When carrying out any form of research online, it can be quite easy to fall into the trap of aimlessly surfing the internet and polluting your mind with all sorts of useless information. You know what I mean, we’ve all been there. However, when time is tight and you want to maximise your time online for best effect, here are some key guidelines to keep you on track :
1. Start with a key objective that is measurable (make a plan)
For example, you could say I need to find 10 ways to do X, or I need to find n examples of blog design websites etc etc. You get the idea. The key is to have a metric.
2. Keep a trail of the web sites you visit (don’t throw anything away….yet)
Your browser history should be your trail, don’t clear your history until you have met your objectives above.
3. Close all other browser windows and applications you are not using for research (remove digital distractions)
They’ll only serve to distract you, dare I say it, even social media!
4. Use bookmarking tools
Once you come across something that you’ll find useful, bookmark using an online bookmarking tool such as https://delicious.com/ using tools such as these will enable to categorize your links and also make sure your links are accessible to you anywhere you have an internet connection available.
5. Make Notes
Make notes as you continue to carry out your research. As well as using pen and paper you could use an app such as evernote. Using digital tools like evernote enable to save snippets from the web as well as audio and simple text notes. There are many similar apps so our advice would be to pick one or two and stick with it.
6. Review your objectives regularly
It’s easy to drift off course, so its important to check where you are against your original objective(s). It’s also OK to amend your objective part way through, but don’t do it too often.
So that’s just a few pointers to get keep you focused when doing your online research.
Here’s just some of the things we use internet research for at Glass Slipper Digital :
- Competitor Research
- Emerging Technologies
- Mood Board Building for our clients
- Plugin/Framework Research to make our processes better/faster
- Market Research for our clients