The only way to continue on this scholarly journey is to keep learning. But one of the things that I have found that can disappear from the routine is reflection. I am easily excited about the new ideas I read, more data, a great conversation and contact, a new network. People, places and possibilities characterise my work day. And yet I need to build in time to reflect so that these ideas do not get lost along the way.I need to curate new information, I need to connect the ideas together, I need to see how the various layers inform one another.
How do I reflect? I have various tools in place and they are all a work in progress.
I use Evernote to collate material and inspiration that I need to file away and revisit.
I have a working diary that allows me to note my work ‘to do list’ and remind myself of deadlines.
I use Zotero to manage my bibliography.
I use pen and paper to mind map the big picture ideas and create links and new pathways.
I journal my research on a daily, sometimes weekly basis.
I use voice memos to record interviews, ideas and audio notes to self.
I blog – as a way to capture some of the key messages that are making their way into my head.
I use Twitter to connect and build research based networks.
This PhD life is about learning through my ability to reflect, solve, create, grow and think.