29 episodes

Inger and Jason talk about work, but you know - not in a boring way. Practical, implementable productivity hacks to help you live a more balanced life. Find us on Twitter: @thesiswhisperer and @jasondowns.

On the reg Thesiswhisperer

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 31 Ratings

Inger and Jason talk about work, but you know - not in a boring way. Practical, implementable productivity hacks to help you live a more balanced life. Find us on Twitter: @thesiswhisperer and @jasondowns.

    Long service leave: artefact of colonisation or just bloody awesome?

    Long service leave: artefact of colonisation or just bloody awesome?

    Jason and Inger finally have time to really catch up properly... with a well over 2 hour conversation... Inger edited it down to 1 hour 53, so hey - listen in segments? Crank it up for a long session of housework or gardening? Go for a really long run? We believe in you!

    It's long because frankly, there was a lot of backed up conversation to be had after Jason had 14 weeks off. We discuss the origins and future of the idea of long service leave and the value of taking a break from work to reflect on the meaning of life and renegotiate your relationships, personal and professional.

    This is followed by a long discussion of Simon Sinek's 'The Infinite Game', which it turns out Inger has been playing with the Thesis Whisperer for over a decade now. This is followed by a philosophical digression into the idea of a hyper object and whether academia is (maybe) a form of techno-bureaucratic climate change?

    In two minute tips, Jason brings us up to date with the cool new iPhone features for limiting your access to work after hours (and people's access to you after hours). Look - it's long, but we enjoyed it. Hope you do too!


    Whisper collective portal
    Whisper collective launch
    Simon Sinek The Infinite Game
    Timothy Morton: Introducing the idea of hyperobjects
    Our book!: The text expander guide for academics

    • 1 hr 53 min
    Jason is back in The Matrix

    Jason is back in The Matrix

    Jason just got back from 14 weeks driving around Australia on #epictrip2021! So it seemed like a good idea to throw him right into podcasting via a live key note for Australian Educational Podcast Conference 2021.

    The event was called "Planning for podcasting: dissecting the process", so we did a normal On The Reg... but with a time limit, in front of a live audience, while people watched the show notes scroll by...

     This wasn't at ALL anxiety provoking.

    We talk about the problem of Context collapse, why young people think about computers like they are laundry baskets and the benefits of meditation (yes, really) for the first 42 minutes.

    Then Narelle Lemon from Swinburne university interviewed us about the process of putting together an episode. We left this bit in! If you're interested in podcasting, we have a lot of tips and tricks for getting a show together, on the reg as they say!

    Links mentioned in the episode:

    File not Found
    Descript editing software
    The TextExpander guide for academics
    Buzzcast podcast

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Bottoming our way through pandemic lockdowns (with lavender mist and pills)

    Bottoming our way through pandemic lockdowns (with lavender mist and pills)

    Inger recorded this guestapooloza version of On The Reg just before Canberra was locked down... as she says in the pod "things might change before you hear this".

    Luckily her guest was Narelle Lemon from the Wellbeing Whisperer, who was able to impact many relaxation tips. Inger is crap at relaxing, so Narelle's suggestions were extremely helpful. The pair have a surprisingly intense conversation about sleep: how to fall asleep, stay asleep and annoy your partner with the pillow that must go between your knees when you have 'academic back'.

    Amongst other topics discussed are 'data knitting', the importance of the inner rebel, how to take a compliment, acupuncture and the online attention economy. In other words, this was a pretty typical episode of On The Reg, sans JD - but he does call from On The Road in Covid Free WA!


    Why you can’t escape the attention economy:
    All about sleep stages
    You may have heard that adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. But, the quality of sleep you get also matters.
    Why it breaks your brain to take a compliment
    Teaching matters podcast
    Brene Brown Unlocking us
    Beating the Odds: A practical guide to navigating sexism in Australian universities

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Articulation work isn't just a cool research paper from 1992 (even though it kind of is)

    Articulation work isn't just a cool research paper from 1992 (even though it kind of is)

    After hearing briefly from Jason, who seems to be making progress on his digital detox, Inger is joined by Dr Ben Kraal. Ben used to be an academic, but escaped into the wilds of UX consulting where he makes a very nice living - but still runs an excellent academic-ish newsletter on the side which is called '1992'.

    Ben tells Inger about the inspiration for 1992, particularly the concept of Articulation work. This is a concept which comes from an early book on the Social organisation of Medical work by Straus, Fagerhaugh, Suczek and Weiner. 

    Articulation work is a fancy way of talking about:
    Putting tasks in an order (to complete some arc or work)Doing tasks sequentially or simultaneously (to complete some arc of work)Assigning people to do tasks (to complete some arc of work)Basically all the stuff Inger and Jason do in their #Bujos or Omni or whatever else.

    Ben explains to Inger that Kjeld Schmidt and Liam Bannon applied the ideas from articulation work to computers and invented Google Docs and Zoom in 1992 - or rather, imagined them in a paper called 'Taking CSCW seriously: Supporting Articulation Work'.  This paper is pretty amazing when you consider at the time you had to use a physical phone hand set to access the internet through a phone line.

    This short history lesson on human computer interaction (naturally?) leads into a discussion of what meetings are really FOR and how Cal Newport has discovered the principles of Agile Project Management, not a whole new way to email. The nerd is very strong in this discussion, but Inger came away from it very enlightened and now understands why all those books that promise to solve your project management problems, never will (and why everyone hates Jira).

    In our reading section, Ben recommends a book on forest management (that is very relevant for understanding public health in pandemics - just trust us) and Inger shares an article on the importance of 'cooling off' before saying 'yes' to a new idea. In the 2 minute tips section, Inger shares some writing planning secrets and Ben changes your life with the Highlighted App.


    Social organisation of Medical work by Straus, Fagerhaugh, Suczek and Weiner.
    Taking CSCW seriously: Supporting Articulation Work' Schmidt and Bannon
    The Mythical Man Month
    Jason is reading: Seeing like a State
    Inger is reading: Julia Bank's Power Play
    Loleen Berdahl on Substack “How to assess shiny new ideas and invitations”
    Highlighted App http://highlighted.app
    Ben's wife's books: Everly Frost

    Love On The Reg? There is swag. You can support us by buying our Text Expander for Academics book. More releases soon!

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Networking is more than nibbling wine and cheese (in a doomsday bunker)

    Networking is more than nibbling wine and cheese (in a doomsday bunker)

    Inger has a guest host while @Jasondowns is gallivanting his way around Australia on #epictrip2021. Tseen Khoo (@tseenster) from the Research Whisperer Blog joins Inger to talk about a topic that gets them both fired up: networking.

    They share their networking tips and techniques, especially the stuff that works online during Covid times when the dreaded wine and cheese events are no longer available (hooray!). Inger reckons they are both pretty judgy about how networking is taught to researchers, but Tseen prefers to think they are 'discerning'. They share their tips for shy people who want to network, as well as musing about the burnt tire aroma of International Roast coffee and the reason their children don't know how to send actual letters.

    Inger has been reading a book about doomsday bunkers while Tseen has a couple of excellent newsletters scooped from Substack. We finish with 2 minute tips as usual, and include a bonus bit of Jason who phoned in from an underground cafe in Cooper Pedy. If you want to leave a message like his, you can do it via a webrowser using Speakpipe

    Links we mentioned:

    Research Whisperer Blog
    PostAc app
    Jason's Epic Trip on Instagram
    Prolifiko newsletter
    Oliver Burkeman's newsletter 'The Imperfectionist'
    Bunker: building for the end of times

    • 1 hr 17 min
    Academic permafrost and the vital few

    Academic permafrost and the vital few

    It's the last episode of On the Reg before Jason goes on #epictrip2021 but don't worry - Inger will keep the ship afloat with a guesthostapolooza until he returns.

    Before he leaves Jason just has a bit more marking to do as well as tricking out the Jeep. Inger is relieved her dislocated toe no longer looks like a balloon animal and that Thesis Whisperer Jnr will still put the seat warmers on in the Tesla when he picks her up from work.

    We are excited to announce the release of our first book together! We've written a 50, A4 page 'look book ' of TextExpander snippets to inspire you to automate some of your academic email life. You can buy the book from The Thesis Whisperer here.

    In the word problems segment, Inger reads 'The Culture Code' by Daniel Coyle and finds out all the starting conditions for teams to perform well are essentially missing in academia. She now plans to send the book to her Vice Chancellor, Brian Schmidt, so that he can get to work on fixing it!

    Jason read 'Essentialism' by Gary McKeown while standing in the queue to get vaccinated for 6 hours and was annoyed to discover that it only took Inger 2 hours to read the same book. Her dominance at competitive reading is now fully explained! We decided that it was a good book with lots of juicy nuggets, once you get past the first chapter.

    Jason has read a paper on Vaping and Inger owns up to being an ex-smoker who misses it, and is happy to get a contact high at parties. Meanwhile Inger has read a paper which measures how long academics go over time on conference talks and the results will - and won't - surprise you.

    Finally in our 2 minute tips, Jason has an app to make lists with and Inger has a quick way to make sure you don't go over time on your next conference talk (it's easy people!).

    Our TextExpander book!
    The Culture Code
    Gender balance in time keeping at life science conferences

    • 1 hr 38 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
31 Ratings

31 Ratings

SweetLassy ,

This should be compulsory listening for all academics and PhD students

Loving this podcast. Who would have thought two people talking about academia and work and doing a PhD could make me laugh out loud. Not only that, it’s full of incredibly useful tips and ah-ha moments. I’ve already downloaded Nirvana and uninstalled Facebook and outlook on my phone. I haven’t got on the TextExpander bandwagon yet, although I can see it’s usefulness. The flashbacks to doing a PhD, the pandemic in 2020, and the great university clean-out are a bit disconcerting, but at least they are also helpful in providing perspective, clarity and a bit of empathy. Five stars!

enthusiologist ,

Best find of 2021

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to discover your podcast! As an academic and PhD supervisor, Inger’s ‘How to Fix Your Academic Writing’ is one of my ‘Bibles’, but this podcast has introduced me to so much more. I have caught up on all the back catalogue. TextExpander is a revelation, and every podcast leaves me with a new way to think about something or a new productivity hack, or both. The last (epically long!) episode’s topic on the importance of leave really resonated with me. So important. Loved Jason’s suggestion about deleting outlook from your phone. I took emails off my phone years ago and never looked back. You can keep you outlook calendar synced with your phone calendar app, and as long as you save key meeting details and attachments in the appointment you are good to go, even when roaming the campus. At an absolute pinch you can log in via webmail on your phone, but not having the app cuts out all temptation to check stuff out of hours. Thanks again to you both. Can’t wait for more eps next year. Keep ‘em coming!

Trilia ,

Great podcast in a hyper competitive space

Totally love listening to your chats - feels like I’m sitting at the kitchen table with you, enjoying a cuppa and a packet of chocolate biscuits - sometimes it takes the whole packet 🤩

Top Podcasts In Education

You Might Also Like