August 28, 2020•447 words
Every so often, I decide to refresh my systems for getting work done. I've never really settled on any one routine for very long; I guess I just like to shake things up sometimes. It's totally a form of procrastination, but at least it's one that gets me excited about working again after a hiatus or a depressive funk or whatever.
Writing out my process helps me untangle my thoughts and start moving forward again. I was originally just writing this out for my own benefit, but then I thought it might contain a helpful nugget or two for someone else. So I decided to share it. If you get something out of it, I'd love to know!
- Firefox / University library resources / etc
- Nebo with Asus Pen
- Adobe Reader
- Standard Notes
- Most Dangerous Writing App
- LibreOffice Writer
- write something
- edit something
- read something
- discover something
- Take breaks!
- Leave a day between steps for the same source if possible; stay fresh
- Break tasks into tiny mini-tasks
- Use timers and stick to realistic time limits
- Gather sources via Firefox, university library, etc | discover
- Save citations to Zotero via extension or manually | discover
- Read source and annotate in Adobe Reader and/or Nebo | read
- Gather new citations discovered in the source; save to Zotero | discover
- Copy source notes to Standard Notes (for archival/reference purposes)
- Copy source notes to project page in Workflowy
- Tag individual notelets with themes in Workflowy | write
- Filter by tags in Workflowy; copy notelets of the same theme into respective sections in SN project doc | write
- Write using the arranged notelets in sections using Most Dangerous | write
- Edit and revise text in Standard Notes using markdown, several rounds | edit
- Export to rich text using Idiomatic; paste to LibreOffice Writer
- Final formatting edits | edit
As writing tends to go, this process is definitely iterative and requires lots of looping back. Oh, and "notelet" is a word I just made up to describe discrete ideas that I take down in my notes; a notelet could be a direct quote, a paraphrase, or an idea and/or response that I come up with while reading. You can think of them as individual index cards. Finally, I'm writing in an interdisciplinary humanities/social science field, so I'd be interested to know how well this process translates to other types of research.