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Looking for PIM / Thesis Writing Software for the PC

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Posted by Peter
Oct 6, 2009 at 10:46 PM


What fantastic responses! Thank you!

Jon - On your suggestion I had another look at UR. It definitely has some nice features. However, unless I?m wrong (I only browsed the documentation) it only allows pdf importing but it lacks reference management (like Biblioscape or Endnote) for citation export. As you point out, it feels a more like a project management (admin) tool than a writing (creative) tool? but that?s probably unfair because it does seem to handle a lot. I especially like how hyperlinks can be created between different elements. But I am a bit worried by the apparent necessity of tweaking attribute to enjoy accurate search results down the line. WhizFolders was also recommended which looks great for creating a network of interlinked notes/ideas. However I?m looking for software that can do that but then also move me into the next stage of writing prose, argument development, etc.

Hugh, Stephen, JohnK - Thank you for the StoryBoard link. It looks like the closest thing to a PC Scrivener so far (until PC Scrivener comes out ;). However I think after all this current reflection I?m leaning more towards a PIM designed for writing research and not ?just? a writer?s program for story development. So far Evernote and Biblioscape both (in their own ways) imitate the workflow I have in mind. There seems little incentive to learn and use IdeaMason at this point since it is discontinued.

Matt ? your suggestion for Biblioscape pretty much hit the nail on the head. I haven?t started using it yet but the website provides a complete manual. However, at least two issues emerged for me. First, selecting pdf text (underlining) for hyerlinking notes didn?t look like it?s been implemented. I assume this means that one must manually preview the document (pdf) looking for the place of the note reference, unless of course the page number was included with the note. I have become accustomed to manually underlying and leaving scattered notes in my pdfs with Acrobat Pro but I was hoping to find a way to import, organize and search these in one place. Second, it doesn?t look like the process of creating notes on the fly is supported. Instead one has to stop and assign attributes, categorize it, and give it a name. With Scribener for instance one doesn?t have to interrupt the writing process but instead keep writing. Meanwhile, Evernote is still attractive simply because of its superior graphical interface in my view. Nevertheless I am still concerned about the risk of upload my project to the cloud so the search is not over yet. Re: PhD ?Running away screaming? - now that?s a great title!

Daly and Lucas ? Both of your reflections explore the nuances of my (our?) dilemma extremely well and are very helpful! I?m still a bit stumped, but at least the choices are now narrowed!

One more question - Are any of you concerned about ?cloud syncing? with software clients like Evernote, Mendeley, or Zotero? For instance, let alone the copyright issues, I have ethnically sensitive material and just the thought of it getting uploaded somewhere ?out there? weird?s me out a little.

Rather than respond any further I think I?ll pause here and let the others jump in? ;)

Thank you again!