Paper Clips: A Low-Tech Writing Hack for your Outdoor Office

In the summer I am really enjoying working outside. The iPad is really good for that, as long as you find a nice spot in the shade. While reading is obviously not a big problem, writing on your iPad outside is a little trickier.

I have already talked about the virtues of the iPad as a writing machine and suggested some keyboard cases that fit your writing style. This short post is considerably more low-tec, but it tackles an important issue nonetheless: the digital-analog workflow interface. [Read more...]

How to type faster on your iPad or Mac

Today, academiPad welcomes its first guest author post! I know Bryan Sippel from my first year at Queen’s, and he was a productivity ninja already back then. Nowadays he sharpens his skills as a consultant, working with higher education institutions implementing, upgrading, and supporting the Oracle Campus Solutions software product. Thanks Bryan for bringing our typing up to speed!

Do you like to save time?  If you spend a lot of time typing on a Mac or iOS device, TextExpander is an application guaranteed to save you time.  TextExpander allows you to configure “snippets” of text that will expand to additional text when you type them in any application. Think of a long word, phrase, or paragraph that you often find yourself typing.  If you can think of a short snippet for it, TextExpander is something to consider.  For example, I have configured a snippet  “ddate” which expands to the date written in full (e.g. Thursday, February 2, 2012).  Another snippet is  ”ttime” which expands to a time stamp (e.g. 1:30 PM).

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Add some ZEN to your desktop

When Mac OS 10.7 Lion came out, one of the most exciting features for me was Misson Control. Basically, Mission Control wants to give you an overview over all your open applications and spaces, and it also gives you easy access to your Dashboard. What does Mission Control have to do with academia? The answer is simple: With a few and easy tweaks to Mission Control, you can add some ZEN to your computing experience that might help you to focus, relax, and be more productive.

 

Meet Lion Designer

Lion Designer is a small little Mac OS 10.7 app that you can download for free and that allows you to exchange the background images in Mission Control and other Lion specific places (e.g., Dashboard, Launchpad folders, Login Screen, and some other tweaks). Don’t be irritated by the somehow cluttered design and the free price tag: Lion Designer performs well once you have figured it out, and I had no problems so far. And if you don’t like your tweaks, you can revert to the original settings. The developer accepts donations for his efforts. [Read more...]