Tuesday, 24 July 2012

My Efficient Diary v Electronic Lab Notebook

Friends, my holidays are approaching soon and I must prepare this blog for another break. From the 1st of August to the 21st of August The Toxicologist Today will be absent for renewing energies. However, before August comes I will write like crazy to leave you with all the promised posts. So get ready for some roller-coaster reading in the coming hours. The first of a series of 5 posts covers a subject that gave me a lot of pleasure to scrutinise around: software and databases available in the web to fulfill all the scientific needs of students and professionals. Last one helped you with your diet, this one intends to help you with your days. How come? Well, by helping organising the different things you have to do in the lab. I know you have Outlook and two thousand gadgets on your IPhone. You know what? I don't have an IPhone and I am not that keen on Apps, so if you are just like me carrying your laptop everywhere you go let me tell you about a tool that you can use for your day-to-day scheduling. 

I am talking about "My Efficient Diary"(MED), a tool so simple and universal that you can use it to record your ideas concerning that reagent you still need to buy, or just write about how amazing it would be to ride a unicorn in a hot Summer afternoon. So let me tell you 6 things about this software:

1st - If the supposedly "Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN)" was available without that crazy fuss of having to ask for licenses and the like it would be a much better tool for a lab worker to program his day. The problem is that ELN is great but simply does not work when it comes to getting the license in an easy fashion. ELN has everything you could ask for, from the day-to-day organising to the thorough lab techniques and genetic/biochemical tools, but until you get a license you can give birth to little cute dinossaurs. This makes MED a much more favorable tool.

2nd) MED can be used to just write pages and pages of important information and to record simple sighs, thoughts or daily memorabilia.  

3rd) MED is like having an electronic journal based on the settings of a word (*.doc) file extension. You can group your different entries with different labels and edit it them like you'd do in a word document.

4th) What I really love about this software is its simplicity. Perfect for people who cannot waste time with overcomplicated functions that is basically the rule of thumb for every new digital thing these days. There is a bunch load of dictionaries so you can use it in your own language to correct mistakes. 

5th) You can attach other files to your own entries and divide them per groups. So in case you belong to the Pseudomonas aeruginosa group, and the Synthetic Biology Group and the Hardcore Scientists Group you will have an efficient way of sharing your files and info.

6th) Efficient Simplicity is the way I chose to categorise this software, but you'll be better if I give you the words of those who are professional assessors of software:

Enjoy it and let me know how it works for you!

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