Links Roundup #23

saddle and rope

Note that this is an extra Links Roundup article. I have simply gathered too much stuff, and must publish another roundup in order to get “caught up”. Enjoy!


Hackdesign is a web site that offers 44 lessons in design.  Either view all the lessons, or get one each week via email.  Lessons include design fundamentals, tools, typography, user experience, iconography, responsive design, and more. The Toolkit might be particularly useful.


Notes for Gmail Gives You a Scratchpad for Emails and Threads is a Lifehacker post by Alan Henry that discusses a Gmail add-on that basically adds sticky notes to either an individual email or a whole thread.

Evernote/OneNote/Note-Taking Software

Once again there is a feature in one version of Evernote (Mac version, this time) that I can’t wait to have in my version (Windows/Android).  Catherine Pope of The Digital Researcher writes, in Find Your Stuff with Descriptive Searching in Evernote that you can now use natural language searching in Evernote.  She gives examples, such as “image from this month”, and Evernote will recognize the date and format parameters and return notes that match both.

How people use a particular tool changes over time, as Jamie Todd Rubin acknowledges in a recent Going Paperless column on How I Simplified My Notebook Organization in Evernote.  The notebook structure he had during his early years using the product became too cumbersome and he came up with a simpler organization that works for him… and maybe for you.  Part Two describes how he simplified hist tag structure.  He also has a good column Add Reminders to Scanned Documents for Quick Action Items.  It discusses using the reminder feature of Evernote so that if you need to take an action on a particular document that you have scanned, Evernote will remind you if you set a reminder.  Yes, you should scan everything (I don’t yet, but will).

There have been a flurry of posts (such as this one) on Evernote‘s new ability to help one self-publish an ebook, via integration with the FastPencil platform.  Note that FastPencil sells a variety of services (at a variety of prices) such as professional editing, cover design, publishing distribution, and marketing.

Cindy Grigg, who does the website on office software, has a truly EXCELLENT article with a 40-feature comparison chart of Microsoft OneNote, Evernote, and Google Keep.  She links at the bottom to her more complete reviews of the three (Evernote, OneNote, and Keep).

Microsoft  Updates OneNote for Android for ‘Full Tablet Experience’ is an article in Tab Times.  It indicates the update is aimed mostly at students returning to school, and that one of its major features is handwriting recognition – draw either with a finger or a stylus.  Another article on the same topic, Why OneNote for Android with Handwriting is Important, makes the point that styli (styluses?) are getting better and thinner, more like writing with a pen or pencil, so that handwriting is more natural.  This can be important because some studies have shown that retention is better with handwriting than typing.

Library Technology

The 2014 NMC Horizon Report is now available.  Description:

The report describes findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving library leaders and staff a valuable guide for strategic technology planning.

Mac OS

The Mac Power Users is a podcast by Katie Floyd and David Sparks. Their mission is “to turn listeners into Power Users. Each episode will look in-depth at one computing or technology related topic or talk to a luminary of the tech community about their workflow.”  Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.


A lot of people have used Doodle to schedule meetings.  Timothy Lepczyk at EduHacker writes in Online Scheduling with Best Day about an alternative tool, Best Day, that has more features then Doodle, including allowing participants to vote on which location and time should be chosen for a meeting.


Cindy Grigg, has an in-depth review of Office 365 in her guide to office software, .  My place of work has just moved to it so I found this particularly interesting.  The Office Software page looks excellent and I have just signed up for the free email newsletter.

Mind Mapping

Catherine Pope of The Digital Researcher blog has a post on Scapple, which sounds like a combination of a mind-mapping tool and a note-taking tool.  More, it integrates with Scrivener, a writing tool that many academics use.  Scapple is available in both Mac and Windows versions.


Fatima Wahab writes in the Addictive Tips article Notable PDF: Annotate and Save Changes Made to a PDF Online about the Chrome extension that allows highlighting and commenting on a PDF and saving those as text and PDF.


Bonnie Stachowiak of the blog Teaching in Higher Ed has a set of links on PKM topics in Delicious.  In our interactions with her I’ve been bowled over by her organizational and communication abilities.  She also has an excellent introductory presentation on PKM.  And don’t forget to listen to her podcast #9, where she interviewed Crystal and me!


Maggie Zhang of Business Insider has a useful post 17 Web Resources that Will Improve Your Productivity.  A lot of our old friends are mentioned such as Evernote, IFTTT, and Feedly.  Most others I have heard of but not used.  Worth checking out.

Mihir Patkar of Lifehacker has a good post Use This Flowchart to Identify What Type of Procrastinator You Are.  The article discusses research done by Dr. Joseph Ferrari of DePaul University which identifed three types of procrastinators, the thrill seekers, the Avoider, and the Indecisive.  Listed are some hints for each type on how to deal with the problem.


“Lifehacker’s Five Best Desktop Antivirus Applications discusses the pros and cons of the viewer-chosen favorite applications.  The five are a variety of free, premium, and freemium; and a mix of operating systems.  Programs mentioned are Avast, ESET NOD32Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and Avira.  If you aren’t protecting your computer, please do… you’ve heard enough about the risks!

Bob Rankin‘s Internet Explorer: the LEAST Secure Browser? is more nuanced than the title suggests, so read the whole thing.  Overall, IE, Firefox, and Chrome are all reasonably safe, with some security enhancements on the way.


In case you haven’t already noticed, we just love Jill Duffy‘s Getting Organized weekly columns for PCMag.  A recent one has detailed ideas for how to organize video files.


Hemingway is an app that helps with proofreading a document, and now is available on the desktop for Windows and Mac.  It works with Markdown, a mark up language for plain text beloved by many academic writers.

Jamie Todd Rubin, who I often mention for his Going Paperless columns on Evernote, is a programmer by day and a fiction writer at other times.  In “Open Beta of My Google Docs Writing Tracker Version 2” he shares the application he created to organize and track his progress on all his many writing projects.  He automated a lot of this process with a program which sends the data to a Google spreadsheet, and has now shared that program on GitHub.  This could be very useful for graduate students and faculty, as well as other writers.


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