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Updated: Jan 4, 2023

Congrats! You’ve decided to brave the Non-Fiction world. Suddenly, there's a sea of information surrounding both your actual and virtual desktop. What’s the plan for keeping track of every pdf, download, note, article, website, video and the time and date you accessed each piece of online material--yep, you need all of that information for your bibliography.

Feeling inundated? Stressed? Messy?

As the infomercials say…There must be a better way!

We all have our own organizational style. But if you're looking for a “best practice,” I suggest trying OneNote (a Microsoft program that comes with Windows 10--note, they did not pay me to post this). It allows you to paste, draw, and type—all of this—in the same, non-linear space.

Here are a few reasons why I am a devotee:

· Collect Data. When you copy and paste anything from the ‘Net, it adds a link automatically. This is especially good because when you are in the research "zone" the last thing you want to do is pause and draft your bibliography. Now you don’t have to worry about losing information or retracing your steps. You’ve got it recorded without even trying.

· Divide and Conquer. You can create separate, expandable notebooks. Fill each page with anything and everything you need to write that bestseller--including, video and audio clips, text, articles or images from the web, your own diagrams, drawings, and doodles (yes, even doodles!).

· Add It To Your Tab. Each page in your notebook offers a colorful tab ready to name. Believe me, this helps you find info quickly and organize it by category.

· Put It On The Side. There are sizable notes. When you don’t want to open a notebook, just go to your vertical column of tabs for quick access to them.

· Go On, Get Tacky. MY FAVORITE REASON? You can pin the page you are working in onto the desktop. That way, if you are taking notes and flipping through websites, videos, and pdfs, you never have to keep clicking the window open. You can also size the entire page to fit your research/note-taking needs.

o Caveat: The version that comes in Windows 10 doesn't allow this. You might need to

download the version before this one (if you still can). It is worth the effort!

ALSO FOR ZOOMING! I love using this feature while watching webinars. What is more annoying then having to flip windows during a great presentation in order to type notes? "Exit full screen," size the Zoom window to fill your desktop, and then pin an open OneNote window to the desktop.

· Make Graffiti. You can also highlight and mark up pasted information, including screenshots, via highlighters and pens of various sizes/colors.

· Dial Up. Yup, of course there is a phone app!

Hope this helps keep track of everything needed for your NYT best seller “already in progress!”

Please feel free to share any tips you may have in the comments section.

Oh, and shameless promo—if you like this blog, please sign up below to receive new posts.

Now go clean up your mess!

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Oh man. I recently finished two rather large freelance projects. Each we’re education content for middle school STEM. Ahem, not my strong point. So a lot of research was needed. And uh… my citation process was a tiny bit grueling!

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