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Posted by Yosem E. Companys
Dec 21, 2008 at 12:15 PM


Dear group members,

My name is Yosem E. Companys, and I am a PhD student at Stanford University.  I am writing to inquire about information management and research writing software.  Specifically, I am looking for a program that has the following capabilities:

- Information management, i.e., I can have various data sources in the program and conduct searches, hyperlink information, etc.
- Web capture (a la Zotero)
- Outline
- Time line (chronological)
- Composition
- Footnotes
- Citations (hopefully imported from Zotero)

Would you kindly recommend the best program for these purposes?




Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Dec 22, 2008 at 08:25 PM


Hi Yosem,

I think you are unlikely to find everything you are looking for in a single program (it would probably come quite close to what some of us would call the Holy Grail in information management). In particular, some of the features you are looking for, such as footnotes, are very rare in information managers. I will contribute a few ideas from the top of my head, but I’m sure there are many others.

I’d say that the core of what you are describing is an academic-oriented program such as Idea Mason ( http://www.ideamason.com/ ) which has been discussed here quite a bit; it can import citations through standard formats and provides several ways to collect and compose. An alternative could be the latest version of Biblioscape ( http://www.biblioscape.com/ ) though I haven’t tried it myself. You might also want to try ndxCards ( http://www.ndxcards.com/ )—though not strictly academic, it is quite powerful.

Do look into this forum (ideally through Advanced Google Search) for ‘academic’ etc for alternative suggestions.

If timelining is important to you, there are a few alternatives I can think of, such as CaseMap ( http://www.casesoft.com ) a professional program aimed at attorneys—and hence quite expensive. OpenMind ( http://www.matchware.com/en/ ) is a mind mapping progran that also offers timelining; it’s not cheap, but you can inquire for an academic discount. A (fiction) writer’s tool recently dicussed here including timelining is Writer’s Cafe ( http://www.writerscafe.co.uk/ ). A similar and intuitive software is SuperNoteCard ( http://www.mindola.com/ ).

Alternatively, you can use Gantt charts instead of timelining, which is available in many more programs, including the very powerful InfoQube ( http://www.sqlnotes.net/ ), and quite a few mind mapping applications ( http://mindmappingsoftwareblog.com/4-best-mind-mapping-programs-for-project-management/ ).

That’s it from me for now; others may provide further suggestions.



Posted by Yosem E. Companys
Dec 27, 2008 at 09:02 PM


Thank you for your help.  I will definitely check these out.




Posted by Wojciech
Dec 28, 2008 at 09:10 PM



Did you check NotaBene?

As they labell it, it’s ‘software for academic research and writing’. I do not use it since is very expensive but still worth of trying.

All the best,



Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Jan 4, 2009 at 03:13 PM



Manfred’s recent post on the Mac platform mentioned the thread below on Connected Text

according to which it can now handle footnotes, something rare in the outliner world. I just thought I should mention this as I was not aware of this functionality in Connected Text. There may be others that can provide it but, again, I do not know them.




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