– Free Software Foundation
Going through graduate studies (or even undergraduate studies), is about creativity, hard work and learning not to loose information, not to drop the ball on ideas and projects. In order word, part of it is also about being able to put your ideas to work for you in an efficient manner. In the following are a few applications to help you along the way. Of course, nothing precludes the good old pen and paper. I personally really enjoy my Lamy 2000 fountain pen and a Leuchtturm 1917 whitelines notebook (but this is for another post!).
n.1. The quality of being productive.2. Economics The rate at which goods or services are produced especially output per unit of labor.3. Ecology The rate at which radiant energy is used by producers to form organic substances as food for consumers.
Why not give yourself or a love one access to well design software? With the new years usually comes the time to take resolution(s). And like most they are forgotten a few weeks later. This is because, we human being, get our attention so easily put elsewhere, diverted by what surround us, in particular the consumption media. So, we tend to get into an unproductive state by putting off what must or should be done. Simply stated procrastinating.
v. pro·cras·ti·nat·ed, pro·cras·ti·nat·ing, pro·cras·ti·natesv.intr.To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.
v.tr.To postpone or delay needlessly.
- Professional digital document management: DevonThink Pro Office and DevonThink To Go. On the Mac, you have indexing and AI doing automatic filing for you. No need for Tags. Tagging is a good concept but it does not scale and its efficiency certainly breaks down once you have tens of thousands of files.
- Note taking app: Evernote (free) or NoteBook. I also find Apple Notes useful since it is always with me on my Mac, iPhone and iPad.
- Task manager: Wunderlist (free – perfect for student and much better than Apple Reminder) or professional grade Cultured Code Things and OmniFocus.
- MindMapping software: XMind (free) and iThoughts (Nice interface, intuitive to use, my favorite).
- Project management (for large projects): Merlin and OmniPlan.
- PDF management and citation software: Papers 2 (stay away from the “new” Papers 3), Sente or Zetero (free).
Some software should also allow you to get stuff done so you do not have to. In that category, I could not live in the digital world without:
- 1Password: Strong passwords for all for all of your accounts, safely stored using the best encryption scheme. Never loose time again with passwords.
- SaneBox: Made me realize that over 40% of my incoming e-mails are non actionable. SaneBox get them out of the way automatically for me. I never thought I would say this (I work with e-mail since 1991!!!), but 5$/month well spent. Work with IMAP, Exchange, iCloud, GMAIL.
- MacUpdate Desktop: Unless you get all of your software from the Apple Store on OSX, you need to track your software and keep them up to date. MacUpdate does this for you very efficiently. Run it once a month, no sweat.
- Alfred: Spotlight on steroid!
In the previous post I was describing the free Zotero scientific manuscript management software. Through a comment via this blog and others, I was pointed out that there are some solutions for access to your PDFs on the go.
If, as starting graduate students, you are following my first key advice of reading on a regular basis scientific manuscripts related to your field of research in general and your project in particular, you’ve probably reach an obvious observation: you are collecting a large number of PDF files very quickly.
There are, of course, a few more observations to be made: