August 6, 2013: Sunday & Monday & Tuesday, Surprisingly Helpful S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Mnemonic, Level 1-4 Outlines in Idea Mason

Update: Sunday and Monday and Tuesday

Some Seriously Needed Rest

Sunday and Monday ended up being MAJOR rejuvenation days. I didn’t feel like I had the time, but in retrospect I can honestly say that taking the time out to meet with my friend (who was visiting my city from 1400 miles away) was the best decision to make. And catching up on sleep (I typically only get 5-6 hours a night in the attempts to write after paid work), was WONDERFUL all around for my mind and body.

Liquid Planner isn’t warning me yet, so all is okay. At the moment. šŸ™‚


Monday I did light thesis work (working on appendices, note-taking, related reading, etc.). My accountability partner (A.P.) and I had Mexican at a new-to-us restaurant, Frontera. The atmosphere and food were AMAZING. Very good. I guess I really needed Sunday and Monday, because on Tuesday my mind was clear and my body felt better than it had in months. My thesis work Tuesday morning was very focused.

NEWS! New Idea for a Small but Important Component of the Paper

I thought of a way to draw the key term demi-regularity. I’m very proud of this. It’s making me feel like a true researcher. This was not something I copied or paraphrased. This is all me. šŸ™‚ Feels gooooood! We’ll see how it reads when I turn in the paper, then. šŸ™‚

Noteworthy PhinisheD Inspiration

I received a lot of inspiration from logging into PhinisheD these past 3-4 days. Some of it came via very caring PMs (private messages), and some came in the form of the daily quote shared at the Virtual Retreat Labo(u)r Day Docs working board (the place where I mainly participate).

My favorite was this:


It may seem kind of basic to some, being a mnemonic for “success,” and all, but I actually find it to be pretty profound. See your success? Psychologically IMPORTANT and sound. Understand the obstacles. Understand them. Not fear them, ruminate about them, succumb to them, etc. No, understand them. Profound! When you understand the obstacles, you have the knowledge to bypass them. I could go letter by letter: Each step really results in a different thesising experience altogether, depending on whether you are doing that step or not. For example, look at the E. If you don’t embrace the challenge, then what’s the opposite of that? Whining, making (unreasonable) demands about how the process should go, etc. The act of making demands is disempowering. It puts you in the position of HAVING to have your demands met in order to proceed / be successful. Bad place to be, that is. Very, very bad place.

Anyhoo, yeah: Excellent mnemonic. I consider it worthy of memorization. They say your words are the first to reach your ears. I don’t think it would be a bad idea to have those words at your disposal. (“Stay on track, Z. Stay on track, stay on track! Show the world you can do it, and what you’re capable of, Z! Go ahead. SHOW! (i.e. WRITE!).”

The Psychology of Level 1-4 Outlining, and Pictures of Level 1-4 Outlining in Idea Mason

I really cannot express how much Rowena Murray’s technique of Level 1 to Level 4 outlining gets my mind (conscious and subconscious) up and working, thinking, and just naturally and automatically PRODUCING THOUGHT that can be TYPED. I have noticed: When I try to write a paragraph from a Level 2 outline, it’s much more difficult than writing one from a Level 4 outline. Level 1-4 is psychologically smart: Break a task down to the immediately doable level, such that every task listed is immediately doable. This is a winning strategy: When the mind receives instruction that is in the form of an immediately doable task, the mind just kicks IN with all sorts of thoughts, ideas, momentum, methods, etc. It’s awesome. šŸ™‚

I have found NO APP better than Idea Mason for doing Level 1-4 outlining and then transitioning from outlining to paragraph writing. Pictures are below (NOTE: If you click on a photo, an enlarged version of it will pop up in another browser.) IN THE LAST IMAGE, I DISPLAY a memo entitled “STEPS TO DESIGNING AND THEN DRAFTING A PAPER.” However, although you can read the steps in the last picture shared below, I do also list those steps after the photo (easier to read there, perhaps).

1 [8-6-2013 6-37-56 AM] My Level 1 Outline in Idea Mason 2 [8-6-2013 6-57-40 AM] My Level 2 Outline in Idea Mason 3 [8-6-2013 6-41-40 AM] My Level 3 Outline in Idea Mason 4 [8-6-2013 10-56-11 AM] Level 4 Outline and Steps to DESIGNING and DRAFTING a Paper

Steps for DESIGNING and then DRAFTING a Paper

  1. LIST THE MAJOR SECTIONS needed in the paper you are writing. (Match this to the academic journal style or the paper guidelines you have.)


  3. Take a subsection, and list the TOPICS THAT NEED TO BE DISCUSSED in that SUBSECTION.

  4. Take that same subsection, and LIST THE POINTS YOU NEED TO MAKE ABOUT EACH TOPIC (i.e. that the reader needs to “hear” in order to sufficiently understand your take on [or the research about] each topic).

  5. Write PARAGRAPHS to make each POINT–often 1 paragraph for 1 point, but sometimes a point will require 2-3 paragraphs before it can be made.

  6. Repeat steps 3-5 until the paper is fully written.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As you are doing this, go back and read previously written subsections after you have set them aside for a few days. Edit and revise. Once edited and revised, SHARE! Have an outside reader write comments on it (he or she can do so via the “comments” feature in Word). This will alert you to blind spots you have regarding the logic, needed level of detail, and/or readability of your paper. It’s hard to avoid issues with these sometimes, especially since you’ve been working with the material for so long. Having an outside reader is CRUCIAL! Take his or her comments as a gift, and as EVIDENCE. If it doesn’t read like you need it to for him or her, it is a GIFT to be able to know and address this. That is all! No drama over this. Make it readable for the READER, who does not have your experience with this material nor your full thoughts on the subject!!! As Gopen would say, write from the reader’s perspective!

Well, that’s what I’ve been up to over the past few days. Tonight, it’s thesising until Suits (USA Network) comes on, and then it’s resting up for tomorrow’s long paid work day (8 AM to 7 PM, but I arrive at 9 AM to cut this down a bit).




About Z. Sanders

I love to inspire and encourage, and I believe in counting the blessings (one will always be able to find SOMETHING to be down about, if one tries hard enough). A wife, mathematics educator, and mathematics education researcher, I love to learn and love to teach. I'm a tech-o-phile and avid reader, and I love to design and create systems to support creative work. I love trying new recipes almost as much as I love the Spanish language. A complete music aficionado, sometimes I'm a guitar student. I am trying to live with a faith God can SEE (not just one HE can hear). (I first heard this sentiment from Joel Osteen.) I am CONVINCED that kettle belling, line dancing, jogging, free weight lifting, exercise biking, and Barry's Bootcamp are THE combo! (Try it!). Those are important, because, well, if it's seafood or Mexican food, I'm in! Thanks for stopping by! Godspeed with your endeavors, and may you experience joy today. -- "Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it." -- Bill Cosby

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