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System for taking and organising reading notes

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Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Dec 6, 2011 at 12:33 PM


@Lucas - I’m curious about your set up. Since you use Tinderbox, you have to be using a Mac. Do you use OneNote with VMWare Fusion or Parallels, or do you use different machines? Also, have you taken a look at Curio? It can do a lot of what OneNote can, and some things OneNote can’t or doesn’t do as well. Specifically, diagramming is more powerful in Curio. The table feature is better and you can create “index cards.” The main thing that Curio can’t do that OneNote can is OCR text from scans or photos. However, Curio does work very well with Evernote—you can embed an Evernote note right in Curio—so there must be a way to leverage Evernote’s OCR capability. I’m not urging you to change what works for you, just wondering if you’ve investigated this.

As for this discussion in general, very interesting. There is clearly no right way. But one thing that we can be sure of, whatever works best today, won’t be the best way three or four years from now. I do some non-fiction writing which requires research, but nothing coming close to the magnitude of the scholars here. Even so, I stumble around quite a bit. I keep references in Bookends, and compile a library of the notes from those references in DevonThink. From DT I pull information as needed into Scrivener perhaps stopping first in Tinderbox if I need to really make sense of the information before going to Scrivener for writing. This kind of work is more my hobby, and I’m dealing with two or three dozen references, not thousands like you all.

Steve Z.