Top Time-Saving Tools
To help you identify how you can use digital tools to enhance your research and career to give you a competitive advantage, jobs.ac.uk held a live 60-minute #jobsQ Google+ Hangout: ‘How to be a Successful Digital Academic to Boost Your Career’.
Andy Tattersall informs us:
Ok well I think social media is a very personal thing and how much someone engages with it affects how much it’s going to impact on their life but a good thing for – I think, younger career researchers, and anyone wanting to step into using social media and technologies more, and they’re worried about this problem of information overload and these intrusions into the working life is to perhaps try and start with some good housekeeping, because I’m sure people actually feel overwhelmed already by the amount of emails and various kind of contacts they get on a personal and professional level. So what I would start by doing is having a look at first of all – all the mailing lists that you’re subscribing to and how many notifications you’re already getting and trying to offload a load of stuff , because I think people all too often just delete delete delete and they don’t actually get to the root of the problem of the intrusions they’re getting.
So there’s some great tools out there – one particularly good tool is something called ‘unroll me’ which will sync up with your email account and it will list all of the subscription you receive notifications from you can en-batch just remove a load, so rather than just adding some new ones to the pot and feeling even more overwhelmed, just have a look at where you are at the moment and get rid of some of those and then also look at the notifications you’re getting – what you’re getting on your tablet device, what you’re getting on your smart phone – and try and figure out which ones do you really want to be prodded and poked about, so, you know, if you’re using Twitter, do you want to get a phone or tablet alert every time someone mentions you or do you want to kind of go to it when you want?
So think about switching off these notifications because I think that’s the problem, that people then start to feel even more overwhelmed and then they just stop using it all. So that’s not what we want people to do, so look at using aggregation tools such as TweetDeck for your Twitter and using curation tools like Scoopit to curate information that’s coming at you from all these different places and create these little strands of academic interest, very much like kind of a Pinterest board, but of blog articles & journal articles and videos in all kinds of things in different themes and a good tool to use is called ’if this then that’ if you search for ‘IFTTT’ that creates recipes, so if you do something here in social media it will have an action over there so you do something in Facebook it will impact on Twitter, you do a tweet and it’’ll save it as a Google Doc – and collate your tweets into one Googledoc – so it stops duplication because one of my interests as information specialist is trying to simplify processes and trying to remove replication and duplication because I think these all hinder people from trying to use technology, and another good thing to do is just try and kind of plan your day trying not be driven by these notifications so don’t have a mobile phone on when you don’t need it, remove those kind of things so you can do the traditional academic work, so you can sit and write in silence and try and plan your day ahead to achieve a few things because you need to do this if you’re going to the use technologies because they can be very intrusive.
This film is part of a series taken from this expert Q&A. You can find the full-length unedited version here
Our experts are:
Dr Inger Mewburn, Director of Research Training at The Australian National University & Editor of The Thesis Whisperer blog.
Andrew Tattersall, Information Specialist at ScHARR, The University of Sheffield.
Dave White, Head of Technology Enhanced Learning at the University of the Arts London.
Jenny Delasalle, Editor of the Piirus blog and Twitter feed.
Michael Duignan, Doctoral Researcher and Associate Lecturer at the Lord Ashcroft International Business School.