thank you very much for your long comment!
You’re right with what you say.
The problem from my point of view is:
The 4 major processing steps are highly interconnected and process parameters in step 1 can also show effects in steps 3 and 4.
So, most literature also touches more than one processing step - however (that’s right) some focus on one of the 4 steps…
In other words:
when “filing” the papers in the folder structure e. g. for the different processing steps, any documents would be replicated to different folders (but that’s possible and that would be ok).
I did what you proposed, but only with tags up to now.
I’m not sure if it really makes a difference if you use only tags or tags+group structure (besides that it makes the tags folder much bigger…).
And for sure the names of the input variable tags contain not only the physical symbol/name (p for pressure or T for temperature or t for time), but also an abbreviation for the processing step etc.
(In step 2 there are at least 2 temperatures, 2 pressures etc…)
I think after solving the “technical” issues with DevonThink (and many of them even were not due to DT but to the existence of hundreds of duplicate files which made things even more miserable), the tags structure is more or less ok and can evolve while I’m continuing to work with it.
The big problem is writing (as you address it correctly).
I don’t have a clear system yet, how to make notes on sources and so on.
I have a big BibTeX database (>2700 records) which keeps the bibliographic data for many (but by far not for all!) the sources.
And those sources, which are already in the bibtex db are consequently named DeVille2011b.pdf .
However, there are many sources which do not yet exist in the bibtex database and therefore do not yet have a “unique identifier”.
I’m not sure what’s the best way for taking notes.
For highlighting interesting passages in the pdfs, I’d like to use Skim.
However that means, that I can not edit the pdfs directly in DTPro but have to open them externally. (That’s ok, just another extra step.)
Furthermore I made a lot of RTF notes about contents of papers or with copied sentences or paragraphs from a document.
Their name starts with the identifier of the Source: “DeVille2010c: …”, so I can easily see where they came from, however ”see also" ignores the information in the file name AFAIK (which might be a drawback and it might be better to include this identifier in the document itself or anywhere else…)
I’m writing my thesis with LaTeX so I’d prefer to type in the text editor directly and not in DT Pro.
… it’s difficult to establish a workflow which makes sense.
And as I already emphasized, time is very short and I definitely must be very productive from now on.
So if anybody has good ideas or examples how you do your (academic) writing (ideally in combination with LaTeX, BibTeX), I’d be glad to know how you do it.
Today I bought the ebook about DTPro which Greg_Jones recommended and I’ll have a look if it helps me…
In the last weeks I experimented a lot with different approaches, but I’m not very happy with it yet:
I found Freeplane (an excellent Open Source Mindmapping software) a great tool and its brother SciPlore Mindmapping also adds features for referring to pdfs and bibtex references. (And Freeplane can even add mathematical formulae with LaTeX code to a node!)
But what seemed great at the beginning was not as “smooth” as I wished it would be and I could not find the Mindmap well suited for really writing long paragraphs and text.
I’d like to know how other people are writing their thesis.
My idea would be (for the “state of the art” chapter):
- reading the important sources.
- extracting the important points from those sources
- re-arranging them/their order to fit in the structure of the thesis (important: still knowing which idea came from which source)
- writing the text “around” those points.
For that reason I’d prefer a structure where each single “atomistic” idea/point/information is in a separate small document (which still points to the source).
The branches of a mindmap are not bad for something like that but I could not really get into liking that…
p.s. “see also” is very useful (and gets more useful the more the database grows).
What I found I’m missing in my workflow with DT Pro is also the following:
to mark an idea or snippet of text as “already used” in the thesis…
I’d like to have a way to display only those ideas which were not yet used in the big document, but I did not find a good way for that yet…