Technology

Below are my favorite programs/apps/sites for discovering, consuming and communicating new information and for conducting qualitative research.  I primarily use a 13″ MacBook Pro (with Thunderbolt display at the office), iPad, and iPhone.


Productivity

  • Pocket – simple service that allows you to save any article on the web to read later offline whether through their iOS or Mac apps.  I use this many times a day as I find interesting content on the web that I don’t have time to read thoroughly.
  • Gmail – the best email client by far. Most important to me is the ability to easily search archived emails from years past.  Another great feature is the ability impact as a hub for multiple email addresses and to automatically respond back from the original address.
  • Google calendar – a good calendar service that syncs across all of my devices and integrates Tasks and gmail.
  • Sunrise calendar - my preferred iOS calendar app that syncs with  Google calendar.
  • Google tasks – one of many good task services but at his one syncs easily with Google calendar and gmail.
  • GoTasks – my favorite iOS task app as it syncs with Google tasks.
  • Dropbox – provides not only a backup of my important files, but it automatically syncs my home and office computers. It is also great for syncing other apps and moving files to my iPad. This has become one of the most important services I use.
  • Doodle – simple service (with iOS app) for scheduling multiple people into a meeting.
  • Slice – a very clever iOS app that monitors your e-mail looking for purchases and shipping notifications.  The app the monitors the shipments providing up-to-date alerts.
  • Google voice – a fantastic all-around service.  I use is (along with the chrome extension) to dial the phone from my computer.  No need for the 5-digit long distance code!
  • 1Password – truly saves time by securely saving login information for all of my sites.  With the Chrome plug-in, it is a simple keystroke and one master password to sign into every account I have.
  • Evernote – a great service that saves and organizes notes.  I have notebooks setup for catching ideas for research projects as well as notebooks for each project I am currently working on.
  • Pandora – a music streaming service that runs all day in my office and helps keep me focused. I use the PandaBar app on the Mac to control playback and reduce clutter.

Discovering content

  • Flipboard – one of my most used iOS apps. By far the nicest browsing experience for checking Twitter, Google+, Google reader, the New York Times and many other sites. It also makes it very easy to post any content to social media sites or to save them to Pocket for later.
  • Google+ – I have found Google+ to be a great place to discover content. It’s all about who is in your circles!
  • Zite – another of my most used iOS apps. One of many personal magazine apps, I am always impressed at the articles it comes up with based on my interests.  Also allows saving to Pocket.
  • Twitter – I only use Twitter as a feed of interesting links. Again, it’s all about who you follow.  I also find it to be the best source of breaking news.
  • Feedly – much of what I used to use RSS for I now get through other sources.  However, it is still the best way to keep up with journal articles by subscribing to the journal’s RSS feed. Flipboard is a great alternative (and more attractive) way to view your  feed.
  • Google scholar – a great academic search engine that keeps getting better and better.  Recently added a way to easily copy citations.
Consuming content
  • Pocket – I read more on Pocket than anywhere else.
  • Kindle – I choose kindle over iBooks because of annotation and cross-platform syncing. I also use the Mac app as a reference while writing and teaching.
  • iAnnotate – my favorite iOS app for reading and annotating PDF journal articles.  The simple and powerful Dropbox sync makes it a must have as my annotations will automatically appear back on my computer. (I recommend the Bamboo stylus for easier annotation)
  • Mendeley – in my opinion the best reference manager.  Easy to use, allows for PDF annotations, and is great for collaboration.  Can’t wait for a much improved iOS app.

Teaching online

  • Google Docs - as Docs improves it becomes more and more useful in teaching my courses. I create nested folders with varying permissions to allow for groupwork as well as private work space.  I also appreciate the commenting features for giving feedback. It is quite useful for video as well.
  • Google Hangouts – now that up to 15 people can participate it is a great online meeting system. I appreciate how the technology fades away as you use it as opposed to more traditional video conferencing software.  Allows you to share anything from Docs, your screen, or videos with the group.

Research hardware/software

  • MacBook Pro – I do a lot of work with video and only a Mac will do!
  • StudioCode – a complicated, expensive, and amazingly powerful qualitative research software that allows you to process and tag large amounts of video.
  • Google Docs – great for collaborating on large projects.
  • Flip cameras – my go to camera for classroom video.  Too bad they shave been discontinued!  Students find em very simple to use especially as downloading the videos to the computer is so easy.
  • Swivl  - my new favorite toy that mounts an iPhone or iPod touch to a rotating base that follows you as you move.  It is like a robotic cameraman!
  • QuickTime – still my go to video editing software.
  • Scrivener – a very powerful writing tool for organizing and compiling large projects,
  • Handbrake – a simple and free video conversion and compression tool.
  • Inqscribe – simple and efficient transcription software that works well with most transcription pedals.