Category Archives: Productivity

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Back Up Your Files Now

fire

Last week, you might have seen the story of a devastating fire in a residential neighborhood in New Orleans, and how Gideon Hodge, who “describes himself as a playwright, novelist, and actor” ran into his burning home “when he realized that his only copies of two completed novels were on a laptop inside.”
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Have Your Accounts Been Compromised?

LEGO minifigs
Having accounts spread hither and yon across the internet, and the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ approach that’s too often taken toward security and privacy, there’s a pretty decent chance that at some point, a service you use will face a data breach.

Heck, it might have already happened, and you didn’t know about it, either because you were too busy to notice, or maybe you’d even forgotten you have an account on that service!

A quick and easy way to see if your accounts have been included in a data breach is to…

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Virtual Techniques for Co-writing

Over the past year, I’ve found myself involved in more collaborative writing projects. This isn’t really something that came up in my discipline in grad school, where everything I worked on was written alone. These projects are much harder to organize than my solo work: often, they span several platforms, multiple email threads, chats, and files.

I’ve noticed that everyone I work with has a different preference for technologies and strategies. Here are a few I’ve been using, and their advantage…

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Switching to a Tiling Window Manager, and Why You Might Want To

Screenshot of i3 window manager

[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]

If you a watch a Mac user use a Windows machine or vice versa, you know how attached people can become to their operating systems. The frustration when people try to switch, however, has little to do with the underlying structure of the systems t…

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Peasy – Create a Simple Static Webpage

Last week, my colleague Kris Shaffer launched the Alpha version of a website publishing platform, Peasy (as in easy peasy). I’ll let him explain why he developed Peasy:

Peasy is relatively easy-to-install and easy-to-use platform for building simple websites. There is no “back-end” to fuss with, no database to administer, just a simple web site that you can edit live while you’re logged in.

But the aspect of Peasy that I’m most excited about is that it makes it really easy to clone existing w…

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Scheduling 101: Using Calendly for Student Appointments

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Over the years at ProfHacker we have discussed several different tools for scheduling student appointments, including Doodle, Acuity, and ScheduleOnce (as well as some other tools that no longer exist).

When I recently scheduled a meeting with a colleague, I learned about Calendly, which immediately impressed me with its clean, appealing design and simple scheduling process. Like other online scheduling tools, Calendly lets you set times when you will be available for meetings and lets users pi…

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Considerate Collaboration: Google Docs

Bee about to land on flower

A large portion of the work I do exists on Google Docs – whether working on internal documents within my department, for committees, within my classes, or collaborating online to co-author articles, organize events, or provide feedback to other writers. Over time, I realized that just because many people can use Google Docs does not mean they are always considerate in the ways they collaborate on Google Docs. Here are some tips on some areas I feel collaborators (whether peers, or teacher/stude…

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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…