Links Roundup #12

western saddle with a lasso on it


Meta Articles on Choosing the Right Tools:

How to Make Prudent Choices About Your Tools. EXCELLENT post from the ProfHacker blog that is not about specific tools for academic workflow (though it does mention a few), but how to go about choosing the tools you use. Very timely for new graduate students and faculty this fall.

Paradox of Powerful Tools – makes the excellent point that the more decisions a tool requires you to make, the longer it will take to be productive with that tool.

Play to Your Strengths:  Adapting Your Writing Software to Your Writing Style. GradHacker and ProfHacker are starting to publish again after their summer breaks and coming up with great posts for the new grad student and/or faculty member. This GradHacker post mentions a variety of different tools for writing and citing, as well as suggestions for choosing these tools, and gives the example of the author’s workflow and tools used.

Focus, Attention, and Time Management Updates:

Balancing Work at Home with PomodoroProfHacker post from a professor on using Pomodoro to keep on track with tasks while working at home.

What Happens to the Brain When You Meditate (And How it Benefits You) – Lifehacker post that discusses the parts of the brain affected by meditation and the beneficial effects of even short periods of meditation.

Start a New Habit with – ProfHacker post on a new web and iOS app that helps visualize Don’t Break the Chain idea for creating a habit.  Also mentions other ways of tracking adherence to a habit.

Ok, now I’m just amused.  When WebMD has a slideshow on Top Concentration Killers, you know that attention management has hit the mainstream.  And for a slideshow, it is well done, handles the material in concise blocks of text, and offers a concentration killer followed by a fix for that particular problem.

IFTTT Updates:

Several IFTTT updates (If you are new to IFTTT, please see this previous post.):

(1) The service now has a New York Times channel.  There are suggested recipes.  If someone plays around with adding their proxy server ID to a recipe, please note it in the comments.

(2) BIG announcement from IFTTT – they now have a way to embed recipes anywhere that you can place an embed code.  Since I’m betting a large number of you design and create web pages, LibGuides, or both, this could be big news and really increase the usefulness of IFTTT for librarians.

(3)  Twitter triggers are back.  Twitter had pulled them, but has apparently relented.

Evernote Updates:

(1)   8 Pro Tips for Evernote Power Users.  Post from Mashable on tips and tricks to use with Evernote.  I spotted one error, it says reminders haven’t rolled out to Android users, but they have.  Good post otherwise.  Mashable is one place for great updates on technology, especially mobile and social media, but it has so many posts it is hard to keep up.

(2)  Take a Minute to Collect Your Thoughts with Evernote.  This post is from 2010, and Evernote has many new features since, but there aren’t a lot of articles about how academic researchers use Evernote and this is a good one from ProfHacker.

(3)  Experiments with an Electronic Lab Notebook.  GradHacker post by a PhD student in Chemical Engineering who is using Evernote as his ELN.  We are always looking for posts about how Evernote is used by academics, and this is a nice addition to that “genre”.

(4)  How Students Use Technology Outside the Classroom.  Discusses mostly free apps like Evernote, Google Hangouts, Google Drive and social media tools to advance their classwork.  Includes graduate students using Google Hangouts to work collaboratively.

(5)  Going Paperless: 5 More Tips for Speeding Up Productivity with Evernote Using Third-Party Tools.  Whew, long title!  Good tips on increasing productiivity with Evernote.  I particularly want to try KustomNote.

There are, of course, a plethora of articles now about best apps for back to school, and all the ones I’ve seen include Evernote.  PC Mag has a good one, divided into apps for elementary, intermediate, high school, and college/university – though I thought even some of those for primary/secondary useful for collge students as well.  And of course my gripe with the article is the author doesn’t look hard enough for Android alternatives to iOS apps.

Miscellaneous Updates:

Eight Thoughts After Trying the Samsung Chromebook – first review I’ve seen of the Chromebook for academic work.  In sum, if you use the Chrome environment including Google Docs, this is very reasonably priced.

Twitter Update Makes it Easier to Follow Conversations. Would think this would be particularly useful for academic conversations.

464 Digital Learning Tools to Sift Through on a Rainy Day – given how much rain there has been in Atlanta this year, I might make it through this list at some point…

30+ Mind Mapping Tools – from Mashable, divides them into free and subscription/purchase.

Google Play Hits the Books in Time for Fall Semester.  Discusses the availability of college textbooks in Google Play, both for purchase and for rent.

SECURITY TIP:  Two Factor Authentication.  Another good post from Bob Rankin, this one an explanation of two factor authentication (2FA), and why it is useful.

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