Top 12 Reasons To Use Grad Tools

12. USE CHECKLIST to track your progress to degree and official status at Rackham. Checking off these items can help to keep you motivated and help mark your progress. You can add custom items to the list.

11. USE GRAD TOOLS to manage your dissertation committee and keep them informed and engaged with your work.

10. USE GRAD TOOLS as a master site for your entire graduate career, archiving final versions of all seminar papers, pdfs of influential readings, professional correspondence, grant applications, etc.

9. USE RESOURCES FOLDERS as a remote archive for dissertation word processing and research files that are safe backups and accessible from any computer via the Web. You can also catalog important research links or upload primary documents.

8. USE EMAIL ARCHIVE or ANNOUNCEMENTS as a record of official correspondence with your committee.

7. USE SCHEDULE as a time management tool to track dissertation related deadlines and share these targets with your committee. (Avoid putting personal items in schedule. Use worksite schedule for this and merge GradTools schedule into your master calendar.) This scheduling process also helps you to set goals and priorities. Think beyond the dissertation to the job search by planning to present chapters at conferences or to publish work as journal articles where appropriate.

6. USE THE HOMEPAGE to keep your contact information current and available for your committee, especially when you are traveling for research.

5. USE THE DISCUSSIONS feature to create a research diary, dissertation blog, new ideas, big questions, or freewriting area in which you explore your original thoughts and ideas.

4. USE DISCUSSIONS to invite feedback and comments from committee members of drafts stored in the RESOURCES folders.

3. USE RESOURCES as a professional tool to store recent résumés and links to your activities, so that your advisors have the ammunition they need immediately at hand when writing recommendations.

as part of a Dissertation Support Group Project Site that connects you to a group of 3-4 graduate student colleagues for social support and safe intellectual feedback. The project site can be a powerful collaboration tool.

as a thought structure to consider and challenge your own working methods. Its flexibility demands that you customize it to work best for your own style. To do that, you need to know your working style.



3. Because it’s there.

2. To force your committee chair to do things your way.

1. Because you’d rather goof around with technology than write something.



by Mark Clague, musicology <>