In praise of Evernote

 

Image result for evernote

 

With just a few weeks until my final version of my PhD research proposal is due I have been reading frantically all the while petrified that I will forget something important. Since commencing my research journey nearly 3 years ago I have read hundreds of journal article, book chapters and newspaper articles. How do you remember what’s important?

I have always been one for writing it down, as simply reading it doesn’t seem to get it into my head. Revision used to see me renoting all my work. I have followed a similar approach to my reading for my research but as I am reading information today that I might need in two or three years time, how do you make it logical and more importantly able to be found?  Continue reading

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Explaining myself

Just over a year after retiring from my firm I attended the Annual Retired Partner Dinner. It was  my first as a retired partner. I walked into a place that I’d known so well for over 20 years but this time as a guest rather than a host. It felt quite strange. I was greeted by my former partners as a guest, no longer as a colleague. I was no longer an insider, this wasn’t my place anymore.

This was definitely a “What’s Next” moment.

I certainly hadn’t gone “cold turkey” on my old firm. I had been in contact with a number of people since but for those who I hadn’t seen there were the inevitable questions. What was I upto? What had I been doing?

Cefalu

Cefalu, Sicily

I talked about our  travels  and then there were questions about whether I was consulting on boards etc?

This is where all conversations seem to head. The assumption is very much that after a career in consulting that I’d continue but in my case I haven’t. For me the process of “What’s Next” was reaching the decision that consulting was not a key part of my post professional life.   Sure I have a couple of consulting roles, but really I had taken  the student route and I definitely feel most comfortable  with being described as such.

As the conversations over the evening continued, I said that while I’d loved my time in professional services that I was now really enjoying being out of it and being incognito. Continue reading

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What streaming service to listen too

If you were a regular coffee buddy of mine you’d already know that my life runs on music. You’d also know that I am in the first year of a PhD program that follows on from completing Honours last year. My study has been fueled on coffee and a lot of music. I estimated that I listened to more than 20,000 songs during my Honours!

So as we catch up on coffee I’d ask you what are you listening to and how are you listening to it? I’d get into the specifics and quickly I’d get to my current dilemma – Apple Music or Spotify supported by a Pandora. You of course were expecting the topic of conversation over coffee to be on the US elections and its impact on us in Australia!

Before you had a chance to change the topic I’d continue with my topic telling you pandora-thumbprint-862x647that I like all three. I’d quickly explain that I see Pandora as a great companion to my mainstays of Spotify and Apple Music. Pandora is easy as the music is selected for me and with the best part of a thousand Thumbprints Pandora makes listening easy.

However if I want to listen to something specific Pandora’s greatest asset, that it does it all for you becomes a problem, so its off to either Spotify or Apple Music.

I’d explain to you the history of how a couple of years ago I moved from iTunes to Spotify. As I transitioned away from CDs I’d found iTunes an easy way to carry all my own music with me.  This was because I had downloaded my hundreds of CDs to my iTunes Library via iTunes Match. That way my CDs were available everywhere on my iPod, particularly with the work travel timetable I was on at the time. About the same time as my iPod froze for the last time I also  decided that buying CDs from the almost nonexistent CD Stores in Adelaide was no longer satisfying as they didn’t have the range and with that I moved to Spotify.spotify

It was initially a bit  of a hassle finding what I liked but I got used to it and at the same  time Spotify got better. As a Premium user, that is I pay for it, I was able to download music so I could listen offline solving a dilemma of listening while traveling which I was still doing. Continue reading

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So it’s been 6 months and where am I – my PhD

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Menotti’s Coffee Shop -Venice Beach, LA

I have just submitted my first milestone document in the PhD program at my University; a document that took many weeks (months actually) to prepare that I doubt will ever be be looked at!

The document is a compliance step, due 6 months into the program. It is the first of two important milestones along the way to moving from being provisionally accepted into the program as a PhD candidate.

My lodged (and I suspect now filed completely unread) document  included a

  • basic Research Proposal  (which has raised more questions with me than it has answered),
  •  Gantt Chart of how my PhD journey will look (my I have a lot to do),
  •  Data Management Plan (I can’t tell you how often the message of back up and safe storage has been rammed home. It’s a message I don’t need having nursed my laptop with a failing hard drive to the end of my Honours Program), and
  • minimum resources document (the minimum resources the Uni will provide – generally pretty good including unlimited fast internet access on campus, 24/7 IT support and I think the world’s only steam powered desktop – it’s still running Vista!).

The  process while procedural provided me with the opportunity to order my thoughts and get feedback from my supervisors. Continue reading

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“It’s a grand old flag” – Sturt SANFL Premiers 2016

When I think of a good match my thoughts immediately spring to sport, and for me a good no match was the 2016 SANFL Grand Final when my  team, The Mighty Blues, Sturt, significant underdogs, came out on top. I hope you enjoy  this post as much as I enjoyed this  good  no GREAT match!

The Premiership Cup is ours!

The Premiership Cup is ours!

As “It’s a Grand Old Flag” boomed across Adelaide Oval yesterday afternoon at the end of the 2016 SANFL Grand Final, emotions flowed from players, coaches and supporters alike. Sturt massive underdogs had beaten the overwhelming favourite Woodville-West Torrens Eagles to win the 2016 Premiership. It was Sturt’s 14th premiership and the 8th I’d been lucky enough to see.

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Wearing a scarf knitted by my mother and grandmother in the late 1960s a period of unparalelled Sturt success, I walked to Adelaide Oval, memories flooding back of how I had done the same with my father through the period 1967 to 1970 when Sturt were truly dominnat and perhaps the best side in Australia. My father said I was too young to go to the 1966 Grand Final!

In 2016 the SANFL plays second fiddle to the AFL however Sturt remain the team for whom my “heart beats true” and Sturt’s victory in 2016 was truly a great victory. Sure it was before a crowd of just 30,000, whereas their triumphs of the 60s and 70s had been infront of crowds more than double, it was still special. It was also the first grand final victory for Sturt that I’d seen without my father who was a true Blue’s man. My son too was unable to attend with work annoyingly calling him interstate – he was so annoyed!

Sturt whilst underdogs had been strong all season, and infact had led the table for a number of weeks, however they had lost to the Eagles in their three meetings during the season. I went hopeful but certainly not expectant.

Sturt were outplayed early in the game but img_4244managed to stay in touch and sticking faithfully to their coach’s game plan, trailed by a few points at quarter time and managed to lead by 3 points at halftime. Continue reading

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