Papers (for mac only; sorry Windows and Linux users) was the hub of my dissertation writing experience. From within, I was able to import .pdf files for all the journal articles I’d need, export the metadata as .xml for EndNote (to be covered later), and take notes in the full screen mode. When I say I took notes, what I mean is that I took some notes, but focused primarily on writing paragraphs for the dissertation, based on section or topic. I would later cut and paste these sections into the final document, adding several pages to the final product in a flash. Nothing makes you feel more productive (if not somewhat falsely) than adding five pages to your dissertation in about five minutes. Below is a screenshot of Papers’ full screen reading window, with the text editor to the left.
Papers can assist you in executing or refining many aspects of the research process. If you’re willing to put in just a little legwork at the outset for setup and learning the app, you may end up like I did, reaping the benefits of hundreds of hours of saved grunt work.
If you’re a mac user working on research of any kind, I highly recommend you get this app today. If you scan your student ID and send it prior to your order, the guys running the show will give you a solid discount.