All posts by Amy Cavender

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Why have multiple email applications on your phone?

Email applications installed on an iPhoneGiven that it was barely two weeks ago that I recommended decluttering one’s gadgets, it might seem odd for me to keep multiple email applications on my phone, but I do.

There’s a reason for that. In an effort to maintain some semblance of work-life balance, I’ve turned off all email notifications on my phone (even icon badges — I don’t want my email checking me), and I make it a point not to check work email after early evening.

Reading email from family and friends, however, doesn’t feel lik…

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ACI Blog Index: Charging Money for Information About Free Content?

A book opened to its indexLast week, Jeff McClurken posted a query to Facebook: “Why does ACI get to charge people for access to my freely available blog posts?” That post led to a lengthy conversation about ACI’s Scholarly Blog Index. (Readers can view the full conversation, which also included Lee Skallerup Bessette, Sheila Brennan, and Michelle Moravec, here.)

I checked the site out, and discovered some of my own work there, too. I also tried doing a password reset, and, like Michelle Moravec, discovered I already had…

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Decluttering your gadgets

A neat, tidy deskIt’s still early in the year, which is often a good time to start fresh by doing some decluttering — and not just of our homes and workspaces. What about the gadgets we use daily: our computers, tablets, and phones?

I was reminded that this is a good practice late last month, when I read Anthony Karcz’s “Ring in the New Year With a Decluttered iPhone.” Though he focuses specifically on the iPhone, he makes a key point that applies to other phones as well — and to computers and tablets:

Old apps,…

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Managing Recipes with Paprika

Chopped paprika vegetablesA long time ago here at ProfHacker, we used to run a series titled “What’s for Lunch?” That series prompted me to start keeping track of favorite recipes.

Since I was already a heavy user of Evernote, it became my preferred tool for storing recipes. I’d just use the web clipper to send recipes to my Evernote account, then use the Evernote Food app to access my recipes. The app ignored all notes that didn’t contain recipes, and it looked great. It also allowed users to search several recipe sites…

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Collecting Student Work with Google Forms

File folders organized in a file boxA good number of us here at ProfHacker prefer to avoid paper whenever possible. When I teach my writing course each fall, I have my students use Google Documents so that it’s easy to see an essay’s development over time.

For classes where it’s not essential that I see a student’s revisions, I prefer that essays be submitted in PDF format, so that I can comment on essays using my iPad. (My current favorite app for this purpose is PDFExpert; Jason and Erin have both made use of iAnnotate.)

What I…

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What’s your favorite note-taking app?

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Many of us these days use a tablet for taking notes — and for a lot of us, that tablet is an iPad. We’ve explored some note-taking apps for the iPad before:

I’ve also tried two other applications over the last fe…

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Quick photo scanning: Google PhotoScan

Flatbed scanner and photoA good number of us here at ProfHacker try to minimize some of the clutter in our lives by (when possible) digitizing the paper that comes our way.

As we’ve found our way with scanning, we’ve shared what we’ve learned with readers. We’ve reviewed portable scanners such as the Doxie One, and taken a look at phone applications that can be used for document scanning (see, for instance, Lincoln’s post on DocScanner, or Natalie’s on CamScanner).

Those applications are good for working with text docum…

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Filenames and LaTeX and Pandoc, oh my!

Command-line arguments for batch-converting files from docx to pdfSometimes it happens: someone sends us a document in Word format, and we’d really rather it was a PDF. The reasons can vary. Maybe we need to post it on a website, and we’d rather users be able to view it in a browser, rather than being forced to download it. Maybe it’s an essay we need to grade, and, like Erin, we want to use iAnnotate or a similar application for that purpose.

When there are only a few documents involved, converting the files to PDF is simple enough; all that’s necessary is …

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Managing and delegating tasks with Nozbe

To Do Tattoo

Keeping track of tasks seems to be a constant challenge for academics, and over the last several years we’ve certainly written about a lot of task management tools. There are a lot of possibilities out there: Wunderlist (a favorite of many ProfHackers), Things, ToDoist, Remember the Milk, and others.

This post adds yet another possibility to the mix: Nozbe. It’s available on the web, and for just about every platform imaginable: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS. It won’t turn up in the…

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Exploring Google Sheets

Google sheets chartSometimes you miss things. Apparently Google released this feature over a year ago, but only recently did I notice the “Explore” button in Google Sheets — likely because, for whatever reason, Google decided to call it to my attention by splashing a notice over the lower right quadrant of my browser window.

I’m glad it did. There are times when I’d like to analyze information I have in a spreadsheet, but I’m only moderately good at formulas, and positively lousy at creating charts. Clicking…