Consolidate Action Items

In my Research Folder, I have organized each of my primary sources as a separate document. As I read the primary source, I write my notes in that document. When I come across another source or fact that I plan to look into at a later time I note it and enclose it as an Action Item in brackets and highlight it in red to make it stand out from my notes. The problem with this is that my AI’s are disbursed throughout my documents. So, I also keep a single Document entitled Action Items where I copy/paste all my AIs.

This is very inefficient. I would like to keep the AI in the original document but label it somehow so that later I can search/show in one place all AIs labeled as such across all documents. I suspect the Inspector or some other feature can do this but I just haven’t been looking in the right place.

Appreciate any help.

This is the sort of thing that Inspector Comments is for.

When you want to annotate a phrase/passage, select it (or just one word) then click Format > Comment (cmd-shift-*). This will highlight the selected word etc as an ‘anchor’, and open the Comments & Footnotes pane of the Inspector, where you’ll type in your note. (NB this won’t work for PDFs or images of course).

When you want to see all the comments at once, then simply select all your documents in the folder (e.g. click on the Research folder and then press cmd-1 to enter Scrivenings mode (if necessary, it’s a toggle). Turn the Inspector Comments panel on (View > Inspect > Comments & Footnotes) and you’ll see ever comment you’ve made. If you click on any one of them, the editor will scroll to that comment’s anchor.

This will of course show you every comment. If you want to differentiate between ‘normal’ and ‘AI’ comments, then prefix the comment text in the Inspector with a unique code (‘AI:’) – make sure it’s not something you’ll see in the text of course. You can then use Project Search (the bar in the top right corner) to search for AI:. Click on the magnifying glass and select ‘All’ first though. This will create a collection of all documents with AI: – save the search and name it “AI:”. You’ll then have a dynamically updated list of all documents with AI: comments, which can be viewed together as in the previous paragraph.

If you’re comfortable with this then there’s no real need to have a separate document for your AIs because you can see them all with one click at any time. I don’t think you can filter out non-AI comments in the Inspector though.

You could also use Edit >Find > Find by Formatting, which allows you to cycle through all text elements with a certain formatting. You can choose to limit this to Comments with AI:. It’s a sequential search – move to the next hit with ‘Find Next Formatting’ (cmd-opt-shift-G).

BTW, there are other ways of achieving what you want, but the one I’ve described is simple and effective (it’s a lot easier to do than to describe!).

Hope this helps.