- Doctoral Net: This site has loads of free help and even more behind a multilevel pay-wall.The tools on this site have helped me think through the dissertation as a whole, the sundry pieces, and how they should fit together. [added 9/11/2014]
- PhinisheD: This great site describes itself as "A discussion and support group for people trying to finish their dissertations or theses, and those who have been there." I participate in one of the weekly boards and the discussion and accountability has been invaluable. [added 4/3/2014]
- Books on Academic Thinking/Writing: This is a list I'm keeping on Pinterest. [added4/2/2014]
- Google Keep: My new favorite note taker/task list. It captures photos, voice, and text, and syncs them across platforms. Superb! [added 3/6/2014]
- Google Goggles: Super tool for converting a picture of text into actual text. It requires copy and paste, and a bit of text clean up, but is a super tool for Android smart phones.
- Zotero: This is a free bibliographic organizer that can capture info direct from the web, produce reports on selected resources, and create citations and bibliography in one of several styles (APA, Chicago, etc.). I used to use EndNote, but it was pricey. Zotero is free and does everything I've needed so far.
- Scrivener: Non-linear composition tool that I'm using for writing the text. Since I think in non-linear and often random bits, this has been great at allowing me to capture stuff as it comes and easily reorganize it later. It also produces output in several formats.
- Send-to-Kindle: This Firefox add-on has been great for capturing tangential, but interesting, and wholly unrelated (re: fun) reading off the web and sending it via wifi to my Kindle.
- Kindle text-to-voice: The lovely companion, in my mind, to send-to-Kindle, as this feature reads the articles and blog posts to my tired ears.
- Dropbox: This makes my stuff available wherever I can connect to the web, is easy to back up to external drive (the all important just-in-case feature), has a handy text file creator, and is just plain amazing.
- Adobe Acrobat: This program, combined with a Samsung tablet, is the reason I've not printed off one article or draft copy. I save them as pdfs, mark and edit on my tablet while I'm on the bus, and make the changes or input the notes when I get to the web.
- Diaro: I'm using this handy journaling app for my dissertation and personal journals. It has folders that you can select and then save contents as a pdf. It's been indispensable for capturing notions on the go and freewriting.
- Wunderlist: It's a to-do list that is available across platforms. Entries can be dated or left undated for processing later. Custom folders can be created to sort things the way you like. Great stuff.
- Moleskine: While I rarely use the plain books any longer, the calendars--a small 12-month one for personal use and a large 18-month one for work--have done much to keep me on track with projects. They are also beautiful, which I consider indispensable.
- XMind: Desktop mindmapping software that I use when the ideas are either wholly nonlinear or too fresh for prose. Unfortunately, there's no Android app, so...
SimpleMind: smartphone, tablet, and cloud app that reads XMind files, is easy to use, and nicely flexible.I've stopped using SimpleMind because the transition to XMind became clunky. Others may still find it useful.
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(C) Laura Springer
Musings of a peripatetic wannabe-sage by Laura Springer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License..