failure. No spoilers, but this is a good one.


Try Premium for 30 days

Live games for all NFL, MLB, NBA, & NHL teams
Commercial-Free Music
No Display Ads