Some ways I try to be efficient
There are various technological ways I try to cut down the number of mouse clicks or complicated processes in order to remain organised and efficient, and I’m open to know what else I can do. Here is a short list of things I recommend others use, some of which are particular to MAC users:
- I often use BibDesk to organise my bibtexing. The coolest feature is that it can import directly from MathSciNet; a little browser window opens up, MathSciNet is there, I enter the info I know about the reference, then some papers are listed which match my query. I click on import and it is put in my library. I can then hit CTRL-K to make a cite-key, and then I simply drag the reference into my LaTeX file (in TeXShop).
- Papers by Mekentosj is very impressive, and I believe it has won some awards for its design. It organises all the pdfs of papers on my desktop, which I can match with mathscinet bibliographic data. The best feature is that I can search all of my papers for various things quite easily. For instance, just like iTunes, I can create a smart album of all papers which are on “generalised quadrangles” (or “generalized quadrangles”). I’ve put the library of papers in my Dropbox so that I can use it on all of my machines, wherever I am in the world!
- TeXShop is quite a good LaTeX typesetter. I can right-click on the PDF and it will show me in the LaTeX file where that part of the file is. I also find it easy to compile PDFLaTeX and BibTeX quickly using key-strokes (Command + L and Command + B).
- Cool unix-terminal commands such as “sed” for replacing strings in a file and good old “!” for re-executing a command.
- iCal has made me more organised, and I have it synchronised with my email server so that I can change my calendar on any machine. The best feature is that I can right click on a date and time in an email, and it will automatically import an appointment into iCal. Most of the time, I don’t need to edit the title or meeting place (it works this out from the body of the email!).
That’s all I can think of for now. More will be added to this list as they come to mind (or I’m reminded by someone else).