From my own experience, I would like to share my effort on going paper-less in my research so far. I’m emphasizing on paper-less and not paperless, the difference is between lesser and none. I won’t lie to anyone or even believe whoever claim they can live without paper in their lives. Even with the latest technology as advanced as one can get today, I believe no one can go without at least a piece of paper in study or work today.
Although I’m an IT geek and I basically use as much technology as possible in every way of my research, I still prefer a traditional notebook to write. Or rather scribble. I just like to hold the pen and put word by word on the paper as my ideas flow. I feel it works better when I write that way. Of course, whatever I write will then be transferred to electronic copy which I use this transfer process as editing step. I do write instantly on computer screen too. Many times when need be or when I get the chance to sit in front of the computer.
For my literature review process, I’m proud to be paper-less with the help of Mendeley. Totally amazing. So effective and efficient. I’m so glad to have found Mendeley, if not, I would still be printing and collecting journal articles in physical files, which I couldn’t imagine how I would get them sorted out or organized better. With the amazing technology such as iPad (my greatest investment), reading on screen is no longer a painful experience. I can be carrying 100 over journal articles on Mendeley for iPad and they weigh just the same. The beauty of this is I can access them anytime anywhere I want.
I do realize some people just can’t read on screen for long and still prefer printouts. There’s nothing wrong with printouts other than using up more money and less environmental friendly. Nevertheless, I think it’s okay to make oneself comfortable in whatever way they prefer in doing research as it’s a long journey. However, I would truly love to encourage everyone to (at least) try go paper-less in research using technology. Printing less makes less clutter in turn gives you more room for productivity and creativity in writing and research.
Hope you have a great weekend and Merry Christmas!