Using a NoteTaking Tool to Write Your Thesis

Adèle, Canada

Fev 24, 2018

When writing a thesis, some essential tasks, such as reading and analyzing content, can become onerous. The large volume of content to analyze, the many different publications to read, the deadlines, all these factors will transform usually straightforward tasks into time-consuming tasks.

This is when preparation and organization become essential tools for reading and content analysis. Spend only a few minutes establishing a good method in your note-taking process to then accelerate your analysis.

Many note-taking applications already exist. LiGRE has followed the path by integrating a note-taking tool to its basic application.

The cloud and multi-platform access, easy classification, note exportations to Word online and note sharing are just some examples of the benefits of a note-taking application. Automatic recording is probably one of the greatest features of this kind of tool, and will save a lot of time and frustration to users who forget to save. But why and how can you use this tool to write the most valuable document of your student life, your thesis?

Because it is a powerful, fast and easy tool to use. Of course, there are as many ways to use it as there are users using it; however, when it comes to a long, precise and structured document, such as a thesis, it is essential to organize the note taking from the beginning.

The folders allow you to classify your notes by subject. But how should files be classified to accelerate the writing process? This is where visions differ. Here is a complete classification method that could be a source of inspiration.

The first folder to be created should be an organizational file. This folder could include your work plan with your deadlines, the list of people to interview with their availability and their contact information, the list of reference documents to consult, and any other list related to your organization. Another very interesting document to classify in this folder is the dashboard. The dashboard could include your progress, the time remaining before your next deadlines, and the upcoming tasks. Using a dashboard allows you to quickly see your progress, which can be a great motivator.

Creating a second folder, dedicated to your research, will help you to note what the subjects to broaden are and what the reference documents attached to these subjects are, and log the research already made.

Another folder, dedicated to interviews, can be created if needed. This folder could include the actual questionnaire, but also a summary of each interview as it is performed.

A folder should also be created to store the reading notes. Even if some people prefer to annotate their books, it can be helpful to transcribe these notes into one single document. Consolidating all the reading notes into one file helps build connections between the notes. This can also be the perfect place to summarize your understanding after a reading, when needed.

All the folders related to the thesis writing should be created based on the key milestones of your work plan. Each of these folders could contain your writing files, by subject.

Obviously, the Word online export option is very handy during the writing step, or at the end of that step. It is important to see if this feature is available with your note-taking tool from the start.

Of course, this method has to be adapted to your needs in order to empower your thesis writing. But when we devote just a few minutes to better organize ourselves from the start, we save time on the rest of the work and are more motivated.