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  • Writer's pictureJessica C

Organize Research

Why create a system to organize your research? As people who appreciate continued learned we consume a research to grow our mind on specific topics. If you are a student you may be consuming research to complete assignments or research studies. Over time we put in many hours consuming the research studies, one study flows into the next. When wanting to reference research you may be able to remember an article you read about a specific topic, but who wrote it and what it is called may be lost. You may be stuck searching around the internet for the article, or through a a file cabinet (thats if you even save the articles), and even if you do find the article you then have to re-read all your highlights to find the point you are looking for. In summary this wastes valuable time. With a computerized research organization system you can easily find the article and main points you are looking for because they are all indexed in a research system on the computer.

Tools you will need

  • Zotero - software which acts as a file cabinet to index all the research articles you read (add Zotero extension to web browser for the easy save functionality)

  • MarginNote 3 - or aPDF annotator (I have tried a bunch and I think MarginNote 3 is the best because it syncs with the click of a button to Evernote (which is important) also you can annotate images which will sync over.

  • Evernote - or some type of second brain system to house all of the annotations. I use Evernote for this because it syncs flawlessly with MarginNote 3.

How it works:

  • Find the research article you are looking for

  • Save it to Zotero

  • In Zotero open up the article with MarginNote 3

  • Annotate

  • Export to Evernote

  • (Optional) save the annotated PDF back in Zotero so if you open it later in Zotero you have the highlighted PDF, to do this you have to save it in the folder Zotero has it stored in. See video below.

Step by step system creation can be found in the video below:


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