Resources | Hendrik Erz

This page lists a few resources that might be useful to you. These include articles I've written, stuff I've found online, and stuff I've made. Feel free to scroll through the list in case you can need something!

Table of Contents

  1. How I Work
  2. Academic Website
  3. Web-Tools
  4. Data, Maps & Information
  5. Lists
  6. Miscellaneous

How I Work

The "How I work" series contains articles on my personal workflow; all tools I use, how I use them, and recommendations on how you might also be able to use these productively.

How I work, Part I: My Desk
The previous weeks were filled with littered thoughts about Facebook, Python, Sociology, and a lot of other stuff. Today, I want to begin a short series exploring how I work. The reasons for this are threefold. First and foremost, I have been asked a lot of times to explicate my workflow a little bit better. Many people are interested in how I work. Second, it seems to be a trend on Twitter for quite some time now, and people are engaging in serious debates on different workflows. And third, I currently have a lot of work going on behind the scenes with my own research and making Zettlr 2.0 a reality, so this series gives me the chance to plan a few articles ahead of time to give myself some space to finish more important work. So be prepared!
How I work, Part II: Browsing the Web
In the second part of my series on how I work, I begin pretty much basic: with my web browser. Although the browser wars are more or less over, there are still some choices involved. For browsing the web, I exclusively use Google Chrome, and I recommend everyone to also use it. In this post, I describe why.
How I work, Part III: Data Science and Programming
Some of you might’ve expected that the second-most used app on my computer is Zettlr. However, two reasons prevent me from introducing it just now: For one, I’m still in the middle of having ripped it apart, so that I don’t feel I can write about it, since many features are currently creeping into the app. But secondly, Zettlr isn’t actually the most-used app right now. Since I’m coming freshly from a course on Natural Language Processing (NLP), the most used app right now is my code editor. Enter Visual Studio Code.
How I work, Part IV: Reference Management & Reading Literature
Today’s article of my series on how I work deals with my reference management. As you can see, we’re closing in on the “big” app Zettlr, which is my central hub for writing. However, even before I write any sentence, it’s important to read something and sort that into a decent reference manager. Mine is Zotero, and in this article I want to shed light upon why it’s almost without any alternative, and how I use it to read many papers in a short amount of time – and also, why I neglect many features of Zotero.
How I work, Part V: Zettlr and Academic Markdown
Some of you who are following me mainly via the project’s official Twitter account might have waited for this piece on Zettlr. But all of you who don’t know me will also find today’s part of my How I work-series interesting: Because it’s all about leaving your comfort zone of Word and entering a world that is still in flux, but nevertheless more powerful than anything before it. So read on to see why I think Markdown, and not Word Processors, will mark the future of academic writing!
How I work, Part VI: Terminals and DIY Automation
With part 6 of the series on How I Work, we’re entering smaller and smaller apps. Although the big hubs of my digital work environment are Zotero, Zettlr, and VS Code, these small apps all play a vital role in easing my workload to a high degree. Efficient helper apps can never be underestimated, so I’ll gradually introduce these in the next parts of this series! My terminal makes the start since it’s a multi-purpose app that can do quite a lot of heavy lifting for me. Even if you don’t do any programming yourself, you can profit from using a terminal. So continue reading why you should start using a terminal!
How I work, Part VII: E-Mails
Today is finally the day I continue my series on "How I work." After a few digressions, I focus on our habit of mailing, not so much because I want to advocate for a specific program, but rather because I would like to advocate against a practice I see well too often. The TL;DR this week is short: Don't use webmailers; except if you have to.
How I work, Part VIII: Calendar, Task Scheduling and Organisation
At least since Marie Kondo became famous, everything sparks joy – but only, if you do it right. Organising anything is hard, and especially if you have a part-time OCD and can’t stand things littering around, it becomes even more important to get the right tools for the job. In this article, I want to dump unto you my collected knowledge of how to organise the universe!
How I Work, Part IX: RSS Readers
This part of my How I Work series focuses on a somewhat archaic technology that has lost some of its relevancy in recent years. However, this technology — RSS, or Really Simple Syndication — has a lot to offer in terms of delivering relevant content in an age where your Twitter feed mostly consists of some random people disseminating funny, but ultimately noninformative, news. In this article I walk you through what RSS is, where it came from, and what it has to offer in 2022 where social networks are ubiquitous.

Academic Website

This article series explains everything you need to know to build a complete personal website all by yourself.

Academic Website VII: Dirty Tricks
Over the past weeks, I have shared many tips on how to set up your own, personal website. Today I want to finish up the series (for now) with a small and incomplete collection of "dirty tricks" that I find very appealing in the context of personal websites; from automating away chores to giving a better user interaction.
Academic Website VI: Keeping Your Website Up To Date, and Migrating
In this second-to-last article of the Academic Website series, I go over the maintenance routines that you'll need to keep tabs on when you create a personal academic website. It is important to ensure your website remains secure. Additionally, I share what you need to do if you want to switch out the website.
Academic Website V: Telling Machines Who You Are
In today's article, I want to look closer at the SEO-aspect of a website, Search Engine Optimization. Here I describe how you can make yourself and your publications machine-readable, and enrich your website with metadata so that search engines and other applications can make more use of your website.
Academic Website IV: Setting everything up
After three preparatory articles, it is finally time for the grand climax: A long article that describes, step by step, what you'll need to do to actually create a website. It will be the longest article of the series, but contain everything you need to know.
Academic Website III: Anatomy of a Successful Website
In the last two articles I have introduced reasons for why a personal website may be a great idea, and how you can get your very own domain. Now it is time to think about the actual website itself. There are quite some preconsiderations that will influence what your website will look like. Today, we'll go scouting the web to get some inspiration!
Academic Website II: Choosing a Custom Domain
In the second installment of my academic website article series, I walk you through the intricacies of a custom domain. It is a very powerful tool that you can use to create a brand for yourself, but there are a few pitfalls associated with this. After reading this article, you'll be able to register your very own domain name.
Academic Website I: Why a Personal Website is a Great Idea
Creating a personalized website to present yourself to the world is becoming more and more popular. Many colleagues and acquaintances have asked me over the past two years to explain how I created this website here. Today is finally the day I begin a long series of articles that will tell you everything you need to know to build your very own, personal, academic website.


This list includes web-tools that you might find useful for small tasks which do not merit installing a full-fledged app on your computer.

A small charting library that allows you to chart a few numbers on the fly.
iCal Event Maker
In case you need to pass on time, date, location, and further info of one or more events to people as a file
Have some code to share but can't rely on syntax highlighting? Make an image out of it!
In case you don't have a pomodoro counter at hand
Contrast Ratio
This tool allows you to determine the contrast ratio between two colours. This is useful to make sure that, e.g., a background and a foreground colour, are easily readable even for visually impaired people.
Graphic Calculator
A pretty neat tool allowing to plot a range of functions, vectors, and other stuff to get a feel for how certain functions behave.

Data, Maps & Information

I like data. Hopefully, you too. Here I list awesome projects that give you access to massive maps packed with information, data portals, and other information that will most certainly come in handy. This is basically the sources to all the knowledge I spit out at the dinner table without being asked.

Submarine Cable Map
Ever interested in knowing where your internet comes from? This map lists all undersea cables connecting the global web.
Flightradar 24
Yes, it lists (almost) all airplanes around the globe. Yes, this also includes many military planes and drones.
Marine Traffic
Does what it tell you on the can: The flight radar of international goods traffic.
List of Public APIs
Everyone needs data, but data is pretty much closed-source. This website changes this: Public APIs you can query for anything!
Stanford Encyclopedia
Wikipedia, but citable.
Harvard ATLAS
Everything you ever wanted to know about the import/export ratios between any state of the world.


Lists! What is there to explain? Lists are good, lists are life. And this is a list of lists! Top that!

Awesome Scientific Writing
A list containing resources on scientific writing
Awesome Digital History
A lot of links to data, archives, and other resources useful for doing digital historical work.
A list of all awesome lists containing lists of awesome things.


Miscellaneous things that might or might not be useful for you.

MCMC Visualizations
The more abstract a concept is, the more vital a proper visualization of it becomes. Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) processes always sound as if there's quite a lot to them, but effectively they just imply that one draws repeatedly from a distribution, using the last result as a prior for the next one. This visualization of various MCMC algorithms gives a proper overview over how they work. I recommend specifically the preset utilizing a Gibbs Sampler with a multinomial target distribution, since that's probably the most common application, and because this also illuminates what "burn in iterations" actually mean.
tts command
If you're using macOS, you might find this useful: A very small utility function that allows you to quickly convert a plain text file into a spoken MP3 file. I used this during Corona when I wanted to read something, but also wanted to go out for a walk. This way I could quickly transform some website or some other text into an audio file I could listen to while being outside.