- Free Mind: It is a mind mapping tool. It has diverse functions. You should use it instead squible on a piece of paper.
- Zotero: It is a reference management software. There are bunch more functions, such as note taking. It works with Firefox or Netscape as a plug-in. At MS Word, you can cite while you type if you install plug-in for Word. If you hav not known it, you should give it a shot. I strongly recommend it. Plug-in for Open Office is here.
- Evernote: It is a note collecting tool. I found that Zotero also takes note as it does. Personally I prefer to use Zotero. But it has a nice function to save user's data on-line.
- OpenOffice: I was not a big fan of Open Office V.2. But version 3 is totally different. I found V.3 is very powerful in typing formula in document. Open Office can generate PDF file and even LaTeX file with. I can convert its document to MS word format, too. I think I will not go back to MS Word.
- LaTeX: I need this for math presentations and dissertation formating. Equation editor at MS words is too bad... What I will do is that first I do my word processing at Open Office, then convert Open document to LaTeX file. I can do final touch with LaTeX. If you are a RPI student, you can get LaTeX at RPI help desk.
WHEN TO CALL A FACULTY COACH
Junior professors, midcareer faculty members, and even the most seasoned of academics sometimes need help with managing at least one aspect of their careers. Here are a few signs of when you might need to give a faculty coach a call:
* You're mired in a departmental battle.
* You can only work under deadline pressure.
* You've allowed teaching and service work to take up all of your time.
* You're a chronic procrastinator.
* You start papers but never finish them.
* You're baffled by putting together a promotion and tenure portfolio.
* You can't find time to do research.
* You avoid writing at all costs.
* You're not clear on the expectations for tenure.
* You need help maintaining momentum.
SOURCE: Successful Academic, The Academic Ladder, Success in Academe
How many of them describe you? In my case, um... 6 out of 10. Rest 4 are the cases of assistant professors. Deadline pressure, that's what I like...