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      CommentAuthorDon Garvey
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2011
    I find research comes from a lot of different sources for a lot of different topics and I'm trying to do a better job of one stop shopping all of those things that I do not want to lose track of. I want to be entirely electronic and utilize/access these notes from a proper computer and from an iPad/iPhone. Though I have a lot of flexibility with my "work" computer, I'd prefer not to install anything and just use a browser.

    Microsoft OneNote is a fantastic, but way too much overhead in terms of yet-another-password-cloud-point-to-keep-track-of and price. I use Google Apps exclusively, but keeping track of stuff in a bunch of separate Google Docs is just not ready (and though I love the ability to access/write from my iPad to Gdocs, it's a lot of work to get there, too much for a simple note).

    It seems to me that there are two options - Evernote and ultra-low-fi DropBox with text files (then using something like PlaintText for iOS to access from there).

    Examples of the data I want to aggregate are:
    Bookmarks to billions of different things
    Story Research
    Craft, of Writing/Illustrating Research
    Business Related
    Stuff I need to read/consume
    Stuff I need to remember/Random Thoughts

    In a perfect world I can tag and search all this stuff, but lets not get ahead of ourselves here. I have to be missing some other option, my options just can't be THIS limited, can they?

    How do you manage?

  1.  (9788.2) for bookmarks?
      CommentAuthorDon Garvey
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2011
    Whoa - think the archive feature really stands out. I frequently bookmark something from a forum or blog post and worry that what I'm interested in won't be there if I come back later.
    • CommentAuthorkperkins
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2011
    I use pinboard (see Warrens link above) with it's bookmarklets for saving links.
    Evernote for webpages and docs that I want to see more extensive pieces of, and a folder called "ideas", for just that. I throw in txt documents with a title of an idea, and a short description, and make folders for stuff that I'm working on more extensively. (That's something I picked up from Warren.)
  2.  (9788.5)
    Currently my focus is to increase my research turnover rate. I clear out old bookmarks (or just delete all my bookmarks every two months) because if I haven't used them in two months then they are clutter. I try to research a subject simultaneous of writing about it because then I am actually engaging my brain instead of passively thinking 'boy this is cool' and so I tend to actually learn the material in question; until you write about it you don't learn it, that's why we still have schools. Also I am too impatient for schools, so this is the best I can do.

    As far as iOS I have used Docs to Go for the last two years. DtG is always one-or-two improvements away from really making their interface work, but the integration with Google Docs and flawless offline/online and sync structure mean it's good for quick notes and offline first-draft writing alike. Though if I know I'm not goog to use a note right away I stick it in the default Notes app, where it will be reviewed tow months later when I am deleting stuff.

    Mainly I don't obsess with remembering every idea because I find ideas easy and structure and discipline harder. Anyway, random thoughts there.
  3.  (9788.6)
    My main research dump is Scrivener — it's also where I do my actual writing. I can organize things in nested folders as well as by several different categories of tags (and just do keyword searches, which is more convenient for me generally), and I can include all kinds of texts, image files, links and PDFs (although getting images and PDFs *out* of Scrivener and back into the Finder has become more difficult in Scrivener 2).

    I've got a different Scrivener document for each script, as well as one for each project as a whole and one for comics-creating and writing in general. Here's some of the folders from the Witch Doctor stack:

    Art from my collaborator
    Story ideas grouped by type (fragments, short stories, miniseries, title with no ideas connected to it, etc)
    Other Ideas
    Research (research documents and images are frequently included in other folders too)
    Swipe file of art, photography and other stuff that caught my eye
    Logistics — including press clippings, promotional text, website swipe file, sales data from conventions we’ve done, solicit text, examples of ads that caught my eye, and a folder of info pertaining to our LLC

    The one thing I wish it had is browser integration ala Evernote. I love that with Evernote I can select text/images from a webpage, or an entire page, and move it into another application just by hitting a single button, and without having to go in and manually copy the source URL.

    Edit: Also, Scrivener doesn't sync with my iPhone easily, which is a pain.
  4.  (9788.7)
    I'm in the same boat. I currently use google docs to create running pages of related links and for most of my writing (definitely not the best option). Also, I find diigo an excellent tool for bookmarking. Besides the obvious, it also allows you to highlight, create "sticky notes", and can even store a cache of the page.
      CommentAuthorDon Garvey
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2011
    Thanks everyone - pinboard is amazing.