How do Mellel users take notes?

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Icelander
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How do Mellel users take notes?

Post by Icelander » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:36 am

How do Mellel users take notes? And how do they keep track of their notes?

We all know, Bookends is rather inconvenient when it comes to taking notes (using the so called 'note streams'.) DEVONthink 3 (the successor of DEVONthink Pro Office) is not really compatible with Mellel, and Mellel itself has no document manager (like Nisus.)

So, I would like to ask the 3314 registrated Mellel forum members: how is your workflow when you take notes? : -)

Anyone using Tinderbox? Or perhaps FileMaker Pro for note taking? FileMaker is versatile, but it can't be linked to Mellel with scripts.
Last edited by Icelander on Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

timofcanberra
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Re: How do Mellel users take notes?

Post by timofcanberra » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:14 pm

For complex papers I tend to use Scrivener for notes and original drafting and then export to Mellel for finishing. I used to use Circus Ponies Notebook but that is no longer supported.

rwg
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Re: How do Mellel users take notes?

Post by rwg » Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:01 am

This is a rather large topic, but you might find Hook interesting, especially if you want to take notes on Mellel files:

https://hookproductivity.com

vinesy
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Re: How do Mellel users take notes?

Post by vinesy » Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:49 am

I sometimes have two Mellel docs side by side: one for notes, one for writing.

laup
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Re: How do Mellel users take notes?

Post by laup » Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:22 pm

When writing a paper or book in Mellel, I create a separate note stream called "Author notes" in red font. These notes may be reminders, discussion of subtleties, and even "tricks" used for figures, formats, exports, Word compatibility, etc. I delete such notes as the manuscript matures, although sometimes sharing some of them with co-authors along the way.

For miscellaneous note-taking I use Evernote, although I may switch to Notes because of the Apple pencil. I used Devon Think in earlier years but concluded that it didn't really live up to its AI-related promises except (as I recall) for very short materials. Many of my resources are books or reports.
Paul

DavidH
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Re: How do Mellel users take notes?

Post by DavidH » Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:57 pm

When notes come in discrete well-defined chunks and are not directly tied to a particular piece of writing already under way, whether they’re very permanent (journal entries, contacts, memoranda) or very temporary (brainstorming), I like Tinderbox. But I don’t find it easy to compare the text of multiple notes side by side, or to split or combine existing notes, and exporting large amounts of data from Tinderbox takes careful planning.

When it comes to experimental writing that may or may not find its way into a working draft, and for detailed research notes directly tied to a particular piece of writing, I like Scrivener. Its facility with split views, filtering, and the chopping and fusing of individual notes is impressive and intuitive. The binder organization is straightforward yet flexible, everything gets creation and modification dates as a matter of course, I don’t feel any pressure to give everything a title, and I can keep important source material ready to hand in the Research folder. Often I’ll start drafting a paper in Mellel and support it with a Scrivener project whose official Draft folder stays more or less empty.

For the simple brainstorming I used to do on legal pads I use Scapple.

For handwritten notes I’ve been experimenting with the ReMarkable tablet, but it’s not part of anything resembling a workflow (yet).

Tony Watkins
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Re: How do Mellel users take notes?

Post by Tony Watkins » Thu Aug 20, 2020 6:48 am

rwg wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:01 am
This is a rather large topic, but you might find Hook interesting, especially if you want to take notes on Mellel files:

https://hookproductivity.com
I wish Mellel would support Hook. When working on a document in Mellel it is possible to hook the doc to other files, but it requires toggling the palettes off first, which is really irritating. I generally create hooks to/from Mellel docs from Finder. What would be really cool would be to allow Hooks to/from autotitles so that one could link between a section of the doc and the source material online, or a relevant entry in Bookends which isn’t being referenced explicitly at that point, or to something within a Curio project, or an annotation in MarginNote. Curio supports deep linking to PDFs (nothing else does to my knowledge) so I'd love to be able to link from a Mellel section to a specific highlight in a PDF in Curio.

I could do these things by means of inserting hyperlinks into the text (hook:// or curio:// URLs), but that's a really messy way of doing it.

ealvarez
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Re: How do Mellel users take notes?

Post by ealvarez » Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:13 pm

1) Devonthink.

I’m still using the 2.11 version. However, I never linked Mellel and Devonthink. I use the latter essentially to classify my documentation and notes and, when needed, I copy-paste.

2) Writing on paper.

When you write something down on paper, you remember it more easily. I’m still using this old technique :)

Amontillado
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Re: How do Mellel users take notes?

Post by Amontillado » Sat Aug 22, 2020 2:30 am

If this is a duplicate post, apologies. Every time I start to post, something comes up. i don't think I"ve actually posted here or in any parallel thread. Here's some longwinded thoughts on note-taking and writing.

I get a lot of good from Devonthink. I don't use its comprehensive searching as much as I thought I would. Mostly, it's cool to browse files in a Finder-like environment with the ability to edit markdown and rtf files without breaking stride to launch an editor. Even better, it lets me create tags that are local to a particular database. I don't have to clutter up my Finder tags, and I get a lot of mileage out of tags.

For creative writing, though, Curio is a great help. I would rather organize files in Devonthink, but I've found something that works really well for me in Curio.

An outline in traditional form is not my favorite planning tool, even though in recent years I've probably done an outline a week.

The problem is that a chapter or story division might have a half dozen thoughts. If I try to organize hierarchically, I end up with too many levels. Worse, I have to work to not tell too much of the story in the outline. If I do, the prose will turn out stilted.

With Curio, I put the half-dozen notes that go with a story point in one of Curio's pages (Idea Space, in Curio lingo). Those pages are my outline, and probably don't have any levels. Each point in the outline is sort of a mini-storyboard.

Better, they are snapshots of the story at that point, not the process of the story unfolding. When I write, I feel more fluid. I'm connecting dots, not a prisoner of rails.

Scrivener is great and the company behind it is wonderful. Sadly, I've come to learn their product doesn't fit my use as well as I would like. I keep a current license because I believe their efforts should be supported, but my tastes push me in different directions. It's a great tool. The failing is mine.

Mostly, that's because I am snooty about editors and cranky about style support. Scrivener's editor isn't for me.

If you think about it, the outline in Mellel (or the navigation pane in lesser tools) might as well be a Binder in Scriv-speak.

I'm happy with the research folder outsourced to Curio or Devonthink.

gpolberd
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Re: How do Mellel users take notes?

Post by gpolberd » Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:27 pm

I'm a scholar of history and thus need to make complex hierarchical structures. For that, the only program I've found that really fits the bill (and is still being developed) is OmniOutliner (Pro version). I had also once used CircusPonies' Notebook and, until very recently, Aquamind's NoteTaker, but the first went defunct years ago and the second seems no longer being developed, after a short resurrection in the last year or two. I've looked at DevonThink and Scrivener but find them not to my liking. OmniOutliner is also offered with an education discount.

Oh, and I agree, having used Bookends for years, that it is not as easy for note-taking as I'd wish (though I do use it for such).

Timotheus
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Re: How do Mellel users take notes?

Post by Timotheus » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:10 am

I am a scholar of literary history, a philologist and a translator. All my note taking is in Scrivener; I have a Scrivener project for everything I'm interested in. Parallel to each Scrivener project, I have a Devonthink database, for storing pdf's etc. And Bookends for bibliography. These three applications are all I need.

Amontillado
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Re: How do Mellel users take notes?

Post by Amontillado » Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:53 pm

The Zettlekasten methods are pretty cool. If you haven't heard of Zettlekasten (German for slip, or card, box), it's a means of managing linkage between individual notes on index cards.

There is a nice Wiki article on the technique - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zettelkasten - and a web site devoted to Zettlekasten followers at https://zettelkasten.de .

Niklas Luhmann credited his Zettlekasten of 90,000 index cards for his oeuvre of 70 books and hundreds of published articles. Either it worked for him, or 70 times he bellowed, "D'oh!" as he found stuff he forgot to include in in last book.

Zettle people trace the origins of the idea back to the 1500's.

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