Institute Prep: Technologies that can make Ph.D. life simpler

Tags: technology, PhD, education, graduate life

Institute Prep: Technologies that can make graduate life simpler.

graduate technology


The typical day in the life of a graduate student is packed with poster presentations, exams, dissertation writing, teaching, studying, and many other things.

How do you keep it all straight?

How is it possible to stay organized?

We have compiled our picks of the top three tech tips, apps and gadgets that will help you navigate graduate school life.

Tech Tips

  • Showcase your work on - allows you to collaborate with those who are doing similar research. It also gives you the opportunity to showcase your work online.
  • Utilize twitter - Network with scholars who share your interests, advertise your work and crowd source questions related to your research topic. This is a great way to build your “brand” as a researcher and or future professor.
  • Pick a bibliographic file management system- Be sure to use the system consistently. If you start early as a doctoral student or professor, you can have a trove of articles and resources to pull from.

Check out more of Inside Higher Ed’s Tech Advice ->


  • Evernote: Allows you to synch notes across devices, record parts of a lecture or save ideas for research papers.
  • Keynote: Reminiscent of a mobile PowerPoint, the app lets you to design and display your presentation from any mobile device. A great tool if you forget your computer or Flash drive on presentation day.
  • Mendeley:  This app acts as a personal research assistant by helping users collect, organize, cite and share research. Its catalog houses over 30 million research papers to  

See seven more apps for great students ->


  • A portable hard drive: It is never a bad idea to have a high-capacity external hard drive to save your work in case your laptop meets an unexpected end. Make sure all of your citations, research and resources are protected.
  • Outlet Adapter: This device turns one AC outlet into five and eliminates the need to change out chargers for tablets, smartphones and/or laptops. It can increase your outlet space, supply a USB port and easily be mounted on a wall or desk.
  • Smartpen: This pen works with special notebooks, iOS or Android Notes apps to capture digital copies of whatever the owner writes or draws. It can convert handwriting into plain text and make notes searchable. There is a need to purchase special notebooks, but the utility of the device can make document organization a lot easier.

Take a look at eight more helpful tech tools ->

Technology can be a great tool for a graduate student. Do not forget to take advantage of devices or apps that can be helpful to you and your research.

Written by Chanell Turner, Publications and Programming Assistant of the Southern Regional Education Board Doctoral Scholars Program.