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Last post Author Topic: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)  (Read 10204 times)

Dormouse

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #75 on: June 05, 2018, 10:26 AM »
I have now added a bit to Gingko and put up the table for NoteZilla.

I think NoteZilla could be used for a lot of the writing process, up to and including the writing itself, but since all the notes and boards can operate independently, there is only a small advantage to keeping it all in the same system and there may be other advantages to writing in other programs (including easier revising and editing).

Not entirely sure what to go on to next. Probably the Google system, and then back to pure writing programs.

Dormouse

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #76 on: June 13, 2018, 05:57 PM »
RightNote has a perfectly good word processor, but is not aimed at writers. If I were using the information in it - or in Evernote - I would have no problem in using it to write; otherwise I would choose something else.
Having spent some time testing out the RightNote editor, I find that it has poor ergonomics for active use with the mouse. Keyboard shortcuts can be set to please, but the right-click menu is very limited meaning that many common operations require going to the menu.

The easiest workaround is to use the Evernote application which has pop out windows and a much more extensive right-click menu. And this can then by synced with Rightnote. But this makes for an awkward workflow if working in RightNote.

The Journal surprised me by sharing a lot of functionality with RightNote (although the link with Evernote is based on import/export) - they both have journal and note options and the ability to insert files etc - but the right-click options in The Journal are far superior, making it much easier to write in.

Dormouse

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #77 on: June 15, 2018, 09:42 AM »
I find that it has poor ergonomics for active use with the mouse. Keyboard shortcuts can be set to please, but the right-click menu is very limited meaning that many common operations require going to the menu.
However, the developer seems responsive and I'm hopeful that this will be addressed.
I'm likely to switch quite a lot of stuff to Evernote/RightNote and workflow will be easier if these are improved.

Progress on looking at the rest of the programs has slightly stalled.
Mind still slightly fuddled by prospect of using NoteZilla for multiple floating notes/prompts/info when writing. I'm setting one project up for this now. Cross platform is a huge advantage for me here, even if the notes on other platforms aren't as full. If this works effectively, it will change my needs in writing related programs as I won't need them to carry so much information or do as much prompting.

Also keep finding myself drawn back to using WriteMonkey. Not sure why, though I do like the folding; maybe I just like the colours I set up  :-[. It also suggests alternative workflows, since quite a lot of programs are happy saving in rtf format and that means that they can all be working on the same file. If NoteZilla is doing hte heavy prompt/info lifting, then there are many workflow options here.

The RightNote/doogiePIM/Evernote/OneNote options are quiet different since they hold everything in a database and would therefore be used for different projects or different stages in a workflow.





Steven Avery

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #78 on: June 22, 2018, 05:36 PM »
I've now put in a card based systems section. Gingko, NoteZilla. I've also added the Google grouping here, because a substantial proportion of the initial writing is likely to be done in Keep.  I'll look around for others too.
As a pseudo-card based systems I would consider Protopage.  It is much more than a Start Page.  And is becoming my central organizer.

And I was working with Linoit but you have to emulate tabs with your own index boxes. Plus Protopage has more RTF.  And more auxiliary “stuff” is in the environment.

These two are all web browser, maybe with some app-ability that soes not change much.  Try out using Chrome to pin to taskbar.

===

PNotes .net version always is always an alternative to Notezilla, although the robust NotesBrowser in NZ might be one plus, where each program has 10 plusses and minusses.

DoggiePim on Bits du Jour TODAY.  An interesting compare to Rightnote.  Time to try, and maybe buy.  He does have a fair amount of writing-centric stuff and looks like good structure, including tabs in multiple spots.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2018, 05:46 PM by Steven Avery »

Dormouse

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #79 on: June 24, 2018, 07:06 AM »
As a pseudo-card based systems I would consider Protopage.  It is much more than a Start Page.  And is becoming my central organizer.
-Steven Avery (June 22, 2018, 05:36 PM)
I can see how a journalist or blogger might use Protopage or Linoit, but I'm not sure otherwise how it fits into a writing workflow. Since I'm also personally not looking at cloud programs (variable connectivity), so maybe you could explain how you see it working?


I've now put in a card based systems section. Gingko, NoteZilla. Google grouping ... Keep.

PNotes .net version always is always an alternative to Notezilla, although the robust NotesBrowser in NZ might be one plus, where each program has 10 plusses and minusses.
-Steven Avery (June 22, 2018, 05:36 PM)
There will be many alternatives to NoteZilla which can be used and some may be better. I was using it as an example of how a sticky note program can be useed in a process by addding a very flexible corkboard alternative and a flexible ability to put onscreen info that you are referring to in the current writing. Only functions as a limited and particular part of a workflow and wouldn't suit everyone. The key to its working is the browser control panel: if that's good enough any sticky note program should work.

The other card systems (Gingko, Keep) are very different. Gingko as a pure writing system and Keep as a part of an integrated workflow.

KodeZwerg

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #80 on: June 24, 2018, 07:24 AM »
I admit i havent read all  :(
but as my 2 Cents when it belongs to Writing "Help and Manual" is great authoring Software to write ..... Help and Manuals  :D
Surely not limited to that. Has many advanced features. My #1 when i write something that needs to be beauty.
sorry bad english and Delphi are my hobby ;)
politeness is not one of my strengths in writing, just because it sounds rough doesn't mean that I mean it rough.

Dormouse

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #81 on: June 24, 2018, 08:51 AM »
I've been thinking about whther there are alternative workflows that don't include spreadsheets. The programs with storylines can use those instead, but I've not thought of another working alternative other than word processor tables, which are really a cutdown version.

The reason is keeping track of what I think of as the 'pulses'. Stuff that is there in the background, but may not often impact the narrative.
In LotR there are unsen actions by the protagonists - the party members, Sauron, Saruman - going on all the time. But there's also the ticking away of the Third Age with the Elves leaving and Sauron and ordinary men rising with the Fourth Age depending on who won - but the Elves would have left either way.
And in the Siege of Malta I mentioned in the book tread, there weere the threads of the direct actors (the commanders on both sides; different locations) and the events, but there were also other beats - the Spanish commander weighing up the possibility of reinforcements, the overall political position of the Templars, the Sultan in Constantinople, the machinations of the French, Venetians and others; and then slower beats around the Turk's thrust into Europe; and even slower with the development of oceanic trade/travel unravelling  the importance of the Mediterranean and the entrepot of Venice and the Turks. The last is only mentioned a little in passing but is a fundamental part of the context. And mentioned frequently in the narrative, but without a beat, is the extensive practice of raids, piracy and enslavement which was still increasing: and because there is no beat the references consitute a source of incoherent noise and detract from rather than add to understanding.A further beat is the impact of the reformation and counter-reformation, but this is ignored and has no imapct on the narrative, although it could be argued to be an important consituent of the context.

It is easy to see how this is important in any work that proceeds with time, from the past, through the present and into the future. But it is just as important in other works that have many intertwined threads. Even if only a few are being examined then the others are part of the context for that. The only types of work where it has no use is where there is no narrative, and the work will be read in sections (eg reference books).

Ideally, it would be a corkboard, with storylines/timelines fixed below, but I don't know of anything like that.

Dormouse

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #82 on: June 24, 2018, 09:17 AM »
my 2 Cents when it belongs to Writing "Help and Manual" is great authoring Software
I don't know it at all, but looking at its features, I can see that you might be right.
But the price! ... is .. er.. very corporate; a lot of writers think it too much of a stretch to pay $40 for Scrivener.

wraith808

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #83 on: June 24, 2018, 10:55 AM »
my 2 Cents when it belongs to Writing "Help and Manual" is great authoring Software
I don't know it at all, but looking at its features, I can see that you might be right.
But the price! ... is .. er.. very corporate; a lot of writers think it too much of a stretch to pay $40 for Scrivener.


It depends on what you're buying it for and what your writing brings in.  If you're doing it for pay, then the equation changes.  I know that's the reason I invested in ProWritingAid - it helped me make money, so the outlay was small in comparison to the rewards.

Dormouse

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #84 on: June 24, 2018, 11:49 AM »
True. But it's aimed at online help or user manuals (small market, corporate bias). May well be very competitive in that field (that's why I didn't say it was expensive). But for more general use, where it has a good range of normal features, it's feature list looks OK but nothing special. Better value in $ than € or £, but $598 is still way above most general writing programs. So may be a good choice if you already have it, but hardly enticing otherwise. Of course I don't write user manuals.

PS I have a lifetime subscription to ProWritingAid, and it was very cheap in comparison.

KodeZwerg

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #85 on: June 24, 2018, 02:03 PM »
HnM got trial version to test, price always matters i know. You can do any job that needs "readable or printable content". For me, extra features like GitHub offers that many can edit and you can merge etc those stuff lead me to that program. I did not regret it. Payment also include Quality Central for direct support. Sorry if i misspelled something! And no i do not work for them so i stop advertise it  8)
sorry bad english and Delphi are my hobby ;)
politeness is not one of my strengths in writing, just because it sounds rough doesn't mean that I mean it rough.

KodeZwerg

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #86 on: June 24, 2018, 02:16 PM »
Forgot to tell, this link can list similar programs for way cheaper price or freeware.
To replace HnM the results arent good to the thing you want to do, but there you can enter any highprized product. Just as another suggestion you might concider to try out?
sorry bad english and Delphi are my hobby ;)
politeness is not one of my strengths in writing, just because it sounds rough doesn't mean that I mean it rough.

wraith808

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #87 on: June 24, 2018, 09:42 PM »
True. But it's aimed at online help or user manuals (small market, corporate bias). May well be very competitive in that field (that's why I didn't say it was expensive). But for more general use, where it has a good range of normal features, it's feature list looks OK but nothing special. Better value in $ than € or £, but $598 is still way above most general writing programs. So may be a good choice if you already have it, but hardly enticing otherwise. Of course I don't write user manuals.

PS I have a lifetime subscription to ProWritingAid, and it was very cheap in comparison.


I have a lifetime sub to ProWritingAid too... got it on sale.  HnM also has sales, and I've seen it for about the same as a ProWritingAid lifetime sub.

Dormouse

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #88 on: June 28, 2018, 07:07 PM »
I've been thinking about whether there are alternative workflows that don't include spreadsheets.
There aren't alternatives that perform the same function, although most writers won't bother to check and will just try to keep it in mind.
The story lines don't cut it, Aeon Timeline has has a different function.
Needs easy hide & unhide (excludes doogiePIM spreadsheet), but most spreadsheets are probably fine (I've checked RightNote, Excel, Google).
Doesn't change any conclusions, as it is as easy to do in an external program as in a linked one.

Steven Avery

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #89 on: July 22, 2018, 11:12 AM »
Let's say you are doing a practical non-fiction book that will have planned out chapters, and you have a lot of source material with which to work. (In my case I have the info and many pictures on a special forum as well as urls in Linkman.)  I am involved in one that shows the evidences that Codex Sinaiticus is an 1800s production, not 300s.

Then I think the de minimis need would be like this:

Good RTF and picture capture is nice.
Export to book formats would be nice, but not necessary. When the time comes, you can cut-and-paste and tweak.

=================

SOLID VIEW-FLOW

Top Tabs, flexible, movable, that could be each individual chapter, starting with outline, TOC, ending with Footnotes and Bibliography.
Side Explorer type interface that could be the units and sub-units within the chapter.

RightNote is one that seems to have those actions.

=================

If you don't have something equivalent to that view-flow, it won't be as good.

Two questions.

a) Is my logic sound?  And what can you add?

b) If it is sound what are some of the RightNote alternatives and how do they compare?

Thanks!

Steven

Dormouse

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #90 on: September 06, 2018, 09:42 AM »
Sorry for gap in responding. Interrupted by a few health issues. All dealt with now and seem to be recovering well. Might take a little while for me to catch up on where I was.



Dormouse

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #91 on: September 06, 2018, 10:10 AM »
a) Is my logic sound?  And what can you add?
-Steven Avery (July 22, 2018, 11:12 AM)
Most of these things are choices, and there are many programs that can do the equivalent.

I'd say that for these purposes, the ability to publish to book formats was irrelevant. You are likely to need a book design stage or program to get the pictures, footnotes and endnotes set out as you want.

Picture capture might be better done in a separate program. Shouldn't be difficult to get a workflow that is as efficient as having it in program.

b) If it is sound what are some of the RightNote alternatives and how do they compare?
-Steven Avery (July 22, 2018, 11:12 AM)

Rightnote will do this. So will OneNote. I'm sure that you will prefer one to the other.

Personally, because so much of what you describe is about capturing and organising a variety of data, I think that a strong database program would be the best option. The writing itself is secondary, and could even be done in a separate program. In addition to Rightnote and OneNote, most of the old options will work perfectly well (Ultra Recall, TreeDBNotes, etc); so would doogiePIM, except that you might find the range of extra functions distracting.
I'm not sure how easy you would find it to stay on top of the various drafts, edits etc with this workflow though: you'd probably need to specify them separately in the side panel.

wraith808

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #92 on: September 06, 2018, 02:18 PM »
When you say capture, do you mean screen-capture?  Or just contain it within the manuscript structure?

Dormouse

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #93 on: September 06, 2018, 06:59 PM »
I assumed data capture (screen, web page or file - especially the first two); hadn't considered the other option. But you are right, the question was all about constructing the manuscript.

wraith808

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #94 on: September 06, 2018, 10:28 PM »
I assumed data capture (screen, web page or file - especially the first two); hadn't considered the other option. But you are right, the question was all about constructing the manuscript.

What made me think that might be the case was the inclusion of RTF.  I'm thinking he means like Scrivener or Atomic Scribbler's binders.

Dormouse

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #95 on: November 17, 2018, 06:09 PM »
Somewhat annoyed that my health interrupted my review, although to be fair I might have been too busy with other things to have started if the issues hadn't been there. I will resume soon.

I have started to collect and organise all my writing projects and there might be some interest in which programs I have started to use.

First is doogiePIM. For bits and pieces, organising, notes, ideas etc. Mostly because it does quite a lot and is comfortable (for me) to use. The big disadvantage is that it is Windows only, which rules out my using it for major projects.

Next is NoteZilla. Totally unexpected, but liberating in my use of other programs. Works well on iOS and Android but the advantages only really come into play on a large multi monitor system. I can display all the source notes I'm using exactly where they are most helpful. This means that I don't need equivalent functionality in the program I'm writing in. Can also be used as a corkboard. Am starting to use it on all projects where it has a use.

yWriter. I'm using this for the biggest of my current projects. Very simple but functional program but has the advantage of working on iOS and Android too. Using this forces me to using an outside program for spreadsheet planning though. Also slightly concerned by the developing file variations (yw5, yw6, yw7) since I can see this being a source of problems.

Rightnote & Evernote combination. I think I might use this for a more complex collection of works, but am slightly put off by fact that I don't find it writing friendly. There have been a number of updates since I was in touch with developer, but they haven't improved any of the features that impact my use. Also the use on multiple platforms requires that all the writing has to be in Evernote format, which is limiting.

WriteMonkey for short to medium projects that aren't organisation heavy.

I'm still likely to use the Google system with PaperPile for more academic writing.

Am investigating Atlantis & Jarte for extra rtf editing.

I am feeling the attractions of Gingko for out of sequence writing.

I seem to have abandoned OneNote. Again.
I'm also feeling no love for the more complex and complete writing programs such as Scrivener et al. The complexity feels that they will reduce productivity without any compensating advantage.


ital2

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #96 on: November 22, 2018, 04:11 PM »
Please see some remarks of mine here:
https://www.outliner...topics/viewt/8428/15
(page 4 bottom and twice-and-short page 5 top)
and then further down there, on top of page 16:
https://www.outliner...topics/viewt/8428/75

Dormouse

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #97 on: December 15, 2018, 08:30 AM »
I've added my provisional interim conclusions to the original post.

I can see that when I have finished, I am going to have to tidy up the formatting.

rgdot

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #98 on: December 15, 2018, 09:50 AM »
DoogiePIM will have an Android client at some stage, it has been promised by the developer

Dormouse

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Re: Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)
« Reply #99 on: December 15, 2018, 10:45 AM »
DoogiePIM will have an Android client at some stage, it has been promised by the developer
Which would be great, but it's quite a longstanding aspiration. And such a huge program that it would surely have to be a very cut down version on Android.