Paperless…it’s all the rage!

As the title of my blog suggests, I am a big fan of going paperless when I can. I suppose this stems from my earliest years of teaching, when our staff office was mostly destroyed by fire. I am a paper hoarder and stacker,  so my desk was one of the worst affected as it had the most paper on it. This was in 1997, and there was no laptops for teachers at this stage, and only a few computers around for teacher use. It was then that I began to really use the computers (and disks) available to transfer all my planning and work to disk. The following year I began a Post Grad Diploma in ICT, and this added much needed skills and a shift in my thinking in what was possible with ICT, inside and outside the classroom.

I doesn’t seem surprising to me (or my nearest and dearest) that when I started my PhD journey I would need a new laptop, and that this blog has eventuated. I store increasingly more and more in various cloud based archives. For the last 4 weeks of my teaching I have had all of my presentations and resources stored in the cloud and accessed via the internet connection from the computer in my classroom. It has been great. I have also been promoting and modelling the use of EDMODO and our institutions LMS system for my classes.

This week, Thesis Whisperer posted this guest post from Marek Martyniszyn Going paperless part one: your desk « The Thesis Whisperer.  I liked it (I have 2 monitors at work), and some of the ideas resonated with where I have been and where I hope to go with this journey. The comments on the blog are also great, giving some alternative ideas and solutions to ‘go paperless’. So do pop over and have a read.

Like Thesis Whisperer, I find I still print off a few pages each month, these are mostly for formal letters or final proof reading of papers I am writing. I am happy that the majority of my reading is now on Menedely, with my annotations and notes easy to access and share.  My ideas and drafts are now being written into Evernote, using ‘Pomodoro’s ‘ while at ‘Shut up and Write’ sessions. I have also used google docs to collaborate with people on documents. As you can see there are a lot of ideas and techniques coming together for me at the moment, and as I head towards the end of my first year of candidature I feel quite well prepared and supported.

There are lots of ways of going paperless, what do you do? What is your favourite idea for going paperless?

Until next week

Fiona T

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Paperless Progess

This week has been school holidays, so LT has been home and we have been galivanting and visiting friends. I have, however, been trying to get some articles read in the evenings, and have reduced my Facebook time considerably (YAY)…

In my paperless efforts I have downloaded quite a few articles to read around my topic and methodology. These are sitting as PDF files in a folder called ‘papers to read’ on my laptop desktop. In an effort to be organised, I have even named them with their correct titles when they were downloaded. Many I have skimmed but have made great efforts this week to focus closely (attend) to the articles and make notes and highlight for quotes etc. I have found all of this can be done on the PDF file itself, there is an annotate option. You can simply highlight, or select a comment box or even a text box. This will then save for future review. I have resisted printing them off 🙂

My next step in my master plan was foiled. Unfortunately Googledocs translates everything uploaded into it’s own ‘format’, and while the PDF itself is now on my googledocs page, my comments are not. It did transfer the highlighting so it will be a bit of a back up, but not quite as complete as I had hoped. I wonder if Evernote may be a better holding point for my read articles? I will have to play with Evernote one evening and see how it will ‘stack up’ with my increasing demands. I also want to look at some other blogs from PhD people, written as they completed their study and see what I can learn about the road ahead…forewarned is forearmed 🙂

Until next week, happy reading!

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