Ahh, back-to-school. The birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing… oops, that’s springtime. But the two have quite a lot in common. They’re a time for a refresh and a reset. Regardless of where you fall in academia (student, post doc, adjunct, professor), the ubiquitous back-to-school mindset offers a great opportunity to reflect on what you want out of the upcoming year. In turn, an assessment of current productivity habits seems prudent. Continue reading “Back-to-School Productivity Habits (Are Not Just for Students)”→
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that coloring is “in” again. You can find adult coloring books at nearly every book and gift shop. Skeptics might be wondering what all the fuss is about… after all, didn’t we leave this hobby behind in elementary school for a reason?
Everyone in academia has experienced the following dilemma. You are researching a topic and finally find an article that contains the information you need. You want to read it but realize that you don’t have access to the PDF from your current location. Suddenly, your research has come to a stand-still unless you can find a way around the missing link.
The birds are singing, the bees are buzzing, which means it’s officially spring time. This is good news for just about everyone… except those with a looming thesis deadline.
If you’re pursuing a Bachelors, Masters, or PhD, you’re either feeling very good or very not-so-good right about now. For some of you, no words have yet made it onto the page. That’s okay! We’re not here to judge. We’re here to help.
We saved the last spot in our research productivity series for Google Drive. We found it’s harder to generate the enthusiasm about Google Drive for researchers than for the other apps we covered. This is because it forms the basic infrastructure of our cloud workflow. Yes, like any other basic infrastructure, things would break down without it, but who actually thinks much about infrastructure? Andreas, Isabel and Stefan in our team decided to do just that and here’s why we love Google Drive.
When it first hit the scene back in 2012, Slack took the business world by storm as the fastest growing enterprise app ever. What made it so irresistible? In a nutshell: it’s real-time chat that integrates with all of your channels, making it a verifiable communication hub. The companies that adopt it claim it’s completely transformed their workflow and nearly eliminated email.
While many people have heard of Trello, nobody I know uses Streak. It’s pretty much uncharted territory in the academic community. This makes it the perfect tool for us to tackle in this third installment of our “Business Apps for Researchers” series.
Whenever people would ask me what I do for a living and I answered “I’m a biologist,” I always had the impression they had no idea what that actually meant. People assume you sit in the grass observing ants or read books in a quiet library all day.
The reality is quite different. Chances are you work on several projects at the same time, collaborate with people around the world, write papers and grant applications, and spend your days in meetings, giving presentations, or even managing a whole lab. Being a scientist is not different from any other highly demanding job that requires one to be productive and organized. Many software products have arisen to help fulfill this need, so there’s no shortage of project management, productivity and collaboration tools available.
However, it’s interesting to see that scientists rarely make use of these tools. Adapting your workflow to fit with some complicated piece of software is just too tedious. Even worse, convincing all your collaborators to change their workflows seems impossible. In the end, the technology of choice is e-mail, with endless conversations and documents being sent back and forth.
Trello is a refreshingly different tool. It’s flexible enough to do exactly what you want, and yet so simple that all of your collaborators will easily learn to use it well. It’s mainly used by businesses and software developers, but Trello works great for researchers too. Here are 3 Trello uses you shouldn’t miss: it can help you organize your next workshop, hire your next lab member and get your next collaborative project done on time.
Our goal here at Paperpile is to increase productivity of researchers. We build software that makes it easier to organize and write academic papers.
We’ve often wondered what else we can do to help researchers work smarter and be more productive. The answer, we found, is surprisingly simple. It’s all about choosing the right tools. So today, we’re launching a 5-part blog post series introducing a hand-picked selection of productivity tools that all researchers need to know.
Chances are you already know some of these tools. Chances are also that you know somebody who knows none of them… So please share and help spread the word.