The best reference manager


I have used much software for writing my papers from the undergraduate period.

Here’s the timeline: (I suppose I won’t change any more …)

**Reference manager **: EndNote –> Mendeley –> Citavi –> Zotero

Writing: Word –> Markdown (Typora+Notion) + LaTeX (Sublime Text)

This post focuses on the reference manager called Zotero


Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help youcollect, organize, cite, and share research.

Available for Mac, Windows, and Linux

Free, All platforms, and high Flexibility are the main reason why I choose Zotero.

As I don’t wanna compare different software here, you can try anyone you like.

Actually I bought Citavi more than one year ago, it’s only available for Windows until the Web version is released last year.

I was addicted to so many functions of Citavi, but I just used the annotation, organization and exportation.

Finally, I switched to Zotero which is clean and small.


Because I used Citavi for a long time, I need to import all references into Zotero.

The Zotero official website gives the methods for importing references from popular managers like EndNote, Mendeley, and Citavi.

Don’t be afraid. That’s easy and quick ;)

Settings, Sync and Plugins

I always use MEGA to sync my files across multiple devices and found this awesome tutorial on ResearchGate.

You can follow that to set up your own Zotero.

I list the benefits of Zetero here:

  • Basic organization of references

  • Extraction of references from PDFs and Webs

  • Accurate DOI and citation number

  • Auto renaming PDFs with own routes

  • Independent sync method:

    ‚Äč Official sync of references and personal sync of PDFs

  • Extraction of Notes

  • Analysis of references

  • Auto generation of bibliographies


You can check the Official Documentation for details.

The picture below is the interface of my Zotero.

Enjoy your Zotero !!!


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