Notes on Writing This Week (weekly)

  • tags: writing diigo research education

  • tags: writing thesis dissertation highered

    • Rites of passage are an unavoidable part of life.
    • “Propose your dissertation idea as early as possible,”
    • The best approach to writing a thesis or dissertation? Think early and think often.
    • “Talking to friends and family— many of whom are unfamiliar with your topic and the academic jargon you use—will improve how you articulate your topic and ideas; speaking with colleagues and professors will ensure that you’re on the right track and have an appropriate plan for your data analysis.”
    • knowing, from the outset, how you will organize your research
    • “Keep well organized notes, and use keywords to refer back to the literature,”
    • reference manager program like Refworks or Endnote
    • plan out my writing time each week
      • Know when you’re most productive too. Early morning and mid-afternoon for me. Possible 3rd wind at 6:45pm
    • write every day
    • “It’s important to have a concrete timeline with realistic goals,”
    • protect this time like it’s the most precious thing in the world.
    • turn your cell phone off
    • the thesis or dissertation process doesn’t have to be a solitary affair.
    • “Make time for yourself, your friends, and your family,” said Patricia Allen. “Don’t tell them you’re too busy! Exercise often—I do this at least three times a week—and eat your fruits and vegetables every day. Happy and healthy graduate students make for more prolific dissertation and thesis writers.”
  • tags: writing productivity hardware software

    • Laptop: Thinkpad X200
    • two different batteries for the ThinkPad
    • backup drive at the office
    • Phone: I’ve got a Google/HTC NexusOne
    • Operating system: I’m using Ubuntu
    • impressing me with spectacular Just Workingness
    • Ubuntu’s support for 3G wireless modems is vastly superior to the experience on the Mac and under Windows, where the 3G drivers are commercial and typically supplied by the cellular companies
    • I use Thunderbird, an industrial-strength local e-mail client that’s free and open, overseen by the Mozilla Foundation, best known for their Firefox browser. I find the spam filtering tolerably good, and I augment it by automatically adding every e-mail address I reply to to my address book, then using a filter to automatically color e-mail from my past correspondents green
    • I store my archived e-mails in nested folders:
    • I access my e-mail through an SSH tunne
    • Android POP client called K-9 mail
    • I dream of a faster, more robust search for Thunderbird. I have so much useful and important info in my archived e-mail, but Thunderbird is slow and poky when it comes to searching through all those millions of messages
    • Browser: I use Firefox, along with a small group of very useful plugins: CustomizeGoogle, which lets me see more search results (100 at a time), with miniature thumbnails for each; Linky (which lets me open a lot of links at once in multiple tabs, useful for articles that have been divided into multiple sections); and TinEye, an image search tool that helps me find the original version of images that I’ve located in anonymous corners of the web (great for making sure I credit the right source in a blog post)
    • Calendar: Thunderbird again.
    • Wishlist: I dream of having an RSS reader that will archive everything in every RSS feed I’ve ever read, and let me search it, fast, on my own hard drive. ZOMG. Drool. All that personalized corpus, in hyperlinked, cached, high-availability low-latency glory.
    • Office suite: I use the free/open OpenOffice.org.
    • Writing: I use a plain-jane text editor that comes with Ubuntu called Gedit
    • I like writing in simple environments that don’t do anything except remember what words I’ve thought up. It helps me resist the temptation to tinker with formatting.
      • YES YES YES
    • I use the GIMP for image manipulation; digiKam for image organizing and Flickr uploading; Ksnapshot for sophisticated screenshotting, Banshee as a media player, VLC for videos
    • My personal blogs all run on WordPress
    • Ubuntu bootable maintenance USB stick

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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