BOOX Story: How Epidemiologist Javier Del Águila Perfects His Workflow With BOOX

3 mins read

BOOX has helped numerous scientists and researchers to improve their efficiency and productivity, among whom is Javier Del Águila, a Spanish medical epidemiologist working on research and public health as Visiting Scientist at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO).

A Scientist's Dream Come True

"I'm a very geeky guy, always looking for better ways of making science and productivity better, improving my workflow and capacity," Javier says about himself.

"I have always wanted to get into med school since I was a little child," Javier replies without hesitation when we ask him about how he fell in love with science, "My goal was to be a scientist, and at that time, medicine seemed like the logical choice since I wanted to help as many people as possible."

When Javier nearly finished med school, he learned about public health and got obsessed with its potential and philosophy of caring about the whole population at the same time, of researching what is making them ill, and how to tackle it from many different perspectives. "This is why I pursued a Master's in Public Health and then a Ph.D., where I am right now."

Epidemiologist Javier Del Águila awarded

Credit: Javier's LinkedIn (@Javier Del Águila Mejía)

"Yesterday I had the immense honor of receiving the 'Royal Academy of Medicine of Salamanca' Award for the best scientific work published in 2022. On top of that, I also received the appointment as Corresponding Academician from this illustrious house," Javier shared his honorable moment on social media recently, "This award also belongs to the Observatory of Public Health of Cantabria, where I made a rotation under the tutelage of its previous director Adrian Hugo Aginagalde Llorente and we published the work [...] which became one of the first global evidence on the transmission capacity of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, thanks to the intense work of epidemiological surveillance and study of contacts that took place in Cantabria."

The Pursuit of Productivity

"I think any researcher is somehow obsessed with improving their way of working, especially when it comes to dealing with the vast amount of information we need for each project alone." For the last few years, Javier developed a liking for testing productivity methods and finding out tools to assist them. Note-taking is the most important function he is concerned about, as he needs to keep track of everything. "This is where I found out about E Ink devices to write on, a kind of a small revolution that nobody seemed to notice."

"Your day-to-day ereaders could barely handle a PDF for regular books, not to mention scientific papers with weird formats. It was simply unthinkable, but these E Ink tablets rang a bell in me and I fell in love immediately with the idea: my papers, my documents, my handwritten notes, all in the same eye-friendly device." After doing some research and comparisons, Javier considered BOOX as one of the most advanced companies on this unique device, with some other options falling behind in terms of capacities and quality.

"It wasn't really difficult to choose among the few other products and, up to today, I am sure it has been one of my best ideas," he says proudly. When Javier first received his Note Air2 Plus, he was overwhelmed by the number of features, personalization options, reading modes, settings, and tools at his disposal. It has now become his perfect companion for both working and relaxing, ranging from setting agendas on the calendar and his personal Zettelkasten (card files) to reading books, manga, and news.

"By the way, I have never ever read so many manga as I do now," he laughs. 

holding BOOX Note Air2 PlusCredit: Javier Del Águila

Javier is very generous to introduce his main workflow including reading academic journals and note-taking.

Workflow: Academic Reading

"All my papers are stored in Zotero reference manager. It's free. It's open source. It has a thriving community." He then uses SyncTrayzor (Syncthing) for his files to stay synced constantly as well as ZotFile, a Zotero extension that allows syncing his Zotero PDFs with any Android device via a designated folder. "The wonder here is that ZotFile sends and also retrieves back the PDF once you are done with it, thus keeping your notes clear and saving your annotations, highlights, and anything you wrote on your PDF."

Javier continues to demonstrate how he actually does his work. "BOOX NeoReader is your best friend thanks to its infinite ways of reading and annotating your PDFs. Since I am mostly reading scientific articles, Article Mode is the way. This mode is just great to split the paper into 4 sections in the order you normally read your average paper, and zoom it with perfect clarity so you can comfortably read, annotate and highlight at once while moving forward or backward."

Javier suggests that there are a bunch of possibilities in the Format section if someone just needs to skim the text. He especially likes the landscape continuous view and the landscape double-page view, but he also encourages other users to test and find out the perfect option which suits their specific needs.

BOOX Note Air2 Plus landscape viewCredit: Javier Del Águila

Workflow: Note-Taking

"The Notes app is, together with the NeoReader, the core of all the Note system." Javier tells us that he finds no difference between the device and the traditional notepads in terms of calligraphy, comfort, and exporting. "The pencil even has the same paper-writing feeling with that ASMR sound of the tip of the pen surfing the surface."

"Now we might be more interested in reading and taking notes at the same time, to better capture our ideas and thoughts." He then recommends the split screen mode as his powerful tool. "You can go into split screen mode directly from the NeoReader app and choose to show the notepad either vertically or horizontally."

Javier indicates that he does not mind showing us some actual notes from his research.

BOOX Note Air2 Plus split screen note takingCredit: Javier Del Águila

Overall Impressions

"These months of using the BOOX Note Air2 Plus have definitely changed and improved the way I worked." Javier adds that he generally loves its work-related aspect and hopes others enjoy this little guy as much as he is doing.

"At the end of the day, I'm way less tired after so many screen hours thanks to the E Ink display, and my workflow has become more refined and smoother," he summarizes the most significant advantages of using his favorite gadget, "I can read more, get less tired, and take better notes that later turn into knowledge. My notes are all together stored and come with me everywhere during my trips."

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