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Digital technologies have been developed for postgraduate students to help them to access data and published research, write their dissertations, and communicate with their supervisors. In South Africa, the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled masters students to make greater use of digital technologies to ensure continuity and productivity under government-imposed lockdown at home. In previous studies, students have been observed to use digital technologies to address professionalisation or socialisation experiences at the expense of personalisation experience. This qualitative case study of five master’s students explores their experiences of using digital technologies during the COVID-19 lockdown. The participants were purposively selected from a larger sample of 14 students who participated in the researcher’s doctoral study. Semi-structured interviews, focus group discussion and questionnaire methods were conducted with the participants, and inductive (thematic) analysis, in conjunction with deductive analysis (using the Persona-Tech analytical framework proposed in this study) was used to analyse and interpret the data. The findings revealed that some participants were aware of their personal research needs, and were able to identify digital technologies suitable for their studies during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the process of knowing and understanding their research needs, the participants became problem-centred and be able to tolerate uncertainty caused by COVID-19. These participants emphasised convenience and continuity. However, other participants experienced the unsystematic introduction of these digital technologies as a barrier to usage. This study suggests that researchers combine their socialisation and professionalisation experiences of using technology to create a personalisation experience that addresses their individual research needs.