Experimenting with digital annotation

It’s been on my list to try and shift my reading and note taking so I can use my NVIVO QDA software to do my literature review, and now it was time to do it. Based on what I have seen, this can be a good way to search and organize notes. I also was hoping it would help me get away from printing off articles and allow me to work better when mobile–which is often. I have also noticed a tendency to print off lots of articles and then feel overwhelmed by how much I have to read so I put it off while the stack of papers collects dust.

I spent time setting up a new digital workflow inspired by the workshop Creating Digital Workflows for Qualitative Research facilitated by Jessica Nina Lester and Trena Paulus.

First, I tried using my Surface Pro to annotate one of the articles on my list–it was a pain in the butt. I forgot how unfriendly the surface is for quick annotating with the stylus. Next, I got on my iPad to try out another article. I had forgotten about using my iPad for this until Trena mentioned how she used her iPad for this process in the workshop. I read through an article and found good flow. Yay! As an added plus, I realized that I could even read on my exercise bike, which is set up to hold an iPad to watch spin classes online. Ha!

The next step was to spend some time setting up my rig so I could connect my Google Drive to the iAnnotate software on my iPad so I can easily save and move PDF around. It took me a little time to figure out which file storage program was integrated with iAnnotate and my laptop. Eventually, I had to move articles from my OneDrive folder to Google Drive in order to have a quick save option.

The final step, which I have not tried out yet, will be to transfer the annotated PDFs to NVIVO for coding. Wish me luck!

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