The internet is an amazing place. For scientists in particular, there is no shortage of online tools that make our lives and work more convenient. In my daily work flow, I use Google Reader to browse the literature, Google Scholar and SciFinder to search for specific papers, and Google Calendar to sign out instrument time (I swear this is not a paid advertisement for Google).

If you’re wondering how to increase your research efficiency (and your internet dependency) even further, you’ve come to the right place. I’m excited to share with you a few new tools that I recently stumbled across. Disclaimer: these are all new finds for me, so I haven’t actually started using them. If you have experience with them, good or bad, leave a comment and tell us what you think!

1. Quartzy
Of all these tools, Quartzy is the one that has the most potential to change the way science is done; it also seems to require the greatest time investment to get started. Once it’s up and running, I expect it will streamline a lot of everyday lab activities. Each lab member can sign on and search the group inventory, place orders, look up common protocols, and more. The interface is user friendly and I think this service will only get better with time. So ask your lab manager (or a particularly ambitious grad student) to sign up!