Category Archives: Automation

Custom keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Word for Mac

Despite alternatives to Microsoft Word it is not possible to completely avoid using it in academic work on a Mac. If you have to edit texts in MS Word you might as well do it smoothly and efficiently, save time and … Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Writing | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Searchable PDF annotations: Automating conversion to Skim notes

Many academics now read journal articles on screen, as PDF files. Holdouts—and they are everywhere—print out forest-sized stacks of paper that teeter on crowded desks. Freedom from clutter is just one advantage of digital reading. Another is searchability: a large … Continue reading

Posted in Annotation, Automation, Tags and folders | Tagged , , , , , | 26 Comments

Update on the Macademic Ninja kit

The Macademic Ninja kit posted a while ago  included TextExpander, LaunchBar, Hazel, 1Password and Dropbox. I still love and constantly use all of these small apps. But in the last 1.5 years five other apps have also become critical for freeing … Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Workflows | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Learning from Katie and David

I must admit that everything I know about Mac has either been directly learned or inspired by Macpowerusers (MPU), a podcast I started listening to about 3 years ago. Recently, MPU had their Episode 100 where they talked, among other things, … Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Email | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Papers 2 is here!

My earlier post on Papers and Sente said that the biggest disadvantage of Papers is that it does not allow working with bibliographies. This has changed in Papers 2 immediately bridging the gap between pdf file management and scholarly referencing. As a … Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Bibliographies, Files, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 30 Comments

Revisiting reference files

Academics deal with thousands of reference files (text documents, data sheets, images), which are sent by email, downloaded from the Internet, or obtained in other ways. To use MacPowerUsers‘ terms, ‘gathering’ of these files in neat hierarchical folders is not an … Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Files, Tags and folders | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Linking email to action: reference, calendars, to-do and reading lists

My email organizing sounds so surprisingly simple because I do not use email for managing any critical information, such as reminders, reading materials, or references. I try to spend as little time as possible working with email and still get … Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Email, Tags and folders | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Organizing email

What do you do with an email message after you have read it, responded and made the necessary notes? Or after you have deliberately decided to ignore it? You have to tackle your fear of forgetting and ask the two … Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Email, Tags and folders | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Sending files by email: good habits and useful tricks

Effectively handling file attachments is an important part of productive email habits. This post focuses on sending attachments. The attachments you receive are covered in the post on organizing email. The rule number one is to question whether an attachment … Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Email | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Practical tips on reading and composing email

This post is the first in the series on practical application of automation to email (Rule 4 of the Five Email Rules). Though I use Apple Mail app, similar tools are available in other fine mail programs such as Gmail (see Gmail … Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Email | Tagged | 1 Comment