Sunday, September 1, 2013

Apps for Grad and other Adult Students

The following are free apps that help me be more productive in my research, writing, and work with graduate students. This is an updated list from last year.

Citation and source management:

Zotero - download citation information directly from web-based sources (enter others manually), build your citation database, Word plug-in allows you to insert formatted citations and generate reference list with ease. Tag entries for quick searches within your library. Free.

Document sharing:

Dropbox - Store your documents in the cloud so you can access them from any computer. Also useful for sharing big files with classmates or teachers. Free.

YouSendIt - Another app that is useful for sending files that are too big for email. Free version available.


Easelly - This was my favorite app discovery last year. I've been using this app to create infographics as handouts for presentations. I also used it to create the APA citation decision tree that I posted on this blog a few weeks ago. The app is easy to use - you can work from templates or start with a blank canvas. The only limitation I have found is that their icon library is limited - I've worked around this by uploading some icons from other sources. Free.

Lucidchart - I have used it to make a number of diagrams for presentations and I find it to be an incredibly capable tool. Click here to apply for free education version (it says K-12, but they also give education accounts to those in higher education).


Eyejot - I love this tool! Send video messages -- more personal and energetic than email. Free version allows messages of up to one minute.

Doodle - Easy scheduling tool, great for setting up meetings for group projects. Free.

Note taking:

Evernote - A cloud-based note taking tool -- means you can access notes from any of your devices. Also allows you to tag notes - easier to find what you are looking for later. Free.

Social bookmarking:

Diigo - Tag and store your bookmarks so you can find important sites easily. Cloud-based so you can access them from any device. Group function allows you to share -- great for group projects. Also includes highlighting and commenting tools. Free.

Images (for presentation slides, etc):

Stock.xchng - extensive library of free images.

The Noun Project - web-based library of universal symbols. All are free for non-commercial use.

And two not-free (in fact shockingly expensive) apps that help me be more productive:

Things - task management for mac users. This is an elegantly simple yet sophisticated task management app. Quickly enter to-do items with due dates, tags, and notes. Also schedule recurring to-do items and group items under projects. Approximate prices -- Macbook version: $49. iPad version: $19. iPhone version: $9.99. Hard to believe it's worth it, but it has been worth it for me. I have Things on my macbook and phone and it helps me stay on top of all I need to do and also helps me to feel done at the end of a day when I've completed all that I intended to do.

One password - password manager. Easy to use. Saves me time because I don't have to scramble to figure out forgotten passwords. Mac version: $49. iPad and iPhone versions also available.

Please note, I am not affiliated with the makers or distributers of any of the above-mentioned apps.

What other apps do you use for school?

All the best,

Photo by HLS

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