The Dissertation Journey Begins


The Dissertation Journey Begins

Today's episode:

  • Starting the Dissertation process & progress
  • Review of Dropvox/Dictadroid & Evernote
  • Getting Started
  • Tools


I'm finally starting the dissertation process. My Prospectus and Dissertation committee were approved by Walden. All my classes and KAMs have been completed which means I'm finally all-but-dissertation (ABD). So, now the real journey begins. Getting organized for the process will start with on outline for Chapters 1 & 2, part of the proposal which is Chapters 1-3 and finish with the dissertation with the actual study, results and recommendations for future study, chapters 4 & 5.

Bolker (1998) stated that you own your dissertaton and are responsible for getting it from conception to birth; you get there by whatever process works for you.

DropVox records audio and sends it directly to your Dropbox account. Once my Dropvox file is save in my Dropbox folder. I can then transcribe the Dropvox file in Dragon Naturally Speaking or I add it as content for the podcast. Unfortunately Dropvox is for the iPhone only at the moment. However, I have used Dictadroid on my Andoid and  like it, despite the fact that it is not automatically setup to join with Dropbox but you can save into Dropbox with a little effort, which works for me. Once I setup it up with a folder in Dropbox saving is easy. In order to save into Dropbox and be able to record unlimited file sizes, you will need to get the full version of Dictadroid ($2.99).

Evernote is basically an electronic composition book where I keep all my dissertation, podcast, to-do lists, and research notes. I like that I can input actual websites or desktop screen-shots into my notes through web clips and Skitch.

Getting Organized:

While working on your dissertation and other projects on your journey, you will collect stuff, whether it be articles from journals, book, notes or any number of things. My biggest challenge has been getting organized so I can make better use of my time and be more productive. There are several non-technical things you can do to help. Once and a while I not only clean out my office and desk but also my computer. Just straightening up clutter helps plus I feel less stressed because I can find things easier.

Technically speaking, organization has always been my greatest challenge because I work on so many computers. I need my work to be accessible, portable, and safe. I have tried many several approaches - jump drives, email to my self, and even tried just doing all my work on my laptop then I came across my favorite tool I mentioned last week - Dropbox which gave me all those features. I also have a 2TB external hard drive to backup for all my work. It never hurts to have multiple backups. For email, I have set up my Gmail account to gather emails from all my accounts which I can open, read, and respond right off my cellphone.

Since I have discovered Evernote, now I can have my notes for my dissertation, Podcasting, and creative writing on any computer. I can access my notes anytime, any-when, or anywhere and organized into several notebooks on various topics. I can capture ideas for my dissertation, Podcasting, screen and fiction writing. I can also record my thoughts; however, I use Dropvox or Dicatadroid for that. I can even capture Google searches and any web content in its' entirety.


There are a few tools you might want to have in your arsenal. First, A Whiteboard is not necessary but very helpful for staying on task. Next, a good printer for printing out your articles for review. I have the HP Officejet 8600; even though it's an inkjet not a laserjet, I still get the same quality and as many pages printed per cartridge. Then, a descent shredder for disposing of sensitive material like old bills or checks (if you still use them). Finally, a scanner for digitizing information like articles from journals, bills, tax information, etc... I use my office jet which has one built in but I also have the Neat desktop organizer (as seen on TV).


Bolker, J. (1998). Writing your dissertation in fifteen minutes a day: A guide to starting, revising, and finishing your doctoral thesis. USA: New York, NY.


Dictadroid - Android app for recording voice on Google Play ($2.99 full version)

Dragon NaturallySpeaking: Transcribe voice to text

DropVox - Record and Upload Voice Memos to Dropbox From your iPhone

Dropbox - Simplify your life

Evernote - Keep track of all your research

21 thoughts on “The Dissertation Journey Begins

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