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Summer 2009 PIM roll-call

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Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Jul 28, 2009 at 02:31 PM

 

Having one foot in the PC/Windows world and one in the Mac, I’ll break this rollcall into two.

First, the PC (which I use primarily at the office for my day job as a sales/marketing director for a small, nonprofit publisher):

- Zoot remains my primary information organizing tool. It captures information easily and automatically organizes it. I have several years worth of clippings within it. Additionally, I use it to maintain catalog information about our books, because it is so easy to save filtered views. There are only two things that keep me from using Zoot exclusively: It’s lack of text formatting, which is not always necessary, but sometimes is; and some of its quirks, especially relating to printing, a genuine weakness.

- OneNote is my project organizer. I create a section for each new project, where I collect related documents, e-mails and notes. OneNote is pretty good at creating a quick table of information, even if the table functions are somewhat primative. So far I have not used the shared notebook option, but hope to soon, as my office is about to adopt OneNote. That will open a whole new area of collaboration.

- I’m still tryng to settle on the best application for keeping a daily log of activities. Either Zoot or OneNote can handle this okay—in fact, I’m currently using ON—but I feel like there should be a better option.

- Outlook is my e-mail program. I generally don’t use a to-do list, but if I were to use one, I’d use the combination of Outlook and OneNote, which can share task information.

- I’ve been experimenting with shifting our catalog data to ConnectedText, which would have the advantage of being able to generate a web site.


On the Mac:

- I’m still in flux about which application works best. Consequently, I’ve been using redundancy. I put most information into DevonThink, but I’m really not sold on DT. It feels clumsy and awkward to me. Plus, I’m not crazy about the fact that the company sold upgrades to version 2.0 last December and still haven’t released anything but a series of betas.

- I’ve been finding TinderBox really helpful for its graphic/visual presentation of information. I don’t make it my main information repository, but use it when I need to do some planning or thinking about a project.

- Curio is an amazing application, yet I don’t use it as much as I would have expected given its great versatility. The promised Index Card function may change that, when it comes out.

- I use MacJournal for my personal journal.

- I use Scrivener for writing longer pieces, although I’ve not been as thrilled by S as I was expecting or hoping (it was the main reason I bought a MacBook in the first place). This may have more to do with my writing style than anything. I find I generally don’t like to write in small, quantum chunks. I prefer to see my work growing as a holistic work.

- I’ve been trying out Evernote again, not because I think it is all that great, but because it can sync my information pretty seamlessly between the PC and the Mac.

And, since I have CRIMP, you can bet there are many additional programs that I dabble with, always looking for something that just works better.

Steve Z.