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Workflow on Mac (Mountain Lion) for PhD Thesis

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Posted by Peter
Aug 13, 2012 at 10:13 AM


Thank you for your comments. A few replies:

Daly, I will have a look at MyInfo and Citavi - thanks for the suggestions. I’ve tried both Mendeley and Evernote but a) I prefer not to work in the cloud (I think you can use both offline) but more importantly b) i just haven’t been satisfied with them. I think they’re loaded with too many bells and whistles for my taste. Zotero is really great, it just doesn’t do searchable annotation/tagging very well (at least I haven’t been able to get it working). I might try Sente now because it is a full-fledged ref manager but also incorporates OpenMeta tagging and the possibility to set up an external pdf database (both used with DevonThink for instance) http://code.google.com/p/openmeta/wiki/OpenMetaApplications

Steve, the point about tagging outside of DevonThink is that DT only searches within it’s database, not the drive(s). With a simple tagger app Spotlight (like Windows Search) can be used to narrow searches outside of DT. Tagger (and I suppose Tags) also permits Boolean searches. I guess it’s a bit like advanced googling for your computer.

Apropos Tinderbox, I’ve been reading through this forum and know it has some strong supporters;) I will check out your blog. BTW I found a great 30 min video of a researcher using Tinderbox for data analysis here: http://vimeo.com/8772338. The way he uses it reminds me more of something like Atlas.ti (which I find curious). My only concern is that it might take some heavy lifting to before I can learn it well enough. I will certainly keep it in mind. I guess it can be “programmed” to do some pretty powerful stuff but not sure it competes with DT’s more automated intelligent searching capabilities, the writing capability of Scrivener, or the slicker mind-mapping tools (many for free).

In the meantime I will explore Scrivener further, perhaps in conjunction with a mind-mapping software that uses OPML. I like to move between the more graphic and textual to keep the writing alive. That way I think I can make Scrivener work better for the more fine-grained “content outlining” - something like this: http://www.christopherspenn.com/2012/05/how-to-turn-mind-maps-into-ebooks-and-presentations-instantly/

Hopefully I’m getting things narrowed down a bit! More comments are greatly appreciated!