Academic Workflow using Scrivener, BibDesk, Skim, LaTeX, and all the rest of it…

Here is a screen cast that I’ve done on my academic workflow. Have fun:


By mnott on 2017/03/15 | Hacks, LaTeX, Science | 3 comments

“What is your main purpose in life right now?”

As part of my DBA, there is what the university calls a “personal development module.” So people ask me questions that are meant to make you think. The question we got over the holiday period was this: “What is your main purpose in life right now?” I don’t know whether my answer will resonate with you at all, or even is in any way good. I share it anyway.



I truly think, I just fell in love with a program. I’m talking about Scrivener. Since I’m doing research / academic writing rather than novel writing, I had not really looked at the program after I had bought it and played a bit with it a couple of years ago. Now, I’m starting here a series of blog articles about how to make Scrivener really work for academic writing and research. It’ll go very much in detail.


By mnott on 2016/11/23 | Research | A comment?

Speed Reading

I’ve been doing some investigation on speed reading, here’s there result.

By mnott on 2014/05/28 | Computer, Hacks, Research, Science | A comment?

Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett for Kids

Yesterday’s post regarding the adoption of Perl and RegEx in early childhood has raised some questions as per to which degree we should expose our kids to potentially questionable content.

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By mnott on 2014/03/11 | Hacks, Philosophy, Private | A comment?

String Theory – explained. Probably the nerdiest video ever.

See this:

By mnott on 2014/02/19 | Hacks, Science | 3 comments

Visual Feedback from Apple Scripts

I am probably overly abusing Better Touch Tool. As an example, while reading a book in Full Screen mode with Skim, I want to create different types of annotations but I do not want to use the menu or even the keyboard to switch annotation types. I want to keep my hand on the trackpad and do what’s needed – including saving. The issue I saw is that when using gestures, I’m not quite sure whether they actually were executed. Adding today the “save” operation, I definitely needed a simple way to display a notification on whether the given action has been performed. Enter Growl. And a very simple Apple Script that displays, using Growl, what ever has been passed on the command line. The script is given below; here’s how it works.

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By mnott on 2014/02/10 | Code, Hacks, Research | A comment?

Innovate or Exploit? Some thoughts on Rigidity vs. Flexibility, and Myopic Measurement

I’m just reading Schermerhorn et al. There’s an interesting chapter on innovation which captures the topic of flexibility vs. rigidity, or exploration vs. exploitation, that I’ve recently discussed with a group of research fellows in the context of the dichotomy of exploration vs. exploitation: “too much emphasis on exploration will yield a whole list of potential ideas for new products and processes to new clients and customers in new markets, but little pay-off . . . Conversely, an emphasis on exploitation stresses control and evolutionary development. Such exploitation can be planned with tight budgets, careful forecasts, and steady implementation. It is often much easier to stress exploitation because most organizations have a structure and culture that emphasize stability and control.” (2010, pp. 381–382)

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Innovation Culture: Thoughts about allowing for more flexibility.

For a well-formatted version, see here .


What is required—and why—to establish a balance between flexibility and stringent order to enable a company to be receptive to innovation? And what focus areas should be considered for implementing such change?

This paper is organized as follows: section  2  contextualizes innovation with organizational culture, innovation and change, the findings of which section  3  utilizes to explore why and how to allow for flexibility and change. Section  4  brings in some of the author’s own experiences, and section  5  concludes.

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Automate copying the Citation from BibDesk

Even though BibDesk has a very useful “Cite Tray” from which you can drag and drop your citations to the document you’re writing, what I consistently end up doing is to use, always, mostly the same format. As an example, I may be saying something like as \citeauthor{Nott:2014} said so eloquently, “repetitions are a sign of laziness.” (\citeyear[10]{Nott:2010}) So in essence, I am dragging and dropping twice, and am then entering (or not) the page I’m quoting from. And as repetitions are obviously a sign of laziness in the sense that for just too long I’m too lazy to automate the process, it took me probably 5,000 citation marks until I decided to do this in a better way using a nice dialog box that fetches the relevant information from the currently selected article in BibDesk, asks for the page number and finally copies the correct citation key to the clipboard:


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By mnott on 2014/01/25 | LaTeX, Research, Science | A comment?