I've been using QGIS for more than a year now (currently using 2.8.2 on MacOS 10.10.3, but also in Windows XP via VirtualBox for troubleshooting) and the application has been freezing and stalling quite a lot on me as I've been trying to do some analysis over the past several weeks such that I'm nearly at a standstill.
The sort of work I'm doing is relatively mundane doing analysis using a set of a few hundred data points (in CSV) and a series of shapefiles (Scottish Urban-Rural data, Deprivation, etc.). I've struggled to isolate the source of the failure and have tried a variety of things (converted CSV to shapefiles, messed around with using different CRS so that all are matching, have tidied up my CSV data, reimported data and layers into a fresh QGIS file, etc.), but can't seem to discover what is causing my issues.
I expect that having a better grasp on good practices for troubleshooting QGIS might help me to isolate what is going on, and so I'm wondering if a savvy user can recommend some good practices for troubleshooting this kind of issue in QGIS (when analysis operations are freezing or stalling). Is there a way to view progress in a console window? Or maybe there are some logfiles I should be checking for specific errors?