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Academic Workflow


TIME & TASK MANAGEMENT

I capture notes in an analog notebook that I take with me everywhere I go and I use a timer to complete tasks in 25-minute chunks to prevent procrastination.

Last updated: June 21, 2017

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Academic Workflow


TIME & TASK MANAGEMENT

I capture notes in an analog notebook that I take with me everywhere I go and I use a timer to complete tasks in 25-minute chunks to prevent procrastination.

Last updated: June 21, 2017

Mentioned:

Bullet Journaling

Leuchtturm1917 Notebook

Pentel Arts Hybrid Technica Pen

Pomodoro Technique

Be Focused Pro (App)

Bullet Journaling 

I use a note taking method called Bullet Journaling, which was invented by Ryder Carroll. I've been using Ryder's system since March of 2015. I've used all sorts of formats (small pocket notebook, larger format notebook, and digital using the Apple Pencil) and the best I've found is the medium-sized, dot-gridded Leuchtturm1917 notebook that Ryder recommends. It's a good size, has enough pages but not too many, is sturdy enough to be carried around on my bike rack secured by a bungee cord, and the paper's great.  I like the Pentel Arts Hybrid Technica 0.3MM pen, which I attach via a pen loop so that I always have my pen with me. (Tip: I attach the pen loop towards the top of the book, so that I can have only the pen cap in the elastic loop and never have to worry about losing the cap.) The bullet key he recommends handles everything I ever need and so that's what I use, too. I advocate for a plainer, simpler method, as opposed to the multi-colored, sticker-clad sort you'll see if you go Googling.


Pomodoro Technique 

I use a time-management strategy called Pomodoro Technique for tasks that I might otherwise avoid doing.  I've used Pomodoros to prevent procrastination since 2011.  I've used them rigorously and also on an as-needed basis. I particularly like to use them to estimate how long something will (or sometimes, in a strategic way, should) take. When I find myself porting a task from one day to the next in my bullet journal, I'll add an item with a • for every Pomodoro I'd like to do on it that day and set a timer to X each • out as I go. I used to use a kitchen timer, but now that I'm in a shared office space, I use the app Be Focused because it won't startle others around me, works well, isn't ugly, and has a setting for a ticker sound, which I got used to hearing when I used the physical timer.

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ACADEMIC WORKFLOW


READING & WRITING

I read and annotate digitally, mostly. I enjoy my reference management software, but it has some significant limitations. And I write in an as distraction-free environment as possible, but it's not perfect.

Last updated: June 21, 2017

ACADEMIC WORKFLOW


READING & WRITING

I read and annotate digitally, mostly. I enjoy my reference management software, but it has some significant limitations. And I write in an as distraction-free environment as possible, but it's not perfect.

Last updated: June 21, 2017

Mentioned:

iPad Pro with Apple Pencil 

GoodNotes (App)

MetaPDF 

Paperpile (SAAS)

Ulysses (App)

Google Docs 

Freewrite 

Hemingway Editor (App)

Grammerly (SAAS)

Reading 

I generally read articles on my iPad Pro, importing PDFs into GoodNotes so that I can write annotations on them as if I were writing on paper. If for some reason I want to highlight and read on my laptop, I use MetaPDF to annotate (via Paperpile). I use eBooks when I have no other choice, but I far prefer GoodNotes (or physical copies if PDFs aren't available). For readings that I want to recall later, I write reading notes. I currently record these notes in my reference management software, Paperpile (more on that below), but that may change in the future. My reading notes are currently organized as follows:

  • Citation
  • Summary
  • Commentary
  • Quotes (always with a page number)
  • Questions

Writing reading notes is always an extra effort, and they can be hard to pull off, but re-reading the article is definitely the greater effort and so I try my best to budget time to not only read but also write a note about it. For books, I try to create a note for each chapter.


Writing 

I've been using the app Ulysses as my drafting software since 2014. It's since been updated to work on my phone and tablet and I'm happy with it. But because of the choices I've made with regards to my reference software, much of this year I've started with Google Docs and created duplicates of my document to move from DRAFT to v1, v2, ..., to  FINAL stages. I sometimes have to export to Word for track changes, but the lack of versioning and a collaborative writing environment have me avoiding Microsoft for everything else. I sometimes use a Freewrite typewriter to draft in a completely distraction free environment, but I'm not in love with it for many reasons, which basically boil down to the fact that it's pretty to look at, but not very elegant to use. I sometimes employ Hemingway Editor and Grammerly to prevent complex sentences, passive voice, and adverbs. 


Referencing 

I use Paperpile for my reference management and I absolutely love it. That said, it comes with some serious limitations: you (currently) cannot use it offline, or on a mobile device (including tablets), and it only works with Google Docs. If those aren't dealbreakers for you, it's seriously the best out there. I love how easy it is to add to a citation, organize it through tags and folders, search for it while writing, format it in any number of ways, and attach files and notes for future reference. It's a joy to use every time I use it. And the support staff's been great with all my extra questions.  

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ACADEMIC WORKFLOW


TEACHING

I try to remember each student's name the week before class begins. I keep notes on my students the way I imagine doctors keep charts. I hand draw my slides for lectures.

Last updated: June 21, 2017

ACADEMIC WORKFLOW


TEACHING

I try to remember each student's name the week before class begins. I keep notes on my students the way I imagine doctors keep charts. I hand draw my slides for lectures.

Last updated: June 21, 2017

Mentioned:

Flashcards+ (App)

Trello (SAAS)

TextExpander (App)

Calendly (SAAS)

GoodNotes (App)

JotNot (App)

iPad Pro with Apple Pencil 

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT 

Before the quarter begins, I use the app Flashcards+ to upload photos of my students and quiz myself on their names. This is the first way I show that I care about them as individuals and am invested in knowing them. During the quarter, I use Canvas as I must, but I generally dislike it. I use Trello for most of my documentation and student/team management needs. I create a board with three lists — On Track, Ahead, and Behind — and create cards for each student or team, as necessary. I comment on the cards and label them (revise, concerned, follow up, etc.) as needed. When grading on rubrics or sharing repeated links/suggestions, I use TextExpander to save time and ensure accuracy.


OFFICE HOURS AND MEETINGS 

I give my students a special link to an event I create just for them using the service Calendly. It allows them to schedule, cancel, and reschedule meetings with me. It saves us both time, gives them control, and allows meetings to be scheduled, reminded about, and canceled without back and forth emailing.


LectureS 

I've been drawing my slides for presentations in the classroom and at conferences since 2008, but I used to draw them using sketchbooks, Micron 005 pens, and either a scanner or the app JotNot. Now, however, I draw using an Apple Pencil in the app GoodNotes on my iPad Pro. It took a while to get used to the rubber on glass feel of drawing on a tablet, but now I feel as competent on the iPad as I do in the sketchbook and the drawings have so much more flexibility and replicability and edit-ability. I can't imagine going back, nor would I want to, because I'm able to quickly and uniquely create slides that are whimsical and interesting to look at. I also use drawing to brainstorm with students, listening to their ideas and sketching out concepts they say out loud. I do this on whiteboards and also on the tablet. It works well on whiteboards if there's a group or if the student wants to draw, too. Otherwise the tablet system works great (especially for virtual meetings).