Whether you’re in school or working on a project, knowing how to research is an essential skill. However, understanding how to do something and doing it smarter are two different things. This is one of the reasons why productivity books are a multi-million dollar industry.
Perhaps you’re researching a new client for the boss, or you heard that eating fifty apples a day can cure cavities, or maybe you decided that a masters in Ancient Greek Theology would be fun. To learn more about any subject, you’re going to need to look it up.
So, we created a list of our favorite hacks to help you learn how to research without the tedium. Turns out, there’s more to researching then looking up facts.
Start with smart tech
Little things can make a big difference, like extensions that make work more convenient. Here are some of our favorites:
Sticky notes are great until your desk is covered in them. Open a convenient sidebar for all your notes on any web page. Get Notes when you sign up for a Firefox account.
Compare two pages side-by-side to maximize your productivity. Side View makes it easy, so you can analyze articles or catch up on Netflix with one side of the screen and work with the other.
Keep all your screenshots in one place, capture any part of the page you want or snap it all. It’s like an organizer, precision cutting tool, and storage in one.
Save articles, videos and stories from any publication, page or app. Listen to articles on mobile when you’re taking a break from your desk or curate your own research reading list on Pocket, the latest app from Firefox.
Polish your scholarship
When searching something isn’t enough scholarly articles can be a great resource. They usually contain more researched claims and data to back-up their findings.
Get free access to high-quality academic articles on Unpaywall. Here, you can find scientific, medical or just plain interesting facts.
Search text and references in millions of articles with Google Scholar. Like the name implies, it’s Google for scholarly articles.
“Making citations is fun!” said no one ever. This Firefox extension instantly creates citations in APA, MLA and other formats. So, if anyone questions where you got your information, you can send them to the citation section.
Pump up your productivity
How you feel has a lot to do with your productivity levels. That’s why learning self-care while sitting at a desk is useful along with knowing how to research.
Protect your peepers from harmful blue light with Dark Reader. This Firefox add-on offers dark mode for every website, so you can research day or night without eye strain.
Clear away all the distractions with LeechBlock. It will block distracting websites for you, all you need to do is tell it which sites to block and for how long.
Supercharge your searches with Search Preview. See how your results rank across Google, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo!, and Bing, and get thumbnail previews of the pages.