Productivity Tools for Researchers

by Anna Blanch on July 16, 2009

I like to be efficient so that i can make time for the most important things – like reading, writing, and thinking. I have compiled a list of links with overviews so that you might be able to make use of some of these resources too. This list isn’t exhaustive and doesn’t even represent all of the sites that I have found helpful but it is a start.

The stand-out one stop shop is Jamie Littlefield’s “Self-made Scholar” with her Self-education Resource List which contains a helpful list of links to full-text resources, tools, online learning and education communities, applications, and libraries.

Technology and Programs
Lifehack: includes a list of Free Computer programs as well as other applications useful for scholars.

FreeMind: a free, fully functional mind mapping program! I’ve been looking for one of these for a while and this has all the functionality i was looking for at the right price!

GIMP: While i love photoshop, GIMP is a free version that has many of the same features. Although you really need to be connected to the net to make full use of the help, manuals, and hacks.

Blogs and Websites
Academic Lifehacker: Advice for students with an emphasis on time management and academic efficiency.

Academic Commons: A hub for new reports, research findings and information about new media and the web. In their own words:

Academic Commons is a community of faculty, academic technologists, librarians, administrators, and other academic professionals interested in two interlocking questions: how do creative uses of new technology and networked information support the current project of liberal education, and, perhaps more interestingly, how do they force us to re-think what it means to be liberally educated?

Academhack: Updates the reader on the use of technology and applications by students and academics, with reviews, rants and explanations (including howtos). Very interested in the application of Twitter (which i am not) in the context of educational environments – although i always have something to learn.
Hopefuly this site can serve as a resource for those in academia looking to use better use technology both in their own scholarship and in the classroom. Less a site about the theory of technology in academia, this site is looking to document the various ways, “hacks,” people have developed to make technology work for them.

Academic Productivity: This is an interesting little blog by a group of researchers. The design could use some work but the content is excellent!

Efficient Academic: More tips, advice, and pointers to new technology from a working academic, with an emphasis on the sciences.

Getting Things Done in Academia: Dr. Mike Kaspari offers advice about working habits, creativity, and ideas.

Productive Scholar: a website devoted to being more productive as a scholar, includes work and life balance, technology, research optimization (including ways to keep up to date on the latest research in your field automatically).

ProtoScholar: Navigating the twilinght zone of moving from Student to Scholar. Examines productivity tools that can help you stay ahead of the curve (or just make your life easier). Also has basic advice about the Dissertation writing process and generally negotiating the PhD.

Stingy Scholar: Sporadic posts about free education/lessons/classes online.

The Carnival of GRADual Progress: the home website of a nomadic carnival focusing on Grad student blogs negotiating the PhD process.

UPDATE:

I can’t believe that I put this list together and forgot my favourite. It is a general site, not specifically for academics but I find the approach of What’s Best Next interesting and useful!

What’s Best Next has great advice on project management including planning, multitasking and controlling your inbox.

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