Get 22GB of free cloud storage with Copy

Have you maxed out your Dropbox folder? Is your Google Drive filled up? No need to buy more cloud storage! Just check out Copy, a new online storage service which gives you 20GB of free cloud storage in three easy steps:

  1. Sign up for Copy's free plan by following this link.
  2. Validate your email address
  3. Install the Copy app on at least one computer or mobile device

And done! On top of Copy's 15GB free online storage, you and I both got topped up with another 5GB because you signed up via my link. Just because – how great is that?

Get free cloud storage here

One moment, didn't I say 22GB? Yes, I did. In order to scoop up two more free GB of cloud storage, simply go to the online File Browser on Copy's webpage. Copy has a little tour there for you to show you around, and the first step asks you to tweet about this awesome new service. Yeah, I am not too proud to tweet for free storage space. One moment later my account grew to 22GB – free storage, forever.

Tweet about Copy's cloud storage service for an additional 2 GB
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Use Diigo to annotate and organize the web

Do you sometimes wonder how people were doing research in the pre-internet age? I do this quite often, and do you know what I am thinking right after? How the hell did I do research on the web before I knew about Diigo?!!

Diigo is one of my core information management tools. Some people call it a social bookmarking service, but it is far more than that. With Diigo, you can:

  • Highlight text on webpages in up to four colours
  • Add comments to your highlights
  • Add floating sticky notes to record your own thoughts
  • Save bookmarks and organize them via tags in your Diigo database
  • Save webpages into Diigo's Read Later list
  • Add a description to remind you why you saved this particular bookmark
  • Save the entire webpage into your Diigo database via its Cache function
  • Share your annotations and bookmarks with the world, or with colleagues via lists and groups.

In short, Diigo is an amazing tool for knowledge workers to annotate, archive and organize the web – either for yourself or in collaboration with others. And as an educator, you even get a free upgrade to a Diigo Education account with unlimited highlighting. Cha-ching!!

Diigo - highlighting and annotate the web
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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…]

Surprise: Papers is coming to Windows!

Papers for WindowsThis is big news! The mekentosj crew has silently rolled out a pre-release version of their upcoming Papers for Windows app. This is good news for iPad owners in academia, especially if you are also using a Windows PC – so we make an exception here and briefly talk about a Windows app on academiPad. [Read more…]

Annotating PDFs on iPad with Papers Touch (Videos)

Papers for iPadAnnotating journal articles is one of the top reasons why people in university buy an iPad. But how do you find a good annotation app, without spending a ton of money upfront?

In this mini-series on reading and annotating PDFs, previous posts have suggested that PDF management systems are great for academics who want to integrate their laptop/desktop computer and their iPad in a coherent read-write-cite workflow. The currently best PDF management solutions are Sente for Mac and Papers for Mac.  This posts reviews Papers’ companion app: Papers Touch for iPad. Its an expensive app, so I made four videos that will give you as much first-hand experience as you can get for free!  [Read more…]

OS X Mountain Lion will streamline your workflow

OS X Mountain LionAre you still sporting the lion photo as your wallpaper on your Mac? Yes? Go on, you can leave it just a little bit longer. Until summer rolls around, and it is time to say ‘Goodbye Lion’ and shout out a warm welcome to Apple’s new OS 10.8: Mountain Lion.

Apple has announced that their new Mac OS will be released sometimes this coming summer, just a year after the release of its current OS, Lion. [Read more…]

The ultimate guide on how to annotate PDF files on the iPad

Ultimate guide on how to annotate PDF files on the iPadFor most people in university and college, the ability to annotate PDF files is one of the main reasons for buying an iPad. There are hundreds of apps out there that let you annotate PDFs: how do you know which one is the best one for you?

Rather than discussing one particular app in detail, this post presents the bigger picture by discussing three different user profiles whose needs are different with regards to PDF annotation and management. Once you know what type of user you are, you can check out the overview of 10 (plus 3) apps, my personal favorites, and some thoughts on using a stylus. With all this information, finding out what app you need to annotate PDF files “your style” becomes a piece of cake.

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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…]

How you can “just write it down” with iA Writer

 

iA Writer“This is a great idea. It brings a whole new perspective to our literature. And I know exactly how to write it down. Here it goes,…” And then nothing happens, except you staring at a blank page in your text editor or playing around with the formatting options. That’s why the world needs distraction-free writing tools such as iA Writer ($5, App Store).

Most people I know use Apple Pages or Microsoft Word for all their writing needs: from the first written word to the last proof-read. I did that. But it didn’t work for me. I diagnosed myself with “white-page anxiety” (who knows a Latin term for this?), because I get no writing done in any application that suggests to me that the first try has to result in a perfectly publishable end-product. And full-blown word processors do exactly that – at least for me. That’s why I prefer to write most of my stuff (including this post) in an environment that is as simplistic as it goes. Call it the “everything-is-temporary-effect”.

 

Simplicity is King

iA Writer comes both for the Mac and the iPad and positions itself as the godsend in distraction free writing.  [Read more…]

Mind mapping with MindNode

Today, I would like to introduce you to MindNode ($10) for the iPad. MindNode was one of the first apps that I bought for my iPad back in 2010 when it hit the app store, and it is one of the third party apps that I use the most often (ignoring games, obviously). As you have already guessed from the title of this post, MindNode is an app for mind mapping.

Mind mapping probably needs no introduction, but in short, the idea is to organize your ideas in a tree structure that starts from a central node in the center and then moves outwards. Benefits of mind maps are that they speak to the spatial parts of your brain: I can quickly find around my way even in very large mind maps, like the one holding all the topics I would like to cover in this blog, because my brain knows in what corner to look for the information it is looking for.

I am using mind maps for many different things. While I sometimes use it to structure my thoughts to prepare some writing, my main use for mind maps is to store ideas and little bits of info. I find that the structure of mind maps makes it easy for me to get back to the information collected in the map even after some time of absence.

 

MindNode gets out of your way

There are several mind mapping apps out there, and some a better known such as iThoughts HD ($10) or free such as Mindjet for iPad. So what is so good about MindNode? For starters, I really enjoy the simplicity of the app. I am a bit of a minimalist junky, and this is especially true for mind mapping apps. MindNode’s interface pretty much gets out of the way and allows you to jot down your ideas fast and easy. [Read more…]