Episode 47: PhD Productivity, let’s get organised!

PhD Productivity, let's get organised!

We are going to discuss tools and resources to help PhD students and other Scientists become more organized and productive. And more importantly, feel in control again! We also introduce the first tool, Notion, and discuss how it can be used to capture ideas, manage projects, and more.

Why PhD Productivity Matters:

We all know that maintaining productivity during a PhD can be a challenge. With countless tasks and deadlines to juggle, it’s crucial to regain control. We’ve spent years discovering tools that can make a significant difference, and we’re excited to share these insights with you.

Unlocking the Power of Notion:

Notion is not just another notetaking app – it’s a versatile and powerful tool that can revolutionize your workflow. Available for iPhone and Android, it goes beyond simple notetaking, with users employing it for everything from managing businesses to organizing grocery lists. The learning curve may be steep if you want to utilize its full potential, but getting started is a breeze.

The Notion Board: Organizing Paper Writing Tasks:

Suzanne discovered the power of Notion by creating a board for organizing her paper writing tasks. By using blocks that could be moved across categories – from “to do” to “ongoing,” “waiting for a response,” and “done” – Suzanne found motivation and control over her tasks. The visual representation of progress brought peace of mind, enabling her to focus on one task at a time.

Harnessing the Power of Databases:

Databases in Notion are a standout feature, resemblant of Excel spreadsheets but with added functionality. Jayron highlights two valuable applications ( at least for him) – managing podcast memes and organizing research articles. Storing and easily referencing compounds used in experiments or tracking relevant citations becomes effortless with the database feature.

Sharing and Showcasing Professional Achievements:

Notion allows users to share and password-protect their pages, making collaboration and privacy a seamless affair. Additionally, you can create online CVs or showcase scientific work publicly, thereby avoiding the need to create an entire website. It’s a powerful alternative for researchers wanting to present a comprehensive overview of their research and achievements.


In this episode, we’ve introduced the exciting “PhD Productivity” series, aiming to enhance your organizational skills and overall well-being. Notion emerges as a game-changing tool, enabling you to regain control of your PhD journey. Whether you’re tracking research papers, jotting down grocery lists, or organizing experiment data, Notion proves to be a flexible and intuitive companion. 

Follow our podcast and blog, subscribe to our newsletter, and unlock the potential of organized productivity in your PhD pursuits with “The Struggling Scientists.” Together, let’s conquer the challenges and thrive with our newfound organization!

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