I often want to keep a flow when I'm writing. I want to avoid detours and distractions like looking up citations or finding a particular piece of information. But if I don't put in some kind of marker to remind myself to enter the information later, then I will definitely forget.

I started using a convention that I learned from journalists to overcome this problem. Journalists will write "TK" where they need some bit of information that they either don't have, or at least don't have at hand. "TK" stands for "to come," but also has the advantage that "t" and "k" rarely show up together in English. As a result, the pattern stands out when reading a document.

I've adapted and now write "[TK]" when I need some information or "[CITE]" when I need a citation. If I have the specific piece of information, for example the version number of software, I'll write "[TK: version]"; if I have the specific citation, but don't want to look up its reference, I'll write: "[CITE: Durkheim 1897]".

Because I'm a nerd, I tried to streamline these when writing in LaTeX. I created the new commands \TK and \needcite to keep my flow. The commands highlight and boldface the information. Both take a single optional variable that can include the information after the colon, e.g. \needscite[Durkheim 1897]. In case it's helpful for anyone else, I'm copying the that I created here:

\usepackage{color, soul}
\DeclareRobustCommand{\needsinfo}[2][]{\strong{\hl{[#2}\ifthenelse{\equal{#1}{}}{}{\hl{: #1}}\hl{]}}}


Pingbacks are closed.


Comments are closed.