Dealing with notes

I like citing things. It took me a few years at uni to learn that you do not need to provide a direct account of what was said to draw on work but, as I have discussed in other posts, now I am somewhat addicted to referencing and comparing ‘the literature’ with every point I consider. The problem is that I have covered so much ground in my reading this year I can no longer picture the appearance of each PDF or book I have drawn inspiration from each time an idea comes to mind. Sometimes I feel I can articulate verbally what I am thinking but I find writing it next to impossible. This seems to be because I want to ground my claims in my notes but by the time I find the note I am looking for the rhythm of what I am trying to articulate is gone.

Is there any magic answer for dealing with reading notes? I spent days coding them (obviously poorly) using WeftQDA, early on I tried to have comparison tables, I have tried blogging about what I read so I can search for it later, I have tried going back through my notes to remind myself about what I have read and I have consolidated my list of references into a single Endnote library. How does this data get out of these systems and into my work?

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