Lincoln Mullen: How to Make Prudent Choices About Your Digital ToolsRoundup: Historians' Take
tags: digital humanities, Chronicle of Higher Ed., ProfHacker, digital history, Lincoln Mullen
Lincoln Mullen is a PhD candidate at Brandeis University and a historian of religion in early America and the nineteenth century.
One of the occupational hazards of being the kind of person who writes for or reads ProfHacker is the constant urge to try out new tools or techniques in the relentless search for “productivity.” Sharpening one’s tools might be a mark of a professional, yet constantly switching tools is the mark of someone who is just wasting time. As Jason has explained, ProfHacker is not interested in hacks for hacks’ sake.
Abraham Lincoln (almost certainly never) said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I’ll spend the first four sharpening my ax.” Whoever came up with it, that bit of folksy wisdom neatly captures an ambiguity about work. You’d be a fool to work with a dull ax, but being shrewd about your preparations can quickly turn into being lazy about actually doing your work.
How can you make prudent choices about which tools to use? I’d like to offer a few rules of thumb that I’ve developed for myself. I’ve thought about these in terms of what software to use, but I think they work for picking any kind of tool or settling on any kind of process. They’re listed in descending order of importance. I’m willing to stand by the first as an iron law of productivity; the rest have a lot more wiggle room....
comments powered by Disqus
- Did Salmonella Kill Off the Aztecs?
- Jewish history is under siege in the middle east and these volunteers are risking their lives to protect it
- 'Amazon should stop selling Holocaust denial books'
- National Museum of African American History and Culture Reaches Milestone of 1 Million Visitors
- What Makes a President Great? Clipping? Sipping? Slashing?
- McMaster knows how national security policy can go wrong. Will that help him?
- Historian and Antiwar Activist Marilyn Young Dies at 79
- Trump Chooses Historian H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser
- Holocaust Historian Deborah Lipstadt Explains Why People Believe Trump's Lies
- Princeton’s Harold James warns World War Three is now a "serious threat”