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Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

“Hackacademic” has a variety of meanings. In my current use of it here, I’m aiming for “hacks for the academic”.

I spend most of my professional time, teaching or preparing to teach.  I got an Ipad with the goal that I would strive to have it replace my laptop for in class teaching use. On that front, I have found a few “hacks” that fellow Ipad using teachers may find interesting.

To use an Ipad to present lectures you need to purchase:
1. Mobile keynote for $10.00 
2. Ipad VGA connector for about $30.00 
3. Perfect Browser, an itunes app for around $3.00.
Perfect Browser is a web browser like Safari with one important added feature: It allows you to project web sites onto the VGA projector.

Limitations: 
-No Powerpoints, and no video clips unless they are embedded in the Keynote. 
-Safari web browsing is NOT allowed on the VGA projector (hence the need for Prefect Browser). 

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Mind Mapping comes to mind every few months.  I hear about it; think it sounds like yet another good productivity technology I should embrace and then I forget about it because I don’t get it.  It was not that I could not  “get it” at a conceptual level, but that I could never see how mind mapping could seamlessly fit into my workflow.

But thanks to an article, which led to to the blog by Chuck Frey I now can see it.

I added the first few lines of the article here to give you an idea where he’s going with this:
“How to get the most out of topic notes in your mind maps”.

Jan 23rd, 2009 | By Chuck Frey | Category: Mind Mapping Basics

If you want to become a more effective mind mapper, then it’s essential that you become familiar with your program’s topic notes feature. Notes should be an integral part of all but the simplest mind maps. They represent a great way to store additional information, without having a clutter up your view of the mind map, and thus help to prevent information overload...”

Continue reading, “How to get the most out of topic notes in your mind maps”.


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Dial2dodial2do_logo_n1 is the killer app of 2009.  This is a bold claim in that it’s January 2009 but this app is really changing my workflow for the better. For example, this message is being recorded from my phone to illustrate the power of dial2do’s functionality.  I spoke that sentence into my jawbone ear piece which was good enough quality for the voice recognition in this app to transcribe it perfectly. I then sent that 30 second message to my Gmail account before pasting it into this article.

logo_beta1

I loved Jott but Jott’s free version limits messages to 15 seconds and they have recently moved from human transcribers to machines which has increased annoying transcription errors.  Jott’s free version lacks much of the functionality of Dial2Do as well.

For example, in Dial2Do, I can speak “to do”s into my phone while driving and they end up in my productivity app on my computer when I get home.

How this hack works:

1. Call Dial2Do
2. Ask Dial2Do to send an email message to yourself (“me”)
3. Talk  up to 30 seconds worth of actions (i.e., to-dos)
4. (previously) Set up your Omnifocus account to accept Gmail messages from “me” via Dial2Do.
5. Once you open your computer, your actions (to-dos) will be in the Omnifocus inbox waiting to be processed.

The biggest game changer for me is that I can now “brain dump” verbally while on the road and all of that goes directly to Omnifocus.  Rather than writting on my hand or on sheets of papers (I often loose) or emialing myslef actions, Dial2Do has streamlined my productivity flow considerably.

And I’m not the only one who has figured out the Jott vs Dial2do issues.  Scotsman on a Horse just blogged about this as well a few hours ago.

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Starting with GTD

About a month ago, I read “Getting Things Done”, David Allen’s popular method for “stress-free productivity”.  I’m now trying to keep up with it all.

Merlin Mann’s 43 folders site is very helpful and free. David Allen group has a new club one can join called GTDConnect but $48 a month is too expensive for me.

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Let a wizard show you the way:
http://www.43folders.com/taxonomy/term/3554

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