I am also left wondering what the difference might be with a citation manager and my own commonplace book.
1. Choose a citation manager.
2. Choose a way of storing readings.
3. Figure out how you prefer to read.
4. Look for information on your university library’s website about help with research.
5. Learn to read and take notes.
6. Develop an elevator pitch for your research interests.
7. Get a hobby or two.