Scrivener for keeping PhD work organised and tidy
This is just to share my discovery that has helped me immensely in my work and that I hope will be of use to others.
One of the main challenges that I have faced in my PhD so far was keeping my PhD work organised and tidy. Before, I used to keep everything on my laptop in one folder proudly titled ‘PhD’. However, very soon the folder turned into a real mess and I noticed that I started loosing track of what I had in it. Looking for a solution, I by chance came across Scrivener, a programme originally designed for novel writers. That day changed my life. Ok, let’s be modest, it changed my life as a PhD student.
The basic idea of Scrivener is that it allows creating big projects like novels with multiple sub-documents like chapters, scenes, etc. inside a single file. Of course, I am not writing a novel but all my transcripts, reflections, reading notes, etc. needed some overarching structure and I thought why not put them together as a single book.
I’ve been using Scrivener for my PhD work for half a year already and here are my highlights:
1. It indeed helps me to be more organised and tidy in my work.
2. It helps me see the progress and stay positive. I see how new ‘chapters’ get added to my ‘book’, and this reassures me that I am indeed progressing and sooner or later will be able to put 80,000-word manuscript on the table.
3. Scrivener allows integrating audio with word processor, which makes transcribing easier.
4. Scrivener is a computer based programme so I don’t need to worry that my data is somewhere there in the ‘clouds’.
5. The programme has a fantastic distraction free composition mode, which I found helps me to speed up in my writing.
I have a lot to say about Scrivener but will say no more. I really do not want to sound like a sales person. I’ll just leave the link: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php and let you explore the programme yourself.