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    Saturday
    Jan052013

    Research tool roundup part 1: Microsoft Word

    Word has a little-known feature that makes it one of the best research tools around. The best part? You probably already have it on your computer. I use this tool for interview projects. It's especially well suited for phone interviews, since it records audio but no video. It syncs audio with notes as you type, so you can easily find and listen to the exact point in the interview where your participant said something interesting.

    The feature is called "Word Notebook Layout" and you have the option to create a new Notebook document in the Word Document Gallery, which pops up when you open Word. The Home and Appearance tabs have a bunch of features that I don't understand or care about, so skip those and click on the Audio Notes tab. Click on record and write notes. Hit enter everytime you want to start a new audio marker. After you stop recording, you can click on the speaker icon in the margin at the beginning of each line to listen to the audio that corresponded to that note.

    You can share the documents as Word Notebook documents, but you can also export the audio as an .mp4 if you're sharing your recordings with people who don't have Word.

    When I use this tool, sometimes I take notes on what participants are saying, but sometimes I just note section headings from my interview guide, since Word makes it easy to find the right point in the audio. I can take fewer notes and pull quotes or take notes on specific sections easily later. 

    I always recommend recording with more than one device in case something goes wrong. It really sucks to lose research data. Word is a great recording tool, either as your primary tool or as your backup. 

     

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      Karina van Schaardenburg - Thoughts - Research tool roundup part 1: Microsoft Word
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      Karina van Schaardenburg - Thoughts - Research tool roundup part 1: Microsoft Word
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      Karina van Schaardenburg - Thoughts - Research tool roundup part 1: Microsoft Word
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      Karina van Schaardenburg - Thoughts - Research tool roundup part 1: Microsoft Word
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      Karina van Schaardenburg - Thoughts - Research tool roundup part 1: Microsoft Word
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