instruments to do a Ph.D.

Hi, Keith –

I’ve been following your great app and decided to try it as my main Ph.D. text writer. It has been working beautifully and I’m quite pleased with it. (Just for the sake of curiosity, my subject is Pre-History archaeology.)

I’ve been integrating it with other tools that I’m also very comfortable with:

DEVONthink Pro as a database
xPad as fast note tool
DEVONagent as a net browser (as searcher)
Excel (alas!) as a spreadsheet (it’s slow as hell – That if hell was slow! Well, my hell is. :slight_smile: )
Word (alas!) as a text editor (I wish I got along with Mellel, but I don’t)
Sente as bibliographic tool
and now your Scrivener.

Basically I write the text on Scrivener, which allows me to divide it in:

  1. indexes (basically a list of topics to write about in each part/chapter of the dissertation)
  2. chapters (or, more often, sub-chapters)
  3. little summaries of each chapter/sub-chapter on the synopsis (I love the corkboard!)

By the end I edit everything in word (thus leaving the pain-in-the-*** job for the end and avoiding dealing with it every single day), insert the biblio, images and tables and voilá!

I think that one of the great things regarding my area of expertise is that we rarely do footnotes, so Scrivener is just perfect.

Needless to say that smaller projects as articles and reports are also done in it.

Keep up the good work. You have a “fidele” user in me.

– MJ

Oh, forgot to say that the full screen is great! (That was one of the reasons that started me on the app.)

– MJ

Thank you! I am noticing more and more that a lot of users have DevonTHINK as their main database, use Scrivener for drafting, and then use a word processor for final formatting, and this really is exactly where Scrivener was designed to fit in, so it’s great to see it working for real life writers out there.

Along with the Novel I am trying (if you can call spending two years on writing software instead “trying” :slight_smile: ) to write, I also wrote (the new version especially) Scrivener to work for more academic writing, as I have a long-postponed PhD that needs putting together at some point, too. Great to hear it is working out in this regard for you.

Thanks again for posting your feedback!
All the best,

Sorry to dredge up this old thread, and I know this topic has been touched upon in another thread, but this seemed most appropriate here.

In addition to impressing the productivity and fiction writing folks, Scrivener is (deservedly) garnering attention from the academic circles. I just came across this nice little write-up at a site called MacResearch.

Of particular interest was this line:

Now, I don’t know if Scrivener will ever be able to fully support inline citation management (and I freely admit to not having a clue how difficult it would be), but it certainly seems that there is a potentially large market for an academic writing tool with the flexibilty that Scrivener offers. It would seem that the only thing lacking right now is the ability to manage in-text citations.

As has been mentioned in the other thread on this topic, BibDesk and BookEnds potentially work (or almost work) with Scrivener, and the Sente folks are promising RTF scanning in their 5.0 release (not currently possible with 4.x).

I look forward to the day when I can do all my academic writing in Scrivener!

One of the foundational ideas in the original design proposal for annotations was that annotations could be assigned to streams, in which specific programmatic or export functionality could be assigned to each stream. A generalised notation stream might not need any added functionality, but if you took one stream and assigned it to a footnote class, it would be handled appropriately upon export. A third stream could be assigned to endnotes, another to figure captions, or even forms which do not appear in the final draft at all, which could be used internally and collected via saved searches. Visualise the ability to create a saved search that automatically collects every footnote in the Draft, with backlinks to the source point. While I did not think of it at the time, finding a way to make a stream dedicated to these citation packages would be fantastic.

This design concept was simplified due to complexity and time constraints into the two static “streams” we have now, annotations and footnotes (the latter of which can still be dynamically assigned as endnotes or footnotes).

With MMD/Memoir, you can access a third stream type by prefixing "Glossary: " to the front of the footnote. This will cause the entry to be handled as a glossary entry in LaTeX. This is actually quite similar to the original design concept, which would have been a labelling system, where each annotation entry would be prefixed with a label, which could later be defined as a functional stream, if desired. In a sense, a vestigial function exists for this when searching for annotations, you can supply a “label”, though the system is currently quite informal, as is colour selection.

Anyway. Hopefully Leopard makes collapsing elements in a text view simple, and hopefully when thought starts going in to 2.0, Keith still likes the idea of multi-streamed dynamic annotations, because I think the concept (if developed intuitively) would be a great boon to researchers and fiction writer’s alike. While fiction may not need as many functional streams, the ability to dynamically collect all annotations relating to character inconsistencies or chronology errors would be splendid. There is a big difference between getting a printable list of related notes, and scrolling through the Draft in search filter mode.

@ valente: as a text editor you might also consider Pages, which in the next version of iWork will probably or possibly get a spreadsheet companion.


Yeah, multiple note streams would pretty much end my need for a word processor completely. That would make me very happy. :slight_smile: