Category Archives: Productivity

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Gamify Your Writing Group

close-up of Sorry[This is a guest post by Emily Johnson, a Texts & Technology postdoc at the Games Research Lab at UCF. Her work focuses on gameful learning, motivation, serious games, and embodied learning. You can find her online at https://ekjphd.wordpress.com or @ekjphd.–@JBJ]

What do you get when you ask members of a Games Research Group to each commit to 30 minutes of scholarly writing a day? A game, of course! The Summer Writing Challenge began as a motivating way for members to make themselves accountabl…

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Making Room

empty room

One of my favorite questions for reflection and conversation at this time of year is:

What do you want to make room for this fall?

I like this question because not only does it encourage you to think about what you would like more of in your life, but also about how you can make that happen.

Sometimes making room is literal: clearing a bookshelf for materials for a new project, or decluttering a closet to bring ease to your daily routine.

Sometimes making room needs to happen in your schedule: …

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Switching from Evernote to OneNote, part 2

Book with notes flagged on pagesLast week, I explained why I made the decision to switch from Evernote to OneNote. This week, I want to give a brief overview of the how.

There are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Tags work wonderfully well in Evernote, and they’re highly customizable. OneNote has pre-defined tags. While some customization is possible, they simply don’t function the same way they do in Evernote. And for Mac users, at least, there’s no way that I’ve yet found to search tags (the function is available in t…
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Open Thread Wednesday: Strategies for Summer-Fall Transitions


This is my last week of summer, despite the fact that Florida heat won’t be going away anytime soon. Depending on your university’s calendar, if you’re on a 9 month contract you might also be staring down the first day of classes or savoring a last few weeks of summer research time. Either way, fall marks a time of transitioning that those of us in academia experience as our own new year’s, usually coming with its own resolutions and regrets. With course prep, syllabus writing, and in some cas…

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Switching from Evernote to OneNote, part 1

Book with notes flagged on pagesLast month, Jason alerted readers to Evernote’s recent price hike. It’s a hefty increase (for Premium users, from $49.99/year to $69.99).

I’m a longtime user of Evernote, and have found it very powerful for organizing information and locating it quickly. (I took the time a few years ago to go through my notes, winnow them, and organize them using the system Michael Hyatt describes in this post from a couple of years ago.) I’ve found the software so powerful that, for a number of years, I’ve …

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Project Arclight: a Digital Humanities Approach to Media Studies

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A new open-access book came across my social media feed a couple of months ago, The Arclight Guidebook to Media History and the Digital Humanities. The book itself is a great resource for those looking to get started with digital humanities approaches to doing media studies. What I didn’t realize was that the book is a part of a larger project, which has produced a cool tool, the Arclight app.

The app (and larger project) was developed as a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin-Madi…

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Getting Things Done with TaskPaper

taskpaperHeading

[This is a guest post by Nabeel Siddiqui, a doctoral candidate in American Studies at The College of William & Mary, where his research focuses on personal computers and the intersection of the public/private sphere. You can find him online here.--JBJ]

It’s safe to conclude the ProfHacker staff are fans of David Allen’s Getting Things Done. The book had a major influence on lifehacking , and a ton of software implements or uses its principles. Since starting graduate school, I have used Culture…

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How to Keep Your Laptop from Overusing Bandwidth on the Road

figurines of dogs in a toy car

As punishment for my various parenting sins, I now find myself in a specific Dunkin Donuts about five hours a week, while my son’s at practice. And so the ability to work remotely has skyrocketed in importance.

And whether I’m using my phone as a hotspot or using the Dunkin wifi (with a VPN, of course!), sometimes connections on the road aren’t as robust as one might like.

A solution that’s really helpful is TripMode, which gives you app-by-app control over what gets to talk to the internet on …

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Free Course: Social Media Analytics

spider-network

Because I’m a nerd, one of the fun things I like doing over the summer is to learn something new. While we can’t all afford to go to a fancy summer institute (although, they are a ton of fun), there are lots of free options both online and through books at your library. One course that I’m interested in is Social Media Analytics from Future Learn.

What differentiated this particular course, for me, is that is was short (only three weeks) and not particularly time intensive (three hours a week)….

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Start Doing Things on the Command Line with Script Ahoy

cut up strips of paper

Getting comfortable with the command line is one of those little things that can open up a world of functionality on your computer. Lincoln Mullen started an occasional series, The ProfHacker Guide to the Command Line, which included posts on “Getting Comfortable on the Command Line”, and many more.

But sometimes you’re just getting started with the command line, and you’re pretty sure there’s probably a way to do a particular task, but you’re now sure how to go about it. To address this proble…