Important App You Need for Your PhD


  • Notability|  A fantastic mobile note-taking app, particularly optimized for tablets.
  • Evernote  |  A fantastic note-taking app that syncs across devices. You can tag and manage your notes. It even reads your handwriting!
  • iAnnotate  |  One of one of the best apps for annotating PDFs on a tablet. I use this frequently to read journal articles. It also syncs with Dropbox, Google Drive, and so forth.
  • Adobe Acrobat  |  Adobe has stepped up to gain some of the pill market gained by iAnnotate. The new annotation features on the free version are fairly spectacular.
  • ZotFile  |  The savior of my PhD. ZotFile is a Zotero plugin that extracts your annotations out of your marked up PDF documents. If you highlight text in iAnnotate or Adobe Acrobat, ZotFile extracts it and provides the notes to the bibliographic record in your reference manager, making them totally searchable. Never read an article twice.

Task/Project Management

  • Trello  |  A fantastic project management tool using the kanban methodology, usually implemented with the Getting Things Done productivity hack. It’s nice for collaboration and visualising your progress.
  • Slack  |  Slack is a messaging app for teams. Instead of utilizing e-mail, it keeps your entire project messages and notes in a single place.
  • Bullet Journal  |  Ok, this isn’t an app. It’s an old school pocket book. But it’s a terrific analog system of keeping track of your life, permitting for constant analysis of what you spend time on. Read Laura’s recent post on getting started. I’ve been doing it about two weeks now and am loving it.


  • Google Scholar  |  A fantastic search engine that searches universities, educational publishers, and different depositories for peer-reviewed analysis. A good way to search out new or unknown research.
  • Zotero  |  An incredible reference manager that permits you to save references from web sites with the clicking of a button. Great for organising research and searching through research.
  • Mendeley  |  Similar to Zotero, a terrific reference manager, significantly favoured within the sciences. Also, has a PDF reader and acts as a social community for collaboration and sharing.
  • Quiqqa  |  Another reference manager with many built-in instruments, such as cross-referencing articles cited within the footnotes of your different articles.

Travel Planning

  • Skyscanner  |  One of one of the best web sites/apps for discovering an affordable flight. You can even search costs inside an entire month or find the most cost effective month to travel.
  • Kayak  |  Another nice web site for finding air tickets. The finest feature: the power to make use of a flexible search, which searches the times near your chosen dates for one of the best value.
  • Hopper  |  A fantastic app that tells you in case your plane ticket is a good deal. It exhibits you the best days to fly to your vacation spot and the best day to purchase a ticket for that specified route.
  • RyanAir  |  In case you missed it, RyanAir have up to date their carry-on luggage policy; now you can bring two baggage in the cabin free of charge. Just won my vote!
  • Airbnb  |  If you’re going on a short research trip, but a bit longer than you’re willing to stay in a hostel, Airbnb is the best choice. You can get a pleasant place for a terrific value, meet some locals, and learn about the city.
  • GateGuru  |  Long layover in an airport? GateGuru will present you all of the restaurants and outlets within the terminal.
  • Google Trips | A fantastic new app from Google that can automatically collect your journey details out of your emails and allow you to download maps for offline use.

Data Backup

  • Dropbox  |  An independent cloud storage system that syncs throughout all of your devices.
  • Google Drive |  Google’s Dropbox alternative. You can immediately save your e-mail attachments to Google Drive.
  • iCloud  |  In addition to backing up your entire research, if you have an iPhone it will automatically back up all the pictures you’ve been taking within the library all day.

Social Media

  • Twitter  |  Needs no introduction, but I use Twitter for purely academic purposes. A good way to network and to learn about calls for papers and jobs.
  •  |  LinkedIn for academics. It’s nice for finding papers by a scholar you’re interested by. Read why it’s a good idea.
  • Buffer  |  A fantastic app for managing your social media accounts. You can schedule posts and use their plugin so as to add articles on the internet directly to your queue.
  • TweetDeck  |  Twitter’s user interface for its advanced users. Manage a number of Twitter feeds in one place, schedule tweets, follow hashtags, and watch it replace in real time.
  • Nuzzel  |  Link your Twitter account (or others) to Nuzzel and it’ll give you a daily digest of the preferred news tales from your Twitter feed.


  • Scrivener  |  A fantastic text editor that’s good for writing chapter drafts. It permits for shuffling around bits and pieces till your draft is in its final form. Then it may be simply exported into Microsoft Word.
  • Grammarly  |  Think Microsoft Word grammar check on steroids. Grammarly is a plugin that makes your writing simple to read and mistake free (and helped with this post!).

Stay Focused

  • Headspace  |  Need to clear your ideas? This nifty app helps you clear your head and concentrate on meditating.
  • 7-Minute Workout  |  A wholesome body results in a wholesome thoughts. If you don’t train frequently, do this app to help get your blood going and your mind focused.
  • Tomato Timer  |  The key to staying focused is having small, scheduled breaks. Use this timer, which implements the Pomodoro technique.
  • RescueTime  |  How much time do you spend checking your e-mail or Facebook? RescueTime retains monitor of the way you spend your time so that you could be extra productive.
  • AdBlock  |  The finest Google Chrome plugin. Get rid of these pesky, distracting adverts.
  • StayFocusd  |  Another Chrome plugin that limits the amount of time you’ll be able to spend on specified web sites. Only 30 minutes on Facebook today! Want this across devices? Try Freedom.
  • f.lux  |  It took a couple of days to get used to, however I like it! F.lux removes the blue gentle out of your laptop monitor when the solar units so the brilliant gentle received’t keep you up all night.
  • Spotify  |  Because I couldn’t get through a day if I didn’t have my music.

Staying Secure

  • LastPass  |  With all these apps and tools, you probably have way too many usernames and passwords. Never use simple passwords. Use a password manager to keep track of all of them.
  • 1Password  |  Another popular password manager. Never use the same password for a number of web sites.

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