An introduction to the resources available to support your learning
All postgraduate courses require you to deal with and manage materials in some way. These might be lecture handouts or problem sheets, reading lists, essay drafts, typed notes, handwritten notes, and more.It's important to devise a realistic strategy for organising and protecting these materials. You should name and file them sensibly, back them up, and perhaps make sure you can access them on different devices. This strategy does not have to be particularly complex, but it should be secure and sustainable. Before your course starts is a really good time to figure out what this might be and make sure that you have everything set up in advance.
Creating a sensible and consistent file and folder structure will save you plenty of time (and perhaps stress) later on. While there is no 'perfect' way to do this, it might be sensible to create a folder for each course you take, and within that to create a folder per week, or per topic, as well as one for assignment drafts.
Naming your files and folders appropriately is important. The three main criteria you should take into account in naming files are:
Even if you work mostly with printed materials, the same principles here apply: naming and dating the materials you have, keeping clear records, and developing a consistent and organised approach to storing these materials will be helpful.
For more information on file and folder structure, have a look at Mantra, a short course from the University of Edinburgh on record management.
One of the most important things that you can do before your course begins is to ensure that you have a robust, efficient and straightforward method in place for backing up your materials. Ideally, you should back up what you use and create in at least two places in addition to your computer. Here are some ways in which you can do this.