My grad student software toolbox
On any given project, I use a LOT of programs! For example:
- Word – To summarize papers
- Mendeley – My reference data base
- Scrivener – To keep track of memos, and to upload my word summaries
- Evernote – To make all my PDFs, post-its, whiteboard notes, and handwritten notes searchable
- Topnote (on the iPad) – For hand-drawn diagramming and brainstorming
- Inspiration – for digital brainstorming
- Xmind – for mind and project mapping
- Asana – To keep track of all my tasks and to do lists
- Google Calendar – To track all my meetings and appointments
- Apple Reminder – For things like, “Water the plants on Wednesday”
- NVivo – for qualitative coding
- Excel – to track codes
- Word – to generate the codebook, process memos, and any stray thoughts
- Scrivener – for writing papers and keeping track of references
- Mendeley – again for my references
- Word – to finally polish up my document and send it out.
- Google Docs – to collaborate with others
- Affinity Photo – for graphics and diagrams
- PowerPoint – for slides and to make posters
- Camtasia – for videos
I’ve learned how to use these programs smoothly to help with my workflow — similar to tools in a toolbox. Some of these programs overlap functions, but I’ve never been able to find just one program that does it all efficiently. Some programs do things a lot better than others. For example, for collaborations on writing projects, I use Google Docs because it’s the least buggy — even though both Word, Evernote, and Scrivener have these functions, as well). It makes me wonder, though, whether other grad students also use multiple programs to get the work done, as well.
What are the programs that you use, and what’s your workflow like?