Tools which make your life easier

Beyond the common and most frequent suggestion “ChatGPT”, there are so many tools out there which can make your (work) life so much easier!

LaTeX and Powerpoint - The best of both worlds

To create presentations most people use either Powerpoint or LaTeX. Both have their benefits, and clearly you should select what works best for you. Here are my thoughts:

  • I like PowerPoint for presentations with many visuals, because I can intuitively create graphs, and freely move images and videos on the slide, and it just works (most of the time). However, adding equations has always been a bit painful.
  • I like LaTeX for academic writing, and presentations with many equations. It allows me to conveniently write equations in a nice and straight-forward manner. However, placing images a certain way, and using animations and videos remains a challenge.

It turns out there is tool which allows you to combine the best of both worlds! The add-on IguanaTex allows you to incorporate LaTeX equations which are being rendered nicely.

Collaborative Academic Writing

Especially when writing a scientific report with several people, you might benefit greatly from overleaf.

Simplify your Literature Collection

In the past many researchers struggled with a big pile of research papers. The digitalization offers more convenient solutions! For many that meant a folder full of research papers in pdf format.

But here is more! My life got a lot easier when I discovered literature management programs. Obviously there are more than one. My tool of choice became Zotero which is “a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, annotate, cite, and share research.”

Why do I like it?

  • It is open source. (Main reason why I prefer it over mendeley.)
  • You can create collections, annotate, and share. It allows collaboration.
  • Collect with one click: Plugins for your browser allow a direct import of literature from webpages via one click. It creates a bibtex entry, and downloads the pdf automatically - if it is available.
  • My favourite recent discovery: You can directly import citations from your zotero into overleaf! Read here how to do it.

Drawbacks: For one reference the retrieved bibtex might differ depending on the website of choice. This should be taken into account especially when using arxiv. If you retrieve the information from this page, you might miss that the paper was officially published in a peer-reviewed venue.

More to come

There is more to come. I would be thrilled to receive input on your favourite tools.

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