sente-layout

Writing is the beast that has been chasing me around for the last month. I’ve really struggled with finding a way to organise literature that I am supposed to review, and finding a way to focus on it without getting either overwhelmed or distracted.

I’ve been trying to use a plain text editor to focus my efforts, and I invested in Byword due to its ability to work across my Mac and i-devices, however it seemed it was a touch too minimalist to work properly. I then distracted myself with evaluations of tools such as Scrivener and Ulysses 3, however this was just more yak shearing in action (I can’t write without the proper tools!), so I decided to see what I could do with what I have – and I’m back to Byword.

So this is the layout that I’m going with at the moment. I’m working for 4 weeks in the Academic Writing Club to try and have a degree of accountability, and have started off with small goals.

Here is my layout and thoughts behind my approach. I’m putting it here as a reminder to myself, as well as a useful reference for anyone that is stuck as well. I use Sente for PDF/article management, but any tool that allows you to tag your articles (eg. Mendeley, Endnote) could be used in a similar fashion to the second screen shot below.

Hopefully I’ll have something good (aka actual writing) to show my supervisors in 10 days or so.

Writing in Byword – a useful screen layout

(click on the screenshot below to see a larger version)

byword-layout

Focusing in Sente – using tagging to create a useful view that doesn’t overwhelm or distract

(click on the screenshot below to see a larger version)

sente-layout

standing-desk-arrangement

I had been testing a standing desk arrangement, and had my iMac precariously perched on top of a lap desk (on top of my existing desk) to determine whether a standing desk arrangement was for me.

Turns out it is… and even though it can be quite tiring, it seems to be totally worth it. I’ve adjusted some activities to accommodate periods of sitting and standing. The result is that I sleep and feel a whole lot better, with fewer aches and pains. This means that I can concentrate more.

As a result I’ve changed the arrangement to a more permanent structure. The pussycats may have some issues with it initially, as it eats into their lounging real estate, but it is allowing me to find a more permanent home for a number of items that used to be strewn across my desk.

Here is the new configuration.

standing-desk-arrangement