Tag Archives: blackberry


Extending Your Smartphone’s Battery Life

Smartphones, whether you prefer a BlackBerry, an iPhone, or one of the many devices that run the Android operating system, have many wonderful features.  The battery life is generally not one of them.  I have gathered a few tip in hopes of helping you power through long days on campus, at the archive, or on the road:

Screen Brightness: Anytime the screen of your Smartphone is illuminated, it uses battery power. The brighter the screen, the greater the drain. Most Smartphones will allow you to ma…


KeePass Password Safe

Selecting, maintaining, and updating strong passwords for the many different applications you use at your institution or online can be greatly simplified by using a password manager, as Amy discussed in Maintaining Sanity and Security: Why Use a Password Manager? Amy mentions several password managers in her post, and Ryan has written about LastPass, a cloud-based manager that offers extensions for the major browsers.

I’ve been using LifeHacker favorite KeePass Password Safe for several months …


Using Personal Assistant to Organize Your Life

When I began to write my last ProfHacker post, a review of the fantabulous Travel App TripIt. I had originally intended to review both TripIt and another app, Pageonce’s Personal Assistant, but as the review developed, it fractured with the recognition that these are two very different applications that just both happen to have travel functions.  In what follows, I’ll introduce you to Personal Assistant, which I originally learned about in a Newsweek article which named it one of the “Best Apps …


Using TripIt to Organize Travel

dusk_planesOne of the perks of academia is the opportunity for occasional travel to conferences, archives, or field-work.  But keeping travel plans organized can be difficult amidst writing deadlines, grading, and the blizzard of email that we all sort through on a daily basis.  If you have a Smartphone, there several apps out there that might help simplify things for you. I recently discovered TripIt, and it was love at first use.

TripIt is a free program for BlackBerry, Droid, or iPhone that organizes al…


Considering a BlackBerry for a No-Frills Communication Device

BBcurvesThere have been many ProfHacker posts dedicated to helping our readers choose a Smartphone, but all of them focus on one particular choice: Droid v. iPhone. Amy has offered the pros and cons of these devices, while Julie has written exclusively about Droids in “Using Super Smartphones for Productivity” and “Update on My Productivity with a Super Smartphone.” Alex, too, has weighed in on the subject and offered his thoughts on the Android OS. I’d like to offer a different perspective: RIM and B…


Digital Tools for Organizing Travel

Vintage travelOne of the many things I love about working in academia is travel, whether it be for professional purposes or for personal reasons, made possible by flexible scheduling. Web 2.0 and beyond has produced some great digital tools for organizing travel plans.

In this post I will talk about TripIt.com, a tool I’ve been using for quite awhile now. TripIt.com is a site that compiles travel itineraries. Sign up is very easy. At the homepage, simply enter in an email address and password you’d like to u…


Take a Minute to Collect Your Thoughts With Evernote

Evernote[This is a guest post by Shawn Miller, an Academic Technology Consultant with Duke's Center for Instructional Technology, where he usually blogs. Twitter @shawnj55 anytime.]

During a Q&A after a reading at Duke, Jonathan Safran Foer described his writing process as “more an act of collecting than one of genesis; something created from nothing.” How did I remember that quote? I didn’t, initially, but I did take notes on my iPhone throughout the evening and then emailed them straight to Evernote. …


Blackboard announces Mobile Learn

Today Blackboard has announced a new iPad app that lets users interact with the learning management system. (On the one hand, this isn’t going to make anyone feel any better about the iPad’s educational potential; on the other hand, given the lame design of their web interfaces, this can only be an improvement for those people forced to use Blackboard by their school.)

I found a couple of things interesting about the announcement. First, one of the nice things about the iPad is that it runs…


Got Milk? Using Remember the Milk for Task Management

About a month ago, Ryan Cordell gave a great overview of a fine task manager: Cultured Code’s Things. It’s a powerful application. I was intrigued enough by it that I actually purchased a copy last summer.

I ended up deciding, though, that it wasn’t quite right for me, for two reasons:

First, I have separate work and home machines, and I need to keep them in sync with each other. Yes, using a service like Dropbox, it’s possible to keep two machines in sync with one another, but as Ryan note…


Scheduling 101: Using Tungle.me for Committee Meetings and Student Appointments

Next up in this ongoing series on scheduling is a service called Tungle.

You might recall that Doodle, which I’ve been using for years, was the first service I covered. But then I fell in love with Jiffle after a reader suggested I give it a try. As I explained in my post on that service, Jiffle has enough advantages over Doodle that I now use it instead.

Since then, however, I’ve learned about Tungle. Conclusion? It combines the features of Jiffle & Doodle and offers some features the others…