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#1 Ladd Wheeler

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 10:05 PM

Does anyone know of a Mac note-taking app that launches from the menu bar and allows colliecting notes into notebooks?

 

I use Accordance in a dedicated space and would like a note/notebook app that can be easily accessible within that space to jot down thoughts while studying scripture or reading Jonathan Edwards.

 

I have tried Noteworthy, but it is really clunky.  The Notes Tab app is almost the solution except that all notes are kept in a list and cannot be accumulated into "notebook" collections.



#2 Mark Nigro

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 12:42 AM

Circus Ponies "NoteBook" allows you to create notebooks the way you have mentioned and implements the use of services in other applications so that clippings of text or images etc., can be directly sent to select notebooks you have created and designated for that service. It's a good application that I have used a lot in the past but not so much as of late simply for the lack of necessity in my workflow. Probably the best out there for the Mac, so it's worth checking out. Here's their site: http://www.circusponies.com


Edited by Mark Nigro , 07 April 2013 - 12:44 AM.


#3 R. Mansfield

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 01:55 AM

Check out Evernote, too. It can be accessed from the menu bar as you describe. I tried to simulate what you described in the attached graphic. One of the advantages to Evernote is that it is available on any platform and syncs automatically. So, you can access your notes on a mobile phone, iPad, or whatever device to which you have access.

 

See attached.

 

Attached File  Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 2.47.55 AM.png   811.49KB   86 downloads


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#4 Ladd Wheeler

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 08:46 PM

Thank you Mark and Rick for your suggestions.  I have started researching and experimenting with them.  

 

I have a question about each.  I've read that Circus Ponies Notebook has stability issues whereby it crashes and loses/corrupts data.  Have you had any kind of problems like that with Notebook, Mark?  The data in Evernote is apparently saved on Evernote's server, not on the user's computer.  So, there's a concern of loss of everything if there is a major server failure.  Is there a way to back that stuff up locally on one's computer?

 

Thanks!



#5 R. Mansfield

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 09:01 PM

Yes, you can back up everything from the File menu in Evernote. Basically, it exports everything into one file that could be imported into another copy of Evernote.

 

And it may be a feature of premium accounts ($5 a month), but I don't have to be connected to the internet to access any of my notes.


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#6 Mark Nigro

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:44 AM

Ladd, I have never experienced that nor heard of anyone who has. I am still using some notebooks that were created roughly 5 years ago with no file corruption. Doesn't mean it can't happen tomorrow, but so far that's been my experience.



#7 JackiPowell

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:11 PM

I have also used Circus Ponies Notebook and have not had an issue with crashes.  I upgraded to the version that syncs with my iPad and find it very useful.

 

However, there is a free notbook software called Growly Notes that I also find very good.

http://growlybird.com/notes/index.html


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#8 revtim

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 03:55 PM

I use Evernote for all my note taking needs ... it works beautifully well and I love that I can have access to all my notes on my Mac, my iPad, my iPhone, my PC, and my work PC all effortlessly.

 

I have the normal free version of it (had a month long premium subscription that added some great things) and have never been at a loss for anything.


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#9 Alistair

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 05:02 PM

I use Scrivener, it doesn't launch from the menu bar but I find its non-linear approach to note-taking to be just what I need.



#10 David Wheeler

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:33 PM

I use Scrivener, it doesn't launch from the menu bar but I find its non-linear approach to note-taking to be just what I need.

Are you talking about the Scrivener Scratch Pad? If so, how do you organize that?



#11 Alistair

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 04:22 PM

Are you talking about the Scrivener Scratch Pad? If so, how do you organize that?

Don't know what that is, I just use Scrivener and switch between apps to paste into it.

 

http://www.literatur...e.com/index.php



#12 David Wheeler

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 07:53 AM

Don't know what that is, I just use Scrivener and switch between apps to paste into it.

 

http://www.literatur...e.com/index.php

Alistair,

I use Scrivener, as well; and love it. In one of the updates they added a 'feature' called Scratch Pad. Whenever Scrivener is running - a command/shift/enter press will bring up 'scratch pad'. You can add free-form notes and title them. I haven't used it much, mostly because I haven't taken time to figure out the kind of workflow I am comfortable with.

I've recently been experimenting with Zotero. I've uploaded a significant portion of my pdf library and essays and am looking at using its builtin note feature. Notes can be freestanding but reference a or multiple sources.



#13 revtim

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 03:15 PM

Interesting turn of conversation ...

 

I am a huge Scrivener fan. I use it to write academic stuff (technical, philosophical term), as well as my sermons, an Advent devotional I have been working on, and a short story I have started. I have not used the "scratch pad" or even thought of using it for notes ...

 

Literature & Latte (makers of Scrivener) have a mind mapping program in beta called Scrapple - I have used it to get my thoughts down so that I can organize them. It helps me with the "I gotta get it down and out of my head to organize" phase.


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Tim Hall

#14 David Wheeler

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 04:21 PM

Tim,

I had downloaded Scrapple; but not used it yet. I desperately want to hone my workflow, but I hate chasing it down. A critical step for me was getting my pdf library (essays, journals, books, etc.) to a database. I settled on Zotero. I'm about half way there.

Scrivener fits the way I think and write. My dilemma is all those 'flash' thoughts I want need to corral as I read. I'll fire up Scrapple and give it a look.

BTW, I haven't had too much trouble with Hebrew and Scrivener; but I strip out the vowels, etc. It seems to handle RTL okay.

Also, you are in John Hobbins territory. Do you know him?



#15 Alistair

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 06:05 PM

For searching my PDF library I use Foxtrot Pro. Amazing, brilliant and lightning fast.

I dabbled with Leap and Yep but never quite understood what they were meant to do.

I tried Mendeley but didn't get it. 

I was given a licence for DEVONthink Pro but never figured that out either.

 

So main (non-Accordance) tools are Foxtrot Pro to find out stuff, and Scrivener to make non-linear notes on what I've discovered.



#16 revtim

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 10:24 AM

David,

 

"Also, you are in John Hobbins territory. Do you know him?" If you mean the John Hobbins at UW Oshkosh - yes I am in his area, but I do not know him. My wife graduated form UW Oshkosh several years ago. (a quick Google search found him if it is he). I live half an hour north of Oshkosh in Appleton (we attend church in Oshkosh though).


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Tim Hall

#17 craigminah

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 08:08 AM

I am not affiliated with these guys but I am a huge fan of bundles.  Mac Super Bundles has posted their Spring 2013 Mac Software Bundle and it includes Circus Ponies Notebook.  Here's everything that's in the bundle:

  • Parallels Desktop 8
  • TextExpander
  • RapidWeaver 5
  • Circus Ponies - Notebook
  • Mac BluRay Player
  • PDF to Word Converter
  • Tidy Up
  • Font Explosion (50 fonts)
  • Smart Trash

All the apps above would normally cost $419 but the bundle costs $49 which essentialy means you're paying full price for Circus Ponies - Notebook and get everything else for free.  Thought it might help someone out since Parallels and RapidWeaver are fantastic apps.



#18 David Wheeler

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 09:00 AM

I tried Mendeley but didn't get it. 

 

I have access to a large collection of pdf's (Brill, SBL, etc.). So I've been working with Mendeley and Zotero to figure out a workflow. I think one or the other is critical to use to 'keep things together'. I don't want to bore you with random comments about that journey, but as for annotating documents and note-taking:

 

1. Mendeley handles annotations within its own pdf viewer nicely enough, but the annotations are not stored in the document (for collaborative reasons).

2. Mendeley doesn't have standalone notes; and seems to have just one child note.

3. Mendeley can search the one 'child-note'; but not any sticky-notes (annotations) you may have added to the pdf.

4. It is easy enough to use a standalone pdf reader, but there is still the issues of disjointed notes.

 

Zotero, OTOH, handles child and standalone notes very well. I just wish it offered the same storage space as Mendeley (2G).

 

I do wish Accordance would take more seriously a more robust note-taking.


Edited by David Wheeler, 02 May 2013 - 09:01 AM.


#19 Steve Raine

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 10:29 PM

Glad I came across this thread while looking for a better note-taking option.

 

Grateful for Ladd's comments on NotesTab.  I've downloaded it, but haven't tried it yet.

 

Zotero would replace DEVONthink Pro, which (with DEVONagent Pro) I've begun using once again.

 

I used Circus Ponies Notebook way back, but have not updated to the most current.  I debated, but didn't for a reason I don't recall.  

Reviews at download.cnet.com (April 25 and May 9) are mixed.

 

Scrivener (& Scrapple) are teasing me, to say the least.  Scrivener sounds like it would fit my style wonderfully, but I don't write long projects much any more.  

 

I, too, am in the line wishing Accordance would improve the 'notes environment'.  



#20 David Wheeler

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 09:38 PM

FWIW since my last post this is what I've done:
 
1. Setup my pdf library in Zotero. However, I don't store the pdf in the Zotero database, My pdf's are stored in a cloud folder and I link to that folder in Zotero.
 
2. The pdf's are in one folder (no subfolders). In Zotero I ended up using a fairly 'flat' folder/group hierarchy with tags. I had not thought through using tags, and  ended up with chaos; too many tags to be useful. Rather than redo the tags (which I was going to do) and having learned that Zotero tags are not actually 'open-meta' tags that the file system uses, I decided to forget the 'redo'.
 
3. I also installed DevonThink. Rather than import my pdf's into DT, I simply index the pdf's in the cloud folder. In this way I get the search and relational power of DT w/o losing the ability for other programs to also use the pdf's.
 
As I was thinking about tagging the pdf's in DT, I also learned that DT tags are not 'open-meta'. DT can use 'open-meta' but when you tag in DT they are only for DT. Regardless, DT's real benefit is its indexing and searching features. The tags probably aren't that useful in DT anyway. 
 
It is my understanding that OSX Mavericks will fully implement 'open meta'. And if that turns out to be true, I would definitely want to use 'open-meta' tags and not some programs proprietary tagging system.
 
As for my RSS feeds, I experimented running them in DT, but it seemed clumsy in comparison to Reeder or Feedly. In the end I still use Reeder; and setup Feedly as a backup to the Google Reader aggregator. It looks like Reeder will hook to Feedly so I'm good either way. The entries I would normally 'start' I just clip to DT.
 
** If any of this is in error, hopefully someone will step in to correct it.
 
Lastly, I'm using nvALT for notes. It fully supports Markdown and has a fantastic indexing system of its own. All my notes go into a cloud folder.





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