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Author Topic: General brainstorming for Note-taking software  (Read 398780 times)
Armando
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« Reply #525 on: June 10, 2007, 02:49:58 PM »

You say the notes can be searched. Does that include "cross-document" searching? Also, when using an external indexing search tool like google desktop search, are such notes in pdf files also indexed or only the original pdf text?

Actually, I've talked about that with Darwin at some point. I know that neither X1 nor Cpernic will index Acrobat's comments. Although X1 or Copernic will index MS Word's comments, but not perfectly.

Archivarius might be your best bet, but I haven't found time to seriously try it.


@Darwin : do you know if Archivarius will index comments in acrobat?


Quote
When googling I found this post on a feature for summarizing notes in freestanding pdf files. That sounds very useful. Have anyone tried it and have comments?  http://blogs.adobe.com/ac...obat_for_summarizing.html

I’ve tried it. As it says, it will create a new PDF with the highlighted text listed page-by-page. I guess it can be useful, as you you’ll be less distracted by the text that’s normally around your comments and highlighting and you’ll be able to see the comments dates and author much more easily.
 
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Darwin
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« Reply #526 on: June 10, 2007, 05:19:43 PM »

RE: archivarius and comments in pdfs... I'll have to test that tonight and get back to  you - I'll have to annotate a pdf and index it before I can confirm this functionality or not and I'm on my way out the door for the afternoon and dinner.
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Grorgy
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« Reply #527 on: June 10, 2007, 05:24:09 PM »

 I tried to get eXpert PDF 3 (for nothing, feeling cheap today  cheesy, so whats different from most days you may well ask lol) and i cant get the thing to extract its files, wants a password, so i use the one they sent me, says ts invalid, anyway i sent them an email, telling them this, but havent heard anything yet.
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Darwin
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« Reply #528 on: June 10, 2007, 05:59:26 PM »

Grorgy - hope that gets sorted out for you.

Armando - I got a reprieve (3 year old fell asleep) so tried out Archivarius on notes added to pdfs using Scansoft's Note function. Couldn't get a hit when googling for it after reindexing my harddrive. I'll write to the developer and ask about this because he's likely either to tell me how to do it or to add it to a future build!
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Armando
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« Reply #529 on: June 10, 2007, 06:02:55 PM »

Thanks Darwin.
So let's wait for the developper's answer!  smiley
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Armando
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« Reply #530 on: June 10, 2007, 08:55:29 PM »

@ Nod5

I think you should also have a look at File Notes :

http://www.donationcoder....um/index.php?topic=2712.0

http://www.filenotes.com/
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« Reply #531 on: June 11, 2007, 02:21:01 AM »

ooops, my mistake, that offer on eXpert pdf expired last year, oh well no worries, no doubt something similar will appear soon  smiley
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Darwin
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« Reply #532 on: June 11, 2007, 08:43:36 AM »

Sorry to have sent you off on a wild goose chase, Grorgy - I hadn't realised that the offer had expired.

Aramando - I've heard back from the developer of archivarius - notes and annotations in pdfs are not supported yet, but he's added them to his to do list. No indication of when they'll be added, but I'll keep you posted!
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« Reply #533 on: June 11, 2007, 04:20:16 PM »

Armando,
Filenotes looks interesting. It hasn't been updated since 2005 though. But the idea of having (searchable) comments for all kinds of files is a good idea. Could make things easier to find without putting a lot of tags in a (long) filename.

BTW, for each pdf journal article I save I also put its abstract in a .txt with the same name. Mostly for being able to later quickly reread the abstract. But maybe I could now also programmatically, through some script, import all those abstracts as comments for the associated pdf in Filenote or whatever pdf collection tool I in the end settle for! I hadn't thought about that before.

Darwin,
thanks for yet more suggestion and also for investigating the notes indexing issue in Archivarius!
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Armando
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« Reply #534 on: June 11, 2007, 04:39:23 PM »

Thanks for the update, Darwin.

@Nod5 : I'll have to take a look at File notes too.

Quote
Could make things easier to find without putting a lot of tags in a (long) filename.

Yes, couldn't agree more. This is the main drawback of my actual method. If I could find another reliable strategy which is sufficiently portable (I don't want to loose years of tags and annotation by just changing software or OS), I'd give it a try...

Being able to give complete, precise and meaningful names to files has always been important to me. Being able to tag files is another important aspect to transcend the limitations of hierarchical folders structures. For tagging, there are some solutions, like tag2find, tagger, acdsee, and others. But I'm affraid of loosing my time with these...

Anyway, all this is probably starting to be a bit far from this threads theme…
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« Reply #535 on: June 12, 2007, 02:23:39 PM »

Armando,
"If I could find another reliable strategy which is sufficiently portable (I don't want to loose years of tags and annotation by just changing software or OS), I'd give it a try..."

Well you could do what I do with journal articles but for any other types of files also. That is, create a .txt file with the same name as the file you want tagged (but perhaps with "_tag" at the end) and put the tags and keywords in that .txt. I think any indexing search tool will find those tags and due to the same filename you then find the file you're searching for. If you have a consistent and unique format for your current tags in filenames that a script can isolate (like using [tag1 tag2 tag3] only for tags) then you could probably make a batch script that migrates to the ".txt system".
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Darwin
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« Reply #536 on: June 12, 2007, 04:24:42 PM »

Armando,
"If I could find another reliable strategy which is sufficiently portable (I don't want to loose years of tags and annotation by just changing software or OS), I'd give it a try..."

Well you could do what I do with journal articles but for any other types of files also. That is, create a .txt file with the same name as the file you want tagged (but perhaps with "_tag" at the end) and put the tags and keywords in that .txt. I think any indexing search tool will find those tags and due to the same filename you then find the file you're searching for. If you have a consistent and unique format for your current tags in filenames that a script can isolate (like using [tag1 tag2 tag3] only for tags) then you could probably make a batch script that migrates to the ".txt system".

Just to note - this is possible with Endnote (pretty much any version) - you create your bibliographic entry, link to the pdf (either to its location your harddrive or you can have it copy the pdf to an Endnote managed location within the Endnote library you're importing into), and type out an abstract, keywords, notes, etc. into the bibliographic entry. It's all now searchable and linked within Endnote. As I mentioned before, this solution only works if you and anyone you want to share the notes with have Endnote installed...
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Armando
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« Reply #537 on: June 12, 2007, 06:53:26 PM »

That is, create a .txt file with the same name as the file you want tagged (but perhaps with "_tag" at the end) and put the tags and keywords in that .txt. I think any indexing search tool will find those tags and due to the same filename you then find the file you're searching for. If you have a consistent and unique format for your current tags in filenames that a script can isolate (like using [tag1 tag2 tag3] only for tags) then you could probably make a batch script that migrates to the ".txt system".

It definitively is an interesting strategy.

I use a similar one for all the software I download & for some archives – and to help me be consistent, I now use a simple shell extension that was recommended by at least 2 different people here : it allows me to create *.TXT notes on the fly when right clicking on a file ( http://www.moonsoftware.com/freeware.asp : look for FileNote).

I’ve tried to do that for files also in the past and I disliked the fact that every single file was doubled :  always had to make sure that I moved both files when I had to move them around, had to check both files when I renamed them, etc. I guess it’s not as bad as it sounds, but these little irritants stopped me from using this technique. Maybe there could be  a way of doing it in a way that’s much more simple and automated. But… I haven’t thought about it.

Maybe you (or others) would have suggestions?


[edit : forgot to add an answer to Darwin's suggestion!]

@ Darwin :

I use Endnote too, but I never wanted to use its "linking" function for notes since there are so many documents that I just don't want in EndNote but that I still want to tag, write notes in, etc. So it made it a bit complicated to have notes in different places : EndNote + the documents themselves + whatever... I still use it a bit though, but not to link notes or comments. Do you use that strategy a lot?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2007, 06:59:44 PM by Armando » Logged

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« Reply #538 on: June 13, 2007, 10:11:11 AM »

Wow, you guys are hardcore.
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« Reply #539 on: June 13, 2007, 11:45:54 AM »

for me, linking pdfs to endnote is not worth it. Lots of hand-linking.
I just use locate to find the pdf I need. The filenames must be meaningful though.
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superboyac
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« Reply #540 on: June 13, 2007, 12:00:22 PM »

I like locate also.  And for searching inside documents, archivarius.  Combine that with a good web capturing and notetaking tool like Evernote, or surfulater, or something else, and you have a pretty good overall system.

By the way, rumor has it that Zoot has a beta coming out that will be 32-bit.  I don't know about you guys, but I've been eagerly  waiting for Zoot to enter the modern era of notetaking.  Zoot is a very, very nice (I can't emphasize that enough).  Evernote is very similar in structure to Zoot, and probably will always do web capture better that Zoot.  But I can see Zoot becoming my main notetaking program if it ever becomes polished enough.  Anyway, just to keep things updated here...
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« Reply #541 on: June 13, 2007, 12:25:21 PM »

Heh, heh, heh - you guys are all right - using Endnote's pdf management feature (as introduced in v.X) is not worth it. I got about half way through manually attaching the relevant pdfs to their Endnote entries and gave up. I attach NEW pdfs to their NEW Endnote entries now, but otherwise have decided to leave well enough alone. I'll add hard links to older pdf's as I need them - ie if I happen to be using Endnote to find an article and it's not linked already I'll do it then, but my days of actually WORKING on moving my pdf library over are over ( tongue).

What seemed brilliant when it was announced (and prompted me to part with the upgrade price) in practice is ridiculous. I have 8 GB of PDF's - how important is it that the links to the pdfs follow the library from one computer to the next? This is hardly a portable solution. Give it two years, when 20 GB thumbdrives are $39.95, and I might rethink this but for now it was a cruel lesson in the value of critically evaluating a feature before opening my wallet! Anyway, the attraction of linking pdf's to their Endnote entries for me is that often I'll be reading a paper or a book and coming across a reference or references that I'd like to check out. My first stop is Endnote - if I have the pdf already and it's linked to it's Endnote entry, I can just double click the pdf icon and open it.
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« Reply #542 on: June 13, 2007, 04:51:56 PM »

btw, do you guys read pdfs off the screen, or print them out?
I'm really curious.

I have a poll on this running at academicproductivity.com. Please vote.
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Grorgy
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« Reply #543 on: June 13, 2007, 05:15:49 PM »

I print about 75% of the ones I use, tho I am only using a smallish number, say 100 during a semester (4 mths)
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Grorgy
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« Reply #544 on: June 13, 2007, 05:26:40 PM »

Actually a lot of the reason i printed so many of them was that I had no idea of all the tools available to do things with them, notes and so on, this thread has really given me a whole new area of usefulness for the computer.  Thanks folks  smiley Thmbsup
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Darwin
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« Reply #545 on: June 13, 2007, 05:55:53 PM »

I *try* to read them off the screen and am getting better at it, but somehow having a paper copy that I can write comments on just feels "right"  Grin

PS this means that I've probably printed out 75% of my pdf collection. What I like about the electronic copies is that when I travel I have a reasonable library at my disposal without having to cart paper copies around and without it be essential that I connect to the web. Right, off to vote in your poll.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2007, 05:57:32 PM by Darwin » Logged

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« Reply #546 on: June 13, 2007, 06:45:16 PM »

I also print around 50%. I'm slowly getting better at reading only on the screen though.

Armando,
Quote
I disliked the fact that every single file was doubled :  always had to make sure that I moved both files when I had to move them around, had to check both files when I renamed them, etc. ... Maybe there could be  a way of doing it in a way that’s much more simple and automated.
I try to never rename the pdf files, keep them all in one giant folder and never move that folder. Then the problem doesn't occur very often.
But in a scenario where file renaming is often necessary, scripting could help. I made a AHK script you could try. Use it like this:
1. have script running
2. manually rename filename.pdf to newfilename.pdf in explorer
3. while newfilename.pdf is selected, press script hotkey (shift+§ ; but change that to something that fits your keyboard well)
4. select filename.txt (the tagfile) in explorer
5. press hotkey again within 4 seconds
---> script autorenames filename.txt to newfilename.txt
[copy or print]
#Persistent
+§::
IfWinNotActive, ahk_class CabinetWClass     ; only run when Explorer is active
 IfWinNotActive, ahk_class ExploreWClass
  return

xnow = %A_now%
xnow -= xtime
if xnow < 5                   ; check 4 second limit
{
SplitPath, xnew,,,, xnew_noext
sendinput {F2}
sendinput %xnew_noext%.txt
sendinput {Enter}
xnew =
xtime =
goto RemoveTrayTip
}
else
{
sendinput {F2}
sendinput ^c
sendinput {Enter}
xnew = %clipboard%
xtime = %A_now%
TrayTip,, filename ready
SetTimer, RemoveTrayTip, 4000
}
return

RemoveTrayTip:
SetTimer, RemoveTrayTip, Off
TrayTip
return
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Armando
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« Reply #547 on: June 13, 2007, 08:28:53 PM »

But in a scenario where file renaming is often necessary, scripting could help. I made a AHK script you could try. Use it

Really nice Nod5. Thanks a lot for sharing that.
I'll try it.

@urlwolf  :

well, I almost never print anything except for editing, and sending papers and articles. So I'd say 99% of my pdfs or docs are never printed. In my case it would be a bit of a waste of paper, ink and time : I like having all my reading notes in one place, where they're easy to find : my hard drive. Taking notes on a computer, directly in  pdfs or word docs (or OOo, etc.) is extremely handy and efficient. With the advancement of desktop search tools, it's the way to go... I find.

Edit : wow, this thread is really getting wild.
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Darwin
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« Reply #548 on: June 13, 2007, 09:34:12 PM »

Armando is where I hope to get myself - weaned off paper and ink. That's the goal, anyway, and I hope to make it a reality. I must confess to finding it difficult to read anything on the computer, to the point that editing my own writing usually requires me to print it out at some point, even if I am going to submit it electronically.
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Armando
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« Reply #549 on: June 13, 2007, 11:50:04 PM »

I like having all my reading notes in one place, where they're easy to find : my hard drive.

Off course, that also means having a backup solution you can trust... I trust mine, but as my 500gb hard drive gets fuller...
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