Right now, if you were to sneak into my computer (and I hope that you are polite enough not to do that), these are my favorite research tools that you will see I have been using:


I use it for finding articles and sucking them down onto my computer. If you haven’t tried it yet you really should. It’s easy to use. I search for an article. When I find an article I like I can automatically download it to my computer. Then I can click on any reference in the article and automatically download that article. I can also see all the articles that link to the article and download those!

Read cube makes the discovery phase of research very pleasant. Then I can highlight and use hashtags to code up the articles so that I can use them later. There are other ways to do this, but ReadCube does it so nicely!

Price: mostly free, but you can pay for extra features.

Click here to get the first 30 days of the extra features for free.


When I was writing my masters thesis I needed a word processor that wouldn’t fall over. Word started to get very grumpy. I also wanted to be able to write in bits and pieces and then put it all together at the end.

Scrivener became my favorite writing tool. I especially liked that I could set writing targets and Scrivener would shout hooray! when I hit the target each day. That was a little prize that I could enjoy to help me not to procrastinate.

Price: $45USD but you can trial it for 30 days, that’s 30 non-consecutive days, so it only counts days when you are using it. After two days I was sold.



I suspect that if I was cooler I would be using R.

It seems reasonable to choose stats software that people around you are using, such as my supervisor. I imagine it is very expensive, uni pays for it where I am. More important than the software (in my opinion) is the instructions. My two favorite books are:

The SPSS Survival Manual by Pallant

Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics by Field


What tools are you using that you couldn’t live without? Post in the comments, I’d love to hear about it.