It’s been a week.
When not wrestling with rotting food, I have been full bore on my studies. The end of July is submission day for my assignment on “Sustainable Finance”.
Fear not - I’ll not get into the subject matter (not in this post, anyway).
I have been experimenting with an app called Craft. It’s competing with Obsidian for my attention. I thought I’d tackle the assignment in the new thing.
The assignment was to write five mini-essays. 1 of 1,500 words, and 4 of 750 words. I created a separate document for each question. I transcribed the questions, and then broke them into their constituent parts, effectively structuring the answer.
Craft is perfect for this, as everything is built around blocks. So I was writing each answer-part as a block. These are sort of sub-documents of their own. I could write a block, minimise it and move onto the next. I found it a great way to stay focused.
The assignment was research heavy, including journals, business publications and websites. Wrangling sources quickly gets unwieldy. For my first assignment, earlier this year, I printed thousands of pages, stapled, punched and filed them. Old school, I know, but I find jumping from app to app awkward. This time, I was determined not to consume a forest just to pick out a few lines of useful material.
Enter, the share sheet. On a pdf, inside electronic magazines, or on the web, a couple of clicks drops a rich link into whichever Craft note I choose. This allows me to focus purely on research, following links and gathering sources as I disappear down a rabbit hole. Once I’m back, all the links are there on my note, and I drag and drop them into the relevant blocks.
Fantastic. Me and Mac, getting stuff done. Woo-hoo.
Regrettably, my studies take place in a strange world called academia. So I have to submit my paper in Microsoft Word. (Don’t get me started.) I also have to use a specific referencing system, one that comes in a hundred different flavours. Naturally, the flavour that my University insists on is not available in Microsoft Word.
Still, Craft has an excellent export function, and with a couple of clicks, my draft was in Word.
I did my proof-reading, a little light editing and then settled down to “do the referencing”. At this point Mrs L finds an excuse to be somewhere else, and even the dogs hide. I can be grouchy.
Last time out, I discovered that the easiest way to achieve an acceptable reference list, is to use Word’s referencing function, that comes in a flavour that I only need to tweak a tiny bit. So, I type in all the information on the sources, and drop in the inline citations. Word then cleverly builds a reference list for the end of the document.
Forty plus citations correctly inserted and reference list made.
Time to submit.
Wait! What’s this? The reference list is not in alphabetical order. Why not, I wonder?
Turns out, you just use the sort function (I watched several YouTube videos). Except you don’t.
“The content cannot be sorted because it is part of a content control.” Word helpfully informed me.
My writing is supported by people like you. You can become a member of the site here . Members access the serialisation of my first novel draft, and give comments to me in a member's Slack. They also get a free electronic copy of anything that I publish during their membership. Sign up - help me move writing from a side-project to a main project.