PC Mag has a useful article on ways to back up your data in the cloud – Back Up Your Cloud: How to Download All Your Data. It covers Facebook, Twitter, various Google Services, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Evernote. I can see that this may well be of use to libraries with a social media presence.
ProfHacker has a roundup of posts on iPad apps for the classroom. This was followed a couple of weeks later with the post Android Apps for the Classroom. Both will be worth checking back on occasionally as people add their favorite apps in the comments. The Android article also mentions the site Android for Academics, which has five free apps as well as tips and a blog (not recently updated).
Design for Non-Designers
Turn Your Android Device into a Dictation Tool discusses Dictadroid, its features and how to install and use it. I am sure that for some people dictation is an important part of their productivity, and this seems to be the most powerful on the Android market. Anyone suggest a comparable iOS app?
Evernote has teamed up with Swiftkey to produce a simplified note-taking app. It is iOS only at the moment, but since Swiftkey is one of the most popular Android keyboards, I imagine it will be available for Android at some point. I use Swiftkey on my Android phone and tablet and much prefer it to the stock keyboard. Evernote for Windows Desktop Gets an Update, Adds Improved Scan Management – I like that you can scan business cards and integrate that information with the person’s LinkedIn profile. Evernote Rolls Out New, More Customizable iPhone and iPad Apps… the article discusses Evernote’s updates in general and the company’s strategies for adding new features and fixing bugs. Also see this brief note on Using Siri with Evernote. And also the Android beta, which I hope will be released soon, is adding the ability to write notes by hand. Also mentions one little thing that I really want – adding a horizontal rule in the Android note editor (yes, small details do matter!). How I Do a Daily Review in Evernote by Jamie Todd Rubin is an excellent post. Rubin created a saved search that finds the notes he created or updated in the latest day, and reviews that at night, adding any additional organization needed. Nice modification of Getting Things Done (GTD). Evernote for Beginners: The Basics of The Most Popular Notebook App – Nice and recent introductory tutorial for Evernote and the Evernote Web Clipper from Tuts+, a site for “Tutorials, inspiration and videos to help you learn. Updated daily.” This post links to the more advanced and also useful Taming the Elephant: Awesome Evernote Tips and Tricks, which discusses integrating Evernote with your email and IFTTT, advanced search syntax, and creating templates for notes.
Measuring Your Workday in Pomodoros is a GradHacker post that explains what the technique is and how to use it effectively to be more productive and more easily get work done that requires concentrated attention and focus.
10 Best Productivity Apps for Android – no big surprises here, but a useful collection particularly for a new Android user. Apps included are Evernote, Dropbox, Wunderlist, Pocket, OneNote, Google Drive, QuickOffice, Any.do, Pomodoro Tasks, and Swiftkey. Most of these, of course, are available on iOS as well.
Reference Management Software
Docear (pronounced Dogear) is a free academic management suite of software that grew out of Sciplore. One of its advantages is that it offers mind mapping as a part of managing a research project. Here is how they describe their advantages:
Docear is different than any other literature or reference manager (‘different’ as in ‘better’). It offers a single-section user-interface with all the information in a single place (see screenshot below). This approach offers three massive advantages. First, you can see annotations (comments, bookmarks, highlighted text) of different documents at the same time. Second, you can move annotations to exactly the category they belong to even if the corresponding document remains in a different category. Third, you can create categories within a PDF and sort annotations within that PDF.
Visit the site to see the explanation in more depth and with screen shots, the visualization helps one see the organization better. Anyway, in January they came out with an in-depth article comparing Zotero, Mendeley, and Docear. It covers far more features than most of this sort of post.
One particularly nice thing about GradHacker is that it has had a number of posts on staying mentally and physically fit through grad school, and that the posts tend to have useful tips and links. An example is the recent post Traumatic Stress in Grad School, which has a list of useful apps and links about anxiety and coping mechanisms which are useful for anyone, not just grad students. A similar post is Cultivating Happiness in Grad School. These posts arise from a sincere belief that graduate school is hard to do well and that one’s physical and mental health is vital to achieving that goal.
Stylus for Handwriting on Touch Screens
Adonit Jot Script Stylus Review – the Adonit stylus is only for iOS, but the reviewer mentions that the Samsung S pen is similar. Both have a much narrower tip, allowing an experience much more similar to handwriting.
Windows Phone Apps
25 Best Windows Phone Apps – good roundup of the current state of Windows Phone apps. Good news is that the app store now has over 175,000 apps, including lots of the most-used apps.
From Predator to Pet: Three Techniques for Taming Your Writing Project is an excellent post by Joli Jensen. I really like the ventilation file idea, and the fifteen minutes a day is similar to Pomodoro.