I was just asked to take part in a beta-test for a new app and started wondering just how many apps there may be for dissertation writing. A quick search on my phone showed me ten apps that fall under the “dissertation” key word search. Most are not in English, one is for punctuation pitfalls, and one is to fill in the overall framework (on an iPhone?).
These are not useful to me, so I did a search on dissertation software, and what I would have or could have used during my writing.
If there is a program out there that could have magically generated my tables and figures in APA version 6, I would have bought it. I realize that program is Microsoft Word, but this was so hard for me I had to ask the town square of Craigslist to sort my SPSS mess into APA version 6. My own editor said no! I recommend Craigslist for this. There are people out there who can do this sort of thing in a snap while I can barely center a textbox. We all have our talents.
Top mentions in dissertation software programs include Scrivener and other formatting apps that I might buy if I planned to write a book, screenplay, or a magazine. Pomodoro is an app that is helpful for some people. It is a 25 minute timer to force you to write. Someone decided that is a productive length of time for increased focus. Please refer to my post about ditching Facebook, and I believe you do not need this app.
I also saw a number of graphic organizer programs that offered the opportunity to create bullet points and mind maps in fancy ways. Those things I can do in MS Office. I was mistaken and thought one of them developed mind map content, which would be worth money, but if it is a matter of filling in the shapes with words, then no thank you.
I did find a program out there that is extraordinary for brainstorming and would be helpful to developing a topic or ideas for a literature review outline. Paramind is a site that is now one of my favorites, and I will re-visit with students. It generates hundreds of ideas by manipulating language, all based on a single sentence. I am not sure if I will buy the software, but it is worth sharing and experimenting.
Other than Paramind, I have been good with MS Office and a couple of people who know more than I do about formatting tables and figures. Let me know if any dissertation software has changed your world!