Zotero (pronounced zoh-TAIR-oh) is a free, easy-to-use citation manager to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.
1. Go to www.zotero.org.
2. Click on the red button "Download Now".
3. Download Zotero 5.0 (Mac version is shown; it's also available for Windows and Linux) for the standalone program and the Word plugin.
4. Install the Chrome Connector (or Firefox or Safari) for the browser extension.
5. Create a free online account. This creates a space for you on the Zotero server and allows you to add or access your references from any computer through the Zotero interface.
In the upper right corner, just next to the address bar is a Zotero icon. If you click on this while you have a resource open on the browser, clicking the icon will automatically save the record for that resource.
The standalone program looks like this.
In the upper left corner of the screen shot is the My Library file, to which you can add folders to organize your references. In this screen shot the cuttlefish folder is selected.
At the top, center, the references in the selected folder (cuttlefish) are displayed. One of these articles is selected in green highlighting.
In the upper right of the screen shot, all the information about the selected reference is displayed - such as item type, title, authors, date, abstract and keywords. You can toggle between viewing info, notes, tages, and related references.
So that your data is available from any machine, and saved on Zotero's server (this way you don't have to carry your computer around) you need to sync or save your information. To do so, you must have created an account at Zotero (free) and be logged into that account.
Zotero allows you to create note cards, just like you were writing and organizing the old fashioned paper cards. Before you create notes for your texts, it is helpful to think about the categories you might have in your research. Each note card will have a title -- the first few words you put on the card. By thinking in categories (or tags) you can quickly identify appropriate points. Zotero also has a search feature which will allow you to search through the full text of your note cards.