May 26th, 2020
Learning New Tricks: Keeping Sources Organized
By Peggy Thomas
I am a file by the pile person. I keep my research in a big tote, and never can decide how to organize the material because I never know exactly how I’m going to use it. But over the years I've learned several ways to keep my reference citations, especially for quoted material, accurate and accessible.
Going old-school has kept me organized for many years, but I am always eager to learn a better system. Thanks to Pat Miller, fellow NF Chick and creator of the NF Fest, I now use OneNote, which came with Windows 10 and Microsoft Office. It’s a computer program that lets you gather info from all types of media. The ones I am supremely giddy about are video and audio files.
For my new biography, I’ve been viewing dozens of documentaries, TV news clips, old radio interviews, and promotional videos. Much of it has not been transcribed, and it’s annoying trying to type and listen to a video or audio tape. I, for one, have a crappy memory and I can’t type fast enough. By saving the clips on OneNote I have all my quotes in one place regardless of the medium, and I can transcribe them at my leisure.
What is brilliant, is OneNote is also on my phone. I can be in a museum or archive, snap a photo of an exhibit, record my thoughts, and add them to OneNote. All my info will be waiting for me when I get back to my office.
OneNote is organized with files, and pages within the files. To add new info, open a page and click on Insert and then choose image, video, audio, screen shot, etc. OneNote automatically adds the link (also brilliant!). Here are a few examples: a passage cut and pasted from a website; a magazine article from a digital archive; an audio file; and video file.
What are your favorite ways to stay organized?
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