Life Hacks: We're All Trying to Make it (all) Easier

I spend a lot of time trying to simplify how I work on computers. I know I’m not alone in trying to make sense out of how best to utilize and integrate my three computers, iPhone, and iPad for teaching and research. I expect we all have our favorite life hacks – whether they be hand-crafted or app-store-bought, and TECHStyle seems a good place to share what we use and give recommendations about what works for us.

I just came across this Fast Company vlog featuring Gina Trapani, wherein she talks about several tools that help you to organize and retrieve various types of documents. She refers to three very helpful tools that I use for a number of different purposes: DevonThink, Evernote, and Google Desktop/Quick Search Box. What’s great about these – DevonThink and Evernote in particular – is that they are designed to reflect the individual user’s needs so you can really push them in different directions. I use DevonThink Pro to keep track of research notes (I could not have made it through comps and dissertation-writing without it!) and this semester have used Evernote increasingly for in-class presentations and quick note-taking (it syncs across computers and web so I can pull up class presentations, URL’s and take quick notes about student presentations with ease).





Gina also refers to a mind-mapping platform called Popplet that I haven’t used but am interested in experimenting with for student project developments in the fall. If anyone has used Popplet, I would love to hear your feedback.

Do you have a favorite life hack that you think would benefit a colleague? Are you searching for a new way to make your e-life easier? Please, share with the rest of us!

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Diane Jakacki

About Diane Jakacki

Diane Jakacki received her PhD from the University of Waterloo, where she specialized in early modern printed drama, and participated in federally-funded digital humanities research projects. She has published two articles on applying social semiotic methods to early modern theatre history, an edition of Wit and Science, and co-authored an essay on developing digital image annotation tools. She is a software consultant to imageMAT and the Records of Early English Drama. At Georgia Tech she applies digital humanities methods to pedagogical solutions. Jakacki is currently developing researching the Elizabethan clown Richard Tarlton and his touring relationship with the Queen’s Men troupe.
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  1. I discovered that it is possible to utilize the evernote web clipper on an ios device such as an ipad. It makes web page clipping on the go a very easy task.

  2. It would be nice to have a hack that allows a small electronic device like the ipad do give a powerpoint presentation on the big screen. I still haven’t figured wether this is possible.

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