Friday, October 14, 2011

Google Reader for Research

I am a long time fan of Evernote for organizing information from my class notes, surfing, or thoughts. However, I recently discovered that some of the same functionality exists with Google Reader. You can select information on a webpage, tag it, add your own comments and then access all of your notes on Google Reader. Imagine if you are working on a research paper. Every time you find something during your surfing, you just click a button, add your notes and tags and keep on surfing. When you're ready to start your paper, you bring up Google Reader, click on your notes and all of the information from your surfing is at your fingertips. It also includes the link to the site from which the note was taken so that you'll be able to compile all of your information for your APA reference list.

Here's how it works.

Preliminary step of getting the "Note in Reader" link added to your browser. 
1. From within Google Reader, click on "Notes" under "Your stuff."

2. For Chrome and Firefox, you can click on the "Note in Reader" button near the top right and drag it to your bookmark toolbar in the browser. If you don't display the bookmark toolbar in Firefox or you use Internet Explorer, then right click on the box and choose "Add to favorites" for IE or "Bookmark this link" for Firefox.
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Using the "Note in Reader" Capability from the Browser
Now that you have the favorite marked, all you have to do is go to a webpage, highlight some information, and click on "Note in Reader" either from your favorites list or from the toolbar.

This brings up a popup where you can add a short note to yourself about the information, uncheck share the information since this is a note just for you, and optionally add tags to the note. When you start typing in the notes, if you've used a tag that starts with the same letters before it will make suggestions for you so that your tags stay organized. Click on Post item to save it to Google Reader.
Previously used tags will pop up for selection while typing.

Using the Notes in Google Reader
When you're ready to start writing your paper, pull up Google Reader and click on "Notes" under "Your stuff." There you will find all of your clippings.

Click on the title of the note to go back to the original webpage from which you snagged the entry.

tags listed under subscriptions
You can click on the tags at the bottom of one of the posts to list only entries with the tag. Alternatively, your tags are also added to the bottom of your subscription list menu and you can click on them there as well.

So, stop procrastinating and start to work on your paper. The semester is already half over!

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