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Workflow on Mac (Mountain Lion) for PhD Thesis

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Posted by Hugh
Aug 15, 2012 at 01:59 PM

 

A word about Tinderbox: although Tbx can be used for data management, such a use wouldn’t be playing to its strengths. In a workflow, I think it’s best used for either “creating by jotting down random notes to see what they add up to” or “analysis of what already exists to get a firmer handle on it”. But I think it does already successfully export to Scrivener - at least there’s a template in its file menu to allow it to do so, and I seem to remember a recent dialogue in the Tinderbox forums on this subject (do a Search on the term “Scrivener”).

Incidentally, Steve Z.‘s blogs on Tinderbox provide the quickest route I know (and I’ve done all the the tutorials, and I mean all!) to getting a decent grounding in the app.

A relatively cheap and simple mind-mapping programme for the Mac is MindNode Pro: http://mindnode.com/#!/mac. It exports via OPML to Scrivener.

A word about DevonThink. It’s a magnificent application, but you have to get used to its quirks. Personally, I wouldn’t tag anything that I index or import into it; tagging complicates what you can do, and in the DevonThink context it has a slightly special meaning and takes a while to learn and understand. The other methods of finding documents in DT, or filing them away in the first place are sufficiently sophisticated that you don’t really require tagging (although plenty of people would disagree with that). Personally also I would start off by importing rather than indexing, again for reasons of keeping everything simple. With indexing, you have two databases to worry about - the Finder’s and DevonThink’s own; with importing, effectively only one. You can always re-export what you’ve imported, and then index, when you’ve got the hang of the application. (Again, others may disagree.) And I certainly wouldn’t mix both importing and indexing, at least to begin with.

I imagine that DT Pro would be enough for your purposes, unless you plan to scan material in, when DTPO would useful.

Generally Scrivener, Tinderbox and DevonThink do all play very well together. Good luck!