Scrivener 2 / Papers 2 / Dropbox / iPad workflow

Hi guys

I come here to present you my workflow btw Scrivener, Papers, Dropbox and the iPad.

I "need“ to read the tons of .pdf that accumulated in my Scrivener DB, and I just got an iPad for almost nothing (I mean, it should arrive next monday). So, I thought that putting all these .pdf articles on my iPad would be a sweet idea.

But I had requirements :

  1. to be able to use a DB oriented .pdf reader : Papers 2 from Mekentosj was ideal;
  2. have my DB securely stored on Dropbox. My Scrivener project already is on Dropbox, and Papers 2 DB can’t be used from Dropbox… Too bat.

So, what I did :

  • I prevented Papers to copy and edit pdf title in its DB.
  • I copied references from Scrivener to Papers (only references, though, Papers create a link to the actual .pdf stored in the Scrivener DB, on my Dropbox)
  • I sync Papers on iPad with Papers on Mac, and I will then have my papers on the iPad !

I hope that everything will go smoothly, but I see not reason why it shouldn’t. It is a bit time consuming as I have to enter manually all my articles from Scriv to Papers, but then I’ll be able to annotate, comment, read .pdf on my iPad, without touching original files (extra data like notes are stored separately, no original .pdf will ever be modified, so I guess it won’t mess up with the Scriv DB).

That’s it.
My Scriv is still my main researching soft.
Papers is used to what it can do best : organizing articles and books.
Dropbox still does the job of backing up my Scriv DB
And I can read and annotate on my iPad…

Sorry for the poor english, but if you have advices or opinions about this…

I actually got Papers for iPhone, and I was able to make sure that everything is working.
I’ll post another update when the iPad will land.

That all sounds like a pretty good solution to me. Scrivener isn’t all things, and there are definitely other programs better suited toward the organisation of PDFs. Papers is a solid program, and if you work with a lot of online research I can’t think of a better program for it—it also works pretty nicely with Scrivener. I’m not sure about their mobile version, but it almost sounds like you haven’t tried it? I’m not sure how good it is, but they claim it syncs with the desktop version. The latest reviews in the App Store seem to suggest otherwise though, so I’d do a little research.

As for using the iPad to proof and edit: that’s the best use for it in my opinion. Since it has a “notepad” style form factor, it’s great for lounging back on a sofa and marking edits on PDF files. Some people find the notion of applying edits by hand back to Scrivener to be borderline offensive, but I myself find the process of manual application to be extremely beneficial to the writing process as a whole. Syncing just does everything behind my back and I never get a chance to “proof my proofs”, so to speak, or get those sparks of intuition when looking at a note I made—and realise I could do something better here or elsewhere. So the iPad is a nice replacement for wasting paper and ink.

I like every part of your workflow except its heavy dependence on DropBox.
A 120 gb external drive from OWC is $57.99.
Use Time Machine or other software to make regular backups.
Nothing is perfect, but a hard drive and DropBox will give you extra insurance.
Like wearing a belt with suspenders. :slight_smile:

I agree, it is not everything, but I don’t see any other soft that can handle so easily that many different files, allowing us to make research, so… Now that I have a solid and well organized DB on it, I guess I can’t really move away from it… Plus, I am really satisfied.
Papers is works well with Scrivener, but the Magic Manuscript function crashes quite regularly.

I did try it, it is nice, syncs well, no pb.

I really do agree with your comment.

You are right. I tend to rely only on Dropbox, but extra security wouldn’t hurt right… So, time to resurrect my external HD !
thanks for the advice.