All posts by Heather M. Whitney


How to Get a List/Agenda View in the Mac Calendar App


Are you like me, shaking your fist in angst at the lack of obvious way to get a list agenda view in your Mac OS X Calendar app? True to professor hack blogging form, here is a simple solution:

  1. Put a double quotation mark character in the search box at the upper right hand corner. Hit enter.

  2. Wait a few moments.

  3. Observe as a new section of your calendar app appears on the right and begins to fill in with a list/agenda view of your calendar covering several days.

  4. Be happy.

Figuring this …

by for listening to podcasts

The internet has exploded with podcasts, with so many great options out there. (ProfHacker even got in on the trend for awhile!) Here at ProfHacker, we have had several open thread posts about podcasts and podcast apps. Selection and management of their use can almost be overwhelming. In this post in 2014, Jason mentioned that he uses Overcast to listen to podcasts. Below, I’d like to expand a description of that app and also list additional features now available.

This fall, I began commuting a…


Wearable Wellness Tech (With Features That Help in Academia, Too)

altahr-t The arrival of a new calendar year can bring many to consider purchasing items to aid in wellness. If you are doing so, I’d like to recommend the FitBit Alta HR, particularly for its usefulness in academia. Here at ProfHacker, we’ve covered such wearables before: Natalie wrote about her month with the Fitbit Flex and then spent two months with the Basis; Anastasia reviewed the Pebble Smartwatch and then considered the Garmin Forerunner 235.

To be honest, rarely have I purchased a tech device th…


WordPress Plugin Now Available for JotForm

“>Custom form elements
Looking for a plugin to add form features to your WordPress installation? We’ve written previously about JotForm (here and here), a service which allows you to create forms and link to some collection service, such as Dropbox. Getting those forms on a website was not terribly difficult but took a few extra steps.

But now JotForm has recently announced the availability of a WordPress plugin that streamlines the process. Once you install the plugin (which you can do by downloading it from here


Stocking Up for Lunch in Your Office

095/365 CAs unideal as eating lunch at your keyboard is, it happens. Course and meeting schedules can be unforgiving. Before the semester starts, it can be a good idea to stock your office with food that makes in-office lunch take less thought.

This semester, I’ll be lucky to have fifteen minutes for lunch most days, so I have been investigating what to get. With the help of the always spot-on Alissa Wilkinson (whose work you should check out, including her new project The Glass List) I have compiled som…


Labguru for Life Science Lab Management (and more)

DNA lab
French scientist Louis Pasteur said “chance favors the prepared mind.” In the game of scientific research, organization can be key to creating favorable conditions for the great moments every scientist hopes for. And yet, how many of us in the sciences actually thought of the labs they trained in as a model of organization? How many of us, especially faculty members at small schools who are principal investigator (PI) and lab manager all in one, could improve lab management? And how do we mode…


Digital lab notebooks: what works and what doesn’t?

Notebook collection
This year in the advanced physics course I teach, I wanted to broaden student exposure to lab notebook keeping methods. Students could keep lab notebooks on traditional carbon copy paper, or they could try out a different method, such as Evernote, as long as we kept in discussion about how it was working and how it wasn’t.

The result? Just one student out of twenty one consistently kept lab notes in Evernote. It seemed to work reasonably well, although I felt that the notes lacked the spontanei…


Schedule E-mail on the Go with Boomerang

let's all sit under the big boomerang
Back in 2010, Amy reported on using Boomerang to schedule email within Gmail or Outlook for a later send date. I personally use this email add-on daily, finding it useful to queue up emails to arrive to their recipient at a reasonable time. For example, I often process email on Sunday evenings (a time that works well for me), but in case my colleagues check their email that same evening I don’t want them to feel that I’m pressuring them to respond immediately. So I use Boomerang to send the ema…


Outside-of-the-box Office Hours

Meet Here

Thanks to technology, office hours are no longer limited to drop-in or door sign-up options. As we’ve written about before, digital office hours are now an option, as is by-appointment-only. (You can review here what we’ve covered on that topic before.) Additionally, some of my colleagues are having success with group office hour sessions, in which the professor is available in a large classroom and students are welcome to drop by and work in groups or speak with the professor individually. It …


Updates to ScheduleOnce for Google Calendar Appointments

LateAfter everyone finished gasping at the news that Google was canceling Calendar Appointments, which we reported about last winter here at ProfHacker, many faculty pursued other online solutions for allowing students and colleagues to view available appointment times and make reservations. (And a brief note before the comments start coming in – Google has indeed since stated that they will keep Google Calendar Appointments for Google Apps for Education, Business, and Government users, but many Pro…