Preparations

You could say I’m a planner. Planning is one of my favorite things to do. When I was in high school and college my favorite day of the school year was the first day of each new semester when I would get the class syllabus. When I’d get back to my dorm, apartment, whatever, I would meticulously (color coded and everything) add assignment due dates, test dates, and class activities to my planner (still paper then). Pure joy.

While I’m still looking forward to that with the start of my PhD program, I know things will be a little different, a lot more fluid, and much more up to me to keep myself on task. So, over the past month or so, I’ve been trying to get myself ready and organized for the years (yes, years) ahead.

I’ve been looking up information on grants and fellowships for which I could apply, from language study to research, to post-doctoral opportunities. I’ve joined several H-Net groups and actively peruse the daily and weekly emails for relevant information. I’ve started looking into citation¬†managers (I didn’t use one when I did my master’s but was told that they are a great help). For now, I’ve organized for myself a single Word document with all of the relevant information I’m collecting: fellowships and grants, conference opportunities, journals and other publications, books to look into that seem relevant, as well as some new research ideas I’ve come across just from what I’ve looked at so far.

What I want to know is: are there better options out there (than my current Word document solution) for organizing the to-dos for grad life? Is there a single, magical, constantly updated website or blog out there with all of the information I could ever want as a graduate student and someday professional? Or something like it? What have you used to organize your life, research, and fellowship and grant information?

Oh, and I still use a planner. A real paper planner.

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