Using the Right Tools Makes a Big Difference


One of the most attractive benefits of the IMC program at WVU is the flexibility it allows when integrating your educational endeavors into an active life. As my fellow student ambassador Amy mentioned in her recent post, you can work on classwork anywhere. The ability to work on class assignments on the sidelines of the soccer field or a band rehearsal are a definite plus. By developing an integrated workflow I am able to work on course work at home, work or on the go. Here are a few tools that I’ve found invaluable as an IMC student.

Microsoft Word
My good friend and recent IMC graduate George Cici clued me in early to the Citations feature in MS Word. Using the Citation tool I enter the information for my references and it stores the reference in the Citation Source Manager. You can select APA style and the type of reference (website, article in a journal, book, etc) and Word will insert the reference in your document. You can also include your list of references at the end of your document by inserting the bibliography. It makes it much easier to follow correct APA style when working on assignments. I also draft and edit my all my discussion posts in Word because of this worthwhile tool. If you’re not familiar with this handy feature look in the help section of your current version for more information.

Evernote is an awesome tool for storying the  information I gather while performing research for my discussion posts and assignments. Not to mention all the personal information I am able to maintain. I even drafted this blog post in Evernote.

Evernote is a free service that allows me to clip information from the web, attach files and create notes that are then available from my web browser, desktop and smartphone. More advance features are available by upgrading to a pro account. The videos below explain the service better than I can.

Dropbox is a file syncing, cloud storage service that allows me to access my files from any computer and my smartphone. I save my Word docs in Dropbox so that I’m able to work on my assignments on my work PC or at home on my Mac. You can also give others access to your Dropbox folders for easy file sharing.

A basic Dropbox account is free and gives you 2GB of storage.  You can upgrade your storage space by signing up with your MIX account and getting friends to sign up. You can upgrade to a paid account for more storage as well.

By utilizing these tools I’ve been able to develop a workflow that allows me to do my class work almost anywhere I have access to a computer whether it’s a PC or Mac. While I’m on the run I also have access to these tools from my smartphone.

If you aren’t familiar with these tools I encourage you to check them out. Maybe you know of a tool that would benefit me and other students.

Are there other tools you’ve found useful as an IMC student?

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8 Responses to “Using the Right Tools Makes a Big Difference”

  1. Valerie Ater Says:

    Thank you so much for these hints to making one’s life a little easier when doing discussion postings and writing papers and projects.

    I am still in need of hints on Copy & Paste techniques for my discussion postings and papers. I am using Word 10

    • kghart Says:

      Glad you found the information useful. What specific questions do you have regarding copy & paste techniques for your discussion posting and papers. I’ll do my best to help and hopefully some of our classmates can offer some tips and tricks as well.

  2. Barry Says:

    Hey Kevin,

    I started using the References feature in Word towards the end of IMC610. It scares me to think about how much time I would have wasted and how disorganized I might be if I had tried to track all of my citations manually!

    One trick I learned is that you can use the “Browse” button under “Manage Sources” in order to rename and create new lists of references. I have my references split between those I created in 2010 and this year, but it would be possible to categorize based on any number of criteria.

    Great concept for a post. I’ll have to give Evernote a look now that someone’s explained it to me.


    • kghart Says:

      Thanks for the tip Barry. I haven’t discovered some of the other functions in Word. I’ll be sure to check that out. I’m sure you’ll find Evernote useful once you use it a bit.

  3. Ann Keaton Says:

    Kevin — you never cease to amaze me regarding your knowledge of social media. I have not heard of Evernote. I will have to check that out. Thanks for always sharing your new finds.

  4. barackuda Says:

    Mittlerweile kann man bis zu 22 GB kostenlos abstauben :

    • kghart Says:

      Dropbox makes it easy to earn more space by getting friends to sign up. I’ve earned quite a bit of space thanks to my friends. Vielen Dank für den Kommentar.

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