Why Dropbox is the most important tool for an academic

When it comes to backing up our computer files, we all know we should be doing it.  But let’s be honest, many of us don’t.  For several years now, I have been using Dropbox and it is the most important tool on my computer.  I use it for saving all my documents and files.  There are many reasons why you should too.

Photo credit: Flickr Marc Smith

If you aren’t familiar with Dropbox, it is an online (in the cloud) file storage system.  You can save documents, photos, videos, or any file to your account.  You can access the files on a Mac, PC, or through their online portal.  Of all of the features that Dropbox offers, there are at least four that I believe you will find most useful. 

My favorite tools

I often have friends and colleagues ask me about my take on various tools and programs that I use.  Each of these are for Mac as I work completely on that platform.  I frequently consider adding or changing tools and this list is kept up-to-date (at the top of the page) with my current favorites.

Use Mailbutler to supercharge your Apple Mail

I hate email. I really, really do. Rarely does good news come through my inbox. Instead, I receive everything from administrative requests to complaints to spam. Over the course of the last couple of years, I’ve tried to do everything possible to scale back how much I have to use email. We’ve started using Slack which dramatically cuts down the email my staff sends and I’ve implemented other strategies to reduce the overall amount of email that I receive on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I can’t get away from using email entirely as much as I would love to do so. Resigned to this fact, I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to help me manage and minimize the stress from my email inbox. Over the past six months, I have started using the plugin Mailbutler and I highly recommend you use Mailbutler to supercharge Apple Mail.

Use Mailbutler to supercharge your Apple Mail

As longtime readers know, I’m a big fan of Apple products including many of the built-in programs that come on Mac laptops and computers.

Apple Mail, the email client that comes with Macs, has been my primary email software for probably a decade if not longer. The look, feel, and usability have led me to continue with Apple Mail even if the program lacks the bells and whistles available with other email clients.

Fortunately, I came across a new plugin for Apple Mail that I’ve been using for about six months now. I love it and it really takes Apple Mail to the next level.

How to write an academic CV

One of the questions I often get asked by graduate students or higher education professionals looking to move in academic circles is how to write a curriculum vitae or CV for short.  Curriculum vitae is Latin for “the course of my life” and your CV should should provide a description of the basic blocks of your academic life.  Of course, every field and discipline has slightly different expectations and norms for how CVs should look.  However, in today’s post, I will share the basics of how to write an academic CV that should largely work regardless of your specific field.

Photo credit: Russell McNeil

There is no single convention or style that you should use on a CV.  You should, however, remember a couple of rules of thumb.

Why You Need a Pair of Noise Canceling Earbuds

Think back to your last flight.  Did you notice the frequent flyer with a nice pair of the Bose noise canceling headphones?  Over the years, I kept seeing these headphones on flights, but never understood why people seemed to love them so much.  For my birthday last month, I got a pair of Bose noise canceling earbuds (specifically, I got the QuietComfort 20i).  If you’re serious about focusing and getting your work done, you need a pair of these!

I have found three primary benefits to using noise canceling headphones.