Grad School Resources

Originally compiled by Sarah Moore in March 2022. Last updated August 16, 2022.

Some of these are specific to Northwestern University. But, this should give you an idea of some resources to look for at your own university!

Tools to make life easier

  • NU Counseling and Pyschological Services is a good place for getting referred out to local therapists and mental health providers. Otherwise, you can browse the Aetna Provider Finder for a provider that is in-network with your student health insurance.

  • AccessibleNU in case you have needs or requests related to accessibility concerns and accommodations.

  • Northwestern VPN for reliable, secure connections to university pages and resources while away from campus.

  • Obsidian for note management available in Markdown format. Alternatively, others recommend something like Evernote if you aren’t particularly interested in Markdown formatting.

  • Toggl Time Keeper is good for keeping tabs on where your time is going. Centered is an app that is mindful of flow states while working, allowing you to plan your activity, center your work in a flow, and track your activity. The Pomodoro Timer sets 25 minute time increments, found to be helpful for ensuring bouts of productivity bracketed by short breaks.

  • Freedom allows you to block websites that might be distracting or allow you to give in to procrastination.

  • Trello Project Management helps to plan projects in the long- and short-term, good visualization tool. Todoist is great for checklists. Both allow you to set deadlines for yourself.

  • Citation Management: Zotero, Mendeley, EndNote, etc. There are a few different programs, here is a guide to help you decide. Reddit also has some useful threads on the trade-offs between each.

  • Dataquest: NU offers access to the coursework to a limited number of people on a quarterly basis, just make sure that you get registered in time!

  • NVivo licenses are available with the department, as some of you will presumably do qualitative work as well.

  • NU Software Catalog includes all the software that the university provides to students. If there is something you need that is not on this list or only offered at a discounted price, you can also always talk to Department Admin about further options.

  • NU Library Guides regarding different software packages and how the university can support your learning of these tools.

  • OneDrive is the cloud storage of choice for Northwestern. There are degrees of integration you can have with your desktop. If this isn’t your favorite interface for remote storage (it’s not great), then try Dropbox.

  • Overleaf, TeXstudio, RStudio or any other TeX editor for sophisticated document formatting.

  • Grammarly is good to gauge where your writing is at regarding readability, tone, and other important markers of “good” writing.

Things you should do or acquaint yourself with

Blogs or threads with useful information

Thanks to all the countless individuals that helped me to compile this list. I have attempted to document most of the suggestions gathered from this tweet here.