The Junto: Digital Workflow for Historians

From The Junto, a sample digital workflow, using Papers and Scrivener. Most of my workflow centers on TurboScan and Zotero, but Papers sounds like a promising tool, especially with its OCR tool. However, I’d be wary about adding another step to my workflow, which already seems cumbersome sometimes–you mean I have to add this to Zotero AND Papers? Maybe I could use Papers to winnow down what’s REALLY important from my research files, and then only dump those into Zotero. And while this week I returned to the Scrivener writing fold to overhaul a chapter draft, I ran into some problems using the program to write AND manage my sources. Zotero just does a better job of keeping everything organized, and I use BetterSnapTool to divide the screen between my Zotero notes window and the jpg or pdf I’m working on. The idea of an “iTunes for PDFs” sounds great, though–any Papers users out there?

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3 thoughts on “The Junto: Digital Workflow for Historians

  1. I really can’t see adding in Papers either. Maybe it’s the part of me that grew up with Windows 3.1, but I like things tucked into their folders on the desktop without another app involved. For preliminary stuff, I work in Preview and Zotero side by side. I like that Preview allows me to make smaller pdfs out of bigger ones, so I can selectively drag research into Scrivener (or notes taken on books / pdfs from Zotero). I could see the Papers and Scrivener models being rad if you had two side by side monitors and could really rock the full screen capabilities of both. Also maybe it’s just that early in the process, but I’ve got a couple heavily annotated timelines in excel.

    • Also, for quick and dirty OCR, Google Docs converts them for you. I may yet check out Papers, though–it sounds just tempting enough. Have you ever tried using the iPad as a legit second monitor? I looked into it and I seem to remember that the cost seemed prohibitive, but I could be wrong.

  2. So I know I’m a little late on this, but I’m going to add my plug for Evernote again here ;-). They just introduced a new program called Skitch that does some cool pdf annotating and since it’s linked to Evernote, everything is all in one place even though you’re using a separate program for annotations. Once a pdf is annotated, the program also creates a “Skitch Summary” that puts all of your annotations at the beginning of the document. They haven’t perfected it yet, so I’ve run into a few issues, but none that they cannot overcome with a few updates. I’m finding that it’s really great for all of my journal articles. Plus, it’s free.

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