The best mobile apps are helping scholars organize their information effectively, leading to quality research and publishing

As busy academics, you are focused on quality and productivity. Contrary to the popular idea that apps are only useful for “consumption,” the best mobile apps are being used as tools to enable learning and knowledge creation.

Have you ever lost information you know you have somewhere, but can’t find quickly?

In my role as head of user experience at the MIT Libraries, my team and I interviewed undergrad and graduate students about their academic workflows. Here are some of the problems they told us about:

  • Fragmentation frustration: With notes in so many formats (handwritten, typewritten, photos, scraps of paper, printed PDFs with notes scribbled on them) it’s difficult to keep track of it all.
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  • Research roadblocks: When selecting a topic to write about, running into roadblocks with research sometimes means you change topics, rather than write about the topic you care about most. You just don’t have the time.
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  • Information inconvenience: If a research tool is difficult to use, sometimes you bypass it in favor of easier tools, even if you know those aren’t the best sources. You’re not happy about this, but you’re facing so many deadlines.
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  • Synchronization (in)sanity: You work from multiple locations, around the clock, using multiple laptops, desktops, and mobile devices and have trouble keeping your information synchronized.

Save time and reduce frustation by using the best mobile apps

Take notes and organize them for findability
Take notes in formats that work best for you, including audio notes, handwritten notes, or by typing. With apps like Notability, Penultimate, and Evernote you can input information, organize and tag it, and find it again in the massive storehouse of data that most scholars accumulate.

Streamline your research
Streamline your research with apps like Papers 3, Pubget, and Wolfram Alpha. Learn how other academics are using these apps to increase their productivity.

Synchronize your life
In this multi-device, multi-platform world, you need the best tools for keeping in sync everywhere. Apps like Dropbox, Evernote, Box, and Google Drive help you avoid synchronization insanity.

Present Information Effectively
Make slides that communicate information effectively with apps like Haiku Deck, Keynote, and Slideshark.

Save Time, Use the Best
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the huge number of apps out there (some of poor quality), then this book is for you!

Best Apps for Academics

155-page PDF ebook, color illustrations

Buy now
$24.99
One copy.

Buy now
$149.99
A copy that you can distribute to 20 people.

Buy now
$249.99
A copy that you can distribute to unlimited users.

* You have our permission to store a downloadable copy of the unlimited version on your own server and make it available linked from your library catalog or intranet, without restrictions. This file is DRM-free.

  • Contact us if you need a purchase order or bundles of another size. We are happy to help!
  • Version 1 was published April 2014. (Version 1.2 coming soon).
  • Future updates are free when you purchase any version.

The Authors

Our experience working at the MIT Libraries helped us understand the needs of busy academics.

Nicole HennigNicole Hennig is an independent user experience professional, helping librarians and educators use the best mobile technologies. She worked as webmaster and head of user experience for the MIT Libraries for over a decade. She is a winner of multiple awards, including the MIT Excellence Award for Innovative Solutions.

 

Pam NicholasPam Nicholas enjoys helping people navigate the technological landscape as an IT professional for the MIT Libraries, where she received an Infinite Mile Award for results, outcome, and productivity. In addition, she spends her time writing, making music, and taking photographs.


This 155-page PDF ebook includes:

Best Apps for Academics

  • Detailed descriptions of 44 best apps. (iOS and Android)
  • Links to 125 additional apps (honorable mentions).
  • Examples of how mobile apps are being used by academics to save time, and enable creative learning experiences.
  • Links to app guides for specific disciplines.
  • A resource guide of books, blogs, and courses about mobile apps.

Download a free sample (PDF)


Table of Contents


Chapter 1 – Productivity

  •          Managing files in the cloud
  •          Managing and generating secure passwords
  •          To-do lists
  •          Calendars
  •          Journaling
  •          Other useful productivity apps

Chapter 2 – Reading & Annotating

  •          Reading and annotating documents
  •          Reading ebooks
  •          Managing citations
  •          Reading news via RSS
  •          Reading news with smart recommendations
  •          Saving web pages to read later

Chapter 3 – Research & Reference

  •          Specialized search engines
  •          Wikipedia client
  •          Dictionary
  •          Private search engine
  •          Unit conversions
  •          Subscription database content provided by your library
  •          Finding open access articles and publications
  •          Special exhibit apps from libraries and archives

Chapter 4 – Taking Notes, Writing, & Studying

  •          Best full-featured notes app
  •          Taking notes by handwriting and sketching
  •          Recording audio notes
  •          Speech recognition
  •          Scanning documents
  •          Text editor for Dropbox
  •          Microsoft Office editor
  •          Create beautifully formatted documents
  •          Flashcards for studying
  •          Mind mapping
  •          More useful apps for note-taking, writing, or studying
  •          Recommended accessories

Chapter 5 – Collaboration & Sharing

  •          Full-featured social media app
  •          Shared whiteboard
  •          Collaborate with mapping tools
  •          Distance meetings and presentations

Chapter 6 – Presenting, Lecturing & Publishing

  •          Edit and present slide decks
  •          Create simple, beautiful presentations
  •          Mirror the display of iPads with projector or large display
  •          Create interactive ebooks

Chapter 7 – Discipline-Specific Examples & Guides

Examples:

  •    Language and literature
  •     Digital humanities
  •     Art
  •     Journalism
  •     Social science research
  •     Biology
  •     Geology
  •     Medicine
  •     Computer science and engineering
  •     Math

App guides:

Art, Engineering, Geology, Journalism, Language-learning, Math, Medicine, Multiple subjects, Science, Social sciences

Chapter 8 – Further Resources

  •     Books, blogs, and more

Best Apps for Academics

155-page PDF ebook, color illustrations

Buy now
$24.99
One copy.

Buy now
$149.99
A copy that you can distribute to 20 people.

Buy now
$249.99
A copy that you can distribute to unlimited users.

* You have our permission to store a downloadable copy of the unlimited version on your own server and make it available linked from your library catalog or intranet, without restrictions. This file is DRM-free.

  • Contact us if you need a purchase order or bundles of another size. We are happy to help!
  • Version 1 was published April 2014. (Version 1.2 coming soon).
  • Future updates are free when you purchase any version.