The History Mixtapes: Introducing Liner Notes!

Announcing that my video podcast (with an audio version) will launch Friday, February 19, 2021!

I’ve taken a structured approach to the podcast around three central questions.

  1. What’s in your pen case? With this question, I’m asking guests to highlight three of their go-to writing, editing, teaching, or organization tools. Everyone has those things that we continually reach for, or a set of reasons for seeking particular tools. They might change, but tool selection can reveal a lot about our process.
  2. How do you organize your time? This could mean writing time, balancing teaching and research, or adapting to new circumstances (like, I don’t know, a global pandemic). These strategies are personalized, but the problems we face and solutions we turn to reveal a lot about the writing and research process, as well as the many types of tasks we balance as scholars.
  3. What’s a secret you can share to an organized scholarly life? While this questions might sound a little tabloid-y at first, I’m always surprised by how deep and meaningful these answers can be. Guests have a lot of useful ideas, and they all empower each of us to find what works best for our own situations. Sure, there isn’t some vault containing all the secrets to organization somewhere, which if we just had the combination for we would find fame and fortune. Instead, framing this question as a secret to be revealed is about having a conversation about systems, processes, and strategies that as academics and scholars we rarely talk about or draw attention to—and that it’s not about finding that magical system that will solve all our problems, but in talking to each other about the challenges we face and the (maybe sometimes imperfect) ways we go about addressing them.

Throughout this “mixtape,” guests will offer insights into how they take notes on reading, archival materials, build in reminders for tasks and meetings, or structure writing, teaching, and time for life. I’m always surprised about how touching and meaningful a conversation can become by just talking about our favorite pens.

To start off the conversation, the first episode is my discussion with historian and author, Megan Kate Nelson!

I already have two special episodes planned for later this spring, and below you can see a bit of a preview, as I put myself to the questions I ask guests. It’s a little extra on the nerdy…it’s much better when I have a guest! And Tweed decided not to make his usual cameo appearance in the background today, alas. But stay tuned for next week, when I meet with Megan!

UPDATE: Links to my stuff!

This blue-black pen sampler from Tokyo Pen Shop is a fantastic place to start!

Sticky notes: from Kawaii Pen Shop, Mochi Things, and baum-kuchen, which is also where I got my daily planner cover. This site also has an “analog” theme, which deeply appeals to me.

Jetpens carries a lot of the Hobonichi products, and I also like ordering directly from Japan because of the adorable boxes they use for shipping (you might have to find the “Life Book” entry and then be able to translate the site — sometimes it’s a little tricky). It’s very much an event. Shipping to the US from Japan is a little wonky because of Covid, but it’s possible.

2 thoughts on “The History Mixtapes: Introducing Liner Notes!

  1. I have watched this video multiple times and can’t wait to see your guests — although there’s a bit of trepidation mixed with my anticipation, since I’ve already dropped $100 just on things you show here! I think that the Hobonichi planner is going to be a game-changer in my planning/organizing life (or attempts at having a planned/organized life). Thanks for doing something that brings joy (at least to weirdo paper enthusiasts) in these dark times. Seriously, your video made me so happy.

    1. I’m so glad you are into it! I really felt the need for something fun, frivolous, but also that creates connections. And I’m REALLY thrilled about how philosophical the conversations get — it’s ultimately about voice and process, creativity, and a sense of time. But also blue-black ink! I am excited to see how you use the Hobonichi! I’m totally hooked. I’ll do a video about my six planners at some point, as well 🙂

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