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Looking for PIM / Thesis Writing Software for the PC

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Posted by Eduardo Mauro
Dec 8, 2009 at 02:24 PM

 

Regarding ConnectedText I would like to add:

* CT changed a lot in those years. Just this year 7 releases were made, each one adding new features. 
* One of the most important features of CT is its query capabilities. It is instantaneous and enables very complex queries. A query can be embedded in anywhere in a topic. There is a learning curve but that is not so steep as it looks.

 


Posted by Dr Andus
Apr 13, 2012 at 02:11 AM

 

Lucas wrote:
>Dr Andus,
> >Thanks for describing your setup. The distinction between creating the
>meat and creating the outline is useful. I actually find it easiest to generate text
>hierarchically to begin with (in a single-pane outliner like Ecco Pro,
>OmniOutliner, or Microsoft Word), but the resulting text often becomes
>unmanageable. I end up generating lots of complex hierarchies of text with various
>themes reiterated throughout, and ultimately it becomes extremely time-consuming
>to organize all the text, even though I produced it very quickly. Now that I have begun
>using ConnectedText, my workflow has changed. Instead of generating text in a
>hierarchy, I create a new “topic” for each significant idea (like in Ideamason). I can
>still indicate all the hierarchical relationships among my ideas using the built-in
>functionality for assigning topic relationships and categories (and this actually
>allows for richer webs of connection than a straight hierarchy does). The initial
>task of creating text takes longer, for me, with this method, but the overall time for a
>writing project becomes significantly shorter, because the text I generate is much
>more manageable and better organized. (And the dividends pay off even more when one is
>faced with a new writing project on similar themes, and it turns out half the work is
>already done.) The next stage with this method is very similar to what you describe
>doing with Bonsai, only it does not requite a separate program. ConnectedText has a
>built in Outline module that is designed for arranging existing topics into an
>outline for export (to be worked on, for instance, in a word processor). Anyway, it
>seems that the workflow here is somewhat similar to what you accomplish with
>WhizFolders and Bonsai.
> >So, what I am learning is that while I love the freedom of
>generating text in a single-pane outliner, I get better results when I am forced to
>separate the text I generate into discrete topics from the get-go. And this becomes
>even more palatable when I still have the freedom to assign complex hierarchical
>relationships (including bi-directional ones), as in CT. When I used outliners, I
>was always in search of robust “cloning”. But with a wiki like CT, I suddenly have
>infinite cloning. I can make any topic a parent and/or child of any other
>topic.
> >Lucas

Lucas,
I wish I had paid more attention to what you were saying in this post 3 years ago. I have ended up doing exactly what you describe, for the reasons you describe, but unfortunately it took me 3 years to get to that point. Argh! Anyway, did you stick with CT to the bitter end of your dissertation? I’m curious about your experience.

 


Posted by Lucas
Apr 23, 2012 at 02:48 AM

 

Dr Andus wrote:

>Lucas,
>I wish I had paid more attention to what you were
>saying in this post 3 years ago. I have ended up doing exactly what you describe, for the
>reasons you describe, but unfortunately it took me 3 years to get to that point. Argh!
>Anyway, did you stick with CT to the bitter end of your dissertation? I’m curious about
>your experience. 
Dr Andus,

Thanks for this post. I’m glad to hear that your experience corroborates what I had written 2.5 ago. The funny thing is, I wish *I* had paid more attention to what I had written back then, because I didn’t really stick to my own advice. Now I seem to be arriving again at the same conclusion, but in the meantime, I have played around with Infoqube (a little), OneNote (a bit more), and Tinderbox (a lot). All these forays have had merit, I think, and I will continue to use these and other tools for a variety of purposes, but when it comes to the basic task of maintaining my academic knowledge base, I seem to keep coming back to ConnectedText. (Recently I even found a way to convert several months’ worth of Tinderbox journaling into CT date topics, and I imagine i’ll continue to move data back and forth between these programs to take advantage of their unique capabilities.)

Anyway, I’m currently still doing fieldwork, so I haven’t even started writing the actual dissertation yet. I’ll keep you posted, and I look forward to continuing to follow your own outlining adventures as well.

 


Posted by Lucas
Apr 23, 2012 at 02:49 AM

 

Dr Andus wrote:

>Lucas,
>I wish I had paid more attention to what you were
>saying in this post 3 years ago. I have ended up doing exactly what you describe, for the
>reasons you describe, but unfortunately it took me 3 years to get to that point. Argh!
>Anyway, did you stick with CT to the bitter end of your dissertation? I’m curious about
>your experience. 
Dr Andus,

Thanks for this post. I’m glad to hear that your experience corroborates what I had written 2.5 ago. The funny thing is, I wish *I* had paid more attention to what I had written back then, because I didn’t really stick to my own advice. Now I seem to be arriving again at the same conclusion, but in the meantime, I have played around with Infoqube (a little), OneNote (a bit more), and Tinderbox (a lot). All these forays have had merit, I think, and I will continue to use these and other tools for a variety of purposes, but when it comes to the basic task of maintaining my academic knowledge base, I seem to keep coming back to ConnectedText. (Recently I even found a way to convert several months’ worth of Tinderbox journaling into CT date topics, and I imagine i’ll continue to move data back and forth between these programs to take advantage of their unique capabilities.)

Anyway, I’m currently still doing fieldwork, so I haven’t even started writing the actual dissertation yet. I’ll keep you posted, and I look forward to continuing to follow your own outlining adventures as well.

 


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