Apps for Academics

I love organization, and I love finding new and better ways to organize. I am always looking for the next best app or even old way of doing something to make it my way. For example, my reference management went from Zotero to Workflowy to Ulysses. I certainly tried everything in between but Endnote, the gold standard, was not for me. In fact I cringe when I try to use it. But, that’s another story that certainly no one wants to hear.

Instead, let’s talk about apps for academics. I’m not necessarily going to demonstrate to you my personal workflow, however, I will give you a list of my current apps (which can ultimately change the second I publish this post). My goal for this post is to a) refer to it at a later point in my life to see what apps I was using at the time and b) to provide a lists for anyone in the world who happens to search for the same things that I search late night trying to figure out the best way to survive in grad school.

These apps are not in any particular or perhaps even a logical order. They are simply a list of apps I use nearly every single day. One main app/tool that I previously removed from this list was WorkFlowy. While I still love WorkFlowy, I have found that I simply prefer using Ulysses instead. It completely took the place of cloud-based WorkFlowy.

“Apps for Academics”

Chrome: I use it for everything. I mainly chose it because it seems to work the best. I am not a fan of google, but google seems to get everything done. Luckily I’m not worried about privacy otherwise I would probably need to choose something different beside the various google apps.

Ulysses: This is my new favorite app on this list. I absolutely love it and do not know how I was functioning without it. Markdown is amazing and simple. Learn it, use it. It’s amazing. I use it for virtually all of my academic writing.

1Password: Before 1Password I kept all of my passwords in a password protected excel file. Wow. I am literally shaking my head as I write this.

Arq: Another one of my favorite apps. I don’t want to ever lose any of my important academic work. If my computer were to be destroyed by say spilling liquid on it (happened a few years ago), all of my work is perfectly saved within dropbox, AWS S3, and google drive. Happily paid the full price and for the lifetime updates. One hundred percent essential.

Calcbot: Just wanted something different that the mac calculator, seriously, that’s it.

Cinch: I need my windows organized side-by-side.

CleanMyMac: Unwanted app killer.

Dropbox: If you haven’t heard of this I suggest stepping away from your computer and enrolling in a local microcomputer applications class at your local college or university.

Evernote: This is new for me. Where I typically used bookmarks (xmarks) I now simply add the article or website to evernote for storage. Keeps my browser much neater with only the essential bookmarks (email, weather, blackboard, blog, that sort of thing).

Gmail: I don’t know, it just works. I have tried virtually every email client and gmail just works. I use hangouts sometime too for video conferencing (better than webex and especially better than skype)

Google Calendar: I need a calendar, this works for me.

Wunderlist: Another favorite. I don’t like that it was sold to microsoft, but for now, it’s the best to-do app available. I like that it’s origins are/were in Germany.

Vimeo: It’s better than YouTube. I don’t like social media – twitter, Facebook, or any other platform. I know, I’m odd. I hate websites or apps that ask to sign in with FaceBook. BTW, those are apps and sites I will never belong too.

Word: Would prefer pages but everyone uses word. Plus I don’t like the idea of saving Pages to a docx file. I’m very picky about formatting – thanks APA.

Excel: Same reasons as Word.

PowerPoint: Same reasons as Word.

Messages: This is how I communicate with the outside world.

Kindle: I order many classroom required and not required books. However, I am recently missing the feel and experience with a physical book. Plus, the books I am using now I will want to refer to quite often. I also like the idea of having a physical book I can loan out to students or colleagues.

SPSS: I like the end results of stats. That’s all. Oh, I use SPSS but am open to any program that gets the job done as quickly and accurately as possible.

Day One: I use it to write my blogs and on very rare occasions my personal life.

Reeder: I much prefer RSS than your website. 🙂

Final Cut Pro: All video editors are horrible. This does what it needs to do for me. Quick and effective.

VLC: Best video player available, seriously, stop searching for a better one.

note: As I will reposting my blog I was laughing at many of these chosen apps and realized I am constantly changing how I work. I will update with a new post soon. Teaser: I’m really excited to talk about pandoc and r studio.

I'm a psychology and educational psychology graduate now pursuing a PhD in Education at Ball State University. I am passionate with the idea that all students, no matter their background, are able to learn and be successful during their academic career and beyond.

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