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MyPersonalProductivity

 

ConnectedText vs. Scrivener

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Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Mar 7, 2012 at 04:18 PM

 

Hi, Bill,

So I just did an experiment on OneNote here at my day job to put your methodology to the test and it does work quite well. I never had the need to export OneNote documents to Word before. Thank you for the eye-opening explanation.

Sadly, I can’t use this system for the project in question, since I don’t have access to a PC at home and I do not have double monitors, either. (That’s the way, always a dollar short and a brick shy…) Still, knowing this might prove helpful in the future. (And maybe Growly Notes can do something similar—I’ll have to try.)

Thanks!

Steve

 


Posted by JBfromBrainStormWFO
Mar 7, 2012 at 10:24 PM

 

If you can emulate it with some other program, that’s your best bet for a performance boost. There’s a huge difference in the comprehensiveness of various virtualizers.

 


Posted by IAP
Mar 10, 2012 at 08:27 PM

 

A few software suggestions: ConnectedText on the Mac is most like VoodooPad Pro. In fact, I have used both quite a bit, and I would say the latter is the superior implementation on this personal wiki idea, mainly because it feels less like using a wiki and more like using a huge network of rich text files.

Closest thing to OneNote on the Mac is Curio, hands down. It’s a great piece of software, especially if you at a visual thinker, which OneNote is strong for as well since everything is on a spatial canvas.

Tinderbox is a fantastic piece of software. I use it for all kinds of things. Be prepared for a learning curve though.

While Scrivener doesn’t have a change tracking system like Word, it does indeed have comments. Three types of them really. Inline comments for direct in your face notes, sidebar comments which act a lot like Word’s margin notes, except without the spatial disadvantage of linking them to the pixels beside the paragraph. They will be stacked vertically all together so that you can in glance see all comments in a section, even if they are several pages away. Third are links, which give one the ability to work in the personal wiki mindset, except without the wiki feel, if you get what I mean. You can hyperlink phrases to documents at will, or easily make new notation documents with Cmd-L.

Meanwhile for change tracking, use Snapshots, that is the easiest way. You can compare the current version with a snapshot which will show all changed text. You may also prefer to use the revision mode pens in the format menu. They will force the text editor to always use a particular colour, corresponding to the revision level. Subtractions can be done with over strike, which will be coloured likewise.

 


Posted by Dr Andus
Mar 15, 2012 at 10:55 PM

 

Let me return to the original point of this thread (to compare Scrivener for Windows and ConnectedText). I’ve now spent a bit more time with CT. One interesting comparison between the two concerns the different ways the breaking-up of large texts into smaller documents can be accomplished. In Scrivener there is the “Split at Selection” (Ctrl+K) and “Split with Selection as Title” (Ctrl+Shift+K), which is very handy for breaking up a text, so that it can be rearranged into a new hierarchy or worked on as smaller individual documents. In CT something similar can be accomplished by “Cut to new topic” (Ctrl+Alt+N), which moves the selected text into a new document and leaves behind a URL. The main difference is that in Scrivener the main logic remains the tree hierarchy, while in CT the wiki logic prevails.

While I like this function in both, I find that their organisational logics have some psychological effects. Because Scrivener’s tree hierarchy is constantly in your face, it exerts some pressure on you to have to keep the entire structure and the hierarchical relationships constantly in mind. And naturally as the content changes, the hierarchy might become irrelevant, in which case it demands to be looked at. CT’s wiki logic in this sense is more easy-going, because by packing away a document it is sunk into an invisible depth, from where it can be recalled, however the overall structure doesn’t become a constant, nagging thing. So in this sense I can see how writing in CT can be a liberating experience.

My other discovery with CT is that is can be quite a powerful analytical tool. I was using it in conjunction with NVivo, which is a professional academic research analysis package. However, I realised that I can do the same type of coding using CT’s table of contents and categories panes, the Navigator, and the above “Cut to new topic” feature to actually make NVivo redundant, as it is far easier and faster to achieve the same objective with CT. Could this be the start of a new love affair?

 


Posted by Franz Grieser
Mar 16, 2012 at 11:06 AM

 

Dr Andus wrote:

> ...
> Because Scrivener’s tree hierarchy is constantly in your
>face, it exerts some pressure on you to have to keep the entire structure and the
>hierarchical relationships constantly in mind. And naturally as the content
>changes, the hierarchy might become irrelevant, in which case it demands to be looked
>at. CT’s wiki logic in this sense is more easy-going, because by packing away a
>document it is sunk into an invisible depth, from where it can be recalled, however the
>overall structure doesn’t become a constant, nagging thing. So in this sense I can see
>how writing in CT can be a liberating experience.
> ...

We seem to have different approaches:
* I use Scrivener (or an outline in Noteliner plus Word documents, if my publisher needs Word files) for writing non-fiction (and fiction) that will be printed or published electronically and is hierarchical in nature.
* I just give ConnectedText a try as a knowledge base for 2 projects. Here hierarchy is less important for me, I hope to find connections between topics that may not be visible when using a tree structure and folders for organizing material.

Why I prefer the tree in Scrivener (or in Noteliner/Word): My writing projects usually are organized top-down. In the end, the books/textbooks/articles will be printed/presented and read in consecutional order. Having the tree visible keeps me focused. When I rearranging chapters or sections this is immediately visible in the tree (ok, in the Noteliner-Word combination I have to do the rearranging manually). This way I know what information the reader already has - and what I might need to add. And, what is important from an economical point of view: I will not start writing a chapter/section beforeI know where in the hierarchical tree it fits - this way I avoid writing stuff that might be nice and interesting but won’t end up in the book/article. Off course, this does not mean that I do not throw out sections when I realize later that they do no longer fit in or that I have tool much text.

Franz

 


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