When you start looking and gathering materials for work it is difficult to resist the temptation to think “useful”. The temptation is so deceptive that when we collect everything that seems useful to us, we usually end up with a lot of small sheets of paper, a lot of photocopiers that we do not remember at least half, books, clippings and files on the computer (and usually written in a few places). Today, therefore, a few rules that help maintain order.
Rent books that you have borrowed or bought immediately. Check the table of contents, briefly the content of individual chapters, bibliography – find out if this book is really needed or just takes a place on the shelf and makes a good impression. If the book turns out to be useful, it is worth assessing whether we need to read it all or only fragments will be enough for it.
- Be sure to order photocopies. It is best to put in the binder intended for them. You can put them in T-shirts or punch the pages (it’s a bit more convenient because you do not have to take sheets of paper every time). Remember: – save on the first page photographed author’s materials, the title of the book where the excerpt comes from, the scope of pages, publishing and the year (such description will be very helpful when creating a bibliography).
- describe the materials. One – two sentences will be enough to summarize the knowledge that is important to us in a given passage. The memory is unreliable, and I am convinced that nobody wants to read the same articles twice
- you can mark the edges of individual photocopiers in color to make them different. It is also worth using the spacers that allow you to sort a large amount of materials into groups, as well as quickly reach a specific place without having to search the entire binder
- materials arrange thematically, chronologically or alphabetically … choose the style that suits you best. Just remember to be consistent.
Notes made by hand have a few pluses, but probably super-tech readers will find that they have a computer. But while taking notes, we start additional parts of the brain that improve our concentration and facilitate better memorizing of information.
Besides, thanks to the notes we are able to collect a lot of material using just a few key points. The three foundations for efficient listing are: selecting the most important information, making the information understandable, saving it so that it is easy to remember.
What is important: – note only the most important entries / concepts / sentences. We often write too much, rewrite entire sentences, and thus occupy space and head with unnecessary information. Do not rewrite the book !!!
- use underlining, printed letter – mark the most important thing
- create headers
- use shortcuts
- use bullets
- try to write in your own words
- draw – illustrating the information heard helps
- play with colors – if you like
- write clearly
Files on the computer must be ordered. It’s best if all materials are in one place. The most convenient way is that you have one dedicated work folder, inside which you have catalogs always properly described. Of course, the individual files also describe.
Let it be the title, or the author, or the date or type of document or scope of work to which the materials are needed. Remember that after the description itself, the file should be recognizable and you should know what is inside. There is nothing worse than opening all files one by one and checking what is really there.
Programs for notes. There are a lot of them, eg OneNote or Evernote. Allows you to save all documents, files, photos, links, screen shots, even hand-held notes in one place on your computer.
And thanks to the fact that programs of this type are multi-platform, we have access to our materials not only at home, but also, for example, on a smartphone in any place where we want to write a master thesis;)
The order in the files will make it easier to write and then to create both footnotes and bibliographies.