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cgk

productivity Questions about my PDF workflow

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Let me describe my workflow and them maybe someone can make some suggestions or answer some questions.

1) I download PDFs from various academic journals

2) I place them within a drop-box folder

3) On my android tablet, I open the PDF (from within dropbox), annotate it, close it - dropbox saves the changes.

Now, here is my question - can I eliminate dropbox in this process and simply do this all in Evernote - if I'm using my tablet, do I need to create a new note and attached the changed PDF after I do annotations or will evernote simply note the changed document?

thanks in advance.

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Yes, you can do this in Evernote, since Evernote will automatically save the updated version—but be careful about size: If you make any change to a note, no matter how small, and then save, the entire note gets uploaded fresh and counts against your upload limit a second time. That means that if you save a PDF to Evernote and then make any change (again, no matter how small) to the PDF in the same month, Evernote will upload the PDF twice and count both of those uploads against your limit. Two edits (at different times) and it gets uploaded three times, etc.

If you're not a premium user, you'll definitely want to stick with Dropbox for this. If you are a premium user, Evernote can do exactly what you want—just be careful about how many PDFs you're uploading and editing a month, since you could conceivably run into trouble by hitting the upload limit. Don't let this happen to you:

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Yes, you can do this in Evernote, since Evernote will automatically save the updated version—but be careful about size: If you make any change to a note, no matter how small, and then save, the entire note gets uploaded fresh and counts against your upload limit a second time. That means that if you save a PDF to Evernote and then make any change (again, no matter how small) to the PDF in the same month, Evernote will upload the PDF twice and count both of those uploads against your limit. Two edits (at different times) and it gets uploaded three times, etc.

If you're not a premium user, you'll definitely want to stick with Dropbox for this. If you are a premium user, Evernote can do exactly what you want—just be careful about how many PDFs you're uploading and editing a month, since you could conceivably run into trouble by hitting the upload limit. Don't let this happen to you: http://discussion.ev...remental-sync/.

I'm a premium user and was looking as a way to get more out of my subscription! :D

I will keep an eye on the limit.

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I would strongly recommend that you do not try and shift this PDF process to Evernote (for the reasons mentioned above).

In my opinion, Evernote works best for constantly changing content that you create (a text note), and rarely changing content that you import (web clipping, pdf, and so forth). It CAN do changes, but it is less than ideal. The dropbox system you have is far better.

Eventually, when you are done annotating something, you can stick it into Evernote. Or, better yet (in my opinion), stick the PDF in Evernote now. Instead of sticking the annotated PDF into Evernote, export your annotations as text (in iOS there are some programs that do this) and you can then make changes to that text as much as you want. Does that make sense? Of course, this assumes you annotate by typing text and your PDF file has had OCR done to it or is already in text (recent journal articles generally are).

Another thing I like to do is export the entire text of a PDF into Evernote (just copy / paste). The footnotes get a little messy, but all the text is there, and it makes quotations and so forth a lot easier to handle. Editing this note won't chew into your limit very much, and you won't have to worry about downloading the PDF file every time you try and view it.

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I would strongly recommend that you do not try and shift this PDF process to Evernote (for the reasons mentioned above).

In my opinion, Evernote works best for constantly changing content that you create (a text note), and rarely changing content that you import (web clipping, pdf, and so forth). It CAN do changes, but it is less than ideal. The dropbox system you have is far better.

Eventually, when you are done annotating something, you can stick it into Evernote. Or, better yet (in my opinion), stick the PDF in Evernote now. Instead of sticking the annotated PDF into Evernote, export your annotations as text (in iOS there are some programs that do this) and you can then make changes to that text as much as you want. Does that make sense? Of course, this assumes you annotate by typing text and your PDF file has had OCR done to it or is already in text (recent journal articles generally are).

Another thing I like to do is export the entire text of a PDF into Evernote (just copy / paste). The footnotes get a little messy, but all the text is there, and it makes quotations and so forth a lot easier to handle. Editing this note won't chew into your limit very much, and you won't have to worry about downloading the PDF file every time you try and view it.

Thanks for that - I think for the moment, I'll stick to my existing system and as you say stick things in evernote when I'm done with that.

Thanks to all three of you for your comments.

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I would strongly recommend that you do not try and shift this PDF process to Evernote (for the reasons mentioned above).

In my opinion, Evernote works best for constantly changing content that you create (a text note), and rarely changing content that you import (web clipping, pdf, and so forth). It CAN do changes, but it is less than ideal. The dropbox system you have is far better.

Eventually, when you are done annotating something, you can stick it into Evernote. Or, better yet (in my opinion), stick the PDF in Evernote now. Instead of sticking the annotated PDF into Evernote, export your annotations as text (in iOS there are some programs that do this) and you can then make changes to that text as much as you want. Does that make sense? Of course, this assumes you annotate by typing text and your PDF file has had OCR done to it or is already in text (recent journal articles generally are).

Another thing I like to do is export the entire text of a PDF into Evernote (just copy / paste). The footnotes get a little messy, but all the text is there, and it makes quotations and so forth a lot easier to handle. Editing this note won't chew into your limit very much, and you won't have to worry about downloading the PDF file every time you try and view it.

Thanks to all three of you for your comments.

Good luck with your system! Whatever you end up doing in the future, make sure to test it out thoroughly before you switch over. I've done some pretty bone-headed things in the past when changing workflows :)

Thanks for that - I think for the moment, I'll stick to my existing system and as you say stick things in evernote when I'm done with that.

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cgk,

I'm in agreement with the others on not moving the internals of the process Evernote, because of the upload limit, but there's another reason. if you are using one of the good annotators, like PDF Expert, GoodReader, or iAnnotate, you can extract the annotations as text and send them along with the PDF as an attachment by email to your Evernote account. This is an extremely robust system for capturing reading from the scientific literature.

I posted a tweet and pic about my own PDF workflow here: http://twitpic.com/4bsq3g

As an aside, I wish to hell Mendeley's PDF reader was able to interact with all the other PDF readers regarding annotation. There's no official standard for PDF annotation, so they can do what they like, but it is an pain in the ass.

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