I bought DT Personal about a year ago, and I am finding that I am not getting much out of it.
As a Ph.D. student in the humanities, I hoped that I would be able to keep my dissertation research, PDFs, notes and existing texts together in order to have more of an overview and get a better grip on my project. This hasn’t proved to be the case.
I’m using Word as an editor, Endnote as a bibliographic suite, Firefox as a browser, OmniOutliner as an outliner and Google Desktop as a search engine. I am also using Skim as a PDF editor. I will switch to Mellel the day the integration with Word is better, and I will switch to Sente, the day they introduce proper humanities citation styles. I will also switch to Safari as soon as they implement a bookmark sidebar, which I can’t live without. Meanwhile, that’s my setup.
I would really like some advice on how I could get more out of DT. Currently, I am only using it as a Finder replacement, i.e. as a database for my notes. And for that, I don’t find it that useful. I only have a few hundred note files, in Word and in DT, and those I might as well keep in the finder. Also, for note taking, I find the UI of DT not the most appealing. It’s not enough of an editor to do real writing, and it’s not enough of a notebook-feel in order to just jot down ideas. Also, the integration with Firefox isn’t that great. If I want to save a URL, I am better off bookmarking it in the browser because then I can at least label the URL, whereas DT won’t allow me to do that.
Anyhow, this is in no way to criticize DT. I am aware that I’m probably not using the software in the most efficient and intelligent manner, and that’s why I am writing, hoping that someone on the forums could help me get more out of it.
So - for instance - how do others use the indexing function in DT? I have found that function to be less useful than I hoped. I had expected that I would be able to index my entire research folders (on the hard disk), so if I save the current Word document I am working on under a new name, DT would keep track of that. This doesn’t seem to be possible (or at least I don’t know how).
P.S. Just to add another note: since most of the PDFs I am using come from JSTOR and thus they are image files, the whole AI functionality of DT seems to be lost on them. That is a major disappointment to me, because it means that to classify and search these files, I have to rely on the file names. And for that, I don’t need DT. Spotlight or Google Desktop will do the trick and will also find them if I forget to add them to the DT database.