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Collecting web pages 2.0

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Posted by MadaboutDana
Sep 3, 2014 at 08:42 PM


Ah rats! I had the nasty feeling somebody - and in fact, here we have several somebodies - would tell me to revisit DevonThink. I’ve already collected so many interesting information management tools that I have, yes, I confess it! been turning a blind eye to DevonThink, which is not exactly cheap.

I do have NoteSuite, and have tried awfully hard to like it. But for some reason, it’s really annoying. You’re right, however: it is one of the few relatively powerful note managers that has a direct clipping service and an iOS client, plus a reasonably good (albeit not great) search function. Having said that, I’m quite pleased with the neat way Scrivener handles web capture. It’s a two-step process, but that has the advantage of causing one to pause and ask ‘do I really need this web page?’

Okay. I admit, DevonThink does have a demo/trial version. I’ll have to play… C-R-I-M-P-!!!


Posted by MadaboutDana
Sep 3, 2014 at 08:53 PM


Ah, I remember one good reason why I got so annoyed with NoteSuite. A couple, in fact.

a) the search function is weirdly lacking in MacOS: although NS will find web pages, it won’t allow you to search for individual words *within* the web page. The iOS version does allow this. Try it – select a web page note, then open the ‘Find’ menu. You’ll see available options only include ‘Search Notebook…’; ‘Search This Note’ is greyed out!

b) NS has a very limited number of export options (plain text or PDF). That’s okay, but other solutions have so many more.

c) NS generally does a very poor job of preserving web page formatting (with some surprising exceptions).

d) I have a general impression - perhaps quite unfairly - that the developer has lost interest. Having witnessed the recent resurrection of Notability, this may well be a very unfair perception. But still.


Posted by jarechu
Sep 3, 2014 at 09:42 PM


Just a tip about Notebooks: You can add a bookmarklet to your internet browser to grab web pages directly into Notebooks, it works also on iOS versions.


MadaboutDana wrote:
Hi folks,
> >In the knowledge that knowledge management is part of what this forum is
>all about, I thought I’d revert to the interesting subject of web pages
>and how best to capture/archive them.
> >All the following thoughts relate to Mac only, I’m afraid. Macs have a
>plethora of gorgeous info management apps - the quality and
>sophistication is generally much more impressive than most apps I’ve
>encountered on PC. The sharing - not so much, although it’s getting
> >So here, without more ado, are my thoughts on the apps I’ve been
>experimenting with:
> > ▪ Growly Notes ([print to Growly Notes function]: nice, but the
>search function is poor - slow - and moving notes around is difficult)
> ▪ OneNote ([copy to OneNote bookmark] also nice, and search
>function is good; moving notes is easy, too, but import is slow, format
>is restrictive – graphic only – and despite full-text
>indexing, you can’t export or copy the actual text. I’ve
>tried the copy-and-paste approach, too – as per Notebooks –
>and while it works okay, it’s not optimal because formatting
>isn’t preserved well, and URLs aren’t copied over, unlike
>the PC version)
> ▪ Yojimbo ([print to Yojimbo function] powerful, does the
>sensible thing and stores web pages as PDF files, but doesn’t
>communicate desperately well with its own iOS app and doesn’t
>store metadata or even website URLs, unlike OneNote. Search is good,
> ▪ Together ([print to Together function] more or less identical
>to Yojimbo, but with an even flakier iOS client and rather unstable
>behaviour; promising, however)
> ▪ Notebooks ([copy and paste] still one of my favourites, but you
>have to manually copy and paste web pages and their URLs. A bit tedious!
>Reproduction of web pages is astonishingly good, however)
> ▪ Stache ([copy to Stache button] very fast and very convenient,
>with powerful search function. But needs a lot of memory – can
>only really be consulted if it’s the only app running – and
>stores web pages as .webarchive files – awkward to open because of
>OS X’s restrictions – or screenshots, which are convenient
>but limited. Plus very limited output functions - no printing, for
>example, which means you can’t output the web archives as PDFs - silly!)
> ▪ Curio ([print to Curio Scrapbook function] haven’t really
>experimented yet, but I think it’s limited to PDF – but copy
>and paste is almost certainly an option)
> ▪ DevonThink (nope, haven’t got it - I know, I should, but
>it really is expensive!)
> ▪ Thoughts ([copy and paste] quite nice, with a very good search
>function, but not quite interesting enough to compete. Although it might
>become so)
> >And my current favourite:
>Scrivener: [Import as web page function] so what’s so good about
>Scrivener? Well, it stores pages as web archives, but keeps URLs,
>searches through them instantaneously (using full-text indexing) and is
>very convenient to use, being the ultimate writing platform, so you can
>open web archives in separate windows, or alongside note windows, or
>however you like. The only downside is having to copy and paste URLs
>into the web page import dialog box, although you could probably
>automate that using AppleScript. The other good thing is that you can
>print out web archives as PDF files that are identical to what Yojimbo
>or Together produce (something Stache doesn’t do), and yet the
>whole web page is also stored as a web archive. Now that’s
>flexible. And finally, documents collected by Scrivener are indexed by
>Spotlight and FoxTrot Pro. Because I use Scrivener more and more as a
>research and drafting platform, it’s usually open on my desktop in any
>case. Downside: no iOS client. Upside: FoxTrot has a very good iOS
>client that allows you to search through the text you’ve indexed on your
>Mac (cunning!), so you can store text archived in Scrivener in your
>FoxTrot indices!
> >I’ll let you know what I find out about Curio, but I think it’ll be
>essentially the same as Yojimbo/Together in terms of collection
>facilities, with the added flexibility of copy and paste, and Curio’s
>very powerful search and tagging functions. We shall see!
> >


Posted by MadaboutDana
Sep 4, 2014 at 07:42 AM


Thanks, jarechu, that’s a useful tip!



Posted by MadaboutDana
Sep 4, 2014 at 12:45 PM


I have run across an annoying issue with Scrivener, when used heavily for web archiving: it crashes. Disconcerting, when it’s normally so stable.

So: DevonThink testing time it is!


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