Uses This

Interview

What do people use to get the job done?

Lisa Wade

Lisa Wade

Sociologist, professor

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm a sociologist, college professor, and all-around "public intellectual," traveling for public speaking and appearing in media outlets. I write almost every day at Sociological Images. You can read more about my teaching, research, and media work at my website.

What hardware do you use?

I have simple needs. I spend most of my day on a Dell laptop provided by my college and Galaxy S III smart phone. The smart phone is essential for time management and for my media work. Being able to clear out emails or do other chores while waiting in line at the grocery store is a great help and responding quickly to journalists or producers is essential if I want my voice heard. Together my phone and laptop are my computer, browser, phone, TV, music player, camera, game player, video chatter, and audio recorder.

I have a long abandoned, dusty iPad somewhere in my bedside table; I never really got the appeal. I don't have a Kindle or Nook. I use libraries.

Some of my work is done while on a Lifespan treadmill desk.

And what software?

I compose in Microsoft Word. For qualitative research analysis, I use MAXQDA. My blog and professional website are both on Wordpress. Many professors use reference management software such as Endnote. I don't. I kind of like manually writing my bibliography; it's the very last thing I do before I'm finished with a piece of writing and I like to savor the moment.

I use Chrome for browsing and four plug-ins on a daily basis: an Alexa button (which tells me the traffic rank of any website I visit), the Pinterest pin button, Lightshot (a screenshot tool), and AdBlock (of course).

I maintain relevance and visibility with Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Sociological Images has over 25,000 Facebook followers, making it the second largest referrer after Google Search. Twitter and, to a lesser extent, Pinterest are also powerful mediums for disseminating ideas. My blog tweets new posts automatically. I then use Tweetdeck to schedule additional tweets from my blog's Twitter account, aiming them at peak user times. Though sometimes the content overlaps, I manually enter updates into the Facebook account. I haven't found a way to automate updates that is aesthetically pleasing and, in any case, I think the personal touch makes a difference. I do the same for my own Facebook and Twitter accounts. Slides for all of my talks in my menu of public lectures are on Slideshare.

I still keep my calendar in a book made of paper. I like the tactile experience and the concrete visualization of time as I flip through pages.

What would be your dream setup?

Preferably a well-paid assistant would come to my home at 10am 7 days a week and get me out of bed. I need help with that the most. By noon I'd be writing. In my fantasy, my computer is a lot faster, the autocorrect a lot better, and I always know what I want to say. At some point, there is a burrito. I never have to clean up my own messes. Email answers itself.