Tona Hangen

Tech Tools for Academic Success

Resources for Honors student workshop, “Tech Tools for Academic Success”
(updated for 2014)

General Recommendations:
HackCollege
StudyHacks (written by a GTD disciple)

If you take notes by hand…

Handwritten notes, one better: Cornell Method (via LifeHacker)
Get free customizable Cornell paper here

Consider backing up your handwritten notes digitally by scanning them, or using a smartphone-to-PDF app like DocScanner

If you take notes by laptop or mobile device…

Word-processing document + search/find capability
GoogleDocs (always at hand, always the most recent version)
Dropbox for file access & syncing across your computers (w/ cloud access)
Microsoft OneNote (you probably have it in your Microsoft Office install) – see how one scholar uses it
StudyBlue (online flash cards)
Evernote – capture, file, retrieve, tag, search. Free. See it in action from a college student here

Conducting online research…

What you do with the things you find? How do you keep track and take notes on them? How do you incorporate them into your final product and cite them in your bibliography?

EndNote – create research database, import & export into bibliographies. Campus license or $; check with IT or reference librarian.

want free? The gold standard is…
Zotero – Made by scholars for scholars. Free. Browser-based or in the cloud. Easy interface for making automatic bibliographies in your word processing software. Portable once you graduate. Essential if you are headed to grad school. Completely awesome. Video tour here.

If you need writing motivation…

Are you managing a huge writing project, like a novel? Try Scrivener (for Mac or Windows; there’s a free 30-day trial)
Want to get in the habit of daily writing without a lot of screen distractions? Try 750words.com
Or build yourself a private WordPress site & compose in fullscreen mode
Need rewards? Try Written?Kitten
Got writer’s block? Dr. Wicked’s WriteOrDie claims to “put the prod in productivity” (desktop or cloud versions, try the web app)

Back up all your stuff

Use Dropbox for the stuff you don’t want to lose (2 GB free)
Put backup reminders on your calendar, or automate the process externally or in the cloud

For task and project management…

Google Calendar (you already have it with your campus Gmail account)
DashNotes (a Chrome extension)
iStudiezPro ($2.99 app) for Mac or MyStudyLife app for Windows/Android
Remember the Milk
Teux Deux
Stickies (for Windows – there are also Mac versions) or NoteApp
Trello

If you’re looking for different ways to present your research…

Audio: GarageBand, Audacity
Video: Moviemaker, Animoto, iMovie
Prezi
Storify

Email smarter

Upload an appropriate photo (it helps people get to know you)
Enable “canned responses” and “undo send” under Labs
Use Priority inbox as a default to-do list (Settings –> Inbox –> choose Priority Inbox)

Archived 2011 presentation –

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Header Image: Adapted from Niki Feijens

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