Maximizing Scrivener while using DTPO and a ref manager

I am taking a long look at Scrivener. I would be using it in the context of my reference manager and probably DTPO (first project would be to finish my dissertation). I’m trying to figure out what would be the best workflow. Clearly my reference manager will handle citations and the formatting of my bibliography. However, most of my research notes will be either (and probably both) in my reference manager and in DTPO. My question for those of you that use some combination similar to this is along these lines. How do you use the reference section in Scrivener along with the other two mentioned applications? Do you find it helpful to copy and/or link your notes in DTPO or do you find it more helpful simply to jump to one or the other of your other programs as needed. In other words, I guess this is what I’m asking, does the extensive use of a program like DTPO (or Evernote or some other equivalent program) and a reference manager minimize for you the value of the research section in your binder? If it does not, how do you use it to maximize your workflow and the value of your other programs?

You may find this thread from the Devonthink forum helpful. (Although it doesn’t directly address your question and your intention to involve a reference manager presents a slightly different use-case, it may give you ideas.)

Thank you very much for that reference! Cheers!

FWIW, I almost never use the Research functions of Scrivener, precisely because DTP has all the research tools that I need. Moreover, I organize research for my own use, while I organize my own writing to be useful to others. Among other things, this means that a particular item in DTP might be relevant to more than one Scrivener project.


Thank you for that. It goes along with what I have been thinking. Cheers!

In my research I use Papers 3 to handle all scientific literature, both searching, reading, annotating and highlighting. When I start working on a specific manuscript of my own I copy reference and notes for all the relevant articles to Scapple, where I sketch the outline and shuffle things around to get a better overview. When I am done in Scapple, the next step is to export from Scapple to Scrivener, where it helps in creating the outline but also end up in the research section. Finally I write the article in Scrivener and use the citekeys from Papers to get the references correct.

When writing my thesis, I used EndNote, Papers and Scrivener (and, to a lesser extent, DevonThinkPro). For the most part, my research was kept in the source application. I would export every citation I used when writing (or even thought I might use) from Papers to EndNote and then used EndNote to insert them into my manuscript.

Although I still used Scrivener references I rarely imported source material unless I was quoting it or, more likely, was referencing it so heavily it was easier to import and open in a QuickReference window. Notes tended to be about the project itself - questions I needed to answer (or ask), half formed thoughts, stray bits I removed from my manuscript but didn’t want to delete, planning, etc. I think I also kept previous drafts in there (would need to check if they were in Research or if I created a new top-level folder for old drafts).