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Looking for PIM / Thesis Writing Software for the PC

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Posted by Peter
Oct 6, 2009 at 11:24 AM


I am a PhD student writing a qualitative thesis (ca 250 pages with six main chapters) based on a range of (mainly textual) sources including interview transcripts, websites, notes, reference articles (primarily PDF), books, and the like. Scrivener (http://www.literatureandlatte.com) was recommended to me recently by a colleague and if I had a MAC I would jump at it. But like many others stuck with a PC (eg http://www.outlinersoftware.com/topics/viewt/1074 & http://www.badlanguage.net/i-want-scrivener-for-windows) I’m pulling my hair out searching for a Windows alternative. Scrivener’s author, as some have already noted, offers several suggestions (http://www.literatureandlatte.com/links.html). But these, including PageFour (http://www.softwareforwriting.com), do not come close to Scrivener’s slick interface in my view.

Next I became interested in PIM/GID (Personal Information Management/Get It Done) software. This post (http://www.outlinersoftware.com/topics/viewt/945/0/list-of-pims) offers a huge list of stuff but it’s not reviewed and I don’t have the time to go through each one and experiment. I’m impressed with Evernote (http://www.evernote.com) but I’m NOT thrilled with its synced online membership business model. The ‘Premium’ (monthly/yearly paid subscription) version offers PDF searching and indexing - a must in my view - but must I pay The Man for the rest of my career? The Brain (http://www.thebrain.com) and ConnectedText (http://www.connectedtext.com) are two runner ups but as someone else mentioned, Brain’s price is a little high and I’m still not sure what I think about the mindmap style of organization (a bit too geeky). Meanwhile, ConnectedText’s Win98-like interface, like so much of the PC stuff, doesn’t really cut it aesthetically.

Before I hand over my money and my life to Evernote can anyone here come up with a wonderful solution to my dilemma? Again, I’m looking for a piece of software that I can ‘dump’ (link) all my sources in one place and enables the beautiful marriage between content and form, searching and sorting, referencing and drafting, culminating in a final text. Like Alexander screams, ‘I want it all now!’ (http://www.outlinersoftware.com/topics/viewt/879/0/i-want-it-all-now)

Thanks for you thoughts.

Great forum by the way!!