How I work

updated 11/16/19


Sources of citations and references-
Reference management programs-
  • Bookends as a front-end tool for standing searches, sorting, categorizing, tagging, annotating PDFs, sharing with colleagues 
  • EndNote to export for publishing
  • Mendeley for browsing for new material and catching citations from web browser
Color scheme for article highlighting/annotation-
  • Red – Summary
  • Orange – Important Methodological or Theoretical Information
  • Yellow – Key Information (historical/factual/topical)
  • Green – References (to other background info, papers, specific citations to follow up on)
  • Cyan – Hypotheses and interpretations
  • Magenta – Intertexts, connections to other texts or own projects/ideas, questions for further research

Information Management

  • For important quotes/facts, I use spaced repetition by adding them to Mnemosyne
  • Web clippings/lists in Evernote. I live by Evernote.
  • Project working files in Bear
  • Databases in DevonThink
  • OmniPlan for Gantt charts and project schedule management
  • OmniGraffle for diagrams, mind maps, organizational charts, and other graphic tools
  • For daily to-do lists: Things3 (syncs with all iOS devices)
  • General time management: Pomodoro technique
  • Presentation links, further readings, articles etc – Padlet
  • Current events/news – daily Skimm email


  • state audience at the top of each writing assignment 
  • For drafting long pieces (i.e. book chapters), I use Ulysses as a markdown-style text editor.
  • For shorter blog-style posts, I prefer Byword. (I’ve experimented with Scrivener, but it has too many features and I find it distracting. Update April 2019 – Scrivener 3 looks amazing.)
  • Mailchimp for monthly newsletter
  • Daily 30-minute freewriting
  • For content drafting-
    • spellcheck
    • check readability level (eg. Flesch-Kincaid)
    • arrange for notifications of future results (when relevant, eg Lion’s Mane research):
      1. Google Alerts
      2. Google Scholar Alerts
      3. PubMed alerts
    • editing scheme
      • once for yourself
      • once for your supporters
      • another pass to consider the haters (can your words be used against you?)
    • publicize
      • Blog subscribers (automatic)
      • Facebook
      • Twitter


  • Favorite time to read: 6:30-7a
  • 40-50 book pages daily
  • 3-4 scientific articles weekly
  • Reading workflow
    • copious use of writing and underlining
    • personalized TOC and index
    • pull quotes into Evernote upon completion
      • using Kindle highlights and export to Evernote via
    • mind map with OmniGraffle or MarginNote
  • reading list managed on Goodreads


Body & Mind


  • Yoga (5 sun salutations and asanas)
  • Walking (20 mins daily)
  • 7-minute or HIIT workout when time is short (Interval timer/Tabata app: Seconds)
  • Twice weekly
    • Kettlebell/crossfit exercises
    • Climbing gym
  • Weekly
    • trail running or conditioning hike

Cognitive exercises