Research Writing

Lions and Tigers and Bears!

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Photo courtesy BildSpracheundCo.de, from Flickr Creative Commons.

This summer I've got a number of writing projects on the docket: a book proposal, two articles, and sections of an ebook on which I'm collaborating. In an effort to be more organized and productive, For the collaborative writing piece I'm using Google Docs, and have found that Google Drive is at least moderately helpful in keeping the sections and sub-sections organized. I have some issues with Google Drive's imposition of folder structure and hiccoughs in terms of attributing co-written work, but it is enough for now.

I've been using DEVONThink Pro for years, and have sworn high and low how it was my savior when writing my dissertation. I still love it and use it in ever-more complex ways (which deserves another post all its own). But although DTP does lots of things really well, I do not use it as my word processor. I have to do too much re-formatting to make it work. I've experimented with Open Office (anything to move away from Word!) but haven't yet made that transition. At Kathy Harris's urging, however, I will overcome old habits and make the leap.

At THATCamp Victoria last summer Michael Ullyot raved about Scrivener. He talked about using it in conjunction with DTP and a few other cobbled together tools to help him organize his writing process. And of course I forgot about his recommendation /*insert usual excuses here */ until last week, when I started planning my summer writing activities. So I downloaded Scrivener and started messing around with it - didn't even wait for the trial to be over. So now my process consists of four tools that I really hope will all play well together:

  1. DEVONThink for storing and organizing journal articles and book chapters (in PDF w/ OCR translation), pull-quotes from those articles and chapters, images and web links.
  2. Zotero for bibliographical organization
  3. Scrivener for outlining, drafting, and pulling text into some semblance of order
  4. Open Office for generating final submission copy

I'd be interested to know if anyone has found a way to better integrate their process using these or other tools.

In the meantime, I'll let you know how this affects my efforts to write efficiently this summer.

2 thoughts on “Lions and Tigers and Bears!”

    1. Giving credit where credit is due! I’ll have to look into Bookends, but have been methodically logging all old bibliography entries (including diss.) into Zotero, so unless there’s an easy export/import function I’m a bit cautious. 🙂

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