Research involves a lot of information and data which have to be easily and efficiently managed under tight deadlines and time restraints. The following steps will offer you a bit of insight into how you can become a better researcher using some simple web tools like mind maps and bookmarklets.
1. Use a bookmarking tool
After hours, days and weeks of research, what a relief it is to find all your links and selected information gathered in a library of resources. Whether we talk about writing a paper, an essay, a journal article or a simple research draft, bookmarks are a good partner for organizing your work. The advantages that you will directly benefit from as you are using a bookmarking tool are very evident, since you can save:
● researched links
2. Create a mind map from bookmarks
As opposed to the linear thinking pattern, a mind map will allow you to visualize your research bookmarks in a non-linear format. To make the most of your research data, you can create a mind map with resources that pertain to a particular topic.
3. Classify your bookmarks
All the resources you gather on the mind map can be classified according to your research purpose, objectives and structure. Even if you first start with a single category, as your research topics pile up, you will be able to create new categories depending on your area of interest. As you start classifying your resources, you will soon discover that your valuable research is:
● fun to work with
4. Structure your research summary
Research can be very demanding of your time, energy and resources. In the midst of all the effort you place into your research, it is helpful to visually structure the main parts you need to start working on. Once you establish the perfect layout that works for you, you can add on new branches containing information that is relevant for the researched topic.
There isn’t a standard layout which applies to all research projects. However, this is where your creativity can be unleashed by using a mind mapping application that allows you to select the right layout that would adequately illustrate your research summary structure.
5. Set deadlines for research projects
This may seem like a not so fun idea for people who don’t enjoy deadlines. Nevertheless, if you are involved in any type of research and are currently working on a research project, “deadlines” will have to become your friends not enemies. Hopefully, after the first research project you will also come to the conclusion that deadlines are crucial because they will help you:
● stay focused
● pace yourself
● know your limits
● identify your strengths
You may have your own ideas and experiences which helped you stay on track and be successful in your research projects. Which is why we strongly encourage you to share your ideas and let us know what worked and what didn’t. What tools or strategies are you currently using that revolutionized the way you think and research?