I read the Johnson article some time ago, and immediately adopted it for Evernote. I simply created a notebook named Commonplace, creating a new note for each new content. I also adopted a naming convention for these notes, in the format type: topic; e.g., book (sample): Man the Hunted, Film: Tron, Lyrics: We Carry On, etc.
While this is a repository for quotations, it’s mostly a place where I note what I learned from some particular content; what new ideas it generated; how I can use it in the future.
As to Johnson’s point about applications not making themselves available for copying and pasting, I agree. However, even inadvertently forcing readers to hand transcribe text may not be such a bad idea. My experience is I save a lot of text when it can be copied and pasted via the clipboard, but am much more selective when I must hand transcribe it. I then tend to save only those passages which are really important; which have significance, and can be transformative.
I’d never thought of using Scrivener in place of Evernote, but it would be quite easy to do. “Draft” would be renamed “Commonplace,” and each note would be a document. Rather than indicate medium in the title as I do with Evernote, create folders for “book,” “article,” and so forth, or add this metadata as keywords (tags).
The advantage Evernote might have over Scrivener is that I can make notes with Evernote on either my iPhone or iPad, and they appear more or less instantly in Evernote for my iMac. No manual syncing is required. In truth, I usually don’t make extensive notes from my iPhone, but do with my iPad. However, syncing with Dropbox and Scrivener works really well, plus there is a lot of freedom to choose the non-Scrivener application: e.g., Simplenote, PlainText, Writings, Elements, Notebooks – anything that synchs with Dropbox.
This is an interesting and timely topic as I was just setting up a new writing project – a book on genetics – and started it in viJournal, then quickly changed it to Evernote, then – especially after reading and writing this response – to Scrivener.
Scrivener turns out to be a great general purpose research as well as writing tool that I imagine could be purposed to virtually any project.
I should also add that Scrivener is a very robust and reliable application. Just as I was setting up Evernote this morning, the most current edit was suddenly removed from view and inserted in a new entry with the same title, in a new notebook titled “Conflicting Changes (2010-12-30 04:37:25 -800)”. This unexpected behavior caused me to begin considering Scrivener right away!