Annotating PDFs with Highlights

Note taking in the era of PDFs has clearly become an issue for most people working with electronic documents on a daily basis. As far as I know most reference managers now implement some form of a note taking/highlighting feature. However, we may not necessarily be happy with those built-in capabilities as they may not be well aligned with our own flavour of note taking. In this constant and incremental “apps vs. user needs” matching exercise it is nice to see new offerings with a slightly different approach. Continue reading

Posted in Annotation, Notes | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The future of email: an empathy algorithm

Some of our most popular entries are on how to write good emails: both what to say and what not to say. But what if the computer could tell you how to tailor emails to different people? Continue reading

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BusyContacts and academic networking

Three months ago, I started using beta-version of BusyContacts, which a reader suggested in a comment to the post on organising academic contacts. Last week this software (developed by the maker of my favorite BusyCal) released the first official version. I have really enjoyed BusyContacts, which not only can replace Apple’s Contacts but can even compete with large CRMs such as Daylite. Continue reading

Posted in Contacts | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Paperless scholarship with pen and paper

There has been a paradoxical shift in my classroom and my own habits. The students have stopped asking for printed handouts but at the same time they started to take their own notes with pen and paper. Similarly, I use more pen and paper while at the same time praising the paperless office. Why is this?

Handwritten lecture notes searched in Evernote

Handwritten lecture notes imported to Evernote and searched for a specific term.

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Papers 3 library searchable by Spotlight

Since my first post about Papers 3, a reference and pdf-file management software, it has significantly matured to become one of if not the best in the field. The most recent addition (version 3.2.6) has been to make a Papers 3 library indexable by Spotlight. Although documents in a Papers 3 library can be searched by FoxTrot or from within the app itself, these solutions are not ideal for searching on the fly. Now you can find Papers 3 library documents directly from Finder.

Using Spotlight to search documents in Papers 3 library

Using Spotlight to search documents in Papers 3 library

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Posted in Bibliographies, Files | Tagged , | 23 Comments

FoxTrot Professional Search

I had been trying FoxTrot Professional Search for several months before eventually deciding to buy the professional version. My initial motivation was to find a tool that could search inside Papers3 library, but I have discovered that the appeal of FoxTrot is much stronger.

Searching with FoxTrot Professional in the Papers3 library

Searching with FoxTrot Professional in the Papers3 library

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Posted in Files, Tags and folders | Tagged , | 20 Comments

Cobook is buggy

Following Aleh’s entry on contact management I decided to give CoBook a try. But it’s really buggy and doesn’t seem to work well with Yosemite. The Latvian company which built CoBook was recently bought by FullContact and while they’ve promised to keep everything running, right now it’s unusable.

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Posted in Contacts | Tagged | 3 Comments