As a Walden University ambassador, I was asked to write something for the new Walden students starting the new year. Here is what I wrote:

Welcome, Walden University students and all students, to a great new academic year. It is natural and even expected to feel the high adrenaline when starting the year. Whether you are picking up new pens and fresh new notebooks for your desk or have begun learning with fresh new writings and readings in your digital study environment, every new year brings something new. Here is my advice to you for an excellent New Year start:

Organize your digital folders before starting the new year, but don’t go overboard. Use cloud storage, such as Microsoft One Drive, Dropbox, or Google Cloud, to keep everything stored and protected. Note that Microsoft One Drive is an excellent solution because it gives you a massive 2TB space and is provided for you by Walden University.

Put up a Kanban board with your “To Do,” “Doing,” and “Done” columns – a physical or a virtual one is just the same as long as you keep it up to date. More about Kanban boards.

Make sure to have a reference manager tool that you will use to store and access all your research material. The popular ones are Mendeley, Zotero, and EndNote. There are many more, and you can review the comparison list at Wiki – Comparison of reference management software. I like Zotero because it easily fits how I do my research.

Write something each day. You might say, “But I need to do a lot of reading before I write something.” True, and yes, you should be reading a lot – not just for your dissertation but for whatever is relevant to your research. Writing something every day, which can be just one sentence, will help reinforce your writing habits and make it easier for you to write and publish your major academic papers. While at it, make Grammarly an integral part of your writing process – it is a life savior during the dissertation writing process. Note that Walden offers you a premium account of Grammarly for free.

From a person who enjoyed every moment in his Ph.D. journey at Walden University and is an ambassador of better learning for everyone, I wish you the best of success this year and all upcoming years. Feel free to connect with me via the Walden Ambassadors Network or on LinkedIn.