Once in a while I happen across a tool that helps me in my work. Here are three.
This website helps me to read material at a much faster rate than I normally would. You can dial up the rate (in words per minute) so you can control how fast you read. You provide the text, via cut-n-paste. Sometimes I miss having the diagrams, and the structure of the words is lost, but all things considered this is a great tool.
This desktop app is great for helping you round out your ideas. I'm not sure why it helps so much, but for me it does. You quickly get used to adding new ideas, prioritizing them, shuffling them around, etc. It's really very easy to get started.
Here's another desktop application, this time one that helps me to remember things. As an example, I am just terrible at remembering people's names-- but jMemorize helps with that! By making electronic flashcards (yes, images can be put on one side!) you can use the provided 'Learn' mode to review all the cards in a group, removing the ones you get right. It's easy to use, you just run the java jar and away you go.
I hope these are as useful to you as they are to me.