Gantt chart to track publications, conferences, etc. – independent scholar
This is a downloadable and customizable Gantt chart that I am using to track my scholarly work post-PhD. It’s a snapshot of what I have planned for the next couple of years. Because it’s an Excel spreadsheet, it’s easily customized, as simply as writing over my work plans with your own. You can also modify it substantively, if you want. This one is meant to fit horizontally by season on two pages, and vertically by type of activity on one page. The journal articles assume one round of fairly quick revisions – I’m optimistic that way – but it’s easy to extend the plan if any of them take longer or need more rounds of revision. The basic stuff in Excel is easy once you get used to it.
When I was in the dissertation phase of graduate school, I borrowed this idea from another graduate student (she explains it better than I could), and used it to track all of my school-related activities: dissertation chapters, articles I wanted to submit, conferences I planned to attend, teaching and research assistant commitments, committee service: every activity that was work-related, not personal.
There is no upper-limit to the amount of work you can take on in graduate school. I liked the freedom that came with setting my own research agenda: the ability to say yes if I had the time to take on whatever popped up. It is easy to get overwhelmed by all there is to do, and it can be difficult to foresee bottlenecks. This helped me to do that. Since my main goal was to finish within five years, I only took on new things if they would not affect the progress of my chapters.
I don’t want my post-dissertation life to be defined by the unprecedentedly shitty academic job market: that is, I intend to keep doing my research, writing, and, when funds allow, conferences, because the work is still interesting to do. I have a set of research questions that are worth pursuing. You may feel the same way about your work. If so, this might help you track your post-dissertation projects.