During the PhD
Technical Stuff

  • I used Endnote back from my days at DTS.  It was so easy to just continue it all the way through.  I tweaked the format along the way to get it how I liked it.  When it came down to the final draft, I just hit update, and I didn’t spend more than an hour looking at it at the end.  Endnote is not perfect, but it’s usable.  If you don’t go with that, get something.  However, I don’t highly recommend NotaBene.  Wright uses it, and I’ve found aspects that just aren’t helpful.  Also, the world revolves around Word, anyway.
  • Speaking of Word…Make use of its ‘style’ feature.  I set two paragraph styles–indented and not–and a block text style.  In addition, the headings are great.  If you use headings, you just click update and voila the table of contents is exactly as you need.  Plus, it helps if you need to make a change to formatting of text, etc.  Just make a change to the style, and everything is changed.  I have a friend that used specific styles for his Greek, Hebrew, etc. so if he wanted to change the font all the way through it was no big deal.
  • Speaking of fonts.  I did’t have to worry about that because I use Unicode.  Again, do this from the beginning, and your life will be easy.  I use gentium, but once SBL combines its Greek and Hebrew unicode, I’m sure I’ll move to it.  Plus you can get the cool text critical symbols easily.
  • Online Backups.  With graduate studies, having a secure place for your documents is necessary.  I’ve had a couple of hard drives go out since I’ve been here, but I was fortunate that I never lost anything.  There are a couple of programs that I’d recommend.
  1. Dropbox is a must.  Basically, you get 2GB of (free) online storage, but the files also stay local on any machine you download the program to.  That way, you’ve always got access through the internet or on any computer with the program (each computer has the same folder in the My Doc folder).  So, there’s no more emailing files back and forth, and you’ve got an online backup for key documents.
  2. For  backing up the whole hard drive, we use Carbonite.  It makes a full back up of the whole drive, and then it automatically recognises when a new file is added or if a file is changed and backs those up.   It doesn’t do everything I’d like (it’s limited to one hard drive per subscription), but I never worry about pictures and work files being lost.