Apps for Academics
Crystal pointed me to the site Smallwow Best Apps for Academics. Created by Nicole Hennig, it is a companion for the 2014 book Best Apps for Academics by Hennig and Pam Nicholas. Smallwow gets a big wow – excellently organized LibGuide with pages for apps for productivity, reading, library research, taking notes, writing, collaborating, presenting, and a page for resources. It is pretty iOS-centric, one of the few downsides from my Android point of view, but iPads are very popular.
Catherine Pope of The Digital Researcher blog has an article that points to a Chrome and Firefox extension that opens up a LOT of functionality for handling your tabs, such as grouping tabs and making a web page of tabs that can be shared with others.
TabTimes has an article on Parallels, an app for iOS and Android that allows one to control a PC or Mac from a smartphone or tablet. It requires a subscription, but the annual cost has come down to $20.
The American Association for School Librarians (AASL) puts out an annual list of the Best Websites for Teaching and Learning which features websites (often apps or software). Their description: “The 2013 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. They are free, Web-based sites that are user friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover.” The categories are Media Sharing, Digital Storytelling, Manage and Organize, Social Networking and Communications, Content Resources, and Curriculum Collaboration. Looks like a useful set of tools.
Colwiz is a research management tool that includes reference management, calendars, to-do lists/project management, PDF managment, collaboration options, and more. They have just upgraded their reference and PDF options through a Chrome extension that allows you to, while on a journal website, identify references, make it and the PDF available for import, allow annotating PDFs while still on the web, then add the annotated PDFs into your Colwiz library which can be viewed on the web, in the desktop software, or with mobile apps. The information on the updates was in an email, so I can’t offer a URL other than the top level site.
Catherine Pope of The Digital Researcher has added two posts on how to integrate Zotero with Scrivener, a writing software popular with academic researchers. The first one is How to Use Zotero with Scrivener – Pt. 1, and the next one is (wait for it…) How to Use Zotero with Scrivener – Pt. 2.
Another useful post from Catherine Pope of The Digital Researcher is Adding Citations to Google Docs using Zotero and Paperpile. I had not heard of Paperpile before, and sounds to me like once having imported a Zotero library one can then use Paperpile to manage references. Paperpile is a Chrome app, does have a small monthly subscription, and is in the process of adding features, of which it already has an impressive number.
Jason Heppler’s recent Profhacker post Use Copy for Cloud Storage Backup and File Sharing discusses Copy, a product similar to Dropbox but with a better pricing structure (including 15 GB free).
The storage wars continue, as the CNET article Microsoft OneDrive Jumps to 15 MB Free details. This makes it equal to Google Drive.
Jamie Todd Rubin, Evernote’s Going Paperless Ambassador, generally writes clear well-organized columns about using Evernote. In a recent post he describes how his use of Evernote has evolved over his years of using it, and it is interesting to see how a workflow of a busy professional has evolved.
Microsoft OneNote has added a feature in which you can email your OneNote account and put a URL in the subject or message body and it will send a screenshot of that web page into your default notebook. It is nice, but doesn’t quite have the functionality of Evernote’s Web Clipper.
Catherine Pope continues to have really terrific posts on technologies of use to academic researchers in her blog The Digital Researcher. Try out this post How to Annotate Images in Evernote.
Melanie Pinola on Lifehacker Australia has a post Send Your Kindle Book Notes and Highlighted Passages to Evernote. Since Evernote searches the contents of all your notes, this could be a really useful.
A Microsoft OneNote developer has created an add-on called Onetastic that adds some cool options, such as various ways of sorting, adding a calendar or table of contents to a note, and more. The video included in the article is short but informative. The site for the add-on is here.
Alex Campbell on PCWorld has a useful article on using Feed Rinse to set up RSS feeds and add filters to them to get only the the information you want, and then use IFTTT to send the feeds as SMS texts. You could, of course, change that to your email or however else you want to see them.
Jacob O’Gara has a nice roundup of the 15 best mind mapping tools on the Digital Trends website. It has a nice mix of paid, free, and freemium; various operating systems, web based, and apps; lists some features of each and includes screenshots.
Eric Ligman, a manager at Microsoft, has a post offering 300 or so free ebooks on Microsoft products, including various version of Windows, Office 365, Sharepoint, Moodle-Office 365 Plugin, the various Office products, lots of keyboard shortcuts for various products, various guides for developers and system administrators, and more.
Lifehacker does an annual roundup of their favorite essential applications for different platforms. For example, Lifehacker Pack for Windows: Our List of the Essential Windows Apps, has apps in many categories, including Productivity, Internet and Communication, Utilities, and more. The one for Macs is also available, as is the one for Android, Android tablets, Chrome, Firefox, as well as the one for iPhone, the iPad, and the Linux one.
Found Slides through the Scout Report. It looks like a great option for creating presentation slides. It is in the cloud, syncs to a variety of devices, has a lot of customization options, and its free version allows 250 Mb of storage for publicly available slide decks. Let us know in the comments if you have used it and your experiences with it.
Alan Henry‘s post on Lifehacker Productivity 101: A Primer to the Pomodoro Technique is an excellent introduction to Francesco Cirillo‘s popular tomato-based productivity tool. It discusses what Pomodoro is, the steps for getting started, apps that help you work with Pomodoro, who it works best for, integrating it with other productivity techniques, and additional reading.
Alan Henry‘s Lifehacker post Make a 1-3-5 List for a Faster, Instantly-Prioritized To-Do List advocates having a daily to-do list of one big thing to get done that day, three medium-priority tasks you’d like to do, and five items it would be nice to do.
John Mello’s recent post in ComputerWorld Review: 3 Note-Taking Gadgets Keep You Scribbling discusses that some studies show handwriting notes improve recall over typing them. It then reviews Boogie Board, Adonit Jotscript Evernote Edition stylus, and the Livescribe 3 pen.