Quick Cite – Life Hacking Bookstores and Libraries

One of the constant questions from under graduates is how to cite or reference a book. There are numerous tools to help with this at the writing stage such as End Note and web based tools such as BibMe. What if you could get the reference from your iPhone?

Quick Cite ($1.19) in the Australian store allows you to scan the bar code and it emails the citation to you in seconds. This is handy, as many online tools are a kind of folksonomy, and it’s not always easy to know which edition, or citation is correct – after the fact.

It’s handy if you are browsing too, in that you students often take one or two books on loan, but may have been interested in more. It’s a handy way to come back and remember which you wanted – or to later look for a digital edition.

You might even want to scan your own library, just filter the inbound messages from the application. It would be nice if it extended itself to produce citations that would be recognised by things such as Mendeley too, but I’m finding it a handy tool.

For those people who browse book stores and then buy online — lifehackers that you are, you could scan and use Booko to get the best price.


working with documents on ipad

The Ipad might not be a proper laptop, but living with it on the road for two weeks was a joy, not least because of the battery life. Running two days easily, the MacBook stayed in the hotel.

I wanted to take notes, or rather make documents – and bought QuickOffice for $12.99, instead of Pages. I do use Google docs and inhabit Evernote, but to be honest, most of the people I work with outside my section are Word users with a preference for attaching documents, so my need is to build a bridge.

QuickOffice has two neat features. It links to GoogleDocs and to DropBox. It allows you to create simple Word docs and manage them. Most people only really ever format a bit of text on the fly with Word, so QuickOffice is a bare bones Word Processor. Drag your file from Google, edit and then dump it back or dump it into drop box if you want to share it via a URL.

Open drop box, and tweet the link. If you are dealing with notes to the masses, they are not going to complain about having a Word doc to edit. QuickOffice will let you email a document easily enough, so if you want to blog it – flick it to Posterous.

What I like about it is that teachers often have lots of Word docs to distribute already. Drop box allows them to share the original, student could pull it onto the Ipad, modify or work on it and then submit it back easily as a pseudo assignment submission.

QuickOffice is drag and drop management, will the ‘auto pilot’ turned off. I live blogged a few sessions at ISTE and was impressed. Its not intented to be live collaborative – and google docs wont allow you to create and edit on the iPad – but for the vast majority of people Ipad adopters will probably deal with, it does the job. If your students are collaborating in GoogleDocs, you can still access anything thing they share, and return fire using QuickOffice.

If you are looking for a text editor to bridge the iPad with the desktop, need to distribute, store on the cloud etc., the I think it is a viable, more flexible alternative to Pages. It still works with MobileMe. The name is obviously selected to identify with Office, but that isnt quite the reality.

For note taking, quick spreadsheets and distribution, it works.