Tools and software every PhD holder must have - PhD Guides

Tools and software every PhD holder must have

Tools and software are beneficial in all fields. By using tools you can make your work a hundred times easier than doing it manually. Aside from that, it saves you a lot of time and helps you produce accurate data.

There are several tools a PhD candidate uses to write their thesis and conduct research for their project. There are numerous tools available for taking notes, writing, analyzing data, collecting data, and so on.

Since you have a lot of data to handle and it may be difficult for you to record everything manually at times, these tools will simplify your work and not let you drown in a pool of unorganized data.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of essential tools you should have while pursuing a PhD. This has been created after research and experience. Read carefully and make the most of these tools.

Take note

Taking notes could be an essential tool for you. There are times when you come up with ideas or a statement hits you in the middle of another task. You can easily jot down those ideas in your note-taking tool and go over them later. It will be extremely useful in ensuring that you do not overlook any single relevant idea or statement related to your project or research.

You can use the web version of these tools to access them from any device, including your mobile. There are numerous apps available for taking notes, but we have picked the best for you. You can select whichever option is more convenient for you.

  • Evernote
  • Google Drive
  • Onenote
  • Notepad++

Word processing software

Writing will be your primary focus during your PhD studies. As a result, you require good software that allows you to write without undue stress. There are numerous word processing tools available to assist you in writing smoothly and you can easily navigate through your document with these tools. Microsoft Word is popular and older word processing software for writing. You can write your thesis easily with the help of these tools.

Aside from that, Google Docs is becoming increasingly popular and provides a plethora of options that make your work much easier. You can collaborate, make edits, provide feedback, and accept or reject suggestions in real time. This is a fantastic feature that elevates Google Docs above other word processing applications. Aside from this, you can use a variety of other tools to get started writing.

  • Microsoft Word
  • Google Docs
  • Mac Pages
  • Libre Office

Statistical Analysis

Statistical analysis software will assist you in performing specialized complex statistical analyses on your data while saving you a significant amount of time. You will undoubtedly use these tools to analyze your data and create a good thesis that incorporates strong data. Many universities use these tools and train their students to use them as well. There is a lot of good software available for this purpose. You can also find out what software your university is using and get access to it.

  • SPSS
  • R
  • Stata

Project manager

You may find it difficult to keep track of everything while researching or writing your thesis. The project manager tool assists you in keeping track of your progress and maintaining a complete record of your research and writing. These tools monitor the overall progress of your project and alert you if you are falling behind schedule. If you work in a group, the entire group can record progress and get a bigger overview of the project.

  • Trello
  • Asana

Survey research

Surveys are an essential component of your research. Surveys may be required to learn more about specific topics. These tools are very useful for such purposes. They will not only allow you to create your survey forms but will also assist you in easily analyzing all of the collected data. These tools are simple to use, but they produce excellent results. You can easily distribute these forms to people and quickly collect all of their information. You can even transfer the collected data to other tools.

  • Qualtrics
  • Google Forms
  • Survey Monkey

Reference managers

A reference manager can make your life much easier. You can use these tools to create a reference list and manage all of your sources in one place. These tools will significantly help you in multitasking. Doing these tasks manually will necessitate a considerable amount of your time and effort, and as PhDs, you should not waste your time on tasks that can be easily completed with the assistance of some tools. If you are writing your thesis or dissertation, you can definitely go for these tools.

  • Mendeley
  • Endnote
  • Zotero


Aside from writing, you will need graphics, diagrams, illustrations, or art to highlight certain points or to make your thesis more presentable. In this case, you must employ software or an app to assist you in creating some fantastic designs. There are numerous tools available for this purpose, but we have selected the best ones that provide the best results while remaining simple to use. You don’t have to be a professional graphic designer to use these tools, but you can still produce some amazing results. You can even use these tools to create stunning presentations.

  • Canva
  • Autodesk
  • Strata 3D modelling
  • Inkspace
  • Gimp


These tools can be obtained for free or at some cost. You can visit the website of these tools to know about the pricing. However, avoid spending a lot of money on expensive tools. Furthermore, most universities have access to these tools, so before investing your money, check with your university and request access.

I hope you found this article useful. Please let us know in the comments section which tools you use and would like to add to the list.

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