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Looking for PIM / Thesis Writing Software for the PC

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Posted by Manfred
Oct 9, 2009 at 12:39 AM

 

I know I am late to the party, but as someone who has no only written Ph.D. thesis, but also directed quite a few, I have been wondering about the following:

“Meanwhile, ConnectedText’s Win98-like interface, like so much of the PC stuff, doesn’t really cut it aesthetically.”

What does aesthetics have to do with researching and writing? When I wrote my dissertation I really wanted an IBM Selectric, but not because it was available in different (attractive) colors, but because its correction system was better than anything else available.

In the same way, I suppose that function should dictate form in software tools. As someone who actually uses ConnectedText in his research, I also feel that I need to pint out that its interface is very Win98-like to begin with. (Nor does it need DOSBox to run circles around GrandView—- sorry, but I could not help myself.)

Manfred

 


Posted by Peter
Oct 9, 2009 at 07:23 AM

 

Thanks for posting and no worries about coming late to the party.

Point taking about aesthetics and research. I’m no fan of Vista (an example of aesthetic design gone bad). I’ve stuck with XP. Nevertheless, I suppose I’ve become accustomed to an increasing degree of let’s say ‘aesthetic sensibility’ in interface design, even for the Windows platform, over that last decade. Something like Evernote may not be your cup of tea, or even mine for that matter (I’ve decided it’s a little too gimmicky for my purposes). Still, if I have the choice, I’ll choose a piece of software over another if I think the interface aesthetics is better (cleaner, more intuitive, easy to look at, attractive) provided that the functionality is equal.

Meanwhile, I think I’ve found my PIM answer for pdf markup and note management: Atlas.ti (http://www.atlasti.com/). It’s not cheep but it was sitting under my nose all the time. I already had a copy sitting on my machine for coding and sorting interview transcriptions. The latest version can even import PDFs as well as a range of other media. It might be overkill for some though. Other competitors in the CAQDAS (Computer Aided Qualitative Data Analysis Software) family are Nudist and NVivo.

Still, the actual paper writing process is not facilitated very well (although you can export memo notes into one doc). Hence the search for a Scrivener-like app continues….

 


Posted by shatteredmindofbob
Oct 9, 2009 at 08:38 AM

 

...did I read that price correctly? ...woah. And people say The Brain and Notemap are pricey…

Peter wrote:
>Thanks for posting and no worries about coming late to the party.
> >Point taking about
>aesthetics and research. I’m no fan of Vista (an example of aesthetic design gone
>bad). I’ve stuck with XP. Nevertheless, I suppose I’ve become accustomed to an
>increasing degree of let’s say ‘aesthetic sensibility’ in interface design, even
>for the Windows platform, over that last decade. Something like Evernote may not be
>your cup of tea, or even mine for that matter (I’ve decided it’s a little too gimmicky
>for my purposes). Still, if I have the choice, I’ll choose a piece of software over
>another if I think the interface aesthetics is better (cleaner, more intuitive, easy
>to look at, attractive) provided that the functionality is equal.
> >Meanwhile, I
>think I’ve found my PIM answer for pdf markup and note management: Atlas.ti
>(http://www.atlasti.com/). It’s not cheep but it was sitting under my nose all the
>time. I already had a copy sitting on my machine for coding and sorting interview
>transcriptions. The latest version can even import PDFs as well as a range of other
>media. It might be overkill for some though. Other competitors in the CAQDAS
>(Computer Aided Qualitative Data Analysis Software) family are Nudist and
>NVivo.
> >Still, the actual paper writing process is not facilitated very well
>(although you can export memo notes into one doc). Hence the search for a
>Scrivener-like app continues…. 

 


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Oct 9, 2009 at 12:30 PM

 

shatteredmindofbob wrote:
>...did I read that price correctly? ...woah. And people say The Brain and Notemap are
>pricey…

Yeah, but check out the student license—less than 10% of the price.

 


Posted by Peter
Oct 9, 2009 at 07:50 PM

 

more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_Assisted_Qualitative_Data_Analysis_Software

The Ethnograph is priced at $99 for students, but I’ve not used it myself.

 


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