Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending a post-graduate research conference run by my Graduate School. It ran over 2 days, and I attended one of them. The day was fabulous and inspiring. We started with my fellow ‘shut up and writer’ and I running a modified ‘Shut up and Write’ session, so those who can’t normally make our weekday sessions could get a feel for how this works. We also hoped that they would perhaps join us during semester, or begin using this method on their own. I got to make a good start on a conference paper, so I was very happy :) The feel from the others was very positive too. We also had some discussion groups based around our stage of study, and workshops on what examiners are looking for and publications for different audiences. All interesting and insightful.
The session that rocked my little world was the ‘taming your thesis with technology’ session. I have been looking for this session for the last few years. The workshop leader was inspirational, and showed us a glimpse of the true power of the word-processing tools we have as standard installations on our computers. Setting up styles within documents, and using these to easily format tables of contents, figures and tables…let me just say it was an enthralling 2 hours. I have been generating small scale reports for my key stakeholders, and I know that even with these small documents, the tips from this workshop will save me much time and angst…I can only imagine how much time and angst will be saved when I put the sections of my thesis together :) I still recall the nightmare of pulling my Masters’ Thesis together – reprinting and formatting to make sure the table of contents matched the actual headings and page locations, not to mention when I had to move a figure or section eeek…. I am very much looking forward to NOT having to do that again :)
Along with Mendeley, Evernote and dropbox, it seems my word processor will be another reliable digital tool for my studies.
I wonder, what tip, trick or tool is saving you time and angst? Please feel free to share in the comments below, or on the facebook page :)
Until next time