Tag Archives: productivity

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How Will You Wrap Up Summer?

swimming dog

The academic summer season has less to do with the solstice and equinox than with the academic calendar and the changes in population, traffic patterns, building hours, professional duties, and activities that occur on college campuses as we get ready for the start of a new year. Even if you do not have direct classroom contact with students, chances are that your work and/or your life will be affected in some ways by their return. (And, of course, if you have children in your household, then t…

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Weekend Reading: Umbrellas in Portugal Edition

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Happy Weekend, ProfHacker friends!

The title and image for today’s Weekend Reading comes from the Ágitagueda art festival, an annual tradition in Portugal this month that was recently featured in Bored Panda.

If you have even a fleeting interest in the digital humanities, it is well-worth your while to check out Bethany Nowviskie’s keynote address, “Digital Humanities in the Anthropocene,” from the 2014 DH Conference which just wrapped up in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Lots going on this weekend: pe…

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Make Tomorrow Better, Today

sunrise

There are plenty of good suggestions out there about how to create new habits, how to make the most of your mornings, and how to balance your energy for optimal performance. (And we’ve even written a few of these ourselves here at ProfHacker.)

But today I just want to say that you don’t need to read another book or blog post about how to process your email or what to eat or when to do the things on your to-do list.

You already know what helps you be the best version of you.

So right now, just s…

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Tools I Use: Online Noise Generators

fans

We’ve written before at ProfHacker about choosing your playlist to change your life, about creating a soundtrack for the semester, about choosing songs for the pace of your desired daily run, and about noise-cancelling headphones when you just want silence.

But sometimes you don’t want either music or silence, but just the right sort of background noise. Many people love Coffitivity, a site (and also mobile app) that offers the background noise typical of a coffee shop. Although I often work re…

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Crowd-Sourcing Examinations

[Note: this post is adapted from part of a talk I recently gave to the NJEDge Annual Faculty Showcase.]

It’s no secret that we at ProfHacker like GoogleDocs. Ryan Cordell has used Google Docs to run a peer-review writing workshop, and George Williams has previously written about using GoogleDocs to take collaborative notes at conference sessions. Guest poster Thomas Burkholder wrote about using Google Forms. I have used all of these, and today I’m going to share yet another use: for compiling a…

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Back to (GTD) Basics: The Two-Minute Rule

two yellow birds

When you’re deciding what needs to be done next on a project, or in response to an email, or about that flashing light on your car’s dashboard, how do you decide if it’s something to do right away or something to put on your list for later? Do you have a bunch of emails sitting your inbox that you keep meaning to respond to but you haven’t managed to get around to them yet? The two-minute rule might help.

In Getting Things Done, David Allen’s now-classic productivity guide, he offered the “two-…

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Lighten Your Inbox in 10 Minutes with Unroll.Me

A black and white photograph of a mailbox with its flag up

With the close of the semester, you’re probably doing what you can to get your email inbox under control now that some of your colleagues have left the campus and your students have finished their finals. Email is, of course, the gift that keeps on giving. So it’s perhaps appropriate as we approach the end of the year that I make a gift to you of a fabulous new (and free!) service I discovered that will radically reduce the number of emails you receive on a daily basis: Unroll.Me.

The basic pre…

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Using iAnnotate as a Grading Tool

8167818394_244f97b2a8_bOver the years, ProfHacker has featured several posts about grading. Back in 2010, Nels asked, “Are you locked in grading jail?” and followed up his question with another post that explained “Breaking Out of Grading Jail.” Billie Hara added “On the Comforts of Grading Jail” while Jason wrote about “Grading Triage.” There’s even a helpful Archive post by Natalie on grading. But grading is one part of professorial life that will never go away, and it’s the time of year when we’re all probably up t…

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Open Thread Wednesday: iGoogle Alternatives?

5974458693_c8f5cee4fe_m Those of us who have grown accustomed to iGoogle as our homepage (or just visit it on a regular basis) are now increasingly reminded that as of November 1, 2013 the site will be discontinued. That’s this Friday!

Several tech sources have offered alternatives for users: CNET, WebTrends (part of the About.com collective), and Tom’s Guide are just a few.

Are you among the iGoogle users looking for a new homepage? Have you found a suitable alternative? Do you have suggestions for the rest of us? Pl…

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How Do Your Tools Help You Move Forward?

unicorn The itch to try out a new shiny app or workflow method is perhaps something of an occupational hazard for ProfHackers and others drawn to productivity improvements and lifehacking. After all, we try things out so that we can tell you whether they are worth your time. And some experimentation is a good thing.

But if something is working for you, then don’t feel like you have to change it. I’ve seen too many people think they ought to make their workflow completely digital, or go all-Google or no…