Academic Lifehacker

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Tools and ideas to improve academic efficiency

Guide to online file storage/backup services

Obviously, no one on earth wants to lose their data. But to an academic, a hard-drive meltdown can be particularly horrific. Imagine, years of original research, gone. Just gone.

Luckily, there are plenty of online backup services to help stop this from happening. I’m a big fan of Mozy myself, but there are tons of choices. Ninety plus (on this particular list), in fact.

Enjoy– and save soon, save often!

Introduction to 90 Online File Storage Services
[ from LifeHack.org ]

Filed under: Computer, Files, Online, Research, Web

Make eBooks for your iPod

Via this web application, you can convert both text files and websites into notes readable on your iPod.

This might be a clever idea. Or it might be a very speedy way to make yourself go blind.

Create ebooks on your iPod
[ via Lifehacker ]

Filed under: Books, Computer, Files, Online, Reading, Tools, Web

Love and admiration in academic tasks

As academics, we can often get stuck working on projects that we care little about. No different than non-academic jobs– except that, somehow, there is a larger expectation that we do care about what we’re working on. We’re not supposed to be monkeys working for the man– we’re supposed to be intellectual monks in a modern world, feverishly pursuing further knowledge. Okay, maybe not monks, but you get the idea.

Yet we do get stuck doing projects that we care little about– or occasionally heartily despise. A few of these projects won’t hurt you; maybe they’ll even build a little character, who knows? But consistently working on projects that we loathe, or see little point in, isn’t good for our happiness, mind, or motivation.

Dave Cheong has an excellent post about choosing things that you love doing and admire. His emphasis is on the second part of this equation.

He says, “Why do you have to admire what you do or the people doing it? If you only love what you do (and not admire it), then you may end up doing the wrong thing… If there is nothing to admire, why change? What’s the incentive to become better?”

Do something you love doing and admire
[ from Dave Cheong ]

Filed under: Academia, Advice, Grad School, Motivation

Overcoming Academic Writer’s Block

I admit, reading Metafilter discussions is an excellent way to procrastinate doing actual academic work. However, this particular thread might actually have some productivity payoff for anyone struggling with a big project (thesis, book, etc).

Academic writer’s block: tips, strategies, experiences?
[ from Ask Metafilter ]

Filed under: Advice, Grad School, Motivation, Research, Thesis, Writing

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Academic Lifehacker provides hints, tips, tools, and software recommendations for scholars, graduate students, and researchers.