Nurse's Watch: Conversations on contemporary nursing,
nursing education, leadership, spirituality and blogging.
~Start date February 2010~

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Surviving a doctoral program...

Organizational Helps:

Apps for the busy student...

Evernote and Dropbox for note taking and storage!

I am always trying to find more ways to be organized. When I ran across these two applications, my heart almost skipped a beat. Anyone with lots of ideas, notes, projects and segments to their lives are sure to love these; I know I do!

Evernote has a phone and tablet app so I am able to jot down ideas anywhere, anytime and when I open my laptop, there they are! Evernote is comprised of 'notebooks' that you label and yes, they look just like notebooks. I have several notebooks to keep various areas of my life compartmentalized and can place links and notes in them. If you are all over the place or an idea person, try it, you are sure to love it! 

Dropbox is just that, a box out in the wild blue yonder that holds whatever I need it to. It holds articles and such, or can store pictures. Many students use it to hold articles that they are reading so they can access them on mobile devices. You can also 'share' articles within groups or with other students. There are many uses for Dropbox and though I don't use mine a lot it is nice to have the versatility it offers.

Scrivener for document composition and writing!

Oh, how I wish I had found this before now but I just downloaded and am excited to have it in time for my dissertation, yay! This app is almost indescribable. I am very picky and demanding of apps that I actually pay for. This one delivers. It is specially designed for writers who write a lot. Novelists or researchers are sure to appreciate this robust writing tool. This application is for Macs or PCs. It can house my documents and the articles or links I am referencing. It also has notecards and a corkboard to keep me on track. Best of all, it exports to Word or anywhere else you need.

Index card is for your portable devices.

Index card enables one to take notes or create index cards for studying and then sending the cards to Scrivener. So for those times you don't want to take your laptop but you would like to create some notes for an article, this is the perfect solution.

Wunderlist for your lists.

Yes, I have a calendar but I am a list maker. Seriously, I need my lists to keep me on track. I also like to categorize them to the different compartments of my life. I know what you're thinking...but you just said you have Evernote for that. Yes, I do but Wunderlist is for the short lists, my to-do lists...and it syncs between all my devices. That is invaluable to me. I am looking for a calendar that does the same thing. I love awsome Awesome Cal but it isn't for the laptop. So on the calendar front, I'm still looking :-(

Endnote is a must!

Well, there is just no way in the world I would have survived this doctoral program thus far without Endnote. I know some people use Refworks and I'm sure it is a great tool also. Endnote definitely has a learning curve but it is well worth it. The school I attend provides this program while you are a student, but I already have plans to purchase it after I finish. If you are a researcher/writer you will need a high performance program such as this to organize your references.

I use the online version. The Cite While You Write feature magically inserts the reference at the end of the sentence when I go to tools, then Endnote and type in the author name. It also creates the bibliography page as it inserts each citation. Recently, I also installed it on my hard drive. They both sync, which is great. This version can change your document style from APA to MLA or AMA. I am sure a wizard who pitied poor doctorate students created this magnificent application.

Scapple for mind maps!

I'm sure this is hard to believe but I can be a bit scattered...I know, what a surprise. This is why I like mind mapping tools. They just follow my thoughts. My favorite, favorite, favorite is scapple. Why? Because it literally just follows my thoughts and I get to link things together the way I want. This app has been instrumental in allowing me to map out my plan of study and my research. Another app that is great for this is X Mind. I like X Mind but it is a more organized tool. It offers great templates and while you can rearrange them somewhat, I found the openness of Scapple works better for me.

Ok, where can you find these apps? Where you can find most anything, Google and the app store! I would encourage you to google these apps and read other reviews, which is what I did. I looked at screen shot after screen shot and tried to determine if these were going to be helpful. I, also, read other peoples comments and ratings on the app sites. This helped me choose what was likely to work best for me. Good luck!


No comments:

Post a Comment