Category Archives: Productivity

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Six Simple Meals for Your Busy Semester

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Here at ProfHacker, we’ve written a lot about how we can use technology to “hack” our professional lives, with occasional ventures into exercise and general wellness. Today I’m bringing you six very simple meals that you can generally put on the table in less than fifteen minutes (beat _that_ Rachael Ray :) ) and which are still tasty and relatively healthy. Below are some of my (and my friends’) tried and true favorites.

  • Crab and Avocado Bowl. Combine a cup of shelled crab (preferably fresh…

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Strategies for Going Paperless

Papers to scanThe paperless life: it’s a dream for a lot of us here at ProfHacker, and we’ve certainly covered a fair number of paperless strategies for various aspects of academic life in this space before.

I’m not convinced a fully paperless life is possible; somehow, the stuff still keeps landing on my desk and in my mailbox (yes, I do still have mailboxes that collect paper mail, both at home and at work). I try, though, (a) not to generate paper and (b) to be sure that paper that comes my way doesn’t sta…

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25 Verbs to Use Instead of Email

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Many people talk to me about the stress that email causes them. Often we think about email stress as caused by sheer quantity: many professionals receive 50–200 emails a day which can easily pile up and cause stress if they’re not efficiently handled.

But email itself is not the problem.  Email is just the communication tool we happen to currently use.

A powerful way to remind yourself of the deeper purpose behind your communications is to stop using email as a verb, when you’re writing somet…

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Are those files really final?

cemetery

A recent post by Charlie Harvey, titled The word final should never appear in filenames points out that when you’re sharing files with colleagues,creating a clear system for filenames reduces a lot of potential frustration:

There is a file you need to read. Maybe it has some important stuff in it. A contract that went through a bunch of revisions. That sort of thing. Only, when you go to the directory on your company samba share there are 30 files that it could be.

Inevitably at least 3 of thes…

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Google’s Inbox (Zero)

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[Tim Lepczyk is the Director of Faculty Instructional Technology at Hendrix College. You can follow him on Twitter at @thirdcoast.--@JBJ]

Google’s new app and interface for Gmail, concisely named Inbox, tries to streamline email and thus make “inbox zero” more attainable and less something one needs to chase. Currently, the app is available through invitations only, but one can request an invite through a friend or through Google.

The idea behind Inbox is that email is a task and the goal is to…

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From the Archives: Wrap Up the Semester

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Sooner or later, all semesters end. And each is soon followed by another academic term close upon its heels.

Here are some tips from the ProfHacker archives for ending your term so as to be in good shape when you return to your office in a week or two.

Look Backwards

Think about what worked and what didn’t work so well this semester. Write down some ideas for what habits or practices you want to continue and what you want to change next semester.

Update your cv and your annual review/promotion …

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Why You Should Use an Email Vacation Responder

mountains

How often do you check your email? Do you love checking email? Is answering email your primary mission in life? Do you ever wish you could just get away from email for a little while?

Well, you can, by using an email vacation responder. Even if you don’t consider your holiday plans to be “vacation,” maybe it’s worth designating a couple of email-free days sometime in the next couple of weeks.

How it Works

When you have the vacation responder turned on, when someone emails you, they receive an i…

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Using IFTTT To Track Twitter Participation

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[This is a guest post by Dan Royles, a visiting assistant professor of history at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. He’s previously written for ProfHacker on “Researching the Recent Past Online” and “Digital Workflows for the Archives.”You can follow him on Twitter at @danroyles.–@JBJ

Much digital ink has been spilled on ProfHacker about using Twitter in academia, and Mark Sample has offered prac…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Productivity for the Holidays

For most of us, the end of semester is either at hand or fast approaching, and with it the prospect of a couple weeks of unscheduled time. Of course, this time isn’t truly unscheduled: even if you’re lucky enough not to have any meetings, there are probably many deadlines and projects looming, possibly an annual conference, not to mention family gatherings and holiday fun and obligations. I’ve realized lately that it’s actually easier for me to schedule my life and work when classes are happeni…