[Downloadable] OneNote Binder Tailored for Academic Researchers and Writers


Link to the binder: http://tinyurl.com/zcqvu95 or https://app.box.com/OneNoteBinderForResearchers.

NOTE: I’ve made this post a sticky: That means it stays at the top of the blog. Newer blog posts show up below it.

[ADDITION] OneNote PRINTING HELP: To the end of this post I’ve added instructions on how to PRINT OneNote items from OneNote 2010 (other versions may differ).


OneNote is now available for Windows, Apple, and Android devices.

I have created a OneNote binder tailored for academic researchers and writers. The video below previews it. Once downloaded, you can customize and tweak it as you wish.

OneNote is a powerful, robust tool because OneNote mirrors the layout of a physical binder of notebooks, syncs across computers via SkyDrive/OneDrive, and allows for such features as:

  1. Automatic versioning of OneNote pages
  2. Tagging of content in OneNote (including creation of custom tags) and searching by tags
  3. Password protecting of tabs and sections
  4. Dragging-and-dropping into OneNote
  5. Adding screen clippings to OneNote
  6. Printing to OneNote via the OneNote printer
  7. OCR
  8. Deep searching across notebooks, in one notebook, or in one section (including Boolean searching and use of quotation marks to search for exact wording)
  9. Searching for words in audio and video notes/content
  10. Inking (handwriting)
  11. Handwriting to text conversion
  12. Nesting of notebook sections groups
  13. Nesting of subpages under pages, with the ability to collapse and expand subpages
  14. Notebook sharing and real-time collaboration with others
  15. File attachment
  16. Page templates
  17. Docking to desktop
  18. And more . . .

The learning curve is not bad, and OneNote can become even more powerful for users who read about how to use OneNote, view video tutorials, learn keyboard shortcuts, and add in OneNote add-ins of choice.

One of the best introductory videos about OneNote that I’ve encountered is the YouTube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuTBdonbYZo. If you already know the basics of OneNote, you might advance to about time stamp 17:44 of the YouTube video for some of the more advanced features and tips.

I’m pairing OneNote with my Livescribe Pulse pen (see this video to get the gist), my Windows laptop (see this video to see OneNote paired with a tablet), and my Windows Nokia Lumia 1020 smart phone to work smart, especially in terms of going “analog” more often when it’s more prudent to hand-write than to work on the computer. See this post and this video and even parts of this wonderful book for more about the importance of balancing analog versus digital working modes for learning and creative/academic work.

OneNote is an application to consider among options such as EverNote and Devonthink. Some people use OneNote in conjunction with EverNote or Devonthink, while others replace EverNote or Devonthink with OneNote. It is helpful to search the internet and read blogs and comments about the differences between OneNote and other similar programs and about different ways of using OneNote in conjunction with other programs.

Trying to figure out how to print an entire section or particular pages in a section from OneNote 2010?


  1. Click on the desired section tab. Look at the list of pages down the right-hand column.
  2. Select the pages you want to print, while holding down the
    1. the CONTROL KEY to select individual pages one at a time or
    2. the SHIFT KEY to select the first and last page you want . . .which will THEN result in selecting the first page you clicked, the last page your clicked, and all pages in between.
  3. Click on “File” at the very top of the OneNote program. Then click on “Print.”
  4. Click on “Print Preview” to format things or scroll through what will be printed . . . and/or click “Print” to print.
  5. IMPORTANT: If you need a PDF printer, install the free program CutePDF Writer onto your computer, and you will now have a PDF printer installed as an option for printing any time you print any document.

I hope that helps!



[Videos] Idea Mason Demos: A RIDICULOUSLY FABULOUS Academic Research and Writing Software Program


Last post I introduced Idea Mason. Let me just say: Words cannot express how clear I am on my project, thinking, writing, and revising with Idea Mason. I switched from Scrivener to Idea Mason and am ELATED. This is one … Continue reading

A Dissertation/Thesis Writing Workflow You’ll Love. It Works. It Flows. [SHORTER VERSION]

[SHORTER VERSION OF THE POST. See detailed version here.]

April 16, 2014 Update: Please view this workflow PDF, check recent blog posts, and visit the Tools pages in this blog’s menu to see updates to my approach as I make them.

January 14, 2014 Update: I still largely use but have tweaked the workflow below. I share the tweaks at the detailed version of this post. Also, this PDF provides an overview of the tweaks, along with links to videos and relevant software websites. Many blessings, and happy writing!



Many dissertation and thesis writers LOVE Dr. Single’s System for Academic Writing. I’m one such thesis writer. It is probably the most enlightening thing I’ve ever encountered about academic writing, aside from George Gopen’s exceedingly eye-opening, very awesome work, “The Sense of Structure: Writing from the Reader’s Perspective.”

I looked up the other day and realized that my digital workflow FLOWS very fluidly now (despite being both digital and physical and being comprised of multiple programs). And it employs Dr. Single’s System beautifully (well, in my humble opinion–smile).

The digital “stars” of the workflow are: Mendeley, Citavi, and Scrivener. (Aside: Citavi is Windows only at the moment, though a cross-platform, web-based version is in development according to Citavi’s creators. From what I’ve heard (not much Mac experience here), Mac users might try Papers instead of Citavi.)

The digital “supporting actors” of the workflow are: LiquidPlanner, ProWritingAid, and your text editor of choice (I use MS Word).

Below I share the workflow. It’s simple (as far as simplicity in thesis writing goes)!

I would LOVE to hear from you, so please feel free to add your comments and tips. Feel free to use it to inspire your own. And as always, happy writing/working!

Best wishes,


NOTE: The Mac version of Scrivener is more robust than the Windows version of Scrivener that I use. Thus, some of the steps (such as the Read-Aloud editing step) can be done within Scrivener Mac instead of Adobe.


The workflow, the short version:

  1. Manage your long writing as a Project in LiquidPlanner. Get the free, education-usage subscription if you qualify. It’s quick to obtain.
  2. Store, organize, tag, and annotate PDFs in Mendeley.
  3. Collect notes and quotes in Citavi. Citavi will take CARE OF YOU, citation and bibliography-wise! PAPERS is not Citavi, but if on a Mac, perhaps try the program PAPERS until Citavi’s web-based version becomes available.
  4. Outline your long paper in Scrivener, and save the corresponding, blank outline structure of folders and component text files AS A TEMPLATE.
  5. Create two versions of the file using this template: (1) a “do-the-drafting-here” instance of the file and (2) a “just-receive-and-store-print-ready-final-drafts-here” version of the file. Some folks may additionally want to create a “freewrite-here” version of the file. NOTE: That’s a bit much for me (3 Scrivener files to manage), and since freewriting can be done via Scrivener’s global Scratchpad, I use that.
  6. Before you write each paragraph, to help you write the paragraph more efficiently than not, plan the points (i.e. paragraphs) you need to make for each section of your thesis/dissertation. AND THIS IS THE KEY: DO THIS POINT/PARAGRAPH PLANNING VIA THE COMMENTS FEATURE IN SCRIVENER (see detailed explanation of this in the detailed version of this post).
  7. While drafting: Copy and paste quotes and notes from Citavi into Scrivener as needed. Citations and bibliography creation is happening when you do this. See http://service.citavi.com/KB/a357/using-citavi-with-scrivener.aspx
  8. Two editing tips/techniques/tools:
    1. Save your writing as a PDF, play it aloud, and edit based on editing needs you hear. Be carefully about alternate spellings you can’t “here.” 😉
    2. Copy and paste a (small enough) section of your text into Pro Writing Aid’s editor, click the “Analyze” button, and mindfully utilize/implement suggestions at your discretion.
  9. Copy and paste (or export/import) finalized section drafts into the version of the Scrivener file that exists just only to receive and store completely polished, ready-to-compile-together-and-then-be-printed-out section drafts.
  10. Export this Scrivener file to MS Word if you need to: There, take all of the bibliographies generated for each section and condense them into one bibliography at the end of the paper, do final edits and proofreading, and be done!

HONORABLE MENTION: XMind for Outlining and Creating Audio Notes

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention XMind for brainstorming in the form of mind mapping. This is usually how I discover/create/hone my outlines. Good writing of very long works hinges on the outline: A long work’s outline needs to be authentic–the one you REALLY want to write from, not just the product of an exercise just so you can claim have an outline–and it needs to be quite thoughtful. XMind can get your outline there! And it’s FUN: You can attach audio notes to every mind map node in XMind; you can dive down into nodes to get to a zoomed-in view; and you can (re)emerge up from inside a node to get to a higher-level view.

As always, happy writing!!!

NOTE: Access the detailed version of the workflow here.

You Want LiquidPlanner: It’s the Reverse Calendaring Answer and a Dream Work Environment


Having a reverse calendar is pretty important, IMHO. I have never had too much luck with getting a good, accurate, full/complete reverse calendar made.

. . . Until now. I now have a “soul-satisfying” reverse calendar that is ridiculously realistic, asks me to “okay” a recalculation of the reverse calendar as I tick of tasks as “done” or when I don’t and the estimated finish date passes, etc. The app itself does SO MUCH MORE in a very “get in and get out and on with your work” kind of way. 


  • If you’ve been fine without it and don’t really need an accurate and/or constantly auto-updating reverse calendar . . . ignore this post wholly.
  • If you don’t like stuff like Kanbanflow and just prefer paper-and-pencil, CERTAINLY ignore this post wholly! 
  • If you don’t like Internet apps even a little, then likely ignore. Note: I get the aversion, but for this one I gladly make an exception. It’s that important to my accurate time and task management.

Okay: I’ve tried my best to save people time from reading on who don’t need to or won’t benefit.

On to the information . . .

Fast, simple, fluid environment–compatible with all operating systems. Yay! NOTE: REQUIRES INTERNET ACCESS, THOUGH.
I made the reverse calendar (i.e. auto-scheduled list of tasks) in a simple, fluidy application in a short amount of time, despite having about 52 tasks and tiny subtasks on my reverse calendar (everything it will take to finish, 28 of which are to fill in lit review forms).

FINALLY: A truly, truly realist calendar!!!
This app allows you to enter best case – worst case scenario RANGES OF TIME for how long each task will take you to complete. Then it schedules all tasks so that the completion date for the FINAL task is estimated for you as a range.

Here are two videos I made about it (if you let the videos load and EXPAND THEM TO FULL BROWSER SIZE, you can see better/more):

Video 1 (3:14 in duration): Intro . . . a super fast overview that doesn’t show the reverse calendar, but just quickly shows the app work space

Video 1:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-24b4cXLpUk

Video 2 (9:48 in duration): Shows how you can start the timer and stop the timer on a task, link from the task to the FILE ON YOUR COMPUTER related to the task, and most of the major details about the app as a whole

Video 2:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ExQd39ekks

Just had to share, in case this can really help some folks to start getting a grip on their project/thesis/dissertation/tasks/motivation/focus/etc. You REALLY see your project once you have a reverse calendar. This one just stays accurate the whole way through. SOBERING and ENCOURAGING all at once, ya know?


It’s Project Management, Stupid!

Okay: So as an educator, I am VERY averse to hearing (much less using) the word stupid:   Of course, the post’s title is a play on James Carville’s famous phrase “[It’s] the economy, stupid.”

It’s a fitting post title, though: Recently I was sitting around and reflecting about ALL the stuff I need to MANAGE as a graduate student. There’s:

  • reference management,
  • knowledge management,
  • resource management,
  • time management,
  • research skills management,
  • task management,
  • email management (and communication management in general),
  • contact management,
  • PDF storage management,
  • note-taking management,
  • course management,
  • money management . . .

Management! See what I mean? In that moment, I just sat up straight and thought to myself, “It’s project management, ______.” Well, kind of. It was more like I slowly rolled the thought around in my head, “This thesis is not a task! It’s a PROJECT. And I need to manage it. With all the time and task management ‘stuff’ I have, I’m still not quite managing  this project as well as I need to.”

And thus commenced my “during-downtime-only” hunt for project management (PM) software that would nicely accommodate a research-writing project.

Having been spoiled by fluid, online Java apps like Kanbanflow and Workflowy, I just wasn’t feeling Zoho and other similar PM applications. I fiddled lightly with a few PM apps before stumbling upon AceProject and Moovia.

Aside: There may be other, better, fluid-y, research/writing-accommodating PM software apps out there. I haven’t been at liberty to search a lot, as I must prioritize . . . well, research and writing. 😉 But these two apps–Moovia and AceProject–are onto something, I think.

I don’t have much experience with either, so I’ll be brief and leave you to explore and compare them if you are so inclined. I’m near certain I’m going with Moovia because it’s a (private, if you like) FaceBook-like environment that lets writing meet Google Drive meet Kanbanflow meet burndown charts,” and it is FLUUUID! There is one thing: It lacks the start-and-stop timer that AceProject has. If you’re a student scholar that has explored any writing helps tips, you likely know how important using “that kitchen timer” and/or techniques such as the Pomodoro technique are.

About AceProject: Boy, does it give you a lot of leeway to DESIGN. You can skip over all of the features you don’t need, though. I don’t have much to say about AceProject, though I think it’s pretty neat. Too be honest, once I saw Moovia’s fluidity and simple Google Drive integration, I stopped trying to determine whether I desired to place/organize/link/map documents into AceProject, and I just moved on to Moovia.

Moovia is free (and so is AceProject if you don’t want the paid version).

I comment in more detail about my enjoyment of Moovia in this update to an older blog post of mine. Like I said, I haven’t spent much time in it, but at first impression, I’m truly appreciating it! Just the Google Drive integration ALONE renders it awesome. Not a lot of PM software apps that I encountered accommodated online document editing. But with my  Google Drive docs connected to tasks and such and just a click away for editing . . . I’m EASILY going back and forth between thinking, idea jotting, tips jotting, and writing.

Best wishes for your management of all that you manage! I say we pat ourselves on the back. I bet you didn’t even REALIZE how well you’ve BEEN managing. We’re making it, ya’ll!

Aside: My current researcher-writer mottoes, by the way, are manifold (chalk it up to the stage of the game I’m in! ;)). They are:

  • “Lord, give me a spirit of finishing, following through, and closing things OUT!” – Mickey
  • Attitude:
    • “Hear ye, hear ye, obstacles: I’m winning anyway.” – Mickey
    • “Get through it, not by fighting but by accepting and persisting in each moment. Get through it, not with resentment for what you must do but with gratitude for what you can accomplish.” – Ralph Marston
  • Handling academy problems: “Produce a light. And be/stay one. Darkness cannot extinguish light, but light can extinguish darkness. This is about having your light (contribution, spirit) shine in your field & department.” – Mickey
  • Freedom in writing:
    • “Write fearlessly.” – Frank Pajares
    • “Perfection is the voice of the oppressor.” – Anne Lamott
    • “Flow doesn’t come to those who try to express themselves well. Flow comes to those who express themselves freely.” – Barry Michel
    • “A real outline occasions freedom in drafting. (And this works vice versa at times!)” – Mickey

Take care! And blessings!