PERRLA Online March Update: Research Notes!

PERRLA’s Research Notes make it easy to do your research and create citations once and then don’t worry about them again.

Research Notes live in your PERRLA Papers in the Outline/Organize tab.  This tab is split down the middle with Research Notes on the left and the Outline on the right. 

Resizing GIF

To get started, you first need to add a Reference to your paper.  You can either create a new one or add one you’ve already made. Once you’ve added it, you’ll see it listed in the Research Notes section.  FYI: adding a Reference here makes it show up in the References & Citations panel in the Editor as well.

OK, now you can start taking Notes for your Reference.  Just click Add Note under the Reference and start typing.  You can type anything you want, but Research Notes are great for quotes, paraphrases, or even your own insights.  When you’re done, just press Enter to save the note.

Add Research Note GIF

If the Note needs a citation (like a quote), you can add one by clicking Add Citation in the Note’s bottom right corner.  Now your Research Note has a Citation attached to it. Oh, and it’s perfectly formatted.

You can add as many Research notes as you like and for as many References as you need.  And, if you like keyboard shortcuts, you can find those by hovering over the ? icon at the top.

Once you have a few research notes, you can put them to use.  You can organize them inside the under their Reference, or you can drag them across the screen and drop them into your Outline.  There you can get really organized.

Drag Research Note into Outline

If you like to live on the wild side and write your paper without an outline, you can find all of your Research Notes inside the paper Editor in the Research Notes side panel.  There you’ll see all your Research Notes waiting to dragged and dropped directly into your paper.

Dropping a Research Note from here or from the Outline tab will insert the Note’s text and automatically add any Citation attached to it as well.   Make the Citation once and use it for your entire paper.

Drag Research Note into Paper GIF

When you drag a Research Note into your paper, it turns light green in the panel, so you know you’ve used it already.  You could also use the check mark on the Research Note to mark it used or unused. Either way, feel free to drag and drop a Research Note as many times as you need.

Mark Research Note Used GIF

In addition to only needing to create citations for your Research Notes once, if you update the Citation for a Research Note anywhere in your paper, it will be automatically updated everywhere else.  So simple.

OK, last thing you need to know.  If you Remove a Reference from your Paper after you’ve created Research Notes for it, it will remove all of the Research Notes and their Citations from your paper as well.  Eek! Don’t worry, we warn you before this happens. Hopefully, you won’t have to do that (since it could cause you to plagiarize), but now you know.

That’s it!  Research Notes in PERRLA make it easy to take, organize, and use your Research without the hassle of tracking formatting across index cards or documents.

If you have questions, let us know in the Contact Support module.  Thanks for watching and good researching!

 

PERRLA Online Update: February 2018

We’ve made three updates to PERRLA that you’ll want to know about.

  1. We’ve redesigned the Paper’s Overview tab.
  2. We’ve updated the Paper Plan so it’s less for you to do and more helpful.
  3. We’ve tweaked Paper Start Dates to streamline the process for creating papers.

Let’s take a look at each of these.

In your papers, the new Overview tab shows you everything you need to manage your paper as an assignment.  In the top section, you can see and edit your paper’s details and mark you paper as finished.  In the bottom left, you can create and manage all of the To-Do’s you’ve made for your paper.  And, in the bottom right, you can see your Paper’s Plan or some Writing Tips.

 

That takes us to the second change: the Paper Plan.  We’ve streamlined the Paper Plan so that it’s no longer a series of to-do’s you have to complete (who needs more things in their to-do list?!).  While the new Paper Plan is still built off of the start and due dates of your paper, it’s now just a series of suggested dates.  You’ll see the suggested step for the current day and the next two steps you have coming up.  If you don’t want to be bothered with a plan, feel free to ignore or hide it altogether.  If it’s hidden, you’ll see a few random writing tips instead.

 

Lastly, we’ve updated the Paper Create modal so that you can enter in the three most important pieces of information right away: the title of your paper, the type of paper it is, and the day its due (yea, we just switched the Start and Due date fields).  We swapped them because now we’ve made the Start date a little smarter.  When you insert a Due Date, we’ll automatically suggest a start date for you.  If you don’t like it, you can still choose your own.  In your PERRLA Online Account Settings, you’ll find an option to set how many days you want to Start Date to automatically suggest.

 

And that’s it.  We combined the old Overview, To-Do’s, and Plan tabs into the new Overview tab, simplified the Paper Plan, and smartened up the Paper Start Date field.

We hope these changes make using PERRLA even better.  Thanks for watching and good writing!

PERRLA Online Update

Hey everyone!

We’re in the process of updating how you write papers in PERRLA Online.  We’ve learned a lot since we first released the Paper Editor in PERRLA Online (then PERRLA Complete) and we are hard at work making those ideas come alive.

We’re pushing out the first of those changes today!  Here’s what you’ll notice is different:

  • Update Paper Overview Tab
  • Overhauled Outline Tab and Panel
  • Interface Improvements for References & Citations

Paper Overview Tab

Paper Overview tab image

We’ve killed the Paper Details tab and merged it straight into your Overview tab.  Now you can see all of your Paper’s Details and edit them in one place.  To edit your Paper’s details, just click the “Edit Details” button  in the bottom right.  Pretty straight forward, right?

Outline Updates

In preparation for some of the really amazing features we have planned, we’ve updated the Outline tab to make it more usable.  First, the Outline now autosaves all of your work!  No more toggling between the Edit and Print views of your Outline.  Hooray!

Outline tab image

We’ve also moved to a card-based layout.  That means that your Outline will always look similar to how it did in Edit mode before.  You can click on any of the cards in your Outline to edit them, or click and drag them to re-arrange them.  We’ve also updated the keyboard shortcuts to make it easier to manage any changes you make.   Now, pressing Escape while editing will close the Outline card without saving your changes.  It’s like a Cancel button.  Enter will save the changes you’ve made, and Enter + Shift will save the changes and start a new row beneath your current one.

New Keyboard Shortcut imageIn addition to the Keyboard shortcuts, we’ve also added the ability to expand and collapse your Outline items.  So if you’ve got an Outline that is a heroic epic in itself, you can collapse it into only the most essential pieces.

Collapse/Expand Image

Lastly, we’ve done away with Outline Notes.  Although they were an interesting idea, they just didn’t work out in the real world.  If you’ve made any Outline Notes, don’t panic.  We’ve converted your existing Notes into text for that Outline Card.  So all of your Notes are still there waiting to be used.

Reference & Citation Tab

Our final changes for this update are mostly aesthetic on the References & Citations tab inside the Editor.  We’re moving towards a more Card-based approach, similar to the Outline.  We’ve also added some color to the icons beside each Reference and Citation when you hover over them.  And, we’ve added an explicit row beneath each Reference to Add a New Citation.  You can still use the Pencil icon if you’d like, but now there’s a place that makes it really obvious how to add a Citation to each Reference.

Coming Soon

We hope these minor changes make writing papers with PERRLA Online even easier.  We’ve got a lot more in store that will make the paper-writing experience more familiar and straight-forward.  We’re even hoping to help you manage all the Research you take for your paper. 🙂

If you have any comments or feedback, we’d love to hear it.  You can email Graysen Pack (our User Experience Manager) with any of your thoughts at graysen@perrla.com.

Thanks and good writing!