I have a lot of digital tools that I use. Many of them I use every day. Some of them are used so rarely that I have to go looking for them when I need them, (darn you Windows !) But here are three of my favorites.
I used to use notepad for research notes, or just open up my Open Office on half the screen, but for the last year or so, I have started using sticky notes a lot! You probably know about this great little app available in Windows 7 and 8, but did you know you could format the text? And you can change the color! The real beauty is that, once open, this program opens in front of any other, allowing you to move your stickies anywhere to have your notes available!
If there is one tool I use the most, it would have to be Open Office. This Word clone, open-source, and totally FREE! Office suite will do everything Office can do and then some, plus, all of the plugins, templates, and add ons are FREE! You will have to do a little work to find some of them, but I think you will agree it beats using a low grade Microsoft Word package without the tools you need. One of my favorite features is the ability to add margin notes to texts during editing. * it will save things in Word format, which is great, because that's what everyone else is expecting.
I don't know about you, but I have to read a lot when doing research for article writing, or blog posting, and it takes up a lot of valuable time. A lot of times I already know enough about the topic to have my angle going in, and I just need the details. That's where the Spritzlet app comes in. This little technological wonder is awesome! It provides a small window that will read almost any web based text. (no pdfs, and some ebook formats are impervious) then it feeds it back to you in a way that allows you to comfortably double your reading speed!
*secret writer's tip, if you want to read a manuscript fast, load it up as a post in a private blogger blog (free) then set the Spritzlet to work! This allows you to read almost anything you can pull up on your desk top at double speed!