How to organize all kinds of information?

byakuya

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 26, 2007
542
0
Hi,
I will have to write a 100 pages thesis soon (for university) and I was wondering if anyone knew a good application to organize information like:

-references
-notes
-papers (pdf, word, .txt, etc.)
-bookmarks
so that I can organize my sources of information effectively and easily.

It's kind of important that it can manage the file formats mentioned above so I do have one place where all the information is gathered.

I'm thankful for any recommendations you guys can give me.

Thanks in advance.

Looking forward to hearing from you guys.

byakuya
 

66217

Guest
Jan 30, 2006
1,606
0
Do you have an Intel Mac?

If yes, then try OmniOutliner (included with all intel macs), it supports adding all the files you said you needed.

And you can add a lot of comments. Rate them by importance, etc. Sometimes when I am in the mood of writing I use this program to have all my ideas organized.

It may not be the program you need, but it is worth to try.:)
 

byakuya

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 26, 2007
542
0
Thanks for the quick reply.
I'll sure check it out.

byakuya
 

Platonist

macrumors member
Nov 3, 2006
78
2
You might want to give DevonThink a try. As I get ready for my dissertation it has been a life saver. I have a ton of articles in .pdf format, as well papers written in .doc and .rtf and it handles everything wonderfully. I don't know about bookmarks, but I think it can work with those as well. I am still new to the program but I am hooked.
 

M@lew

macrumors 68000
Nov 18, 2006
1,582
0
Melbourne, Australia
As it's a Thesis I would reccomend something a little more advanced than OmniOutliner. Have a look at DevonThink Pro or Circus Ponies Notebook. A few other alternatives are Journler, Yojimbo and Keep It Together. They all have free trials(apart from Journler which is free full stop) so take a look at which you think is best.
 

janey

macrumors 603
Dec 20, 2002
5,319
0
sunny los angeles
You might want to give DevonThink a try.
another vote for devonthink. i've tried a TON of similar apps, and dt and yojimbo are the only two I particularly like. You should just get trial versions of all of them and then try them out individually with some sample files.

The only thing I didn't liek about yojimbo is that it won't let you import any unknown files, which sort of got on my nerves. devonthink lets you sort of "force" that.
 

Vinnie_vw

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2005
292
0
the Netherlands
If you're strapped for cash, you can also try just organising yourself in finder. Together with spotlight, adding tags with quicksilver, and a good hierarchical structure, it can be a powerful combination.

Plus, whatever system you use, what matters most is organising your thoughts in whatever tools at your disposal. The advantage to finder is that this system is also fairly cross-platfom and you can easily take your system with you as you migrate to whatever job you may have in the future.

Of course all the above solutions are good too. But what matters most is getting things done, not the eye-candy.
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,587
6
The Kop
Last year I did my design project for university (250 pages).

I just organised everything in Finder, pretty easy. Just create folders nested inside one Project folder. Quick, easy, support for all programs, stable.
 

j26

macrumors 68000
Mar 30, 2005
1,505
18
Paddyland
Have you considered mind mapping software and hyperlinking to the relevant files you want?
 

byakuya

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 26, 2007
542
0
Thank you for all the constructive replies.
I do intend to have a detailed folder structure also since I am a pretty anal person...and I usually keep 3 to 4 backups (different sources: CD-RW, HD, and USB sticks) since I am a rather paranoid guy;-)
I was just interested in having an application to support my folder structure as in having one place where I have access to all the information at once without having to explore my folder tree or structure.
Up until now I do not really like OmniOutliner unfortunately but am really fond of KIT and Journler. DevonThink looks really nice but the price tag is a bit high for a college student...Yojimbo I really liked till I found out it does not support .doc which is rather important to me.
I guess I'll take a closer look to KIT and Journler for the moment.
But if anyone has more suggestions please keep posting.

Thanks again for the amazing help you guys gave me up until now.

byakuya
 

janey

macrumors 603
Dec 20, 2002
5,319
0
sunny los angeles
DevonThink looks really nice but the price tag is a bit high for a college student...
the devonthink guys offer a 25% student discount off ALL of their software. So if that lowers the price any...sometimes there's no need to ignore one app when you think it will work for you just because of a prohibitive cost :)
 

Vinnie_vw

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2005
292
0
the Netherlands
I forgot to say, that apart from my suggestion to use mostly the finder (and del.icio.us for online stuff), it is really important to just organise your sources into some kind of reference program, which tracks and updates your bibliography in your thesis. Frequently, I found this much more useful than any info-manager out there.

Major contenders on the mac-platform are:
Endnote
Bookends
Sente
and there's also an open-source version out there (Latex-related)
An overview of some can be found here.

It's also important to bear in mind that some work better with certain word-processors than others. There are 3-4 major ones I'm aware of: Word, Mellel, Nisus, and Latex. And each has their most compatible ref-manager (Endnote for Word).

You'll be spending enough cash on those already, so spending too much on a mostly-superfluous info-manager is probably wasteful. Finder + del.icio.us + ref-manager should be fine. You can make an overview per chapter in whatever word-processor you use.