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Horses for courses: Voodoopad, Tinderbox, Curio, Devonthink, etc

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Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Mar 4, 2013 at 12:31 PM

 

Prion wrote:
>I guess, the one thing I haven’t quite decided on yet is where
>ultimately every piece of information is to be found in my system, the
>hub of my note-taking universe if you will. Right now, there are several
>locations I need to search, not-so-trusted systems living side by side
>on my computer. One way to simplify for me was to abandon taking notes
>about research papers inside my reference management program itself.

Prion,

I am not an academic, and do not do much—if anything—that would qualify as scholarship. However, I am working on a local history book that requires me to capture notes and documents (mostly PDFs) for my research. I’ve tried to keep the workflow for this fairly simple: dump all research into Devonthink. Then pull what I need, as I need it, into Scrivener as I’m writing.

I don’t have thousands of documents, so I don’t even worry much about organizing the research in Devonthink other than I may add a tag or two, and I have a separate DT database for this project.

I will take a side trip into Tinderbox if I need to think through the logic or the flow of a chapter, and I’ve created a Map view of the timeline I’m dealing with, annotated with the primary sources I want to use for each period of time. And I may use Evernote as a ferry between my devices, if I happen to find something worthwhile when I am not actually at my MacBook—which is frequently the case. If it is a document I find, I will put it in a special folder in Dropbox as the ferry to my MacBook/Devonthink.

While I have my issues with Devonthink (e.g., I hate the interface), it is the data manager I most trust on the Mac platform. I would use Yojimbo for this (because I like the cleaner interface), except that you can only have a single database, and I like keeping my projects separate.

Steve Z.