Recommendations about using notes (particularly with Scrivener)

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hibiscus
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:25 pm

Recommendations about using notes (particularly with Scrivener)

Post by hibiscus » Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:13 pm

I'm transitioning from Sente to Bookends (after a long period of trying to figure out how to manage my pdfs) and have been reading through the Bookends User Guide to learn the best way to use the software. Even though I've been reading through the sections in the guide about working with notes, I thought it would be helpful to ask others how they use notes (and if anyone has specific advice about working with notes between Bookends and Scrivener that would be particularly useful).

As I've started to use Bookends, I have been adding notecards (with headers) in the notes field. I particularly like being able to tag the notes (with the %). However, I'm not figuring out an easy way to export notecards that are stored in the notes field. I also wonder if creating notes as pdf annotations will be useful in the long run if I want to export a pdf and have all of my annotations stored in the document, rather than in Bookends. Then again, when I was using Sente with Scrivener I used an apple script that someone had created to import notes from Sente into Scrivener and what was most useful was having the notes (with page numbers cited, which I know how to do in Bookends) as text; I didn't need the pdf and notes to be a single entity.

I'm asking a couple of different things here, so I'll be more concise and list the questions I have about notes:

1. Is there an easy way to export notes that are stored in the notes field rather than as pdf annotations?
2. If my primary concern is working between Bookends and Scrivener, should I continue to take notes in the notes field rather than as pdf annotations?
3. If I did instead make notes as pdf annotations, is it possible to tag the notes (using the % sign) and have those tags be searchable in Bookends, as I have started doing with notes in the notes field?

Thank you!

Pierce
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:46 pm

Re: Recommendations about using notes (particularly with Scrivener)

Post by Pierce » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:36 pm

hibiscus wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:13 pm
I'm transitioning from Sente to Bookends (after a long period of trying to figure out how to manage my pdfs) and have been reading through the Bookends User Guide to learn the best way to use the software. Even though I've been reading through the sections in the guide about working with notes, I thought it would be helpful to ask others how they use notes (and if anyone has specific advice about working with notes between Bookends and Scrivener that would be particularly useful).

As I've started to use Bookends, I have been adding notecards (with headers) in the notes field. I particularly like being able to tag the notes (with the %). However, I'm not figuring out an easy way to export notecards that are stored in the notes field. I also wonder if creating notes as pdf annotations will be useful in the long run if I want to export a pdf and have all of my annotations stored in the document, rather than in Bookends. Then again, when I was using Sente with Scrivener I used an apple script that someone had created to import notes from Sente into Scrivener and what was most useful was having the notes (with page numbers cited, which I know how to do in Bookends) as text; I didn't need the pdf and notes to be a single entity.

I'm asking a couple of different things here, so I'll be more concise and list the questions I have about notes:

1. Is there an easy way to export notes that are stored in the notes field rather than as pdf annotations?
2. If my primary concern is working between Bookends and Scrivener, should I continue to take notes in the notes field rather than as pdf annotations?
3. If I did instead make notes as pdf annotations, is it possible to tag the notes (using the % sign) and have those tags be searchable in Bookends, as I have started doing with notes in the notes field?

Thank you!
I also have few of these similar questions that need some clarifications. If anyone is able to provide proper solutions that would be great.

Thanks in advance anyways.
Regards,
Pierce

edwinc
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:12 am

Re: Recommendations about using notes (particularly with Scrivener)

Post by edwinc » Thu May 30, 2019 2:53 pm

I would also like to see someone share their workflow with notecards and PDF annotations. I'm also a former Sente user and, since Sente integrated annotations and notecards in the same sort of workflow, I'm having some issues with exporting. Just heard about the tags through this post (and then checking out the User Guide), and I'd be excited to see how someone else is taking advantage of their possibilities.

I'm exporting the notes by right-clicking them and using "Copy notecard and citation" and then just pasting to Scrivener. I tend to use PDF annotations with embedded notes (by using Preview to do it), in a way emulating the Quotation + Commentary that Sente had. The thing is Bookends stores the annotation (quotation) on a locked notecard and my comment on a separate notecard and they paste as separate notecards. When copying the notes, it'll paste notecards first and annotations later. This loses the connection between the annotation and the embedded notecard.

My feeling is that strong annotation tools really empower the information management features of a reference manager. I must say that this was the original reason I went with Sente and not Bookends in the first place, but I see Bookends has gone a long way since. As I said, I'd be great if others could share their workflow.

edwinc
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:12 am

Re: Recommendations about using notes (particularly with Scrivener)

Post by edwinc » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:12 pm

hibiscus wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:13 pm
1. Is there an easy way to export notes that are stored in the notes field rather than as pdf annotations?
2. If my primary concern is working between Bookends and Scrivener, should I continue to take notes in the notes field rather than as pdf annotations?
3. If I did instead make notes as pdf annotations, is it possible to tag the notes (using the % sign) and have those tags be searchable in Bookends, as I have started doing with notes in the notes field?
I've been looking further into the Bookends notecards or PDF notes. I guess I can answer your questions.

1. You can just select them, right-click and select "Copy notecard and citation" function. Then just paste the text directly into Scrivener. The issue for me, as I am using PDF notes and not Bookends notecards, is that you miss the link between the highlighted text and its commentary.
2. You can certainly. The problem would be whenever you want access to the notes in another PDF reader which is not Bookends.
3. The tags are searchable in Bookends. Refer to the User Guide p. 126-127.

I think I'll be using PDF notes with the quoted text in them (so I would have a portable PDF non-dependent on Bookends), but I haven't been able to get Preview to display the notes, just the highlight.

alanterra
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:55 pm

Re: Recommendations about using notes (particularly with Scrivener)

Post by alanterra » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:27 pm

All I can say is that I haven't found a place to write notes that I am happy with.

1. If I put them in Bookends Notes (or Sente when I was using it), then I can't find them through any other mechanism except searching in Bookends. I sort of depend on using Spotlight for searching.
2. If I put them in the pdf using a pdf reader (like Bookends), I'll never find them. Searching is impossible. Also, you need to remember to strip the comments out before you share the pdf with others.
3. If I put them in my Scrivener "Research" folder they are right at hand when I want to do some writing, but then all the keywording I did in Bookends is not available. Also, when I start a new project, I either have to copy the notes over to the Research folder in the new Scrivener document, or keep two Scrivener documents open.
4. If I put them in a text document that I manage in bookends (I keep an .rtf document, that I then maintain as an attachment in Bookends), then the notes can be sliced and diced using Bookends keywords, but they are almost impossible to scan rapidly, since Bookends will only show me one attachment at at time: the pdf or the rtf, but not both. And, since I have about 12,000 references, scanning the rtf documents in the Finder is nearly impossible.

Right now, I put the notes in the Research folder of my Scrivener document if the notes are relevant to one project only, and I create an .rtf document and file it as an attachment in Bookends if the notes are more generally relevant, and then I (sigh!) end up copying those notes to my Scrivener document anyway, so I can do all my writing from with Scrivener. One of the reasons I like to use Scrivener is that it is really easy to see the notes of five or ten references all at the same time, and searching by keyword is really fast.

I use keywords a lot, and I depend on text searching for the times that I didn't keyword effectively, but having keywords in Bookends, and different keywords in Scrivener (called tags), and in the Finder (also called tags in Finder) is driving me crazy.

If I could just lock the author of Bookends and the author of Scrivener in one room, feed them coffee or brandy until they made a chimera of the two programs, I could be happy.

I hope this helps.

alanterra
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:55 pm

Re: Recommendations about using notes (particularly with Scrivener)

Post by alanterra » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:31 pm

And this is really down in the weeds, but in case anyone wants to replicate my (baroque) system, I have the following labels in Bookends (not all listed):

To Find
To Read
Have Read
Have Notes

"Have Notes" means that either (a) I have attached an .rtf document with notes, or (b) I have put notes in a Scrivener document. Then I use a keyword in Bookends to indicate which Scrivener document I put the notes in. When I finish a project, if the notes are useful, I can copy them from Scrivener into an .rtf document and then store it as an attachment in Bookends, so it is available for future projects.

msteffens
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 10:04 am
Location: Germany
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Re: Recommendations about using notes (particularly with Scrivener)

Post by msteffens » Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:27 pm

All I can say is that I haven't found a place to write notes that I am happy with.
I‘ve had similar problems and I‘m currently developing a tool that will hopefully improve on this situation. It‘s a separate Mac app (https://keypoints.app/, not released yet) that‘s meant to gather all your PDF highlights & annotations/comments as individual Markdown notes – ready to be tagged, commented on & cross-linked. I plan to deeply integrate this with scriptable apps like Bookends so that notes and bibliographic metadata can be exchanged easily both ways.

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