Thanks to the internet and tech-enabled tools and apps, we have more possibilities at our fingertips than ever before. But when it comes to tools that help business writers research, write, and manage projects, there really hasn’t been much innovation over the past couple of decades. We’re still relying on disparate tools that leave us frustrated and wanting more.
In fact, most writers have found themselves wondering, at some point or another, “How do I keep my research organized?” If that sounds like you, keep reading. We’re exploring common options for organizing notes and what features to look for when choosing between the available digital tools for researchers and writers.
How Do I Organize My Research Notes?
For professional writers, there are a few common approaches for organizing research notes. These include sorting through printed documents, opening several tabs in a browser, and using a dedicated app. Here are the basics for how to keep track of your research notes with each of these methods.
- Printing Documents: The old-fashioned approach to organizing notes has lasted this long for a reason. It’s easy to sort sources into piles, highlight printed documents, make notes in the margins, and use paperclips and filing cabinets to keep everything together. While this can work well if you have hard copies of your sources, many professional writers use digital sources these days.
- Browser Tabs: Ask any professional writer how many tabs they have open while researching and writing a piece. We’re willing to bet you’ll hear anything from five to 25 or more tabs. While this keeps all of your sources in one place, it can be time-consuming to click through tabs to search for the information you need.
- Dedicated Software: Online research management tools can take your organization to the next level. These powerful platforms provide tools to compile and sort your notes—sometimes in a single browser tab. With Slice, for example, you can save your sources—including websites, articles, and even PDFs—and access them all in a single browser window.
Is There an App for Research?
In the previous section, we hinted at the answer to this question; yes, there are absolutely apps for writers to organize their sources and notes! But how do you find the best among all the online research tools available? Look for these important features.
When it comes to researching and writing, there is often more than one person involved. You need a tool that will allow you to collaborate with other researchers, writers, editors, or key stakeholders. This can streamline the research process and ensure everyone involved is on the same page. With Slice, you can add team members to your project and collaborate with them in real time—making communication a breeze!
The best organizing research tools provide web extensions to save or clip sources as you read them, eliminating the need for all those pesky browser tabs. Take Slice’s Web Clipper extension for Chrome, for example. It allows you to save sources directly into any project you’re working on, keeping all your notes and sources in one place.
Saving articles from the web is fairly simple—but how to organize PDF articles can present a challenge. Switching between a browser window and a PDF viewer can take you out of the zone. Instead, look for a platform, like Slice, that has file importing features so you can upload your PDF documents and use them seamlessly while writing.
For too long, writers have had to cobble together a workflow: researching in one tool, writing articles in Google Docs or Microsoft Office, and managing projects in yet another. The best organizing research notes software platforms also include content creation and project management. With Slice, you can save time by working on every aspect of your project in one place.
Slice: One of the Best Research Apps for Writing and Organizing on the Market
Looking for a product that has all of the above features—and more? Look no further than Slice! Slice helps writers research and create long-form content in one easy-to-use platform. With our platform, you can:
- Slice content into manageable sections, making it easy to break large projects into smaller pieces.
- Harvest your research efficiently by storing all of your notes and sources in one platform.
- Stay in the zone with the ability to view multiple writing and research panes in a single browser tab.
- Use our web clipper to grab articles while browsing.
- Collaborate with other researchers, writers, and editors on projects.
- Manage your projects, with the ability to assign responsibilities, set due dates, and indicate statuses.