Scrivener

What does it do?

It’s a writing app designed to aid anyone research, plan and write a substantial written project, from dissertations to novels.

What can I use it for?

You can use it to store large volumes of research and resources to which you can add notes and tags for a quick reference system. Particularly helpful for PhD students or any large written project such as a dissertation. Enables you to organise topics/chapters and to get an overview on particular research topics through use of the “corkboard function”. It’s a way of storing and organising notes all in one place, whilst researching making it easier to write them up afterwards

Cost? A one-off charge of £39.95 (student/academic price)

Where can I find it? It’s available to download from the Scrivener website for both Windows and Mac here. For information on the core concepts of the app you can take a look at this Vimeo and there is also a Vimeo for an introduction demo of how it works for Windows.

Google Keep

What does it do? Organisation tool, you can add notes, photos and audio to keep. Includes a post it note system.

What can I use it for? Useful for tracking and keeping on top of all tasks, from personal to academic life. You can create lists to tick off when completed as well as adding details about times, dates and places where needed. These can also be shared with others which can help with accountability. There is a tagging and colour coding system to enable distinction between personal and academic tasks and you can archive lists when completed but they are not completely lost in case you need to go back to them. Google Keep can be synced across devices to enable on the go editing.

Cost? It’s free!

Where can I find it? It’s available to download from the App Store and Google Play. For further information on the app you can take a look here:  https://www.google.com/keep/

Habit Minder

What does it do? Aims to help you form healthy habits and keep you accountable through useful tools. It can be beneficial for time management, productivity and increasing general well being.

What can I use it for? Helps you to build positive habits and set and reach your goals. Enables you to track your progress and add a reward system when you meet your targets.

Cost? It’s free! Premium subscriptions available to purchase.

Where can I find it? It’s available to download from the App Store and Google Play. For further information on the app you can take a look here: https://habitminder.com/

Focus at Will

What does it do? Offers music that is aimed to help you focus better through timed intervals. It creates a personal concentration playlist, can reduce distraction and increase productivity.

What can I use it for? You can build a personal playlist of music which helps you with productivity and it enables you to track what works to help build this up. The music is lyric free and is designed to change at certain intervals to keep you focussed.

Cost? Free trial (1 week), subscriptions start at $30 per year.

Where can I find it? It’s available to download from the App Store and Google Play. For further information on the app you can take a look here: https://www.focusatwill.com/

Otter AI

What does it do?

It records and transcribes audio.

What can I use it for?

You can record conversations and the live transcription function will write up the conversation for you and is also searchable.

Really useful as a fieldwork tool to help with transcribing interviews or supervision meetings. Ideal for use in group work as well as note taking and as a planning tool or a way of creating revision resources.

Cost? Free options with premium/subscription options available depending on your needs.

Where can I find it? It’s available to download from the App Store and Google Play. For further information on the app you can take a look here.

Grammarly

What does it do?

Checks the accuracy of spelling, punctuation and grammar as well ad giving your feedback on the tone of your writing.

What can I use it for?

Great for proofreading your work as it will pick up on far more errors than MS Word as it checks context as well as spelling errors. You can use it to proofread essays, emails to lecturers and even social media posts. You can also use it to make sure you have got the right tone in what you have written, giving you confidence when writing to friends, peers and lecturers.

Cost? Free! Premium subscription is also available but the free version is excellent.

Where can I find it? You can sign up/log in via your Google or Apple account and there is a free plug-in for Google Chrome and Microsoft Word so you can access it directly in your Word documents. For further information you can take a look here.

ClaroRead

What does it do?

Reads text out loud and enables you to change the screen background colour to reduce screen glare.

What can I use it for?

Can be used to help process written information by listening as well as reading on screen, also useful for proofreading. Changing the background colour may make it easier on the eyes to read large volumes of text.

Cost? Installed on all QMUL computers, so free to use on campus! Premium version available to download onto a personal laptop.

Where can I find it? It’s available on all QMUL computers. For further information about purchasing a subscription for your own laptop you can take a look here or watch the video above.

NaturalReader

What does it do?

It reads text on your screen out loud.

What can I use it for?

It is a great tool for proofreading essays and written work as it is always easier to hear if something doesn’t sound quite right or if there is a typo. If you prefer listening to podcasts or audio books you may find using this to read journal articles or other text a much more efficient way of reading.

Cost? Free! Premium subscription available.

Where can I find it? It’s available as a Web App so you can log in to your account from anywhere to use it. For further information on the app you can take a look here.

Headspace

What does it do? Provides access to mindfulness and meditations guides led by experts on various categories including managing stress, anxiety, sleep, focus, mind-body health.

What can I use it for? To learn mindfulness and meditation skills and to help you build a routine that integrates this within your schedule.

Cost? It’s free! Premium subscriptions available to purchase. Students can access more within the Headspace app with Spotify Premium, at £4.99 per month for both services! https://www.spotify.com/uk/headspace/student/

Where can I find it? It’s available to download from the App Store and Google Play. For further information on the app you can take a look here: https://www.headspace.com/

Noisli

What does it do? Plays natural background noises such as a forest, river, rainfall, cafe buzz etc. You can mix different sounds and change the volume.

What can I use it for? Helpful in masking your environmental noise to improve focus and boost productivity. It can also be used for relaxation and for providing a soothing background noise to help fall asleep.

Cost? It’s free! Premium subscriptions available to purchase.

Where can I find it? It’s available to download from the App Store and Google Play. For further information on the app you can take a look here: https://www.noisli.com/