A colleague recently asked me about tools I use for managing my teaching and research workflow. The tasks or concepts in bold indicate what she is looking for:
- Bibliography management: I use Zotero extensively for managing my citations, particularly since it has built-in tools for working with word processing programs
- Alerts on research related to my current study: I don’t have very good tools for this yet, but I am hoping that Academia.edu will be useful for this.
- Bookmarking pages: Because I’ve started to keep everything using Evernote, I tend use Evernote for bookmarking pages, although Diigo has better tools for highlighting and annotating. The problem with Evernote is that it is a bit unwieldy as a simple bookmark manager. Also, if the webpages are clearly related to my academic research, I simply save them in Zotero which, like Evernote and Diigo, can cache copies of the page.
- eReading and highlighting: I do all my PDF annotations on a tablet. I use Goodreader, which has a built-in sync manager for cloud storage, for annotating and highlighting PDF files. So I sync all my Zotero PDFs using a cloud storage provider, SugarSync, and then use Goodreader for annotating my files. As long as you have a PDF annotator installed (such as Nitro Reader), Zotero manages your annotated PDFs well and provides annotation tools for cached HTML webpages.
- Direct links to a learner’s blog: If I am teaching an online course, I make learners list down their blog in a centralize location, for instance in a Moodle wiki (since we use Moodle as the primary learning environment at the university).
- Something to proofread my summaries or paragraphs so I am not in danger of plagiarizing: I don’t use one, but maybe I should!
- Links to Google doc files where I do my writing, rewriting: I would just navigate to Google Docs, and create folder hierarchies there. In general, I use a project management system to organize my life, using the Getting Things Done system. So if i need to work on a doc, I note down the URL and put it on my to-do list.
But it seems that what my colleague is looking for is a central place where she could do all of this. In this case, what I would do is come up with a microsite intended for myself, using WordPress, Blogger, or Google Sites, and add links to all these resources and tools.