Category Archives: Automation

LaunchBar vs. Alfred 2

LaunchBar is one of the ten light automation utilities (Macademic Ninja Kit), which make academic work on a Mac fast, smooth and enjoyable. I have been using LaunchBar for over 3 years and it has become so natural that I feel literally … Continue reading

Posted in Automation | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Daily planning with TaskPaper and TextExpander

Have you ever tried to take your days one by one when they kept coming to you all at once? I have many times. To keep my days under control I use simple daily plans generated by a combination of … Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Tasks | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Custom Academic Searches on iOS

As a follow-up to my earlier post on academic searches on the Mac, here’s an easy way to replicate most of those custom searches on iOS. The key app is Drafts, which recently received a massive update. Among many other … Continue reading

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Custom Academic Searches on LaunchBar

Application launchers like Alfred and LaunchBar are Swiss Army knives of software, but to take full advantage of their flexible power you really need to tweak and customize their settings. The apps aren’t designed for academics, but because they’re so … Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Workflows | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Custom keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Word for Mac

Despite alternatives to Microsoft Word it is not possible to completely avoid using it in academic work on a Mac. If you have to edit texts in MS Word you might as well do it smoothly and efficiently, save time and … Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Writing | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Searchable PDF annotations: Automating conversion to Skim notes

Many academics now read journal articles on screen, as PDF files. Holdouts—and they are everywhere—print out forest-sized stacks of paper that teeter on crowded desks. Freedom from clutter is just one advantage of digital reading. Another is searchability: a large … Continue reading

Posted in Annotation, Automation, Tags and folders | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments

Update on the Macademic Ninja kit

The Macademic Ninja kit posted a while ago  included TextExpander, LaunchBar, Hazel, 1Password and Dropbox. I still love and constantly use all of these small apps. But in the last 1.5 years five other apps have also become critical for freeing … Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Workflows | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Learning from Katie and David

I must admit that everything I know about Mac has either been directly learned or inspired by Macpowerusers (MPU), a podcast I started listening to about 3 years ago. Recently, MPU had their Episode 100 where they talked, among other things, … Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Email | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Papers 2 is here!

My earlier post on Papers and Sente said that the biggest disadvantage of Papers is that it does not allow working with bibliographies. This has changed in Papers 2 immediately bridging the gap between pdf file management and scholarly referencing. As a … Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Bibliographies, Files, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 30 Comments

Revisiting reference files

Academics deal with thousands of reference files (text documents, data sheets, images), which are sent by email, downloaded from the Internet, or obtained in other ways. To use MacPowerUsers‘ terms, ‘gathering’ of these files in neat hierarchical folders is not an … Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Files, Tags and folders | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments