Apple Notes: a look at the revamped electronic notebook

by Chris Crockett August 9, 2013

Looking for a good, simple electronic notebook but not convinced that Evernote is right for you? If you’re a Mac user, have you taken a recent look at the updated Apple Notes?  The MacObserver has a great article on how to get the most out of this revamped note-taking application:   The Notes app has […]


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How and when to say “no”

by Chris Crockett July 5, 2013

Struggling with too many commitments? You might want to try a powerful and simple time management technique: saying “no”. In this post at GradHacker, Stephanie Hedge offers a list of questions you should ask yourself before before jumping into that next committee:  When someone comes to me asking for a favor, or looking for help […]


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Evernote for scientists: mastering the electronic lab notebook

by Chris Crockett June 24, 2013

Everyone loves Evernote. Okay, not everyone, but it has developed a loyal fan base among the productivity set. Evernote is a note-taking application that allows you to organize and tag information for your projects from a variety of sources: text, web, images, email, and more. The members of the Astronomers Facebook group recently discussed how […]


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Collaborative LaTeX writing: a review of ScribTeX

by Jane March 26, 2012

I’ve recently been experimenting with different methods to collaboratively write papers and proposals. In this post, I’ll review the strengths and weaknesses of ScribTeX. The upshot is I love this powerful, easy-to-use tool, despite a few flaws, and encourage you to check it out. ScribTeX is like Google Docs, but for LaTeX documents. It’s an […]


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What postscript-viewers are available for iPad? [Ask AstroBetter]

by saurav November 9, 2011

Cameron M. recently got an iPad and is frustrated by the lack of a postscript (PS) viewer: I recently got an iPad that I’m trying to use for research (e.g., paper reading / annotations, outlining, etc).  It looks like it can be useful, but a major annoyance is no PS viewer.  I’ve even jailbroken my iPad. If anyone […]


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What’s the best tool to annotate PDFs?

by Jane March 23, 2011

We all know the workflow:  a collaborator sends a draft proposal or paper; we carefully read it; bleed all over it; and send it back.  I admit that until last year, I used a Big Red Pen on hardcopy, which I then returned to the lead author by scanning with the xerox machine. Recently I […]


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Mute noisy conversations in GMail

by Tom February 14, 2011

I occasionally get added to endless email conversations which I have no time to read and/or contribute to. If I archive the message, it will pop back into the inbox every time someone replies and sets off the GMail notifier. However, I recently discovered that GMail has a nice ‘mute’ feature, which archives the message […]


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To-Do Lists with Things [From the Archives]

by Kelle February 2, 2011

While I deal with the first week of classes and my 230 Astro 101 students, 2 lab instructors, 4 undergrad researchers, and 2 grad students, take a look at this classic post on the to-do app Things (Mac only): Better To-Do Lists with Things. It’s been over a year since I wrote this post and […]


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Google Docs to Write Collaborative Proposals

by Kelle January 6, 2011

Recently, the BD-NYC collaboration (me, Emily Rice, and Jackie Faherty) wrote an entire NSF proposal with Google Docs and it was AMAZING! In this post, I detail all the little things that we learned that will make it easier for you to get started using this tool. I’ve also whipped up a proposal template that […]


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Version Control Demystified, Part 3: Git and Mercurial

by Tom December 20, 2010

This post is the third in a series devoted to version control. In Part 1, I talked about version control features that are already integrated into everyday tools, such as Dropbox or Google Docs. In Part 2, I gave an introduction to Subversion, which is a ‘traditional’ command-line version control system. In this post, I […]


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