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EN for Writers, Researchers, Academics


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Thought I'd start this discussion in 3rd Party mostly to give those developers looking for ideas to develop into applications some inkling of areas that are not being addressed in EN, particularly for writers, researchers, academics, etc.  

So far, most developers are walking the well-worn path of getting information INTO EN, but few are working on organizing that data and getting it OUT of EN in ways that are useful in producing a written or visual product.  I'm sitting on a treasure chest of 5500 notes, but they're a PITA to actually work with when producing product.  I don't know if this is a weakness of the EN SDK for output or an oversight by developers.  

Once a person's notes are tagged pulled into a folder or stack, they are most difficult to organize and reorganize into Storyboards (corkboards) or Flowcharts.  Yes, you can turn off automatic sorting, but clicking on a card pulls focus to that card and takes over the screen.  

If one is working on a draft in EN, you can copy, cut and paste the content of notes into your work, but you can't drag a small representation of that note onto the page you're working on.  This would be particularly useful as a placeholder you flesh out an idea around or place two or more notes on the same page weighing which is the better quote.  

An A/B screen environment would be more than useful; your stack of notes (in free-form sort) on one side as cards, your draft on the other, where you could grab a note and drop it into your draft without losing focus on your draft.  

Maybe just better Scrivener integration is the answer. 

So, I see three or four features or products there.  There are probably more rattling around in people's head.  

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  • Level 5*

Hi.  Evernote tends to leave more specialised features to add-on developers - they seem to be concentrating on having an all-purpose searchable database without built-in bells and whistles that complicate the menu structure and confuse users.  Don't think that counts as weakness or oversight,  just a definite corporate plan.


There are already many ways to rearrange notes inside and out of Evernote.  I use EN note links to add to mindmaps,   placemark Word documents and populate spreadsheets.  Since I use descriptive titles that's usually enough for me to understand what's actually in the note until I open that note and move some of the content into a bigger document.


There are already add-in apps like Mohiomap and CardDesk which provide other ways to sort notes,  it's just a question of finding something that suits your needs...





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Which is the reason I posted in 3rd party developer. Mihiomap has promise, but only searches titles, not text, currently. A lot of my 5500 en are quotations or charts from reading on Amazon kindle or web clippings, so titles don't always reflect the content.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm going to second the OP on his ideas (and bump his post in the process).

I popped on here hoping to find a suggestion of an EN addon for doing exactly what he describes (cross-platform would be nice), a simple interface where you can drag notes around visually (a la Scrivener, but more basic) and it saves that ordering somehow in EN.

If the app fiddled with my titles to do it (like adding outline numbers to the beginning (e.g.,, I wouldn't mind a bit, as long as it keeps my title after it. Just one potential idea of how to make the manual ordering of notes stick in EN. Implementing it would just be a pretty wrapper (GUI).

Even better would be the OP's idea to sync with Scrivener data. How hard could that be?

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  • Level 5*

Hi.  Syncing with Scrivener requires two corporations to agree to the idea and two teams of software engineers to fit it into their existing work schedules and find a way to make it work in multiple operating systems on multiple platforms,  which would definitely fit my definition of 'hard' with added 'till warm places freeze solid'.  Plus there's a huge investment of personnel and resources against a possible return from (with all respect) a small percentage of users.


Evernote have a definite policy of not messing with notes or titles - just preserving the data is enough of a challenge.  The OP has suggested a third party developer could be interested here (but see 'investment' above...) and I'm pretty confident that if there's a market,  someone,  somewhere will already have developed something close / closer to your needs.  You may be better off searching sources that cater for authors rather than tech sites.


A couple of other suggestions additional to my post above -




and (drumroll) Docear - which offers an “academic literature suite”, a set of applications bundled into a single interface tailored to academia, including researchers, students and writers.




It may be that neither of those come close,  but Google (or your search-engine of choice) will be your friend here...

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Have been keeping an eye on the market, a couple of google alerts primed, so far not much happening on the output side. Everyone is wearing ruts working on the same input features, making theirs a little prettier.

Eventually someone is going to get tired of battling for scraps on input and start working on how to organize & make use of all this data. Combine & recombine it.

Btw, literature&latte IS Scrivener's publisher.

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Another useful output-side tool, would be something that mimicks Evernote in Chrome's ability to seach and display your EN cards as you search in Google.

Or, looked at another way, Evernote Context searches & displays your EN cards as you're working on a project, without the outside feeds (WSJ, etc) so that just your notes are searched.

Ideally, this would be a "tear-off" window that would stay on top and monitor the typing in whichever document or website text box that had focus and rifle through your files displaying cards as you type, which you could select and drop into the text.

Even inside of an EN note, using Context-like searches of your notes or a particular notebook or tag-set, as you type with the ability to pull those notes into your typing would be useful.

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Posted · Hidden by gazumped, July 30, 2015 - Spam
Hidden by gazumped, July 30, 2015 - Spam

Although this list suggests that there is a simple, linear process to writing such a paper, the actual process of writing a research paper is often a messy. While academic writing might be defined in many ways. Even when your paper is not a research paper you will be expected. Choosing something that you are passionately interested in to research is a great first step on the road to successful academic writing.






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