March 2017 round-up

A small number of people have told me that they appreciate reading these monthly reports, and some have even adopted a similar practice – most recently, Silvia Tavares, who is an architect and urbanist based at James Cook University, Australia.

I have been writing this type of report, in one form or another, since my PhD student days, when it is too easy to be super busy (reading, attending seminars, … ), but not very productive. At the start of the month, I write, in my research journal, what I need or want to achieve in that month, identify key hurdles (e.g., marking season, or school holidays for my children), and try to plan my work around those. Then, every day (or most of them, anyway), I make a short note about what I am doing, what I am struggling with, and so on. Finally, at the end of the month, I quickly read through my entries, and I reflect on how much progress I have made in the areas that are key for me: researching, writing, teaching and learning.

These end-of-the-month, or round-up, reports are like a great big pat-in-the-back. I see how much I have progressed, and realise that I managed to get things done, even though it did not feel like that on a day to day basis.

These reports are also a great motivator to focus, helping me to focus on a day to day basis. After all, if I want to have something to enter in my ‘writing’ section, for instance, I have to push through with those frustrating paper revisions I have been avoiding all week.


Anyway, enough talking about journaling and monthly reports. Time to actually do it. These are my highlights for March.


I have now drafted the application for that small grant that I mentioned last month. The proposal is out for internal review, and I am now focusing on the costings.


The project on use of social media in business to business organisations is still progressing. A colleague has done great work in developing the questionnaire, which is now being piloted.

Finally, a colleague is collecting a bit more data on a project about the use of beacons, apps and other in-store technology.


March wasn’t very productive, writing wise. I did a bit of work on various articles, and reviewed other people’s writing*, but I did not submit any paper, myself.

That paper that, in the last report, I said that I was hoping to submit in a week or so… is still sitting on my desk.

And one paper has been rejected.

This really wasn’t my month, writing wise L

* I reviewed two journal papers, two conference papers, and a lot of PhD chapters.


I continued to teach my two modules. I only have a couple of revision sessions coming up, at the end of April.

I also observed a colleague’s teaching session, as part of our peer-learning system, and picked up a few ideas for my own classes.


My learning this month has been mostly organisational. It looks like I stepped on a couple of people’s toes, when I e-mailed a question to the wrong person. Oops.


Oh, and I learned how Alexa got its name.


How was your month? I hope you did not step on anyone’s toes, and made excellent progress towards your goals.

3 thoughts on “March 2017 round-up

  1. Thanks Ana! Thanks for the acknowledgement and for your honest monthly round-ups. Thanks also for sharing how you keep your journal. I have tried this practice on and off for a while, but always feel like I never go back to it and it feels a bit of a waste of time. But I guess having the monthly reviews is a good reason to keep a journal and to reflect on what works and what doesn’t. I am so happy that I have found your blog! 🙂


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