Building up the research-library for this blog again ~ Sounds + Food 'n' Retail

skitched-20080129-095013.jpgOne of the downsides of not being at home for three months is that the mail tends to pile up. The culprit is The (weekly) Economist, which forced my landlord to dedicate a special cabinet just to accommodate them all. He was happy to see me.

My thesis is handed in, and while I'm anxiously waiting for the feedback / grade, I'm doing a variety of stuff to diffuse the thesis-haze that was in my head these last months. One of these is thinking about how I will organise the research that I collect for my work / blog. This is part of a dual trajectory I'm pursuing—one side is research, which I use to build up my knowledge about the field of food & retail, the other side the practical path, which I can now finally pursue freely.

The pile of 15 or so Economists is actually a good exercise to think about what really matters, and I'm going through them quickly, marking the articles that are interesting to read, and later cutting them out and adding them to special folder, after which I may categorise them by country and subject perhaps.

It's easy with The Economist, but there other publications that I'm much less eager to chop into pieces. My books are filled with pencil-marks, as are my Harvard Business Reviews, but there's no way that they'll ever feel the cold blade of my scissors. With those publications, I'm forced to keep all that extra paper and try to get my thoughts to paper as quickly as possible.

The other, sort of, complication are web-articles. I've been printing stuff to pdf and have a special S+FNR folder, reserved for anything from fashion-trends to human-resource management. I'm also going to print them out and add them to my folder for future analysis.

As you can see, I take my research seriously. A probable after-effect of writing a 180-page thesis, studying three academic fields—innovation, entrepreneurship, and finance—and interviewing roughly 300 businesses.

But I wonder how the real bloggers do it. If you're someone who takes blogging seriously, how do you organise your material, or do you organise it? If you do so on paper, I'm curious as to what kind of folders you use (incl. a link to a photo if possible).

Note: If you use a computer to store stuff digitally, I assume you use a personal database, like Devonthink or Jojimbo for the Mac. I'll tell you right now, I've used them all (to organise my thesis) and found it frustrating that they wouldn't do everything I wanted and tried to lock me in in the process (I've spent many hours migrating everything from app to app—it sucks!). They also don't help you much with paper-based materials, like mags, journals, and books. No, on the computer, I prefer a regular folder and to add text & pdf to it. Simple, portable, and cross-platform.


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