Tools of the Trade


In my Tegrity lecture “How I Work” I discuss organizational strategies and examples of workflow. Below you’ll find links to some of the tools I mentioned. In many ways, traditional note cards and notebooks are still the best and most reliable tools, but if you’re interested in electronic alternatives, you might consider some on the list below. If you have an app that you would like to recommend please share it with the class by posting a comment.

About a month ago, I read a blog on workflow that integrates Scrivener and Simplenote, an app not mentioned below. One important point that the author mentions is to be sure to have a backup system in place. I encourage you to use a cloud-based service such as Dropbox or Google Drive to store your research files and assignments. Backing up to the cloud can help avoid catastrophe in the event of an individual hard drive failure, computer malfunction, or misplaced flash drive.

Zotero (free):
Zotero is an electronic tool to organize your research. It is especially helpful at creating bibliographies and taking notes.

Evernote (free):
A robust application to organize notes, keep track of ideas, keep a research journal, and more. There are Windows, OS X, iOS, and Android apps.

Microsoft OneNote ($$$):
An application in Microsoft Office that has all of the features of Evernote, but is a bit more customizable in terms of organizing your notebooks. Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus is available for UCA students for free. Install your copy at You must register your UCA email address.

Scrivener (Mac and PC, ~$45):
From the website: “Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.”

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