Qiqqa (pronounced quicker) is a citation management tool that I’ve been intrigued about for years, since it has a LOT of features, some of them unique. Have not had as much of a chance to use it as I’d like, and would really like it if I knew a grad student or faculty member that use it and can give a good review of it. Anyway, they have just come out with a major upgrade. It was developed by people associated with Cambridge University. They also have a blog.
You have probably heard now about the merger between MacMillan and Springer. One interesting point made in the linked article is that the two have competing reference managers, Papers and Readcube, and it is unknown what merger means for their future.
Boost Your Productivity with Saved Searches in Zotero is another excellent post by Catherine Pope in her The Digital Researcher blog. She talks about the search syntax in Zotero (sounds similar to that in Evernote in robustness), and how to save searches.
Introducing the New Scoop.it Suggestion Engine is an article with details on how this content curation search engine has improved. I like! Don’t get me started on search engines, though…I see so many lousy ones.
Evernote’s New ‘Scannable’ App Makes Scanning Automatic is a post by Robert Ambrogi on his Law Sites blog. The post discusses the pros and cons of the new scanning app from Evernote (iOS only for now).
Make a Table of Contents in Evernote for Easy Access to Everything is a Lifehacker post by Tori Reid. The article is short and simple, but illustrates one of Evernote’s great features. Let’s say you are buying a sofa and have saved a lot of info from the web on different sofas you like from different stores. Select all the notes on sofas and then click on “create a table of contents” – it is that easy, and you wind up with one note to rule them all! ;-). That is, one note that has links to all the other notes.
Will IFTTT, Workflow, Zapier Teach Us All to Connect Apps? is a post on diginomica by Phil Wainewright, who talks about these three apps and whether they are adequate in providing task automation and how they might reach wider audiences. Had not heard of Workflow before, probably because it is iOS only.
10 Most Important Legal Technology Developments of 2014 is from Robert Ambrogi‘s Law Sites blog. The post is a roundup of those developments with Ambrogi’s comments on each. Very informative and a provides an update to my post on productivity tools for law.
Microsoft Office/Office Software
Goodnight. Sleep Clean is an article in the NYT Sunday Review by Maria Konnikova on new findings on brain functioning and why sleep is vital – essentially the waste products from the brain are cleared out during sleep. Poor sleep may lead to diseases like Alzheimer’s.
20 Apps and Services that Made Me More Productive in 2014 is a post by Jamie Todd Rubin on his blog.
Timeful is an app that puts your events, to-dos, and good habits onto your calendar. After learning about your habits, it makes suggestions of things to put on your calendar. For iOS.
Your Extra-Somatic Brain, a Gradhacker post by Hanna Peacock, discusses to-do lists and their usefulness in grad school. She mentions the apps OmniFocus, Microsoft Outlook’s Tasks, Things, Todo7, Toodledo, 2Do, and Asana.
Are Those Files Final? is a Profhacker post by Natalie Houston that makes two really good points – putting final in a file name is almost a guarantee that it isn’t, and that one should find a naming convention for your files (especially those on which you collaborate) that works and stick with it.
Using Project Management Approaches to Tame Your Dissertation is a Gradhacker post by Katie Shives that discusses five phases of project planning that can apply to researching and writing a dissertation as well as any major project (including writing articles). The phases are: conception and initiation; definition and planning; execution; project performance/control; and project close.
How to Better Retain Information from Books, Articles, and More is a Lifehacker post by Herbert Lui which discusses 3 techniques for improving recall.
Virtru Makes Email Encryption Easy, in Either Outlook or Webmail is an article by Robert Ambrogi of the Law Sites blog. He reviews Virtru, which encrypts email, is easy to use, and has several options. He also links to his other posts reviewing more email encryption programs.
Seven Habits of Highly Effective Researchers is another great post by Catherine Pope of the Digital Researcher blog. In it she discusses her tips for anyone starting on this kind of intensive research, and has good advice on taking notes, citation management, task management, setting writing goals, organizing research material, backing up your work, and learning new skills. She discusses tools she has used for each. Useful for academic researchers, and something librarians can point out to their graduate students… and by the way, Crystal’s Productivity Tools for Graduate Students guide is another great tool to show them.
Twitter Tools Sampler is an article by Leslie Walker, the About.com Social Media Expert. Tools mentioned are TweetDeck, HootSuite, Twhirl, Twitterific, Tweriod, Buffer, Twilert, Twiriod, TwitSprout, TwentyFeet, and ManageFlitter.
4 Quick Tips for Writing in Any Discipline is a Gradhacker post by Shira Lurie discussing common grammer mistakes and how to fix them. In it she links to another Gradhacker post by Kelly Hanson, A Tentative Taxonomy of Writing (in Grad School), which gives writing advice on drafting, rewriting 1, 2, and 3, and professional correspondence.
Google Docs vs. Scrivener for Writing is a post by Jamie Todd Rubin talking about when each one is the more useful tool, and for which kind of writer. In his opinion, for writing that needs to be highly structured (written from an outline, for example), Scrivener can’t be beat. His more recent writing, however, tends to be more unstructured, and Google Docs with its streamlined functioning suits when he just wants to write without the software getting in his way. He makes the most important point we’ve mentioned before – the best tool is the one you find works for you.