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Personal content management tools: Organize & annotate

Organize PDFs

Mendeley
Helpful tool for dealing with your PDFs. With Mendeley you can:

  • Manage and organize your PDFs.
  • Extract citation information and other metadata from your PDFs to facilitate searching.
  • Add your own searchable tags and keywords.
  • Highlight, annotate, and take notes on your PDFs.
  • Share PDFs with groups.
  • Read PDFs on the go with Mendeley's mobile app.
  • Use Mendeley as a citation tool when writing.
 

Zotero
Good for handling PDFs and other items like saved images or web pages. Doesn't have robust annotation tools (no native highlighting or sticky note capability for instance). With Zotero you can:

  • Attach PDFs to citations in your collection.
  • Drag PDFs into your collection and automatically enter citation information.
  • Save images and web pages.
  • Share PDFs with others.
  • Cite PDFs when writing.

Read more about Zotero.

Dropbox
Dropbox is very useful for saving documents so you can access them from multiple computers and mobile devices. Create folders to share documents with a group. It doesn't have the same annotation and note-taking features as the above tools.

Papers
Add PDFs, take notes, and cite documents as you write. (Citation feature is fairly clunky.) Search databases and pull out PDFs. Note: This feature doesn't work well with certain MIT Libraries' licensed databases.

Goodreader
iPad/iPhone app for organizing files and annotating and highlighting PDFs. Syncs with Google Drive, MobileMe, Dropbox, and more. Create your own hierarchy of folders to save your documents into. Highly recommended for reading and annotating scholarly articles.

Foxit
Fast PDF reader for making and saving annotations and highlights.

Organize notes

These tools are helpful for organizing your notes & annotations:

Evernote
Save all kinds of notes, files, web clips, and images. Sync to multiple devices. Annotate, organize, and tag your content. For an overview of features, read Evernote: A 0-to-60 MPH Guide.

 

Organize images

To manage photos, try these tools:

Flickr

  • Organize your photos by using sets, collections, tags, and groups.
  • Share images easily, or keep them private.
  • Designate usage rights easily by using Creative Commons licenses, etc.

Picasa

  • Download the Picasa software by Google.
  • Organize your photos by using sets, collections, tags, and groups.
  • Share images easily in an album, or keep them private.
  • Saves photo properties (ex., camera model, lens, etc.).