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Looking for PIM / Thesis Writing Software for the PC

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Posted by Edwin Yip
Oct 23, 2009 at 03:59 AM

 

Hi Peter,

Thank you for the detailed explanation, I’m glad that I asked this question, now I know the overall process of how you capture, refine, organize and finalize your ideas, It helps a lot to my project indeed :)


Edwin Yip
Writing Outliner - Turn Microsoft Word into an all-in-one writing software.
http://WritingOutliner.com

Peter wrote:
>No worries Edwin, and happy to hear that you find it useful.
> >To answer your (not dumb)
>question: In the process of brainstorming and catching ideas I generally open a new
>doc and try to stick with it. However, sometimes the ideas get too cluttered, or they
>branch off and start to develop into something distinctly different. That is when I
>like to have the experience of a clean slate. Sometimes I even create one or two quick
>notepad txt files because it’s so much simpler than starting up Word. Initially I save
>these new files on the desktop rather down in some folder under MyDocs because I’m not
>sure how they will all fit together or how I want to categorize them. Then, over the
>course of several days or sometimes weeks, I go back through these docs and ‘weed’ them
>and cleaning them off my desktop. Sometimes this involves cutting and pasting from
>several into one and then deleting the originals. Sometimes this involves
>collecting several doc/txt files together under a new theme and then creating a new
>folder with that theme’s name. Sometimes I try to put the desktop files into
>preexisting folders under MyDocs. Sometimes I make the new folders a subfolder of a
>preexisting folder under MyDoc. The upside of this workflow is the level of
>spontaneity it allows and the on-the-fly recording of ideas. The downside is the
>clutter and often disorder.
> >I hope this answers your (not dumb) question and good
>luck with your project! ;)
>

 


Posted by Dr Andus
Oct 24, 2009 at 09:11 PM

 

Hi Lucas,

Many thanks for describing your work process vis-a-vis ConnectedText, it makes a lot of sense. I was hoping to find a tool that can do something like that. I trialled a whole range of wiki tools but in the end none of them ended up as user-friendly as I wished. In fact I did have a look at CT a couple of years ago but eventually I went for Whizfolders. I don’t quite remember what it was exactly that swayed my mind. I suspect I found Whizfolders just more intuitive to use (not as steep a learning curve).

Funnily there may have been an aesthetic aspect to it as well. I still can’t quite explain it but I get a strange satisfaction out of working with Whizfolders, which seems to be simultaneously an aesthetic and cognitive experience, in the sense that I simply enjoy using it for demanding cognitive work. There is an element of play to it. This is despite the fact that Whizfolders’ interface is really way to busy, with too many different coloured buttons, to the extent that I wish I could just get rid of them with one click and just work with a white interface when writing.

I should have also mentioned regarding my work flow that when I write I use two screens. I have Word open on my laptop, while right above that on a stand I have a 22inch screen where I can display my Natara Bonsai outline (or Whizfolder) alongside my EndNote references (and toggle it with a PDF reader whenever I need to go into a referenced text). So there is an advantage sometimes to working with several software, as one can open them on different screens).

doctorandus

 


Posted by Edwin Yip
Oct 26, 2009 at 03:24 AM

 

Hi Dr Andus,

Windows management is on the windows level, but not the program level, that means standalone windows of the same program can be placed on different screens.

Dr Andus wrote:
>So there is an advantage sometimes to working with several
>software, as one can open them on different screens).
> >doctorandus

 


Posted by redjohn
Dec 7, 2009 at 02:12 PM

 

Believe it or not, Excel and an add-in called Excel Notes works great. Essentially, Excel Notes allows you to create, store, view and search an (unlimited) Word or .rtf document in each cell. This gives you the ability to create an outliner any way that you want, creating columns that you need with unlimited text and graphics for the item. It’s easy to set up an outline with columns, if that’s what you need


Excel Notes is shareware though giveawayoftheday.com offered it free awhile back and probably will again.

 


Posted by basilides
Dec 7, 2009 at 10:43 PM

 

Let me second the endorsement of XLNotes, which is a few days away from version 3.0. Check it out at http://xlnotes.com/eng/. It overcomes the limitations and cumbersomeness of the Comments feature of MS Excel. A very handy software program, indeed.

 


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