Build a Bibliography Quickly with These Websites

I dont know about you, but I hate writing bibliographies. It takes so much time to get everything formatted just right.

Books need to be formatted one way; journal articles have to be written a different way; and websites need to be . . . yeah, you get the picture. It can all be very annoying (especially when youre in a rush).

So thats why we like these online tools that can help you develop your papers bibliography in a snap. Yeah, this includes APA, MLA, and Chicago.
Here you go:

OttoBib
Simply type in your books ISBN number and press enter. Youll instantly get your books info styled appropriately in either MLA, APA, or Chicago. This online tool can save you tons of time. Very cool.

BibMe
Alright, this website will definitely save you tons of time. You can easily get a bibliography styled in MLA or APA for books, magazines, newspaper articles, journals, or film. Yeah, this is definitely a great place to start when starting your bibliography.

EasyBib
This website isnt as user-friendly, but it can help you get your books and magazines styled for MLA or APA fairly quickly. Id probably use this website as a last resort though. It takes a little bit of time to get used toand when Im writing a bibliographyI dont have much time.

Top 20 RSS Feed Readers You Should Know About

Now that the school semester just ended, its time to catch up on some reading.

Im a big fan of Google Reader, but there are a bunch of other great RSS readers out there.

Heres a nifty collection of RSS readers you may not know about:

Alertbear
Desktop-based feed reader for Windows.

Alesti
An RSS reader based on Ajax. Very simple, clean interface.

Bloglines
Organize, save, and share all your favorite feeds and its completely free.

Fastladder
Fastladder claims to help you read the most amount of feeds in the shortest time-frame.

Fav.or.it
Allows you aggregate RSS feeds like a typical reader – and allows you to leave comments on blog posts without leaving the site.

FeedDemon
Get your RSS feeds sent directly to your Windows desktop. Requires Microsoft Windows.

Feedreader
A desktop-based feed reader. Its like a feed reader in Microsoft Outlook.

FeedShow
Free online feed reader that lets you save items locally and covert posts to PDF or print format.

GoogleReader
Organize your feeds into folders, share with friends, save your favorites, and add notes to any post you want. My favorite.

GreatNews
It automatically stores all your feeds locally, so you have access to the feeds even if the site is down. It also integrates nicely into Bloglines.com.

GritWire
Its a personal page like Netvibes that has a SpeedFeed Reader application.

MSN Start
A typical personalized page (a la iGoogle) where you can add feeds of your favorite sites.

My Yahoo
A personalized page that allows you to add your RSS feeds.

Netvibes
A clean-lookin personalized page that allows you subscribe to feeds. I have several friends who like using Netvibes because of the sweet interface.

NewsAlloy
A web-based feed reader that is Mobile/PDA enabled.

NewsGator
The site offers a free web-based RSS feed reader – and a desktop version that integrates into Microsoft Office.

Rojo
A simple RSS reader – similar to Google Reader.

Sage
A nice lightweight RSS feed reader extension for Firefox.

Shrook
A free RSS feed reader for your MAC desktop.

Voyage
Visually-appealing RSS feed reader that lets you scroll through feeds with your mouse wheel.

And if you dont know how RSS readers work, heres a great video that shows you the benefits of subscribing to your favorite web content:

Please let me know of any others that I missed.

Ill be glad to add them here.

The Nuts and Bolts of Time Management

If youve been reading productivity blogs for a while, you probably already know the basics of time management:

  • Making your “To Do” list
  • Focusing on one task/goal at a time
  • Creating deadlines for yourself
  • Rewarding yourself for accomplishing your goals
  • Avoiding procrastination
  • Making time to relax

Its easy to understand these basics, but its another to actually apply them in real-world situations.

As you know, its very easy to lose focus on our daily goals – especially with email, Digg.com, Google Reader, yada, yada, yada.

So thats why Ive found these online resources on time management very practical:

Managing Your Time
Dartmouth developed a nifty list of online resources for time management. The article includes links to a time management video, planning documents, and free calendars to download in both Word and Excel.

Beating Procrastination
The best way to defeat procrastination is to identify it the moment its happening. This article provides 3 practical steps to overcome this weakness in all of us.

10 Tips for Time Management in a Multitasking World
Even though this article is focused on todays office environment, it definitely fits with the life of a busy student.

12 Hours to Better Time Management
Lifehack.org developed a great article on time management. Pay close attention to the first section that discusses how to set up your calendars.

61 Time Saving Tips
This article starts by saying that You DO have enough time for everything and then gives you a laundry list of ways to help you accomplish all your goals.

8 Ways to Avoid Managing Your Time Effectively
Sometimes it helps to read the opposite advice to think clearly about what were doing to waste time.

Time Management Principles for Students
The University of Minnesota Duluth compiled this list of time management strategies for students. Simple and practical.

TimeTracker
TimeTracker is an online tool to help you track the time you spend on each of your tasks. It can help keep you on focused – which is helpful when you need to write a lengthy paper.

Time Management [Video] – Randy Pausch
This lecture was recorded at the University of Virginia – and runs over an hour. Its both informative and entertaining.

Cheat Sheets

Heres a list of some helpful cheat sheets from around the web . . .

Algebra Notes
23 pages filled with every formula and rule you need to know for Algebra.

Algebra Cheat Sheet
A down and dirty guide to Algebra – in just 4 pages. Theres even a shorter cheat sheet here.

Calculus Cheat Sheet
6 pages of Calculus notes to help you master Calculus.

Chemistry Cheat Sheet [pdf]
This pdf provides a list of math and chemistry tips.

Computer Science Cheat Sheets
10 pages of theoretical computer science formulas.

English Grammar for Dummies
Somebody uploaded the entire English Grammar for Dummies book. Get the pdf while its still available. 388 pages.

Geometry Fact Sheet
Everything you need to know about Geometry.

GMAT in a Nutshell
A helpful list of info to help you prepare for the GMAT exam.

GMAT Tips
Grad Student Mirna Safi developed this document to help others study for the GMAT.

Grammar Cheat Sheets
Franklin provides you with a quick and dirty cheat sheet covering some of the most common grammar errors students make.

Law School – Bar Exam Cheat Sheets
35 pages of notes to help students pass the Bar exam.

MCAT Mnemonics
A giant list of mnemonics to help you prepare for the MCAT.

Pharmacology Notes
A huge list of pharmacology terms.

Physics, Calculus & Astrophysics Cheat Sheets
Harvard student Friedman provides everyone his personl cheat sheets in Calculus, Multivariable Calculus, Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Optics, Relativity, Astrophysics, and tons more. Everything can be easily viewed or saved as a jpg.

Physics & Calculus Cheat Sheets
Dana provides his personal cheat sheets in Calculus and Physics. These are zip files that you can easily download.

Physics Final (Cheat Sheet)
A student posted his personal cheat sheet for his High School physics exam. Its complete with problems from the test.

Trigonometry Cheat Sheet
All the Trig formulas you need to know.

Vocabulary Cheat Sheet
This pdf is designed for those preparing for the GMAT, but will also help for the GRE. 96 pages.

Can you recommend any others?

Organize Your Life with Google Calendar

If you haven’t started using Google calendar, we highly recommend it. Not only can you keep track of all your weekly activities online, but you can have the event reminders emailed directly to you. Pretty cool, huh? And you can also import concert calendars, sporting event calendars, and your friend’s calendars into yours so you don’t miss anything. This is definitely worth checking out.

Get Answers to Your Questions with These Websites

Here are a bunch of websites to help you find answers to all your questions:

AnswerBag
AnswerBag is similar to Yahoo Answers except the questions are always open for answering. They have a community of over 175,000 members posting and answering questions on a variety of subjects. You can ask any type of question from shopping advice to medical questions. It’s a shame this site isn’t as popular as Yahoo Answers. It definitely deserves to be.

Askville
Askville is Amazon.com’s version of Yahoo Answers. It’s a very simple website that acts much like all the others. You post a question and wait for an answer. Nothing really unique here.

BitWine
Bitwine is a pay-per-call service that allows you to use Skype to ring up an expert about whatever topic you’re interested in. It’s free to make the calls, and charges only begin after you and the expert agree on a price. The BitWine website makes it very easy to find bios and reviews about the various experts in their directory. Check out their tutoring section . . .

Ether
Ether.com is a place where experts are available 24-hours a day to answer whatever question you might have. Instead of posting your question in a forum, you call a free phone number (1-888-MY-ETHER) and you pay to talk to an expert (per minute). The only problem with this website is that it’s a bit difficult to find a list of people to ask questions to. The only way to find an expert is to sort through their directory of blogs. This is not a very user-friendly way to find help.

LiveQnA
This is Microsoft’s version of Yahoo Answers. MSN members quickly respond to your questions trying to provide you with the best answer possible. MSN did a nice job with the design of this website. Very easy-to-use.

Qunu
Qunu is a website that will connect you with an expert to answer your question through instant messaging. This is a great way to talk one-on-one with someone familiar with the topic you need help with. Not only are experts available 24/7, but they volunteer their time for free.

Oyogi
Oyogi has a very nice Web 2.0 look and feel. However, finding answers to common questions seems a bit difficult. Its also difficult to find answers to previously asked questions. Overall, this site is pretty weak.

Uclue.com
This site is managed by researchers who used to answer questions at Google Answers. You post a question with a price then wait to see if a researcher wants to answer. This might take some time to get the answer you want, but youre pretty much guaranteed a solid answer.

Yahoo Answers
Yahoo Answers is a website that allows Yahoo members to post and answer questions on practically any topic imaginable. The quality of answers you’ll get really depends on who’s interested in answering your question within a three day period. The best part about Yahoo answers is that it’s free and you can get answers from a variety of people within minutes. The only problem is that questions are closed after three days, which means better answers can never get added.

Yedda
Yedda is very similar to Yahoo Answers: where it’s free to post questions, and free to read answers from the members. Yedda has a pretty cool tagging system to find questions related to the topic youre interested in. Explore the topics.

Here are a bunch of others:

  • All Experts – Experts answer your questions on a variety of topics
  • Ask MetaFilter – not very user-friendly, but worth a shot
  • The Answerbank.co.uk – Q & A site based in the United Kingdom
  • Ask A Linguist – Working on a paper that requires help from a linguist? This is the website for you.
  • Ask Me Help Desk – This site operates much like a forum: people post questions and then wait for someone to answer their question. This isnt the best site to find previous answers from people.
  • Blurt It! – People post questions on a given topic and then wait for people to vote yes or no. Its intersting to see what people think, but not very helpful when you neeed a concrete answer on something.
  • I Recognise That – I Recognise That is a place where people can ask or answer questions about anything and everything. Someone that asks a question can also upload a photo to help illustrate that question.
  • JustAnswer – Ask experts a question and then set a price on how much the answer is worth to you.

Free Online File Conversion Websites

There are tons of free online file conversion websites out there, but some act a bit buggy at times. Check out these sites the next time you need to convert a file—and let us know how it works for you.

Here’s a list of some of our favorite online file conversion sites:

Zamzar.com
Zamzar.com allows you to convert almost any type of format—from documents and images to music and videos. This site is great if you want to download YouTube videos and convert them to mp4s so you can watch them on your iPod.

Vixy.net
Okay, this site is mainly for converting online videos so that you can play theem on your PC, iPod or PSP. It converts files pretty quickly. All you need to do is paste the URL of the YouTube video, and then select what type of file you want.

We’ll keep adding to this post as we receive more recommendations . . .

15 Online Notepads You Should Check Out

There must be over 100 different websites out there offering web-based notepads to students.

Some of these websites are pretty cool, but most of them need a major design overhaul.

Well, were going to review each one eventually, but well provide you links to each one so that you can check them out for yourself. Check them out:

Feel free to leave a comment below about which online notepad you enjoy using. And please let us know if theres a particular online notepad that you think should be reviewed here.

How to Choose a Professor

I cant believe its already time to register for Spring 2008 classes.

I dont know about you, but I usually have a three day window to lock in my classes. And that doesnt give me much time to research professors and find out what classes fit best into my schedule.

One thing Ive learned about being motivated and excited about a class is to find a good professor. It doesnt really matter if the class title seems really boring – its all about who is teaching it.

You see, a great professor can make even the most trivial subject seem interesting. They can make subjects come alive and cause you to think about the topic in a whole new way. And its those types of professors that you should gravitate toward. Those are the ones that will help you think better and thats what college is all about.

When I was an undergraduate student, I tended to choose instructors who I heard were difficult. Yep, the professors that students warned me about were the ones that I actually really liked. I think its because I loved the challenge of a difficult instructor. And I loved being mentally-pushed by an instructor who really loved teaching.

Now, let me tell you that I didnt just choose difficult professors willy-nilly. There are two types of difficult instructors: those who really love to teach; and those that dont teach in an organized fashion (and dont clearly articulate what they are looking for in assignments). You obviously want to choose the professors who love teaching and want to help you succeed.

Its so important to think more about who is teaching your classes, rather than what classes look the most interesting to you. It can make all the difference in the world in terms of your motivations, interest-level, and ultimate class grade.

So how do you find out who the good teacher are?

Well, aside from asking your classmates for recommendations, check out these online resources:

Where to Buy Cheap College Textbooks – 29 Nifty Websites

Classes are starting up for me this week, so that means I need to start ordering my textbooks.

Buying textbooks is always a pain because of the inflated costs involved.

Last semester, I had to buy a 150-page textbook written by my professor that cost $97 used. And Im sure that cost doesnt surprise you.

Textbook prices are out of control – especially after reading on Digg.com that textbook prices have risen almost 186% since 1986.

However, there are plenty of places online to buy textbooks on the cheap.

Here are 29 places to buy cheap textbooks:

Abebooks.com
Free shipping and a way to shop 13,500 online booksellers at once.

Addall.com
Addall.com compares textbook prices across the web. It provides you with all the fine details – like taxes and shipping involved for each store.

Affordabook.com
Find discounted textbooks and novels.

Alibris.com
Alibris will connect you to independent booksellers across the United States. You can find some great deals here.

Allbookstores.com
Compare prices across hundreds of bookstores affiliated with Allbookstores.com – which looks a bit like Amazon.com.

Amazon.com
Ive bought and sold my textbooks through Amazon.com many times. You can get connected to some independent sellers who offer great rates on used textbooks.

BetterWorld.com
Fund literacy, care for the environment, and save money on textbooks with BetterWorld.com. They even offer free shipping. Check out their prices.

Bigwords.com
This website is a book search engine that aggregates prices of textbooks across the web.

Bookbyte.com
Another website that allows you to buy and sell used textbooks.

BookCloseouts.com
Cross your fingers and pray that you can find a discounted textbook here. You can find some amazing deals.

BookFinder.com
Lifehacker.com recommends this book search engine to find cheap textbooks.

Books-A-Million.com
A site similar to half.com – which allows you to buy discounted textbooks and novels.

BuyUsedTextbooks.com
Buy and sell used textbooks

CampusBooks.com
CampusBooks.com claims to save students 58% on average on textbooks. Prices include tax, shipping and coupons.

CampusBooks4Less.com
Another bookstore search engine to find cheap books.

Campusi.com
This search engine compares textbook prices on over 200 online bookstores.

CollegeSwapShop.com
This nifty website allows you to buy, sell, or swap used textbooks.

CompareTextbooks.com
A cool spot to get price comparisons on your textbooks at different websites.

Chegg.com
Chegg.com allows students to rent college textbooks – instead of paying the high cost of buying them at your campus bookstore.

DirectTextBook.com
This websites compares textbook prices across a bunch of popular online stores like Ebay.com, Half.com, and Amazon.com.

Ebay.com
You might be surprised to find your textbooks on sale at Ebay.

eCampus.com
eCampus.com provides a place to buy and sell discounted textbooks. Youve probably seen their ads in your campus newspaper.

FreeloadPress.com
Ive never used this service, but they offer free textbooks in return for completed surveys. These textbooks have ads in them – which help pay the cost. Leave a comment if this service is legit or not.

Half.com
Ive found some great discounted textbooks here.

Halfvalue.com
This is a typical buy & sell used textbook website.

iChapters.com
Save the environment and your money by purchasing only the book chapters you need to read as an eBook.

Textbookrevolution.org
A website thats beginning to archive links to free textbooks across the web. A very cool project!

TextbookX.com
You may have heard of TextBookX.com because they have a handy Facebook app that allows students to buy and sell directly through your profile. Ive never used this service, but leave a comment if you have. Im curious if it worked for you.

ValoreBooks.com
ValoreBooks.com promises cheap textbooks for students.

And dont forget about these free online textbook resources:

Any other websites you recommend should get added to this list?