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Organization and Productivity

10 Tips For Organizing Your Lab Book

It’s easy to let organizing your lab book slide down your list of priorities. Read our guide to easy ways to keep your lab book up to date and organized.

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The Happy Scientist presents The Art of Going Slow

The Happy Scientist presents The Art of Going Slow Nick Oswald Kenneth Vogt While Bitesize Bio has always been your favorite mentor in the lab, and we have also helped you with soft skills to enhance your career, we realized something was missing.  That’s why we are now sponsoring a webinar series called The Happy…

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Scientists Working from Home – Practicalities and Wellbeing

Scientists Working from Home – Practicalities and Wellbeing Nick Oswald Kenneth Vogt Laura Grassie In this webinar you will learn: Further perspectives and strategies for effective home working, from Bitesize Bio staff who have being doing so for years Ideas on maintaining productivity and focus Advice on looking after your mental and physical wellbeing during…

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The Art of Working from Home, for Scientists

The Art of Working from Home, for Scientists Nick Oswald Kenneth Vogt Laura Grassie The current restrictions that are in place due to COVID-19 mean that many scientific researchers will be working from home for some time.  Maintaining focus, morale and productivity without a social workplace structure is easier said than done. Working from home…

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How to Share Your Lab Protocols and Why It Benefits You

Reproducibility is a cornerstone of scientific research and your results need to be reproducible not only by yourself but also by others, both in and outside of your laboratory.  This reproducibility is key for validation of your results as well as to further expand on the knowledge gained during the experiment. In order to accurately…

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Simple Tips for a Clean(-ish) Lab Drawer

Picture it: 6:00 pm on a Friday night. You have one or more experiments running. Maybe you’re doing a western blot, or following a staining protocol for an immunohistochemistry experiment, or just labeling tubes. But rather than working on active experiments, you’re helplessly searching through the lab drawer for that one pair of forceps, that…

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Having a Family in Grad School

The question that many graduate students have is “can I have it all?” A successful, productive PhD and marriage? And kids too? There is no doubt that having a family in grad school takes away your focus for a while especially around the time your baby is born, but it can also increase your productivity.…

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How to Cope With Overwhelm in the Lab: Taming Your Inbox

Look around you in your lab, your institution, and even in the world in general and you’ll see how much we all gravitate towards stress and overwhelm. Stress is just the workplace norm. Overwhelm means you are working “hard enough”. Being so occupied that you are frantically buzzing around from one task to another means…

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Need a Few More Hours in the Day? Here Are Some Timesaving Tips

Are you constantly looking for ways to squeeze more lab hours out of the day? Here are some timesaving tips that can help. Figure out Where Your Time Goes Not sure where you are losing those valuable hours? Use a website like Toggl to help you keep track of your time. This will make it…

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Don’t Be Discouraged in a Lab with Minimal Resources

My first lab experience was in a lab on a really strict budget: no kits, no technicians, no media kitchen, or glassware washing service. We really had only minimal resources.  I was close to paranoid about not wasting one tip or glove. Later, when I started in other labs, I spent my first days going…

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Prioritize Your Way to Success: a 4-Step Guide

So you just got out of your adviser’s office, feeling inspired, you get to your desk and look at the 27 new things added to your never-ending to-do list. You may feel overwhelmed, like you will never get all of this done; and that is true, you never will. The question is how do you…

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Why You Should Dedicate Time to Write Detailed Protocols

During my first year as a graduate student, one of the earliest pieces of advice that I received from a senior student in the lab was to keep detailed protocols. In fact, she had a folder of her own protocols, all of them extremely detailed and riddled with notes. When she showed me how to…

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Five Tips to Increase Your Lab Efficiency

Starting a PhD program is both an exciting time as well and a challenging one… One of the main things that keeps most PhD students up nights, is rethinking their steps in the lab during the day.  Did I do that one thing I may not have? Is that one reagent back in the fridge?…

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How to Effectively Organize a Research Lab

An academic lab is a unique working environment. Lab members are expected to take responsibility for their own research projects and perform the work quickly and efficiently. However, unlike an industrial or corporate setting, there are often no clearly defined management structures. This means that when it comes to communal equipment, reagents and resources, individual…

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Smooth Science: Eight Helpful Tidbits for Making Science a Cakewalk

Whether you’re an entry tech, an optimistic grad student, or a seasoned post-doc, we’ve all managed to get into a rut with lab etiquette and how we “do” science. With spring-cleaning on everyone’s minds, here are a few reminders that may help you clean out the proverbial cobwebs and start afresh.  1. Label EVERYTHING Several…

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Top Tips to Keeping Your Logbook in Shipshape

Unless you are one of those rare breeds that do organization naturally, setting a system in place to archive your experiments takes practice and perseverance. It’s hard to imagine when you are doing an experiment for the 100th time that you will ever forget how to do it; but a year down the line, when…

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How to Increase Your Productivity in the Lab

Lab work, as we are all aware, comes with many pressures: one of which is productivity. You want to generate as much quality data as possible to meet publication deadlines or perhaps the elusive thesis. Sometimes it may feel like hours spent in the lab don’t match the amount of data produced: for some this…

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Expert Tips on Managing Your Data

After ten years of postdoctoral research there is one important piece of advice I would give to anyone embarking on a research career: Spend as much time managing your data as you do generating it Take time at the beginning of each project to organize how you will record what you are doing day-to-day. The…

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Science as Sport? Improve Your Work by Changing Your Perspective

“You think you know, but you don’t know and you never will, okay?” was the response an irate Jim Mora, head coach of the New Orleans Saints, gave to an unwitting journalist questioning his management – his point being that unless you’ve actually been in a professional sports team, you will never know what it’s…

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Seven Tips for Working From Home Successfully

You are a scientist. You run experiments in the lab, but also spend a lot of time analyzing data, writing, doing literature searches, writing, reading and did I say writing? The good news: You can do some of your work from home. The bad news: You can do some of your work from home. Working…

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Surviving Lab Life After Having Kids

  Having kids changes your life.  I should know, I have 5 little F1’s running around. Your life is thrown into chaos the minute you hear that first cry.  And it isn’t only your personal life that changes.  Eventually you have to figure out how to fold your new parenting responsibilities into your lab life.…

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4 Ways You Can Improve Your Research Reproducibility

You will learn: 4 highly effective ways to improve your lab’s research reproducibility by using Labguru, including: Protocol versioning. Reagent descriptions. Specimen tracking. Experiment design. Summary: Recent studies indicate that at least 70% of certain types of research (particularly around life sciences) is not reproducible. Funders, reviewers, and researchers are increasingly demanding improved processes to…

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Common New Year’s Resolutions for Scientists (and how to keep them) 

A new year means new resolutions and a chance to improve ourselves. All too often, however, these changes last only a few weeks before we slip back into old ways. Why not make 2015 different and make a change that sticks? These changes don’t have to be huge, and often it’s the small changes that…

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20 Ways to Increase your Productivity

No matter how efficient you are, it’s always possible to improve your productivity and improving your productivity means that you get more of the rewards you are trying to obtain: results, publications… or dare I say it, money. Here are 20 ways to improve your productivity. Some are focussed toward improving the productivity of bench…

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Making The Most Out Of Your Commute To The Lab

Power nap anyone? Depending on how long your commute is, and what type of transport you use, you could make your commute useful. If you are taking public transport, you can use that time to answer those emails you don’t have time to get to at the office/lab, or to catch up on reading some…

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Spring Cleaning in the Lab – How not to Have Skeletons in your Lab Closet

Most of us hate cleaning and are often hard pressed to find time to clean our homes, never mind our laboratory space. However, an annual spring clean and maintenance of a regular cleaning rota/regime will contribute to an efficient, organized and harmonious lab environment. This is increasingly important in communal lab spaces where multiple staff…

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How to Stay Organized in the Lab

Over the years, I have noticed that laboratory environments are just as fragile and sensitive as the experiments performed within. If permitted, the lab can deteriorate into a chaotic mess within only a few days. That is why it is crucial to establish an organizational system in the lab. Here are a few of my…

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6 Ways to Maximize the Lifetime of Your Reagents

Reagents are expensive and are a significant cost to your lab. You know what to do to keep others from stealing your reagents. But contamination, improper storage and “lost” batches will all eat into your stock of reagents, bump up your consumables costs and waste your precious time. Unless you take steps to prevent them, that…

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The A-Z List of Things that go “Missing” in the Lab

Here is a fun list of things that you are most likely to lose to light-fingered colleagues or nocturnal ghosts of academia. The emphasis here is on fun, so as disclaimers often go, if your experience proved somewhat different, this list “does not represent the actions of every individual or ghost who you might encounter…

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Sharing and Transferring Gigabytes of Data

Great Scott! 1.21 gigabytes of data!!! The conundrum is not ‘Where can I store massive amounts of information’, but ‘How can I quickly share massive amounts of information all at once?!’ I’m certain this is a topic we have all wrestled with before, so here are 5 quick ways to send research data out to…

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Tips for Uncluttering your Email Box

In the hectic world we live in you may not be away from your computer for more than an hour and the emails pile up. Setting aside a couple of time blocks each day to spend answering emails and following some of the tips below will help keep on top of things. 1)      Set up…

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Best Practice for Cataloging Your Samples

The correct documentation and storage of your laboratory samples may be a tedious process, but it will make your life a lot easier in the long run. The last thing any scientist wants when trying to complete a key last experiment for a publication is not being able to find or identify a critical sample.…

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10 Commonly Broken Good Laboratory Practices

What comes to mind when you think of good laboratory practices? To many, good laboratory practices describes the best conduct while working at the bench. The laboratory is a complex environment and understanding how small, seemingly innocuous, actions can have such a huge impact on the outcome of an experiment will help you to ensure…

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