I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page for GradStudentSuccess.com users to come to and see all of the products, software, and tools that I recommend, all in one place. I’ll add to it as I discover more great resources for graduate students wanting to excel in grad school. I recommend bookmarking this page for your reference and convenience. Enjoy!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. I am recommending these resources/products because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I will make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products or tools unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
My most recommended
If you look at nothing else on this page, these are the five that you should know about. I find myself recommending these resources again and again, to my friends and colleagues, in emails, and in blog posts. I use them because they make my life easier, and I’m confident you’ll agree too.
Host Gator: I use Host Gator for all of my websites including this site and I always recommend them to others looking for quality and affordable website hosting. It is so easy to use, and even when you do run into a technical question, their support team is very quick to reply. If you use the coupon code gradstudentsuccess when you open your account, you will receive a 25% discount off of the already cheap price! This is definitely the best web hosting company out there.
Why do all grad students need a website?
Amazon Student: Signing up for Amazon Student is definitely worth doing if you are like me and order many of your textbooks and various supplies on Amazon. This is essentially Amazon Prime (but a cheaper rate) with a few other benefits thrown in. With the free trial, you get six months of free two-day shipping and e-mail alerts for exclusive student giveaways, discounts, and promotions. If you decide to keep Amazon Student after the free six months, you can opt to pay the membership rate of $49 per year to continue (For Canadian grad students, go here for Amazon Student on Amazon.ca).
EndNote: There are a variety of options out there for reference management. I have tried most all of them over the years, and I can tell you that EndNote is still my favorite due to its versatility and comprehensiveness. Unfortunately a lot of grad students do not begin using a reference manager tool until later in their program, and always wish they had began using it sooner. I highly recommend getting started using EndNote right from the beginning. Use it to search, store, index, share, and cite your sources. Makes writing a thesis or dissertation so much easier.
Evernote: This is a game changer! If don’t already use Evernote, get it now say hello to ultra simple organizing and retrieving of ALL your documents. Everything from journal articles, class notes, photos of whiteboards, to meeting minutes can easily be filed and stored in Evernote… and retrieved whenever needed using its intuitive system of notebooks, notes, and tags. Go all the way by going completely paperless: just get yourself the world’s best scanner which also happens to sync with Evernote seamlessly.
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition: This is simply a must-have book for all graduate students in the social sciences. Yes, there are a lot of free resources online to help you format your papers and reference lists correctly according to APA, but none of them beat the comprehensiveness and detail provided in the published manual. Most of your professors will likely recommend this book to you too, so get it now and begin using it for your very first paper.
- Host Gator: As stated above, this is my top choice for website hosting. It’s perfect from grad students since hosting packages start at just $4.86 per month, and you can receive a discount using the coupon code gradstudentsuccess.
- Themeforest: Thousands of great website templates, starting at just $3.00. These are affordable yet versatile templates to get your website going with just a few customization choices. I use templates from Themeforest for all my websites because I know it is a trusted source with great templates and a huge knowledgeable and helpful user network. I think that every grad student needs to have a personal website, but not everyone needs to know how to design them from scratch… that’s why you should use Themeforest templates.
- EndNote: Organize and manage your references with this powerful software package. Search, index, tag, cite, and share your research sources. This is one my most recommended tools for graduate students because it is one of my personal favorites and I use it all the time.
- Evernote: When I first started using this application it was a complete game changer. I use it at work, in class, for research, and essentially anytime I am taking notes or collecting information. Get Evernote now and change the way you store and retrieve everything.
- IBM SPSS Statistics Grad Pack: This is an absolute must have piece of software for graduate students in the social sciences who are going to do any quantitative or statistical data analysis. This Grad Pack includes at 12 month license of Base V22.0 for up to 2 computers (either Mac or Windows).
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition: This is simply a must-have book for all grad students in the social sciences. The end.
- MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th Edition: If you are a grad student in English, the Humanities, Modern Languages, or another discipline that uses MLA style for scholarly writing, the MLA Handbook will certainly be a necessity for your personal library.
- The Unwritten Rules of PhD Research (Open Up Study Skills): This great book by Petre and Rugg contains lessons on many intangible skills which may not be taught in your grad courses, but will likely end up being as important as your research itself. Everyone from networking to presentation skills, and a lot of insight into the unwritten rules of academia. Highly recommended.
- Chegg.com: Great savings on used textbooks. Definitely check Chegg.com for your textbooks before shelling out big bucks elsewhere. Besides textbooks, this site has a lot of other great resources too. One of my favs for sure.
Other helpful tools
- Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite 13.3-Inch Laptop: Every grad student needs a laptop computer. You may already have an old one from your undergrad days, but if you are in the market for a new laptop, I highly recommend the ATIV Book 9 from Samsung. This laptop is powerful enough for all grad student needs (and more), yet is slim and sleek enough to be ultra transportable for grad students on the go. It’s not super cheap, but if you can afford it you will definitely not regret it.
- Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Scanner: This has got to be the world’s best scanner. Not exactly cheap, but it has helped me immensely in cutting down on my paper files and helping me organize my entire life. This super fast double sided scanner is just amazing. Unleash its full potential by using it with Evernote.