Over the past two weeks, I have been leveraging Zotero heavily in my work and studies. Zotero is a citation management system, which allows for tagging, searching, note taking, collections, and shared libraries.
While I started to use Zotero to help sort out my dissertation research, it has started to become extremely useful. During the past two weeks, I have tapped into my research to write a paper for class, cull citations and references for a grant, and gather notes for a final exam. I have also been using it to support this blog.
Here are a couple of things I have learned while using Zotero:
- Feed Zotero properly – What I mean is, take the time to take interactive notes. While you are reading a book, article, or blog, take the time to write your notes in Zotero. I picked up this idea of interactive note taking from Peg Single’s book, Demystifying Dissertation Writing. I highly recommend this book.
- Take time to write citable notes – Review your raw notes, and turn them into something you can easily cut and paste into other documents and projects. While it takes some up front time, it will save you time later as you are putting together documents and projects. Again, this is a great idea from Peg Single.
- Take time to tag your references – After you have added a reference and your notes, spend a couple of moments to tag the references. This will help cull references and notes later when you need them most.