Note-taking Workflow

I was interested in reading the recent threads about note taking and this has led me to wonder just how folk actually go about taking notes from any given documents? I often want to collect together bits of information that I want to make into a single document and it is a very time consuming process!

For example if I want to have in a single document all the stuff I have in my Photography database about apertures it is easy enough to do an advanced search, select all the results and then select File>Export>whatever format required. This produces a nice document that can then be cleaned up to be the same font etc. The drawback is that the resulting document contains all of the source documents and not just the bits about aperture and as the sources are often in different formats this adds a complication!

The alternative is to, after the initial search, work my way through the results, identify the bits about aperture and then copy/pasting them into a fresh document. Is that the easiest way or is there a better way? Thanks for any advice.

Are these original / source documents PDF or RTF or something else?

There are numerous built-in scripts and features for annotation, but if all you want to do is select text in a PDF**and clip it into a separate file then DEVONthink’s services for “Take Rich Note”, or “Take Plain Note” are the best options, I think. The services are available (almost) anywhere on your computer that you can select text, are access in the application’s Services menu or in “Services” in DEVONthink’s contextual menu, and let you choose the destination for the clipped item.

Additional services include “Append Rich Note” and “Append Plain Note”, which will help you take a series of clippings and add to the file created the first time in this session that you use “Take Rich / Plain Note”.

Or, you can take or make a bunch of plain or rich text notes, select them, and merge them.

Be aware that clipping text from a PDF is not aways WYSIWYG – because what is clipped is the text layer from the PDF and that layer’s quality can vary depending on how the PDF was originally created – i.e., it is beyond your control and you might need to do post-clipping cleanup on your notes.

** or from a web archives, or a web site, or other document where you can select text – does not often work with Word document previews and the like.

Thanks korm for your reply. The originals are both PDF, RTF and the occasional plan text. I shall export your various options and am sure that one of them will fit the bill. Many thanks again. Andrew-Bede