Some years ago, I started using a programme called Mendeley. At that time, they were still developing it, and I agreed to try it out. Since then, they have kept on developing it, and I still think it’s one of the best things I’ve come across for academic work!
When I’m thinking about a topic or researching an area, I will often spend a few hours trawling through recent journals online. That’s all much easier now – I can do that from any computer. However, before having Mendeley I had to think about where I would store a downloaded pdf article (which folder; which computer) and also what I would call it (author plus date of publication works reasonably). If I was later working on preparing a lecture for a course, I would remember that I had recently found an interesting article, but I mostly wouldn’t remember the author’s name … so there was the problem of finding it again. And it was very frustrating to realise that it was stored at home rather than on my office computer.
Mendeley resolves that, by giving you a way to download pdfs, save them onto the programme, and then synchronise with your online version of the programme. That means I can go home and open up the version on that computer, and sync again to get all the same articles. They can be stored in folders (and one article could be stored in multiple folders) and you can see the author plus title; you can also fully search, so if I remember what the article was about I can type in a key word and find all the articles that contain that word.
There’s much more that Mendeley can do, but even if that’s the only thing you use it for, it’s worth it!