[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!



Dealing with Writer’s Block Part 4 of 4: What I’ve Learned and Generated in Response Over the Past 5 Years

(. . . continued from the previous post)

[6] The Urgent, Important Priority of Maintaining Mental, Digital, and Physical Organization (Because for Me Even the Slightest Bit of Chaos Can Induce Writer’s Block!)

I’m looking at my definition of writer’s block again:

Writer’s block is the lack of writing generation that results when a person attempts to write or force writing when either (1) he or she has not done sufficient prewriting, (2) he or she cannot focus on the ONE sentence or paragraph or section that can be written, or when (3) he or she has yet to consciously or subconsciously fully buy in to the idea that NOW is the time to get the writing down.

Even if I have done sufficient prewriting . . . even if my mind is peacefully processing only the current item of focus so that my mind is not too overwhelmed with ideas and information . . . even if I am task-focused (i.e., have the willpower AND the motivation) . . . if I can’t find, access, or display my prewriting content (outlines, notes, annotations, quotes, etc.) fully or fluidly or in a way that doesn’t interrupt my flow of thought during writing . . . I am, for all intents and purposes, WRITING BLOCKED.

Thankfully, over the years I have continuously improved my personal writing methodology along with the level of sync/seamlessness between the tools I use for each component of my personal writing methodology.

It is flexible: When I need to go vocal, I can without creating files to lose all over my computer and thus getting unorganized. Instead I can capture what I vocalize, juxtapose the audio recording with what I’m writing, and USE it all. Also, when I need to go COMPLETELY physical and get out of the computer, I can do so in such a way that keeps things in my visual field, refreshes me, gets the writing flowing, and fits into my overall outline.

Some of the ways I “go physical” include working on my make-shift thesis research board (see photo gallery below), in my Livescribe pen and notebook, in my thesis binder, or via a method of outlining-and-writing-on-physical-note cards discussed here with photos here. I have learned over time how to capture my physical work in ways that can EASILY be organized and incorporated into my digital work.

That brings me to the conclusion 🙂 . . .

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[7] CONCLUSION: My Methodology, Physical and Digital Tools, and Workflow

I’ve made some pretty significant tweaks to my writing methodology and workflow since I last did an update here at the blog. The reason for the major changes? I have rediscovered MS OneNote. Oh, it is GLORIOUS once you sync the web and desktop apps and start using some of its features that allow you to

  • store your PHYSICAL work digitally in an ORGANIZED way without having to work hard to do so,
  • drag and drop from other applications,
  • print a website or PDF directly to OneNote via the OneNote printer that installs with OneNote,
  • open OneNote in your handwriting-recognizing tablet if you have one (I don’t yet but my physically-created yet digital Livescribe pencasts such as this one sync to OneNote).

WARNING: If you invest in a Livescribe pen, do your research VERY carefully. I have an older model that allows me to tap on the physical paper where I’ve handwritten notes and hear playback of audio notes I’ve recorded. The new Livescribe 3 does not permit this. It has other features for audio playback. Also, some Livescribe pen models were designed with Evernote in mind, some with iPad in mind, etc. Some only work over Wi-Fi, etc. There are MANY complaints at the website over these differences from folks who purchased “the wrong” pen given the technology or apps they own or prefer. I love my pen but knew precisely what I was getting and what I wasn’t getting, and I knew exactly how I could get it to fit into my workflow. In the future I will use a stylus with a digital tablet and likely phase Livescribe out of my workflow, though I have liked that the Livescribe pen and notebook allow me to work apart from a computer, tablet, and the ever-distracting Internet.

I don’t have the time free now to fully document my updated writing methodology and workflow in light of MS OneNote. Perhaps sooner than later I’ll be able to make a short, unscripted video just so some components of the methodology and workflow can be seen. It might inspire ideas for your own. Of course, everyone’s writing methodology and workflow are necessarily personalized and my methods might not help you at all. In the meanwhile, here’s the overview:

  1. MS OneNote: Organize writing as a writing PROJECT into an easy-to-keep, organized, digital notebook that mirrors the structure of a physical notebook. Do MS OneNote screen captures, print websites to MS OneNote, print PDFs to MS OneNote for annotation, collect all your musings and ideas and considerations and inspirations and strategies . . . etc. Keep to do lists. Make video and audio annotations. Etc.
  2. Mendeley: Organize PDFs into folders. Tag articles (with tags such as “was read on date ___,” “was printed on date ___,” etc.). Add keywords to articles (“methodology,” “content analysis,” “research question 1,” etc.). Do deep, deep searches down into the text of your PDF collection to quickly re-identify articles that you often vaguely remember. Do first-pass reading and do light note-taking and annotating. Your PDF stays clean. Your notes and annotations are searchable. Organization of notes, however, is not the best . . .
  3. . . . Enter Citavi. I’ve said much about it here at the blog. I believe this is the most comprehensive Citavi video I’ve made. Readers can enter “Citavi” in the search box at the top of the blog to pull up videos and discussion of Citavi.
  4. Docear for going from the concepts about which you’re reading to an outline (I just ignore the not-so-pretty interface in Docear). Toggle back-and-forth between a concept map display and a vertical outline display of the same content. This jolts ideas and thoughts and hierarchy. Export as mind map and import into Scrivener, Citavi, MS Word, XMind, etc. as you need.
  5. XMind: Please see previous discussion of Xmind in this four-part post.
  6. Scrivener: Planning of writing, sketching of writing (see this Carlis document), etc. Between:
    1. the snap shot (versioning) feature,
    2. the project notes panel which can hold your research question and abstract so you can always display it near your writing,
    3. the near-your-writing document notes panel,
    4. the near-your-writing synopsis card,
    5. the ability to create a Scrivener file as template that you use to create brainstorm, raw draft, first draft, and final draft versions using the same outline (Scrivener template file),
    6. etc.,
      there’s LOTS of mental and logical support for writing within Scrivener.
  7. Pencil and note card to implement this strategy or Livescribe pen and notebook in order to write by hand as prudent or helpful.
  8. MS Word for first drafting, with Citavi open within containing your outline and all your notes, quotes, thoughts, images, etc. Import Scrivener sections into MS Word as desired. Citavi handles citations and bibliography-building JUST BEAUTIFULLY.

The remaining key players in my work flow include Snagit, Snagit Editor, and now Watership Planner (which has a medium-level learning curve, which I asked for an academic discount, and which surpasses Liquid Planner for personal project management, IMO).

Well, I would love to hear of how you define and deal (or have dealt) with writer’s block, so please add your comments. For instance, I never benefited from EverNote by which many people swear! It’s MS OneNote all the way for me. Do you find EverNote very good or even indispensable? How are you using it? Also, how do you smooth things between working physically and digitally? Do you go all physical largely until it’s time to draft? Do you go all digital? Or have you found tools that help you marry your physical and digital work?

Inquiring minds want to know! 😀

Take care and godspeed with your current endeavors!

Many blessings,


The Hacked Role of Idea Mason’s “Material” and “Reminder” Items in My Workflow (and a Shout-out to Google Chrome’s MindMup)


For my next post, I’m going to share how I do  a technique I came up with which I all S.M.A.R.T. pomodoro tomatoes (the word “S.M.A.R.T.” in that sentence takes you to one link, and the word “pomodoro” takes you to another link). This technique I’ve come up with is for fostering writing affinity, or developing what Bolker calls writing addiction.

For now, I’m inspired to post about how I’m writing right now. I’m methodical so it’s not super fast for me, but it’s going just fine. I am looking forward to speeding up with all this in the future simply as a by-product from having more experience. I will likely always take a fair amount of time. I write just like Monica Lee says she writes (I feel SO affirmed) in her chapter “Finding Voice: Appreciating Audience” (see Rocco, T. S., & Hatcher, T. (2011). The handbook of scholarly writing and publishing. John Wiley & Sons).

Overall I’m a happy camper. I’ve grown and learned much beyond where I began. I can write and actually understand that I can. Good deal. 🙂

The Reason for the Post: Sharing Three Critical Resources That Have Come to Be THE Difference-Makers for Enabling Me to Write

I was writing today using my resources and realized: “Where would I be without THESE?!??” I mean, nothing’s really a necessity, and even if I only had a typewriter, I’d be pecking away! LOL! But, I do need to document these resources for my future self.

I share about them below.

Of course, your mileage may vary. Especially regarding the last resource, which works wondrously awesomely for me because I can only get out drafts by turning not-so-great drafts into better drafts pretty methodically and visually.

Two of the three resources below I found on my own. One I discovered at PhinisheD.org. Two are pretty normal. One is not-so-normal, and I have completely hacked it!  It’s also slightly quirky, but pays me back over and over for any and all quirks.  Feel free to post a question in the comments or email me if you are testing it out and have questions about how I get the most out of it.

This tool is all about facilitating good WRITING. It is not for final publishing, IMHO (too many little formatting issues and not the best citation method for ME, but other “fans” don’t complain of these). Depending on what you write in your various “text containers,” you can send sentences, paragraphs, sections, chapters, etc. ONE AT A TIME or the whole draft to an open MS Word file. Then you can format (e.g. change straight quotes to curly quotes with a find all and replace all –ugh!) and do dynamic citation via, say, the Citavi Add-in if added to MS Word (that way the reference list gets built automatically). That’s what I do. If you want to try it but are on a Mac, you could but would need to run something like Windows Parallel.

Resource #1: The Single Method of Note-taking and Writing for a Dissertation as detailed here. PRICELESS! I would not finish without it. Many at PhinisheD benefit from it. If you read the reviews . . .

Resource #2: The Handbook of Scholarly Writing and Publishing. Wow. Can’t say anything more because I wouldn’t even know where to begin. (And that’s saying a lot! )

Resource #3 (see image and videos below) is my life saver. Despite the straight quotes thing.  (And dashes. That’s the last thing: Why don’t long DASHES export to MS Word? ). But genuinely, it would take me hours to explain all that it permits for me because of the way I use it.

If it didn’t exist, I’d still finish. But I write 1,012% better with this resource than in Scrivener or MS Word because of what writing is like for me and how writing works and goes for me.

The main, MAIN thing is that this resource allows me to very SEAMLESSLY blend the Single Method of academic reading, note-taking, and writing; the advice in the Carlis “one-draft dissertation” document (ignore the title if you like because beyond it all of the advice therein is just so illuminating for newbies); and Dr. Murray’s snack-writing method as I discussed elsewhere at this blog (feel free to use the search box to learn about it).

Below are a picture and links to videos I made (old videos, now, that don’t show my now-learned hacks but still explain the resource).

Note: The red arrow in the picture points to a tool you have called “Reminders.” Of course I’ve completely hacked and repurposed this tool. 🙂 It’s resizable, it floats with you wherever you go on your computer or the Internet, etc, and you can give it a title. You can open up multiple ones, drag and drop them onto your outliner in the program.

I write my paragraph’s or section’s Focus Statement in one, and let it hover over my drafting as I draft. You can paste and resize images in it (and that is a hack move so it takes a special move to do). Then you can hover the image over your draft as you write about it. One time I opened up two “Reminders” (I call them “sticky notes”), sized them both to half the size of my computer screen, placed them side by side, and placed draft #1 inside one and draft #2 inside the other and compared . . . copying and pasting, transferring headings . . . numbering sentences and paragraphs in order to ORDER things . . . comparing the before-and-after of how the draft read after moving one paragraph . . . etc.

Creating a reverse outline of a draft is super easy: Open a new file, paste your composition in a “text container.” View it. And start building the outliner, which sits to the left of all drafts. Unlike in Scrivener (which is great, too), adding an item to the outline doesn’t necessitate creation of a new, placeholder text file. You can make it so if you want to per outline component or not. You choose PER outline item.

I explain more in the caption to the image below.

NOTE: To enlarge the image for better viewing, please click the image. It will open in a new browser tab.

I set my writing containers to display three windows side-by-side. First I create the writing PLAN in window #2. Then I think about what to cite and what tables, figures, and appendices to use to support parts of the writing I've planned. Finally, I draft in window #1. You can click and send the main text window to MS Word.

NOTE: I’ve totally repurposed “Materials” in Idea Mason. In Idea Mason, you can create different “Materials” (for building draft content) and configure them however you like. I decided to take a blank container type, call its type “(sub)section,” and save the configuration of it to display three windows side-by-side. Every time I create a new (sub)section type of material, it opens up with this layout. Meaning, the comment and footnote are tabbed documents drug to the top. I don’t use these windows for comments or footnotes. Not at all. 🙂 To do good writing with this setup: First I create the writing PLAN in the middle window. Next I think about who to cite to support my intended writing and what tables, figures, and appendices to use to support the parts of the writing I’ve planned. I type that up in the right-most window. Finally, I draft in the left-most window, copying quotes and paraphrases from Citavi because the citation info comes along. Of course I draft referring constantly to the middle and last windows. You can click and send to MS Word whatever you like (the content of each of the windows, one window, or two of the windows).

Here is a link to a post containing my series of short videos about the tool: http://theblossomingfledglingresearc…tware-program/

NOTE: Video #5 (3 minutes in length) is no longer an issue. The developers responded immediately and remedied it. They are very responsive.

You can check out reviews here and otherwise learn more at other pages of its website.

Other actions in my workflow include mind mapping in Google’s MindMup because it’s kind of fun. (I create a child node first to anchor/build everything off of because it then “organizes” better, and then mind map AWAY!) You can drag the canvas, open and close nodes for clarity, export to FreeMind (*.mm), which I do and open in Docear so I can toggle back and forth between the concept map, branching layout and the vertical outline format. You can export your MindMup to a vertical hierarchical format (MS Word, HTML, etc.). NOTE: You can drag the canvas in Docear, too, highlight nodes to size their width, open and close nodes to put away details, etc. You can export both the MindMup or the Docear mind map to Ms Word. (NOTE: The Docear mind map in MS Word opens in Web Layout View so you have to select Print Layout view to “get back to normal.”)

So what are your favorite strategies and what tools enable them? I’d love to hear your experiences. Learning how you write and why and finding ways to do it well are victories indeed. 🙂

As always, take care, and happy writing! 

[Video] Easier Writing in Gingko App, the Most FLUID Writing Environment Imaginable


It’s been a long while since I’ve been able to post. My thesis deadline is fast looming, and so this will likely be my last post until I finish my thesis and finish presenting in Spring of 2014.

I’m going on hiatus with a bang, though: Below is a very quickly-made video of how I’m using Gingko App (you’ve GOT to see it) to do the Single Method of Academic Writing, which Dr. Single outlines in her book “Demystifying Dissertation Writing.” Her method is a game changer. You want to know about the method. 🙂 Gingko App makes it SUPER FLUID. But, even if you don’t use her method, Gingko App is still just an amazingly fluid writing environment.

ASIDE: One thing I left out of the video is how easy it is to create the quotes in Citavi by just highlighting the quote in the PDF preview displayed in Citavi, and then pasting the quote into a Citavi quote bubble. This makes quote-gathering a BREEZE!

Well, I hope you enjoy the video. (Click on the little square in the lower-right corner of the YouTube video to expand it fully to a large view.) Please feel free to post comments and/or questions. Take care, and as always, happy writing!

[Videos and Links] Prepping for Academic Writing Month. It Starts Today!

Academic Writing Month Is Here!


For the past week or so I’ve been prepping to participate in AcWriMo, or Academic Writing Month. I revised my outline, gathered my materials, re-examined my writing process, and made some revisions.

I’m using Write or Die to create writing challenges for myself, and I’m using James Hayton’s Three Month Thesis blog as my academic writing coach. Other writing helps include those found at Duke’s Writing Center web page: http://twp.duke.edu/writing-studio/resources/academic-writing/drafting. NOTE: The two links under “Paragraphs and Transitions” are particularly useful.

Below are two videos documenting some of that process. The first video shares my streamlined computer folder/file structure. And the second video shares the amazingness of Citavi: How it can reside within MS Word to make citation and bibliography-building a cinch, and how it is best friends with Adobe and web browsers. This is especially useful with Google Scholar. NOTE: Mac users can run Citavi via Windows parallel.

Enjoy the videos, and many vibes for your current endeavors!




Online Pre Peer Review??? Chapter Swap and UNC’s AWESOME YouTube Videos on Academic Writing

What do you think about submitting your writing project online, for a peer to review, before submitting it to a journal?

That is what Chapter Swap is all about. Check it out here: http://chapterswap.com.

My first thoughts are: “Awesome! How motivating. Fulfills an IMPORTANT function!” I’m still mulling it over, however, trying to imagine any drawbacks/problems. 🙂

I see zero problems, however, with the UNC writing tutorial videos shared at the Chapter Swap website in order to assist reviewers in reviewing writing.

Here’s the link: http://chapterswap.com/howtodoareview/.

These videos are awesome and reflect much of the BEST I’ve read about writing.

So, what do YOU think about Chapter Swap? Awesome or concerning?


[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

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?


[Video] Quotes and Tips Photo Album for a PhD/MA Survival Kit

The best dissertation is a done dissertation.

One tiny step at a time: That’s the way.

Working feels better than not working.

Quotes and tips such as these actually really help as they take root and become a part of the thesis or dissertation writer’s mindset, especially when reinforced and shared in a community of writers and researchers.

So how to keep them at the forefront of one’s mind once you identify the quotes and tips that really help you?

I’m sure there are many, many ways. What I’ve done is to create a 4-inch by 6-inch photo album of said quotes and tips, complete with a STAND so the quotes and tips can be displayed as I work (see 50-sec video below). The frame cost me $5, and it took me 15 minutes to copy and paste the quotes and tips as jpegs or MS PowerPoint slides and another 6-7 minutes to print and cut them out.

Besides those displayed in the video, I have some VERY personal KITA (“kick-in-the-a**) quotes in the photo album as well! The photo album is an item in my PhD/MA Survival Kit.

How do you keep helpful quotes, tips, and desired mindsets at the forefront of your mind? Please share!