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Author Topic: organize data for research  (Read 5559 times)

kalos

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organize data for research
« on: November 04, 2012, 07:42:45 AM »
hello!

I want to gather data (text, rich text, diagrams, graphics, files, etc) and organize them for research purposes

I want to have a fully-featured text editor and rich text editor, a fully-featured diagram creator, a fully-featured table creator, a fully-featured graphics editor, a fully-featured file organizer, and all these inside an environment where I can organize in various ways (chapters, treeviews, etc) all that data

ofcourse MSWord is not the best solution, because not only it lacks many features, but also because I will either end up with many seperate files, or with one enormous file, which is cumbersome

can you point me somewhere please?

I lately figured out that there are some so-called desktop wiki programs, that seem interesting, do you know which is the best?

also, which other program categories would do what I need?

thanks!
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 07:48:16 AM by kalos »

40hz

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Re: organize data for research
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2012, 08:19:44 AM »
Try starting with Microsoft OneNote and Office.

That's the closest I can think of that has all the bells and whistles you seem to want in one package.
 8)

Shades

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Re: organize data for research
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2012, 10:53:57 AM »
No fan of MS Office here, but I do have to say their OneNote is a real gem.

barney

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Re: organize data for research
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2012, 10:55:20 AM »
Try starting with Microsoft OneNote and Office.

That's the closest I can think of that has all the bells and whistles you seem to want in one package.
 8)
+1.

What you're asking for doesn't exist as a single entity, insofar as I am aware.

However, if you can do without a couple of the requirements - notable, the image editing - there are a number of products that may serve:
  • Essential PIM
  • TreePadX
  • UltraRecall
  • MyInfo
just to name a few.

They'll all import/store images, attachments, RTF notes, charts, tables, Web pages, and the like.  All have a default tree view, although some modification is possible.  I'm currently using MyInfo for [mostly] Web-based research.  It can pull in whole pages or parts of a page, and lists the source URL - handy for citations.  It'll also grab the page graphics - most of 'em, anyway - and store the page(s) such that they appear just as they did on the Web.  The other products previously mentioned have all been used for this purpose at different times.

(What you're asking for is what a PC and dedicated software does ... then the organization is up to you  ;).)

40hz

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Re: organize data for research
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2012, 11:53:20 AM »
No fan of MS Office here, but I do have to say their OneNote is a real gem.


+1. Much as I disagree with some of the design decisions and concepts behind it, if you're looking for a multi file type "grab bag" organizer, OneNote is about as good as it currently gets. It's one of those "Jai alai xistera" sort of tools. (i.e. "It's not very often you'll need a xistera - but if you do need one, there really isn't any substitute.") :mrgreen:

If you can get comfortable with it's unusual paradigm, OneNote should fit the bill. 8)

IainB

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Re: organize data for research
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2012, 03:49:40 PM »
I'd echo @40hz, @Shades and @barney:
+ 1 for MS Office and in particular OneNote.

Suggestions:

kalos

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Re: organize data for research
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2012, 05:20:37 PM »
I see a problem with the amount of data they can handle

that's why a sql-featured software looks more sensible

Perry Mowbray

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Re: organize data for research
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2012, 11:55:35 PM »
Have you seen Library .NET Professional: it promises the world... but I've always wondered how much it actually delivered  :-\

IainB

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Re: organize data for research
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 01:11:05 AM »
I see a problem with the amount of data they can handle
that's why a sql-featured software looks more sensible
Very droll.

40hz

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Re: organize data for research
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2012, 12:09:30 PM »
Have you seen Library .NET Professional: it promises the world... but I've always wondered how much it actually delivered  :-\

I can't read Tiwanese - or whatever their website is written in. Is it any different from most other two-pane outline/organizers that have multiple filetype support? It reminds me somewhat of MyBase.

Of course the single most important part of a research tool is it's organizing and search capabilities. If I had to give up a capture or convenience feature, or some type of file support, in exchange for a more powerful or granular search capability, I'd definitely opt for search.

A collection of data is just data. If you can locate and do things with it however, it has the potential to become knowledge.
 8)

dr_andus

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Re: organize data for research
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2012, 01:10:12 PM »
I want to gather data (text, rich text, diagrams, graphics, files, etc) and organize them for research purposes

I want to have a fully-featured text editor and rich text editor, a fully-featured diagram creator, a fully-featured table creator, a fully-featured graphics editor, a fully-featured file organizer, and all these inside an environment where I can organize in various ways (chapters, treeviews, etc) all that data

I lately figured out that there are some so-called desktop wiki programs, that seem interesting, do you know which is the best?

My first question would be: Why would you need to do all this within one software? Even if you find such a Swiss Army Knife of a software, chances are that at least some of its functions would be better performed by separate pieces of software anyway. It's just not possible to stay competitive in so many areas at the same time. Case in point: Mindsystems Amode 2 (which I like as a project manager but it also has most of the features you mention but which I have better software for).

As for desktop wiki programs, I haven't tried them all but the one that I did try I became a big fan of (using it on a daily basis for the research purposes that you describe) is ConnectedText. But with CT you only import text materials into the actual database, everything else (files, images, programs etc.) are linked to and kept externally, though they will be displayed within the CT document itself. To get started with CT, check out some reviews, tips and tutorials by Steve Zeoli, Manfred Kuehn, and yours truly.

dr_andus

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Re: organize data for research
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2012, 01:40:33 PM »
As for desktop wiki programs, I haven't tried them all but the one that I did try I became a big fan of (using it on a daily basis for the research purposes that you describe) is ConnectedText. But with CT you only import text materials into the actual database, everything else (files, images, programs etc.) are linked to and kept externally, though they will be displayed within the CT document itself. To get started with CT, check out some reviews, tips and tutorials by Steve Zeoli, Manfred Kuehn, and yours truly.

But I should add that working in a wiki requires a shift in mindset if you've been used to hierarchical organisation and WYSIWYG type editors. If a tree view and a single editing pane are essential, then I would also suggest hierarchical PIMs like Ultra Recall and myInfo or databases such as InfoQube, myBase or Brilliant Database.

kalos

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Re: organize data for research
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2012, 01:59:56 PM »
I want to gather data (text, rich text, diagrams, graphics, files, etc) and organize them for research purposes

I want to have a fully-featured text editor and rich text editor, a fully-featured diagram creator, a fully-featured table creator, a fully-featured graphics editor, a fully-featured file organizer, and all these inside an environment where I can organize in various ways (chapters, treeviews, etc) all that data

I lately figured out that there are some so-called desktop wiki programs, that seem interesting, do you know which is the best?

My first question would be: Why would you need to do all this within one software? Even if you find such a Swiss Army Knife of a software, chances are that at least some of its functions would be better performed by separate pieces of software anyway. It's just not possible to stay competitive in so many areas at the same time. Case in point: Mindsystems Amode 2 (which I like as a project manager but it also has most of the features you mention but which I have better software for).

As for desktop wiki programs, I haven't tried them all but the one that I did try I became a big fan of (using it on a daily basis for the research purposes that you describe) is ConnectedText. But with CT you only import text materials into the actual database, everything else (files, images, programs etc.) are linked to and kept externally, though they will be displayed within the CT document itself. To get started with CT, check out some reviews, tips and tutorials by Steve Zeoli, Manfred Kuehn, and yours truly.

dr. i am amazed by your work at your blog
i would be very interested if we could sit down and put together all the features we would like in a knowledge software and try to create it
for instance, i wouldnt settle for less that MS Word's capabilities for rich text editing, EmEditor's capabilities for plain text editing, and so on
but a single application is something essential, because we need a file format that will support all these
isn't html or xml or something like that, a format that can handle almost anything? ie. it can both display and be edited by numerous applications, MS Word, plain text, it can display embeded pdf with a pdf editing plugin, etc
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 02:05:55 PM by kalos »

dr_andus

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Re: organize data for research
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2012, 02:42:55 PM »
dr. i am amazed by your work at your blog

for instance, i wouldnt settle for less that MS Word's capabilities for rich text editing, EmEditor's capabilities for plain text editing, and so on
but a single application is something essential, because we need a file format that will support all these

isn't html or xml or something like that, a format that can handle almost anything? ie. it can both display and be edited by numerous applications, MS Word, plain text, it can display embeded pdf with a pdf editing plugin, etc

Thanks for the kind words  :)

I do think that the more widely used PIMs can do a lot of what you're asking. Check out Ultra Recall, myInfo, RightNote, Notecase Pro, InfoSelect, Zoot etc. These are regularly discussed at OutlinerSoftware.com, just do a search for each, and you will find even more.

However, I am a wiki convert. Once you have masses of information in a traditional PIM, the hierarchical tree can get in the way of understanding (remembering, being able to visualise) what's in the database.

Yes, wikis are the closest to the universal html/xml file format and you can organise everything in a wiki, it's just that the linked files will not be part of the actual wiki files but remain external. There are programs that bring everything in (like NVivo), but it definitely affects the performance of the software. While with CT you can have 1000s of documents in a single project file and it still runs fast because it's all just text. You can still view your images within the wiki page and view PDFs in the internal browser. It's just technically not part of the wiki project file.

rgdot

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Re: organize data for research
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2012, 03:48:37 PM »
I have no connection of any kind to it but have enjoyed TreeProjects a lot, it's also mentioned a few times on OutlinerSoftware.com. It is a good option in my opinion.

kalos

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Re: organize data for research
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2012, 06:49:48 PM »
I see a problem with the amount of data they can handle
that's why a sql-featured software looks more sensible
Very droll.

why?

IainB

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Re: organize data for research
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2012, 03:24:11 AM »
I see a problem with the amount of data they can handle
that's why a sql-featured software looks more sensible
Very droll.
why?
Sorry, I thought you might have been making a joke. My mistake.