There’s no doubt that PhD students have an insane number of tasks to juggle daily.
As a doctoral student, you probably have endless obligations, be it classes to attend, projects to complete, research, work, and yes, your social and personal life.
Don’t try to do it all the old-fashioned way.
Instead, integrate technology into your journey to get that doctorate. Apart from using smartwatches, smartphones, tablets and the essentials for convenience, there are a bunch of software, features, and apps that can assist you.
Let’s cut to the chase! Here are six ways you can try using technology to improvise and ultimately save time:
Task and time management are linked with productivity and efficiency. Learning to prioritize your work will save you time and dissuade procrastination.
Websites or software such as Trello, Evernote, Todoist, and Notion are tagged as ‘productivity software.’ These have features including lists, calendars, and reminders which will help you with managing your tasks and study routine.
Explore time management tips for PhD students for more guidance.
- Data Collection & Management
Technology has evolved and provides innovative opportunities to collect and manage data and conduct experiments.
Online surveys and data collection tools, like Qualtrics or SurveyMonkey, simplify the process of gathering information from participants. You could even use Google Forms to track responses and Instagram to promote your survey and research.
Moreover, you can trust data management platforms like REDCap and Open Science Framework (OSF) to help organize, store, and share your data or collaborate with fellow students who share interests.
- Research & Thesis Review
You’ll find numerous tools and platforms to streamline the research process online.
Online databases, such as Google Scholar, JSTOR, and PubMed enable access to a vast range of academic research papers and books. While not everything is digitized yet, the Internet Archive has a lot to offer.
Technology allows you to access information available from every part of the world in one place.
Reference management software like Zotero, Mendeley, or EndNote helps organize and cite sources efficiently.
Further, data analysis techniques like R, Python, or MATLAB enable researchers and students to analyze and interpret data effectively.
- Data Visualization & Presentation
As a PhD student, you will eventually be required to present your findings in a visually stimulating but sophisticated and accessible way.
Visualization apps and tools like Picsart, Canva, and Tableau help create informative charts, graphs, and infographics.
Presentation software like Microsoft PowerPoint or Prezi allows you to create engaging slideshows with multimedia elements, aiding in the effective communication of your research outcomes.
- Writing Assistance
Writing can be a challenging aspect of your Ph.D. journey. Not everyone has a flair for writing.
Apart from practicing by yourself, online writing communities and resources like Academic Writing Clubs or writing-focused subreddits provide support, motivation, and accountability.
Additionally, websites and tools like Grammarly, Hemingway Editor, or Scrivener can assist you with grammar checks, editing, and organizing your notes and writing projects. These websites cut down a lot of your precious time by doing half of your work for you.
- Collaboration & Networking
Regardless of physical location, technology can connect you to other doctoral students.
Apart from social media, platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Google Workspace will allow you to communicate, share files, and collaborate with your peers and mentors.
Virtual meeting platforms, such as Zoom or Skype, enable seamless remote discussions, presentations, and even virtual conferences and seminars.
You can leverage various technologies to enhance the process of your research, productivity, socialization, and overall academic experience and personal growth.
Before you begin, prepare yourself for your academic year.
Keep in mind that while technology has its benefits, there are drawbacks like addiction and over-dependence.
It’s important to keep your eye on the prize and not break any university rules.