Graduate Student

NoteBook User Profile – Graduate Student


1. What is your name and occupation?

My name is Daniel Ostendorff, and I’m a graduate student, currently pursuing a PhD in History at the University of Oxford.

2. Describe a typical day at school.

My usual day right now, involves archive research. I’m in Nairobi, Kenya doing the field research for my PhD. So, my day starts with a bus trip to the Kenya National Archives, where I spend 6-8 hours pouring over documents, taking notes and asking for photocopies. It’s difficult (and not the safest thing) to take my laptop down to the archives with me, which is where the iPad app comes in great. It allows me to carry all my research with me where ever I need to be – whether at the archive, in the field doing interviews, or writing up my research. If I don’t take my laptop or iPad with me, it means that when I come home everything from the day gets poured into my “Notebook”. The Multidex, tabs, ability to add different elements to a page, etc. all make it the ideal place for me to gather my research together.

Then, when it comes to making dinner, my wife grabs the iPad and opens up her recipe NoteBook and begins putting dinner together. Whether she finds a recipe on the computer or gets an e-mail on the iPad, she loves being able to store family favorites and new “experiments” in the same place.

3. How does NoteBook fit into your workflow?

In addition to collecting and organizing all my research from the archives and the field, NoteBook is also where I outline my chapters and article ideas, where I keep timelines and lists going, and where I organize all my secondary and primary research. NoteBook has become and is the one central hub for all my data collecting and work on both my Masters in Modern History and now my PhD in History.

4. How has NoteBook boosted your performance in school and your studies?

NoteBook has been a lifesaver countless times. I don’t have the most detailed memory, so more often then not I can only remember a key word, person or date from an important bit of research I’ve found. Instead of having to shuffle through lots and lots of paper notes and notebooks, frustrated, I open NoteBook, skip to the Multidex and use it’s subcategories to find what I need. It saved me so much frustration in writing up my Master’s thesis. Now, with my PhD, my research spans over 3 years of work – versus the single year of my master’s program – and the ways in which NoteBook allows me to organize and find my research will be more important then ever.

5. What are your favorite NoteBook features?

I’m sure it’s been obvious in the above answers, but for my research the Multidex feature has been PHENOMENAL! It has revolutionized my research and made finding the right thing at the right time possible with ease and without frustration. I also love the feature of being able to embed images, files, etc. on the page. I’m hoping to be a university history professor after I complete my PhD and I anticipate building entire class lesson plans, lectures, etc. all right into NoteBook. With the Dropbox sync (THANK YOU!!), I can work on it at home on my computer and sync up on my iPad as I walk into the classroom. Don’t have to mess with a printer and can easily adjust things as I go.

6. Do you use NoteBook with any other apps?

Yep, Dropbox. The sync feature has been phenomenal. During my master’s work, I also used the “copy to Notebook” or “send to Notebook” features for web clippings.

7. Has NoteBook replaced other apps?

It definitely has. NoteBook is the one stop shop for all my research. So, no need to have multiple Word or Pages files. NoteBook allows me to put everything in one place. Also, I’ve used the “export to webpage” to share research with colleagues. This has replaced needing to buy one or several web-development and database programs.

8. How would you describe NoteBook in one sentence?

NoteBook has taken the frustration out of research, making it possible to find what I want, when I need it; in turn, allowing the research and the writing process to take center stage, not than the searching and finding of days gone by.

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