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From the Archives: Academic Workspace

cat on deskOne of the characteristics of academic work is that it is often portable and can occur in a variety of settings.

Here are tips and ideas from the ProfHacker archives about the various spaces in which academic work happens. Where to you like to work?

The office

As most of us have returned to the semester’s routine, it seems that offices have been on the ProfHacker mind: Erin asked How is Your Workspace Furnished and George asked an Open Thread question What Does Your Office Door Look Like.

I wrote about Organizing Your Teaching Materials, which can often take up a significant amount of space in your office, as Jason points out in What Will You Throw Away Today.

Jason shared a picture of his workspace and linked to those of a few others. Some of our readers joined in the fun and posted pictures to the ProfHacker Flickr group. Of course, if your primary office is at home, you may have more flexibility in choosing furniture or other equipment. Erin’s Effective Summer Planning and The Chalkboard Wall Revisited describe her decision to transform a wall of her home into an extra-large calendar.

If you missed Erin’s end-of-semester tips for office cleaning, why not clean up a little now? It’s not going to get prettier as the semester goes on.

The desk

Heather offered a useful list of standard and personal items in What’s in Your Desk. Erin let us know she keeps a Magic Pencil in hers. You’d probably find some of George’s 5 Analog Tools I Can’t Live Without in his.

The bag

Jason admired George’s wish list for a faculty member’s work bag and asked the question “What’s in your bag?” Billie answered with an annotated photo of the contents of her work bag. You can see George’s bag in his discussion of How to Keep Track of All Those Keys. And Heather responded with What Is Your Bag in which she described her criteria for the perfect academic bookbag.

The commute

George reminds us to Anticipate the Commute with auto maintenance and emergency preparedness. Brian offers Three Ways to Hack Your Commute and Mark tells us about The Long Way Home: Hacking Your Commute When Cars Just Aren’t Enough.

The mobile workspace

Judging from the comments on George’s The coffee shop as workspace, lots of academics frequently work in places other than home or office. We’ve written quite a bit about tools for mobile productivity, including Julie’s On Netbooks, Using Super Smartphones for Productivity, and an Update on Productivity with her phone.

The soundtrack

Billie shared her motivational playlist in What’s on your iPod. Nels describes how he curates The Soundtrack of the Semester and also shared his Theme Song Soundtrack. And of course, Jason would tell you to listen to The Hold Steady.

What’s critical to your academic workspace? Let us know in the comments!

[Creative Commons licensed photo by Flickr user cote]

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