Thanks, everyone, for your support and justified outrage on my behalf about The Advisor Situation. The meeting went well, actually. He’s much more concerned about me focusing on fieldwork and data collection right now than on the chapter outlines (which, as he points out, will inevitably change as more data comes in), and he did a good job of reassuring me that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing at this stage. Well…okay, maybe I exaggerated the amount of data I’m currently collecting by just a smidge, but I’m pretty sure he expects that from me, so I still feel like I’m mostly on track.

He also said, a couple times during our discussion, “When we talk about this in 6 months, we’ll probably find that (whatever),” which made me feel a bit more like he’ll actually be, you know, talking to me about this in 6 months. And (this is super exciting, but I don’t want to get my hopes up) he suggested that if he’s still here next year, we might collaborate on a course directly related to the common subject in my dissertation and his current research. Cool. Potentially. And I did ask him about the leaving situation…which is up in the air, and won’t be decided for months, probably–but he did reassure me (finally!) that he’ll continue to work with all his current students in some capacity, and that we should not freak out. So that’s nice.

But the coolest thing about today’s meeting was–are you ready for the realization that I am the biggest geek ever?–that he showed me his filing system for the research for his next book.

Duuuuude. He showed me his filing system. I feel tingly just telling you about it.

So, of course, he was like, well, here’s what I do, but of course you have to do what works for you. Well, sure. But you know what? I haven’t written three books, and I am totally not the person that people talk about when they talk about this methodology in my field. So I don’t think I have to tell you where I went after leaving his office.

Staples, baby. Oh, yeah. New office supplies.

***

Actually, I was going to end there (such a happy note, no?), but I realized I can try to get some advice from y’all. I know that research and writing are very personal, and that what works for some people doesn’t work for others and all that. But I’m curious. I’ve been keeping most of my notes in Endnote, which is nice in a lot of ways: I can do keyword searches, and the bibliographic info is already attached, and the cutting-and-pasting is pretty convenient. I’ve been using Endnote for a while, and it totally rocks for inserting citations, and footnotes, and creating bibliographies. But I’m thinking that it’s not quite so handy for keeping all the notes–that it’s hard to get a grip on how things relate when all the notes for one source are in one file. This is, I think, why I got so inspired by The Advisor’s filing system–there’s something about seeing these ideas and quotes laid out on index cards and filed by subsections that just seems to make it easier to see how these sources work together. But I’m curious…past and present dissertators: electronic or hard-copy notes? Or some mixture of the two?

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