Saturday, 20 December 2008

#64 – Complete round-up articles before you leave

Or why essay-style pieces are easier to write on the road.

Internet access needed
I inevitably find that I need internet access to do a round up article properly. These pieces usually involve more online research than a straight essay-style piece centred on one destination. This is partly because there are more contact details to put in, and partly because you need to find out information on more subjects.

No notebooks?
In fact, to do one of these pieces without internet access can be nigh-on impossible. To do it without internet and access to your collection of notebooks and guidebooks is even worse.

Essay-style pieces on the road
And this is why, given the choice, if I have to write articles while I am on the road, I will always choose do to the essay-style pieces whilst travelling. They’re easier to do without internet access – which can often be limited while travelling – and any missing details can be filled in later with much more ease.

Finish round-up pieces before you go
Thus, if I’m about to go away, I’ll concentrate on completing any round-up articles that I am due to complete. They may have a deadline that’s further away than one of the essay-style pieces, but I know which one will be a bigger pain in the backside to complete whilst away.


Ms. Lucy said...

Your post raises a question that I often wonder for myself...Do you find it practical to only use your laptop when travelling, or do you use a portable system such as an Alphasmart? A few ofmy colleagues have suggested that it is definitely more robust, practical and works forever on battery. But considering the research that is often necessary via Internet, maybe a mini laptop is the half-way solution. Your thoughts?
Thank you.

David said...

I've never used an Alphasmart, so I don't really know. I'd say the smallest, most lightweight laptop you can afford with good battery life is probably the best bet.

I find that most articles need some degree of internet research (if only for getting the right phone numbers). And even when they don't, having a machine that can access the net as you go round is very useful for things like researching train and bus times.

David said...

If it's of interest, I covered the laptop thing to some degree here:

Ms. Lucy said...

I've just started following your blog not too long ago (right before you took some time off), and find it very interesting. Thanks for the link to your former post discussing laptops. I have a Sony Vaio, and personally find it too heavy to lug around- even when it's just from class to class. I'll definitely look into a much smaller laptop, because, I agree with you, there's always something that has to be looked up. It seems impossible to give up the Internet. On that basic fact alone, a simple word processor won't make the cut. Thanks for the info.