The Best Mobile Research Applications

The Best Mobile Research Applications

According to The Qualitative Report Guide to Qualitative Research Mobile Applications Curated by Ronald J. Chenail


Built from the ground up by academics, QualHand is a free mobile app that guides you through the process of selecting a Qualitative Research Approach.

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NVivo Transcription

Discover NVivo Transcription – powerful automated transcription that gives you the freedom to focus on your analysis

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Otter is where conversations live. Generate rich notes for meetings, interviews, lectures, and other important voice conversations with Otter, your AI-powered assistant.

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Transcripts are your new secret weapon. Access the full potential of your audio and video content by converting it to searchable, editable interactive transcripts with Trint.

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This site is the definitive resource for exploring the rich array of hand-held and web-based applications available to qualitative researchers. These apps can assist with all aspects of data generation, collection, processing, and analysis, as well as project management. The digital tools also show ways in which qualitative researchers can bridge the traditional divides between field and lab and between researcher and participant.


Indeemo’s Mobile Ethnography App and Qualitative Research Dashboard make it easy to capture authentic, in-context, in-the-moment behaviours and insights that help you better understand your customers.

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Epiphany GeoFence
Engage in the most natural/spontaneous and interactive video chat research with your consumer as they enter, are in or leaving an establishment.
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ClipMenu Logo

Clip Menu
ClipMenu can manage clipboard history. You can record 8 clipboard types, from plain text to image.

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Penzu Logo


Free diary, journal, and notepad app allows you to have unlimited journaling; ability to add pictures; secure, password protection to preserve privacy; accessibility from any web browser via Penzu cloud; and search and tagging functions.

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Memoir logo

A time-capsule app that can resurface photographs, Instagram snaps, Facebook posts and more to remind you what you were doing two, three, even five years ago; app asks for access to your social media accounts and to the pictures on your phone; organize and label photos, request photos from friends on the platform, look at calendar of recent memories to search for memories tied to your current location.
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Timehop logo

Time travel app shows old photos and posts from Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram, Flickr and your camera roll photos by surfacing a new card of memories every day; join it and give it permission to access your various social media accounts and it retrieves those memories within seconds.

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paco app logo

Utilizing Google’s “Experience Sampling Methodology” (ESM), the “Personal Analytics Companion” (PACO) app allows you to ask participants at random points throughout their day about their experiences in the moment. They can also share photos. The Explore Data feature guides users through answering specific questions about their data helping to explore trends in the data, relationships in the data, and the distribution of the data.
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annotations for mac logo

Annotations for Mac
Annotations simplifies adding and managing notes to texts while keeping the documents clear and readable – making it the perfect helper for researchers, students and other data analysts; Highlight text with colours, assign custom keywords or add notes of any size quickly and effortlessly; Organize and filter subsets of annotations; Add annotations to custom collections or show them by document, type, keywords or matching search criteria.
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Paper Ship Logo


Annotate PDF via highlighting, note-taking, and drawing features; manage, organize, synchronize, and search your papers from Mendeley and Zotero library; and share articles with colleagues via email and social networks
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Toodledo Logo

Organize tasks using folders, tags, contexts, and subtasks to organize, search and sort through your tasks; improve productivity with hotlist, customizable alarms, and sortable online to-do list to help complete tasks on-time; and collaborate with others on shared projects with Toodledo’s collaboration tools
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liquid planner logo

Create new projects, packages and tasks and manage projects on-the-go by accessing planning and scheduling features such as updating progress, collaborating with team members, commenting and making checklists, assigning tasks and browsing projects; browse projects, participate in comment streams, view tasks, track time, edit or create new tasks, view attached files and more

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EverClip 2

EverClip 2
Collect websites, texts and images to Evernote; edit, annotate, organize, and make changes to your content before saving to Evernote; categorized content by tag or notebook, group clippings from the same URL together automatically, and find them easily
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socialsuite logo

Visualise the social outcomes of your programs using an outcomes “logic map;” design your own outcomes logic map, or choose from our database of commonly used outcomes logic maps; create a data collection plan that automatically ties data back to short term, medium term and long term outcomes; Record participant attendance at activities and collect outcomes data, using smart phones and tablets; and automatically generate weekly, monthly and quarterly outcome reports
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fulcrum logo

Data collection tool to design custom forms and conduct field data collection; customize your own data collection apps; create your own data collection forms on the web with easy-to-use form designer; import your own data to update in the field; geolocate your data using on-board GPS, or link to external GPS units; use online or offline & sync with the cloud; attach geotagged photos to your forms; download your imported data to your device to update in the field; generate PDF reports right on your device to print or email; and Share & collaborate on data collection
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skitch logo

Communicate your ideas using annotation and markup tools making your points with shapes, arrows, and quick sketches; provide feedback on documents, photos, maps; share files with team members and research participants; and use with Evernote
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sticky logo

Keep notes, dreams, ideas, and memories by creating notebooks to think, organize, and express yourself with colorful text, images, and layouts; save bookmarks from the web in a graphical form; customize backgrounds; move multiple items around the screen; email, print, and share notes; and use voice dictation
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dropbox logo

Access your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily in the cloud-based service from all your computers, iPhone, iPad and even the Dropbox website; receive 2 GB of space free when you sign up and earn up to 3 GB additional free space when you upload files
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sketch pad 3 app logo

Sketch Pad 3 – Ultimate Canvas
Use your finger as a pen to doodle, sketch, or draw; write lists or memos; jot down notes during lectures; erase all or portions of your drawing; edit of pen-strokes with undo and redo functions; and export to Twitter, Evernote, Google docs, Picasa, Dropbox, PDF, Air-Printing compatible printer, other apps, email, photo library and Mac
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quadrant app logo


Track participants, manage and collaborate on your participant based qualitative and mixed-method research projects with this secure, ethical and efficient online collaborative project management tool; comment and make notes on all aspects of your project; and export all or subset of your data to any analysis program
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miituu app logo

Innovative application for collecting video feedback from many audiences by gathering responses from individuals with or without an Internet connection and receive responses in video and audio so that real human emotions and feelings are captured and communicated.
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zotero app logo

Research tool that automatically senses content in your web browser, allowing you to collect all your research in a single, searchable interface for PDFs, images, audio and video files, snapshots of web pages, and then adding it to your personal library with a single click
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FiiNote app logo

FiiNote app for android features unique hybrid model for combined handwriting and keyboard note taking; note text, paint, voice, photo, and video; includes calendar, alarm, and todo features
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focus pad app logo

Focus on your todos by creating simple and elegant list divided into clean, easy-to-review pages; reviewing todos and choosing ones on which to take action; and synching with Mark Forster’s Final Version to add time management
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pear note app logo

Pear Note
Integrate traditional text notes with audio recordings by synching notes with exact point in recording that corresponds to your note; navigate throughout the entire recording by tapping on text; create rich text notes, including bulleted and numbered lists, highlighting, and text styles; incorporate images; search function; and record while switching to another app
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atlas app logo

atlas.ti Mobile
Create ATLAS.ti projects; record, assign, segment, and code photos, audio, and videos; assign, segment and code existing photos, audio, and videos, create and edit text documents; create fine-grained quotation segments in text, images, audio and video files; create and edit memos; tag images, recordings, videos, and documents with geo-location info; and export projects via Dropbox or iTunes file shares
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reframer app logo

Value and feasibility based decision engine helps you quantify qualitative data by organizing your data on your terms based on meaningful descriptors, using their intelligent theme finder to identify relationships in your data and to show connections strengths, and involving others in the decision process to pitch concepts and assess feasibility
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trunknotes app logo

Trunk Notes
Note taking app and personal wiki for creating, formatting, geotagging, and linking notes together; for creating a personal wiki with dynamic content, images, sound recordings and more; for keeping private information private with AES-256 encryption; for adding images from the camera and photo library; for recording sound; and for syncing to a Dropbox account to allow easy working on multiple iOS devices
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idea store app logo

Idea Store
Take quick text notes and save them to build on them later; date, group, and flag ideas for organization; sync entries between iPhone and iPad via Dropbox; share entries with Twitter, Facebook, or other social media; and export with iTunes file sharing
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notefile app logo

Make quick notes and view them quickly from anywhere on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch; sync notes between all iOS devices, as well as with company’s free Dashboard widget for Mac; view and edit notes on’s web site; and supports TextExpander touch snippet expansion
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ushahidi app logo

Free and open source platform for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping; synchronization with any Ushahidi or Crowdmap deployment allowing mobile viewing and creation, loading of multiple deployments at one time, quick filtering through incident reports, exploring incident locations on the map, viewing incident photos, news article, and sharing incident reports via email, sms or Twitter
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vesper app logo

iPhone tool for collecting notes, making lists, or saving anything you want to remember; use tags to group related items into playlist-like collections; attach photos to notes; and organize and curate notes in whatever way comes naturally to you
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mental note app logo

Mental Note for iPad
iPad digital notepad app for combining pictures, voice recordings, drawings, and text all on the same page; features include adding audio to a page by recording with the built-in microphone while continuing to edit note, attaching Calendar events to notes, exporting notes and backups to iCloud and/or Dropbox accounts, and mapping location at which a note was created
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MrQual logo

“On-demand” software web application or Software-as-a-service (SaaS) online qualitative research app for creating diaries, blogs, synchronous and asynchronous bulletin board focus groups, market research discussion forums, individual depth interviews, and market research communities
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iTracks app logo

itracks Mobile
Manage global, qualitative studies by conducting online discussion boards with video and text questions and responses, send users mobile notifications, filter participants, and generate polls
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magicalpad app logo

Multifunctional app for mindmapping, outlining, notetaking, and checklist creating; visualize ideas from brainstorming sessions; and upload notes and lists to Google Docs, Evernote, Dropbox, or email
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action notes app logo

Intuituve notetaking app with integrated to do list functions as virtual notebook with covers, dividers, note pages, color coding, and search capabilities; and share files via email or Dropbox
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capture journal app logo

Capture 365 Journal PRO
Create diaries and journals, attach photos to journal entries, add location information to journal entries, sync and store data using iCloud, secure with password protection, and share via email
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cloud outliner app logo

Cloud Outliner
Organize your thoughts and manage your projects by creating and sharing outlines between your various devices and your Evernote account, allowing for collaboration and distribution.
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ido notepad app logo

iDo Notepad
Note-taking application well-suited for keeping diaries or journals, add multiple entries, search and sort notes, assign unique icons to code different topics or kinds of notes, and use calendar to select different dates notes
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mindomo app logo

Mind-map plans and ideas by creating thought chains to show detail and clarity to your creative flow of ideas, display central ideas and link connecting thoughts, assign task to each idea, and sync and share ideas with others
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capture notes app logo

Write, type, or record audio notes; pinpoint critical items with Flags; import PDFs; add and take photos; and share notes to Dropbox and Evernote
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penultimate app logo

Handwrite, scribble, and sketch notes; draw pictures, charts, and tables; utilizie handwriting recognition tool; and sync with Evernote to search your notes on any computer or mobile device you use
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sensemaker app logo

Capture pictures, recordings and writing in various combinations, allow respondents to reflect how they are making sense of the world and then interpret their own stories into a series of abstract constructs
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wordpress app logo

Use a blog to create and edit posts; write, add photos, and create links; and moderate, edit, or reply to comments
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nativeye app logo

Gather real-time, real-place insight from customers’ experiences, conduct mobile ethnography, gain instant insight from mobile research communities, and facilitate secret shoppers
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Notes Plus app logo

Notes Plus
Tools for writing, drawing and marking up files, and recording audio notes with a wide selection of typefaces, colors, point size for type, line thickness for drawing, and even opacity for highlighting; importing existing files and images; and organize and share files
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  ethohub app logo

Cloud-based tool for researchers to prompt mobile phone users to email diary entries with text and/or photos) and code the data and to capture clues and findings
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noteability app logo

Capture ideas, share insights, and present information by integrating handwriting, PDF annotation, typing, recording, and organizing notes
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UPAD app logo

Scribble and write thoughts and ideas, add photos to highlight or accentuate ideas, and draw and sketch figures and images
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endnote app logo

View, edit, organize, and share bibliographic research material and PDFs from EndNote by utilizing tools for searching, organizing, and sharing research, and creating bibliographies
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popplet app logo

A mindmapping app to incorporate photos and drawings so visual thinkers can merge pictures with prose
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GoodReader App Logo

Read, highlight, and underline PDF documents; add personal notes; upload, save, and share files; and sync all versions on multiple devices
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simplemind app logo

Mind mapping tool for brainstorming, idea collection and thought structuring device with built-in visual styles; and for sharing with Dropbox integration.
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youtube capture app logo

YouTube Capture
Record video in fewer clicks and less lag time; edit with automatic color correction, stabilization, trimming, and music tracks; and upload videos to YouTube, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter simultaneously, or share privately with friends and family
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MAXQDA Mobile App
Import photos, videos, text documents, and audio via Dropbox to your desktop MAXQDA
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simple note app logo

Keep notes, lists, ideas, and more on the web, your mobile device, and your computer; and find notes quickly with instant searching and simple tags
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onenote app logo

Type, write or draw with the free form feel of pen to paper. Search and clip from the web to picture ideas.  Take handwritten notes and convert them to typed text later. Highlight what’s important and express ideas with colors or shapes. It’s easy to pull up your content from anywhere, even if you’re offline.

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ux recorder app logo

UX Recorder
Records on-screen activity and gestures along with video from the front facing camera and audio; intended to replace a document camera for recording user testing sessions of mobile Web sites
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ethos app logo

ethos – Ethnographic Observation System
Both a mobile device application for conducting fieldwork and a link to a web-based project management system
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revelation app logo

Revelation Mobile
Mobile device app seamlessly integrates with Revelation Project, making it simple to add mobile projects into larger studies
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evernote app logo

A suite of software and services designed for notetaking and archiving
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audionote app logo

AudioNote Notepad and Voice Recorder
Combines a notepad with an audio recorder to create synchronized notes with audio
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ethnocorder app logo

Multimedia enabled field research with over 20 types of multimedia elements that can be used in either questions or responses
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over the shoulder app logo

Over The Shoulder
Allows users to answer questions and provide opinions for research purposes with in-the-moment ideas, photos, videos and innovation inspiration
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observe app logo

Collect data in the field, add codes for specific phenomena, mark transcription times, and share with colleagues
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liveminds app logo

Enables participants to share thoughts and record experiences in 1-to-1 Interviews, Group Discussions, Auto Ethnography, and Diaries & Blogs
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myinsights app logo

Conduct qualitative research connected to a closed web environment, where projects can be created, participants and observers can be invited and where you can view and download the results
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experience fellow app logo

Mobile ethnography for service design via customer structured research based on perceived service sequence and service components importance through journey mapping and touchpoints sequences
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dscout app logo

Web and mobile service to engage scouts in sharing real-world experiences, in the moment ideas and real-time feedback
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lifelapse app logo

Captures your life by taking a picture every 30 seconds and lets you share it through a one-minute video
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instaviz app logo

Pocket whiteboard for sketching rough shapes and lines, and turning them into laid-out diagrams
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quickvoice app logo

Record voice notes, reminders, dictations, meetings, interviews, and entire lectures and multi-session seminars
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interview assistant app logo

Interview Assistant
Platform to prepare, conduct, document, and review interviews
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recorder app logo

Use as a voice recorder or sound recorder to record memos, discussions, interviews, and ideas
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my notes app logo

Create and manage notes, lists, and clippings, store ideas and thoughts, or write a diary
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mindnode app logo

Mindmapping application for collecting, organizing and outlining your thoughts and ideas as mind maps for to-do lists, brainstorming, research, writing, and project management
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italk app logo

Record conversations, interviews, speeches, performances, and the sounds of nature up to CD-quality sound, and then email your recordings or sync them through iTunes
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audio memos app logo

Audio Memos
Voice recorder with simple and intuitive interface pause record, pause play, slider, quality control, volume meter, volume boost, volume normalizing, voice activated recording features
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dragon dictation app logo

Dragon Dictation
Voice recognition application powered by Dragon NaturallySpeaking to speak and instantly see text content for everything from email messages to blog posts
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dedoose app logo

Web app to analyze text, video, and spreadsheet data through the integration of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method approaches
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wordle app logo

Generate “word clouds” from text that you provide, give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text, and tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes
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tagcrowd app logo

Web application for visualizing word frequencies in any text by creating what is popularly known as a word cloud, text cloud or tag cloud
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mindmeister app logo

Create, view and edit conceptual mind maps, share them with friends and colleagues online, and sync with the online MindMeister service
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qualocator app logo

Comprehensive online search and comparison resource for qualitative research facilities and related technology providers developed in collaboration with the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA)
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cohdoo highlight app logo

Cohdoo Highlight
Shine new light on recording user research, interviews, lectures, and more by starting a recording, marking “aha” moments as you hear them, pausing and resuming the same recording, adding more highlights, reviewing your highlights, adding notes and sharing recordings with your team
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fieldnotes app logo

A note taking tool to take on the road for locating your position using GPS, viewing a satellite map of the location, taking notes, collecting photographs all in geo-referenced format, and then transmit this information via e-mail as a kmz or text to any destination
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SoundNote app logo

Tracks what you type and draw while recording audio, and while playing back your recording, tap a word and SoundNote will jump to that point in the audio
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notebooks app logo

Allows you to create as many virtual books as you need to write, store and structure your detailed notes, and serves as a repository for all your journals, ideas, notes, drafts, diaries, projects, task lists and everything else you want to keep close at hand
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notebook app logo

Focuses on simple functionality for creating, sharing, and editing your notes and allows you to share your notes from anywhere with Dropbox sync so you can collaborate with others, keep your notes on all your iOS devices, and add, edit, and modify them on your Mac and PC
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iannotate app logo

Productivity tool for reading, annotating, organizing, and sending PDF files allowing you to add detailed notes to your annotations that inform you or your collaborators of your opinions and decisions and with bookmarks, you can set and navigate directly to the relevant information, passages, and annotations
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note taker hd app logo

Note Taker HD
Write and organize handwritten notes, diagrams, etc. and annotate PDF files, organize them by tags, date/time last modified, favorites, and email one or more pages as a single PDF file
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corkulous app logo

Provides a virtual “corkboard” for visualizing tasks, notes and images, for moving them around for mind mapping, and for sharing with others via Dropbox
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ithoughts app logo

Mind mapping tool enables you to visually organize your thoughts, ideas and information for list making, brainstorming, project planning, goal setting, concept mapping, and note taking activities
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mendely reference app logo

Mendeley Reference Manager (Lite)
Indexes and organizes all of your PDF documents and research papers into your own personal digital library, gathers document details from your PDFs allowing you to effortlessly search, organize and cite, looks up PubMed, CrossRef, DOIs and other related document details automatically, and imports papers from resources such as Google Scholar, ACM, and IEEE
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PubMed on tap app logo

PubMed On Tap
Searches PubMed to find and display reference information stores references (with pdfs) in your personal and searchable library, retrieves pdfs from the Web, and e-mails references (with pdfs) from within the application
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