August 2, 2008, 1:00 pm
This past week saw most of the incoming freshman class converge on my campus for an initial round of freshman orientation. At the end of the month is a much more extensive exposure to orientation, taking up what appears to be 80% of students’ waking hours from the Friday before classes all the way up through the end of the weekend. One has to wonder how much orientation leads to disorientation.
I'm thinking these students aren't learning about studying or time management.
The purpose of a freshman orientation program ought to be, well, to orient freshmen in college — that is, to give students a “compass bearing” in the strange and unfamiliar world of college. Many such programs do not even remotely address or even desire this goal, preferring instead to indoctrinate students into the correct political…
June 19, 2008, 2:34 pm
Good article here at The Productive Student giving five reasons why students should use \(\LaTeX\) as their word processor and not Microsoft Word:
1. Never worry about formatting again.
2. It looks way better. [By the way: Very nice article on LaTeX's typesetting at that link.]
3. It won’t crash: LaTeX is basically a plain text file. You can edit it anywhere, in any text editor, and it basically can’t crash on you. File size is very small which makes it very portable.
4. It’s great for displaying equations, which is why it’s the leading standard among sciencitifc scholars.
5. It fits in with the workflow of a student and allows you to do one thing well: Write.
The writer also shares some of his practices for writing papers (not necessarily math or science papers) with \(\LaTeX\), stressing \(\LaTeX\)’s ability to handle bibliographic data as the “killer feature”….
February 8, 2008, 4:01 pm
At my other blog Dangerous Tasks, I note a milestone in this blog’s lifespan — I’ve sustained over 1200 page views per week for the last six weeks. My goal was to get to 800 hits per week and keep it there as an average for four weeks.
It was easy, once I learned that if I tag one of the posts with “GTD”, “Yojimbo”, or “Bento”, I can count on at least 100 hits from that post alone!
February 6, 2008, 3:11 pm
This blog has gotten a lot of search engine hits lately from queries of the form “Bento GTD”. I guess that’s because I wrote about Bento once and I have written a lot about GTD. And while I was demo-ing Bento, once or twice it crossed my mind that an intrepid person could possibly hack it into a GTD platform. But it appears like there is some kind of movement out there for using Bento for GTD. (Or maybe just one person who can’t stop hitting the “Submit” button on his search engine.) Would one of you folks who are searching along these lines mind filling us in on this, in the comments?
I found Bento to be merely OK — more pretty than useful, and I was able to cobble together what I really needed (a searchable, rich-text repository of information on my students) using VoodooPad Lite, which is free. I didn’t think Bento was worth the
$79 $49 price tag. But I’m cheap, so that’s not…
January 26, 2008, 3:06 pm
I missed this the first time, but Study Hacks posted this article on Getting Things Done for College Students back last summer. It’s basically a self-contained overview of GTD, although it differs from “canonical” GTD in that it takes into account that college students don’t have a fixed 8-5 work day. Instead, they propose fixing down “work hours” and making that be your work day. There are other college-student specific variations in the main article. Well worth a look if you are a college student needing a trustworthy system for productivity.
That article is just one link in this massively-link-filled post on being productive and happy in college in general, which contains so much good advice on time and “stuff” management for college students that I think the average college student would be overwhelmed by it all. But it’s definitely deserving of a read from all students out there.
January 8, 2008, 7:58 pm
Lots of activity on the software front lately.
OmniFocus, the GTD app which I wrote about here, was released in version 1.0 today. I’ve been very satisfied with OmniFocus since settling on it for my GTD needs, especially since I managed to combine discounts to get it for under $20. I don’t know how many of those discounts are still available, but definitely the educational pricing is still there (though you have to look around for it at the Omni web site).
Bento, called the “missing database from iWork”, was released out of beta today as well. I’ve been demoing Bento for the last few days as a tracking system for students, and it’s very nice and visual. But I found the $49 price tag to be a little pricey, especially when the entire iWork ’08 suite is $79.
Sage, an open-source computer algebra system comparable to Matlab, has been gathering lots of buzz. With all my issues with Maple 1…
November 28, 2007, 5:47 pm
As I’ve blogged recently (read the comments to that post, too), I’ve been trying to decide once and for all which computer-based system I was going to use for my GTD setup. In the end, after experimenting with Yojimbo and spending all day yesterday in a fling with iGTD, I decided to go with the forthcoming official release of OmniFocus for my GTD system.
First of all, I’ve gotten very familiar with OmniFocus. I was one of the very first alpha-testers (that’s ALPHA, kids!) of the software when the “Sneaky Peek” versions were being made available back in the summer. I’m even a former Kinkless kGTD user, and a current OmniOutliner Pro and OmniGraffle user, so I’m a big fan of OmniGroup’s work and quite comfortable with their design philosophy.
Secondly, the cost factor turns out to be not nearly so much of an issue as I thought. The final “retail” price of OmniFocus is going to be $80,…
November 20, 2007, 9:54 am
Hot off the RSS reader for this Tuesday morning:
- Fresh on the heels of the public beta release of OmniFocus is this announcement that a major upgrade in iGTD is in the offing. As I wrote earlier, I wasn’t too keen on iGTD after trying it out — too many bells and whistles that don’t add to the performance of the system. But maybe there will be some improvements in this version 2 release. However, it probably won’t be free like it has been up to now, and with OmniFocus priced at an ambitious $80 per license, one wonders if iGTD will try to match it or “undercut” that price at something like $50, which is still too much money.
- Speaking of GTD, here’s how to fail spectacularly at Getting Things Done. I don’t know about “spectacular”, but I’ve certainly had to start my GTD process over a couple of times. I think the article is right about not doing GTD at home if you do it at work; you …