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 , | 11 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 , | 16 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 , | 18 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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Three more tips on using TextExpander

Over five years of using TextExpander I’ve saved myself typing whooping 400,000 characters (a medium-size PhD dissertation). Yet, there are always new ways to use this amazing software. Here are three recent examples I’ve introduced into my workflows:

1. Names with accented characters

I work with people whose names contain accented characters (å, ö, č, etc.). I agree with this argument that correct spelling of names is very important, but disagree that Microsoft Word’s Autocorrect is the best solution. Neither do I want to change the Keyboard layout just for one character or to search for that character in Apple’s Character Viewer. Instead, I use TextExpander to automatically change “Hakan” to “Håkan”, “Jorn” to “Jörn” etc. Then I don’t need to lift my fingers from the keyboard to keep my colleagues pleased with seeing their names correctly spelled.

More so, the place I live in is called Bosjökloster and it is in town of Höör. Guess what my snippets [,,bos] and [,,hh] refer to! These two I use at least several times a week filling in various forms. Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Tasks | Tagged , | 6 Comments