I’ve been thinking about this since our class today. Since the group hasn’t met me yet, I’m the person that talked about using a black notebook at a job I had before. When I started that job, I found it oppressive. We carried those books everywhere and we weren’t supposed to rip pages out of them. I hated having “mistakes” or changes or crossed out words in my notebook (I wanted it clean and perfect), but in research, like we talked about today, I think a system like that will be useful because what seems like a dumb idea to me one day could be exactly what I need to get back on track another day — so not ripping out those pages could be helpful.
It was great hearing about how different people record ideas, like the journalist who keeps small notebooks and brings them everywhere he goes, because it really illustrated how different we all are. And even though we’re in the same program and the same class with similar backgrounds for the most part, we are very different. I have a medical condition that impairs my memory, focus and concentration (while I’m disclosing — the treatment causes spontaneous sleep once in a while, so if my eyes close in class, it’s not because I did anything interesting the night before or that I’m slacking). But I have a friend who can remember what every person she was with was wearing on any occasion dating back over twenty years. Her system of recording ideas is extremely different from mine.
We all have different backgrounds, personalities, skills, abilities and ways of thinking and learning and so it makes total sense to me that there are so many different ways of keeping notes and recording information and even why there are so many different research paradigms. I thought that there was a natural choice of paradigm for any study, but I didn’t consider how many factors go into the choice. Subject, money, time, and other resources are huge, but now I think that they’re not the only considerations. If everyone in the class started with the same broad research question, it seems to me like by the time we narrowed down our question and designed our studies, some of us would come up with very different proposals. Thoughts? Ideas?
So, just out of curiosity, how is everyone else planning to record ideas/writing/keep track of their work as they go through the research projects?