Simplenote: A free service to sync notes across all your devices

SimplenoteHave you ever lost an idea or email address you wrote on an obscure piece of paper? Are you constantly emailing yourself to keep all your notes “in sync”? May I introduce Simplenote: A better way to manage information in academia that even poor grad students can afford (it’s free).

Integrating all your devices with each other is a big focus here on academiPad. You can sync your task across iPad, Mac and iPhone via Wunderlist, and minimalist writing apps like ByWord and iA Writer let you sync your writing projects over the cloud. But what about pieces of information that are not really a task, and which are not really something you want to clutter your writing environment with? What about all these little notes academics constantly write down? Are these forever lost on post-it notes or the backside of envelopes? Nope… [Read more…]

Shortcut to turn bluetooth on/off on iPad and iPhone [update: pulled]

Bluetooth OnOffIf you are using an external keyboard, a bluetooth loudspeaker, or any other BT device with your iPad or iPhone, you might be familiar with the routine of frequently switching bluetooth on and off (e.g., to preserve battery). Unfortunately, the settings for doing this are a little bit tucked away under “General Settings”, which makes the whole routine more complicated than it should be. If you think there should be an easier way, Bluetooth OnOff ($1, universal app, iTunes link) might be a good app for you. [Read more…]

Magical screen cleaner? Don’t waste your money to clean iPad!

iKlearBrowsing through the Apple accessories aisle of some stores is sometimes like entering a strange, medieval-times bazaar: you can find everything from bare necessities to magical potions. Screen cleaner fall under the second category.

One of my most favorite, ridiculous “must-have” accessory you should not buy are screen cleaner solutions. For the bargain price of $20, iKlear (and many others) will sell you a cleaning kit that “contains everything you need to clean, protect, and preserve your iPad” and all your other Apple gadgets. [Read more…]

Just released: Readability for iPad

Readability for iPad and iPhoneHave you ever wished that reading on the web would be a more pleasant experience? Are you annoyed by all these blinking and moving ads? Readability is a fantastic free service that de-clutters your reading experience by removing all distracting features and replacing it with a clean, visually pleasing interface. On top of that, you can also add webpages to your reading list to read them later, similar to Instapaper (except that the Instapaper app is not free). [Read more…]

15 tricks to get the most out of your iPad

iOS 5Joel Bankhead over at app storm.net sat down earlier this month to write down 42 features of iOS 5 you might have missed. Well, some of those are pretty obvious, but here are 13 features of this list plus 2 features I came up with that are especially relevant for academics. [Read more…]

5 free iPhone apps for academics

When the iPad came out, many people immediately recognized the benefit this device offers researchers and university students, and latest since its Education Event last week Apple has made clear that the education sector is an important playing field for their iPad ambitions. Even before the iPad came out, the Mac was widely popular in academia, and it continues to be so.

The iPhone, on the other hand, does not carry the same image of being an important device in academia. Don’t get me wrong: it is not that academics do not use iPhones as an easy-to-use mobile communication device (in fact, iPhones are quite easy to spot on campus). It is just that, for most people, the iPad and the Mac are more strongly associated with education than the iPhone is. Even for Apple, the iPhone (and iPod touch) is seen as their “third device” in education.

However, there are a couple of apps that can turn the iPhone into a powerful tool for university professors and college students alike. I am listing five of my favorite iPhone apps in this post. [Read more…]

Task management for academics

Task management is a tricky topic in academia: Faculty members and students alike juggle a lot of different tasks while pursuing many different projects; often in collaboration with others. Yet, our projects often don’t require the same level of organization as in the corporate world in which tasks are delegated, have fixed start and end times, and are populated with resources and attendees. At least as a graduate student right now, I therefore don’t need a task manager with all bells and whistles. On the other hand, a simple to-do list is not powerful enough to juggle various research projects with teaching and other commitments. That’s why I am using the free Wunderlist task management apps.

 

Manage your tasks on all your devices

Wunderlist is an elegant task management solution that blends a small feature set with a wonderful design. It avoids the complexity of other task managers without compromising on the most important features. Of course you can have multiple lists to sort your tasks, you can add notes, due dates, and reminders to your tasks, you can make some tasks your favorites, and you can sort your tasks using various filters. You can also share certain lists with other users. [Read more…]