Links Roundup #19

A PhotographerBlogs of Interest

Russell Stannard’s Blog is by a British educator who discusses educational technology and language learning.  He talks about various technologies useful at the college level as well as K-12.  He also has the site Teacher Training Videos, which include tutorials on a variety of useful edtech tools.  I looked at the videos for WallWisher (now Padlet), for example, and thought the tutorials were well done, though very simple in design and execution.

Crystal found another blog of interest, The BLOSSOMING-Fledgling Researcher.  The description is “A recovering writing-phobe’s musings on academic writing methodology, academic writing software, and the psychology of post-graduate level writing. Research and writing DO get better. LET’S DO THIS!”  It includes pages for Starting and Staying Organized, Accountability/Focus, Research Design Aids/Tips, and more.  The content looks excellent.


Stormboard is a brainstorming app covered in Free Technology for Teachers.  Allows an unlimited number of boards with 5 collaborators on each.  Includes templates for use in education, and allows sticky notes, images, videos, drawings, and word documents on boards.

Citation Tools

New tools for citing information turn up all the time.  Free Technology for Teachers has a roundup of a few of the latest with 5 Tools that Help Students Organize Research and Create Bibliographies.  I like that a few of them do more than help with citations.  On my library’s guide to Citation Styles, Tutorials, and Tools I have created separate pages for tools for undergraduates and graduate students/faculty, as they differ in needs.  The undergrad page list tools that are easiest to use and automatically capture information, while the grad/faculty page offers the most full-featured tools.

Computers in Libraries 2014 Conference

If you enjoyed our recap of CIL 2014 and want more, check out the other bloggers and  archived twitter feed.  The conference hashtag, by the way, was #cildc.  Some of the best blogging came from Jill Hurst-Wahl (loved her presentation, by the way, on brainstorming) in her Digitization 101 blog, and Don Hawkins (not mentioned on the bloggers page), who works for Information Today and blogs about their conferences.

Distraction Cessation

This might be one to share with your students, or use yourself if you are working in a noisy area – GradHacker post on Eight Noise Apps to Battle Distraction.

LifeHacker has a post on Five Best Distraction Free Writing Tools.  Not only discusses each tool, but gives results of a poll with votes for the best.  Tools covered were FocusWriter, WriteMonkey, OmmWriter, Q10, and WriteRoom.  It was a 2010 article, but referred to by a recent article on another tool, ZenPen.

Email Productivity

LifeHacker has a good tip in Treat Your Email Like Tetris: One Action at a Time.  It recommends deciding whether to reply, delete, delegate, or save on each email before moving on to the next one (basically the Getting Things Done philosophy).  I know my email gets clogged with items I plan to go back to later, and this is excellent advice to help me with a too-crowded inbox.

Jill Duffy has another excellent Get Organized column for those of you who use GMail.  Tricks for a Better Gmail Inbox.  At the bottom, she has links to other columns on managing email.  Note also that she is offering her Get Organized ebook for free.


There have been a slew of articles comparing Evernote and OneNote lately, due to OneNote now being offered for free.  Preston Gralla has a Computerworld article OneNote vs. Evernote: A Personal Take on Two Great Note-taking Apps, in which he compares his experience using both and discusses what he thinks are the strengths and weaknesses of each.

And LifeHacker jumped into the comparison of OneNote and Evernote game with LifeHacker Faceoff: OneNote Versus Evernote.  Also a good roundup of pros and cons of each platform.  All these articles are not too repetitive – they all organize their discussion points and features differently.

Evernote OCR: A Quick Look is a longish post whose purpose is to point out that Evernote OCR (optical character recognition) isn’t perfect yet, but still useful.

Jamie Todd Rubin has a useful post in his Going Paperless series Quick Tip:  Editing Scanned PDFs Directly in Evernote.  For now this is only in the Mac version.

TabTimes has a review of Microsoft OneNote for the iPad, and finds it an excellent product.

Office Blogs has a post OneNote for Android Update: Create Notebooks, Sections, and More.  Screenshots included.

Just for Fun:  Microsoft OneNote Team Creates a Parody of Les Miserables Song Celebrating Their OneNote Mac Launch.

Getting Things Done (GTD)

Lifehacker published an article Productivity 101: A Primer to the Getting Things Done (GTD) Philosophy.  Excellent introduction to GTD.

Google Docs and Sheets Add-Ons

ProfHacker has a blog post All Things Google: Add-Ons for Docs and Sheets, which discusses Add-Ons and how they work.  They reference a blog post from Google on the topic, and one of the add-ons is academic gold – the Easybib bibliography generator.


Microsoft Office

Microsoft has released a free mobile app for iOS and Android which allows viewing and some editing via OneDrive, which does not require an Office 365 subscription.

Office for iPad Review: Microsoft Delivers Three Outstanding Apps – review from TabTimes.

Online Course Apps

Coursera, one of the sites offering online courses or MOOCs, now has iOS and Android apps.  My place of work offers courses, including its classes for an online master’s degree (not free but less expensive than an in-campus course) and those courses are listed.

PDF Management

TabTimes has an article 6 Best Android and iPad Apps for Converting Files to PDFs.  Some apps can convert all sorts of things, including emails, web pages, and more.  TabTimes does have a newsletter that is specifically about tablets in education, which is my source for this article.

Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites blog has a post that reviews the software program Nuance Power PDF Advanced.  The post describes the features available, gives pros and cons.  The upshot is that Power PDF Advanced is a well-designed program at a third of the price of Adobe Acrobat.


The ever-useful, ever-organized Jill Duffy has a wonderful article in PCMag –  55 Apps that Can Make You More Productive.  Covers quite a few I had not heard of.

Scott Hanselman’s Complete List of Productivity Tips is a blog post about a talk Hanselman gave.  Has a lot of good productivity tips that in themselves aren’t anything new, but are a complete workflow strategy that makes a lot of sense.  Hanselman is a programmer with Microsoft’s Web Platform Team, but his blog contents and opinions are his own.  The blog has a category for Productivity.

GradHacker has another excellent post, this one by Emily VanBuren, Taking It One Step At a Time: Breaking Apart Big Tasks.  It discusses both concepts and tools for managing large tasks by scheduling smaller component tasks and keeping to the schedule.

 Reading Skills

Ari Miesel has an article in Daily Beast The Best Apps for Developing Sherlock Holmes-like Reading Skills.  Apps discussed include IFTTT, Feedly, Evernote, Blinkist, Rooster, SoundGecko, and Daily Lit.  Note that not all of these are free.

 Task Automation

Zapier is a task automation service similar to IFTTT. has an introduction to it, Tool for Journalists:  Zapier, for Automating Web Apps.  The free version includes a lot more services available than IFTTT, but limits you to five recipes.



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