Creating a Dissertation Timeline

Galina madjaroff rietz
"With Preceden, I was able to customize my timeline, add all sorts of variables, color code, and produce a timeline that I can insert in a presentation, or have a beautiful printout to share."
Galina Madjaroff Rietz, Clinical Assistant Professor and Graduate & Undergraduate Program Director, The Erickson School, University of Maryland Baltimore County

How Preceden Helps a PhD Candidate Reduce Stress and Stay On Track

Galina Madjaroff Reitz is studying how human-centered computing can improve the lives of older adults. While trying to manage her complex dissertation process, she learned firsthand how important it is to have the right technology in your toolkit. Preceden helped Galina turn her sprawling research project into a series of manageable tasks, which cut her stress levels and kept her on track towards her degree.

Complex Project Management Needs Sends Researcher Looking for Solutions

Research on PhD students has shown that their most common challenge is managing work processes, which can contribute to high stress levels. Galina’s experience working on her dissertation lines up with these findings.

"The process is like managing a deeply rooted project," she says. "It requires a lot of planning."

Galina needs to coordinate events and milestones with research subjects, assistants, and supervisors to complete her work. She also needs to be sure to make steady progress and break the work into manageable chunks to make sure everything gets done on time.

Juggling the dissertation process, her teaching duties, and her administrative duties as Graduate and Undergraduate Program Director left Galina feeling overwhelmed. She needed a tool to help her keep track of everything and stay on schedule. "I was in desperate need of an easy to use timeline tool," she says. "Naturally, I began searching online."

Simple but Full-Featured Preceden is "Just Right" for Project Management

Galina is an expert in how user friendly technology can make people’s lives easier, and she’s trained to conduct experiments to find answers. So of course, her first move was to try out several different timeline makers to see if any of them could help her work more effectively.

She says she discovered a "Goldilocks problem": "Some tools were beautiful but too simple, some were way too complicated and very expensive."

Many of the other tools Galina tested had clunky interfaces and lacked the features she needed. She also says most produced "unfortunate-looking" timelines. In her quest to find something "just right," she even tried creating a custom solution using spreadsheet software, but the steep learning curve left her feeling frustrated.

Her search ended when she found Preceden. The app’s clean aesthetic and ease of use made it a perfect fit. "With Preceden, I was able to customize my timeline, add all sorts of variables, color code, and produce a timeline that I can insert in a presentation or have a beautiful printout to share," she says.

Moving Forward with an Effective Tool and Less Anxiety

Galina says that with Preceden, her project management timeline is "one less thing to worry about." She can see all the stages of her project at once, or look at any of the stages in detail, all on the same timeline. This not only keeps her on track, but also lets her communicate with the other people her project depends on. A reprieve from project management stress has been the biggest benefit. "It eases a lot of the anxiety!," she says.

For Galina, Preceden’s straightforward interface and elegant output cleared away the clutter and helped her breathe easier. To find out if it could do the same for you, try it free today.