Post graduate courses that involve a great deal of research and also PhDs require planning right from the start. Invariably, the most important part of planning is the managment of resources without which your research may just not yield the results that you desire.
- Take time to identify resources: First and foremost, identify your resources. From internet websites, forums, reading materials, journals, books and people – take time to isolate what you would require for your research. You might want to follow a few links before you choose or find them to be of use to you.
- Create a catalogue: List out all the resources that you identified, especially websites and journals. Remember that you may have to periodically refer to them and often might require to go back to an old edition of a journal to verify facts. The last thing you might want is wasting time in searching for it.
- Organize, organize and organize: Also a part of creating the catalogue, you have to be very organized in keeping all your resources in a way that is easy to access. At first, you may have only a few papers to take care of. However, as you progress in your work, you might find yourself overwhelmed with materials. Unless you have a place either in your room or your computer for everything, you might get lost in your own work.
- Make notes: As you read through the resources that you refer, make a small note of anything that comes across as useful or what might require further reading. That way you will remember to look at the relevant materials when you need to check in the future.
- Find the right software: With most of the work and resources in the digital domain, you might want to consider softwares that are available to keep your resources together. These softwares are easy to use and can do a lot of the organizing for you and provide you with quick and easy access to your resources and research related data.
The key to managing your resources is starting from the very first day and culminating it into a habit. It is important to create a method that suits you best to manage your resources before your research starts to pick up and the work get more complicated. Otherwise you might end up wasting time trying to figure our what is where and lose important inputs in the process.