I told a friend recently that there are three technology applications that I’ve been introduced to this year that have totally changed my life. And, they’re all free. Here they are, in no random order:
1. Zotero: www.zotero.org
is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work — in the web browser itself. Not only does it help manage and cite research sources…it also has a microsoft word plug-in that writes citations and bibliographies with the click of the mouse. Genius.
2. Google Applications, especially Docs and Google Calendar: docs.google.com, calendar.google.com.
Google docs allows the user to create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and forms online. The files can be shared with another person and can be constructed collaboratively with both parties working on the document live. Because it is a web-based app, you can access it anywhere you have the internet. Calendar works the same way…you can collapse multiple calendars into one and manage the various steams of your life on one screen.
3. Del.icio.us: http://del.icio.us
is a social bookmarking site that helps you manage and share websites that you want to remember for later. You can tag the bookmarks and share with a network of people that you specify. I have a few brilliant friends, so every day when I click on “network” I can see the sites that they deem worth bookmarking.