Digital reference files: how do you approach it?

AFG

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"N days since last finished"
Yep--OmniFocus has this. I got used to it and was indignant that Reminders on the Mac doesn't have it.

Unfortunately, OmniFocus isn't available under Windows. (Though you could get the iPhone version.)
This may be the last straw that makes me install OmniFocus on MacOS as a VirtualBox guest on Windows!!

Thanks! Or, rather, unthanks - since I will probably waste a lot of time on that. :-( :)
 

Oogiem

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Yes Omnifocus is slowly improving recurring and delayed actions/projects to almost get to the old Palm Pilot capability.
 

Rose

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This may be the last straw that makes me install OmniFocus on MacOS as a VirtualBox guest on Windows!!
You'll be pleased to hear OmniFocus for Web is currently in beta ;)

For reference material I use DevonThink, you can choose if you store your data in the cloud, and if so you can choose from iCloud, Dropbox, WebDAV, Box, and a few other options. What I really like is I can create a link to any group of documents or individual document and paste that link into a task or project.

Like OogieM I use OmniFocus, and you can set tasks to repeat X time after completion which is excellent, the repeat features in OmniFocus 3 are really powerful.
 

Mindfulcraig

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You'll be pleased to hear OmniFocus for Web is currently in beta ;)

For reference material I use DevonThink, you can choose if you store your data in the cloud, and if so you can choose from iCloud, Dropbox, WebDAV, Box, and a few other options. What I really like is I can create a link to any group of documents or individual document and paste that link into a task or project.

Like OogieM I use OmniFocus, and you can set tasks to repeat X time after completion which is excellent, the repeat features in OmniFocus 3 are really powerful.
I have Devonthink Pro and while I like it I also know I am not using it to its capacity. Devonthink's own help files are pretty bad. Any recommendations of Devonthink training?
 

Oogiem

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I have Devonthink Pro and while I like it I also know I am not using it to its capacity. Devonthink's own help files are pretty bad. Any recommendations of Devonthink training?
I also use DEVONThink and I got a lot of usefulness out of Joe Kissel's book "Take Control of DEVONThink". It does talk about DT rev 2 so still useful even though it was publised in 2016.
 

AFG

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You'll be pleased to hear OmniFocus for Web is currently in beta
Maybe.

Unfortunately, I live in an area where web.connectivity is by no means guaranteed. So I insist on SW that allows disconnected operation. E.g. synch to DropBox, and then merge when connected.
 

Gardener

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Maybe.

Unfortunately, I live in an area where web.connectivity is by no means guaranteed. So I insist on SW that allows disconnected operation. E.g. synch to DropBox, and then merge when connected.
On the iPhone it does allow disconnected operation. So you would need to swap devices when your home connectivity goes down, but you'd still have your data.
 

AFG

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On the iPhone it does allow disconnected operation. So you would need to swap devices when your home connectivity goes down, but you'd still have your data.
Let's see if I have this straight:

OmniFocus is available for Mac, iOS (iPhone, iPad), and on the web. But not yet PC.

Similarly, OneNote is available on PC, web(--), Mac (--), iOS (iPhone, iPad)(--).

(--) => not fully functional. I know that only OneNote 2016 on PC is fully functional. I suspect that OmniFocus is not fully functional except on Mac, but don't know, and welcome information.

So I think that you are suggesting that

On a PC I could use OneNote (2016/tablet) and OmniFocus Web.

On an iPhone, I could use OmniFocus-4-iOS and OneNote (iOS--, or web).

I imagine that I could store weblinks to {OmniFocus,OneNote}-web in any appropriate app.

Interesting. Thanks for giving me food for thought. I am worried at how many moving parts there are - I have wasted way too much time making Rube Goldberg systems work. But OmniFocus is so highly recommended...

Q: is OmniFocus/web usable on an iPad (probably?) or an iPhone (screen size problems??) ?

As for disconnected - I imagine that I would lose whatever I am typing into OmniFocus/web when net.connectivity disappears. Only lossage in that scenario.
 

Gardener

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(--) => not fully functional. I know that only OneNote 2016 on PC is fully functional. I suspect that OmniFocus is not fully functional except on Mac, but don't know, and welcome information.
I find it functional enough--I would never have complaints about missing features if I didn't have the even more feature-rich on-Mac version to compare it to--but everybody's critical features are different. Offhand, I've forgotten what's missing, presumably because I've become habituated to acceptable workarounds.

So I think that you are suggesting that
(snipped)

Actually, I hate OneNote with a fiery fiery passion. :) It's what I've got at work, but that isn't enough of a reason for me to use it privately.

For the stuff that one would use OneNote for, I'm starting to use Scrivener, which exists on Mac, PC, iPhone, and iPad. It does lack some functionality on iPhone and iPad, or at least it does in the version I'm in; I have a Mac that I want to include in the system that can't take an OS that can support the very latest Scrivener.

Q: is OmniFocus/web usable on an iPad (probably?) or an iPhone (screen size problems??) ?
It works fine for me--they did a good job of moving things around and changing navigation to make it easily usable on the small screen.

As for disconnected - I imagine that I would lose whatever I am typing into OmniFocus/web when net.connectivity disappears. Only lossage in that scenario.
I can't say yes because I haven't used it, but that's what I'd assume.
 

clango

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Define the naming system so that looking at a name will get you most of the way to knowing what's inside the folder or the file.

Standardize how you will use dates if any and what formats keeping in mind how computers sort things. (Most of my date specific items start with a filename of YYYY-MM-DD_<filename>.<suffix>)
Thank you for this experience.
I widened the field of vision and I'm developing it! :);)

Define a very flat filing system that mimics a flat paper system. (only 1 level of folders in the "File Cabinet")
Could you please tell me if you already expanded your experience on this. It seems to me very difficult only 1 level of folders. What did you mean? @A,@B,@C,....and maximum one folder in each one of this letter?
 

Rostane

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Been using Evernote Premium since 2008.
It's great for filing thanks to the tag system (now the #hashtag is a big thing !)
 

Oogiem

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Could you please tell me if you already expanded your experience on this. It seems to me very difficult only 1 level of folders. What did you mean? @A,@B,@C,....and maximum one folder in each one of this letter?
Somehow I missed answering this.

I have a main folder called File_Cabinet
Within it are folders of my files. They include
Apple_Cider
Book-Ignition_Rocket_Fuel
Chickens
Dog-Current
Dog-Livestock_Protection
Equip-iMac
Equip-SlideScan_Pro
Food_Recipes-Sheep
Food_Recipes-Sides
Genetics

and so on I try not to have any sub folders within those subject matter folders

I use - between parts where I want to keep a group of folders together and _ instead of spaces in case my file system has to be read by a Linux computer.
 

RS356

Practicing GTD since 2005
I just made a switch in this area today as I realized something. Put this as still in test mode but I'm excited about it. I switched my work system from OneNote to just using....Windows Explorer, Microsoft Office and OneDrive. Of course this would work on a mac as well.
I've been using OneDrive on Windows and Mac for the past year. It's a very functional and reliable system. I gave up using Evernote when I could no longer access it at work, and realized that a separate note taking app added unnecessary complexity.
 

AFG

Registered
Somehow I missed answering this.

I have a main folder called File_Cabinet
Within it are folders of my files. They include
Apple_Cider
Book-Ignition_Rocket_Fuel
Chickens
Dog-Current
Dog-Livestock_Protection
Equip-iMac
Equip-SlideScan_Pro
Food_Recipes-Sheep
Food_Recipes-Sides
Genetics

and so on I try not to have any sub folders within those subject matter folders

I use - between parts where I want to keep a group of folders together and _ instead of spaces in case my file system has to be read by a Linux computer.
Sounds to me like you have at least two logical levels in your "flat" folder list:

+ File_Cabinet
+ Apple_Cider
+ Book
+ Book-Ignition_Rocket_Fuel​
+ Chickens
+ Dog
+ Dog-Current
+ Dog-Livestock_Protection​
+ Equioment
+ Equip-iMac
+ Equip-SlideScan_Pro​
+ Food_Recipes
+ Food_Recipes-Sheep
+ Food_Recipes-Sides​
+ Genetics

It's just that your tools do not present way.
 

Oogiem

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Sounds to me like you have at least two logical levels in your "flat" folder list:
In one sense yes but I don't put all the dog stuff under a separate folder. I just name them so that dog subjects come up in the same place, Ditto for other similar groupings like food and books. I don't like traversing down more than one folder to get to stuff I'd rather have a lot of similarly names so I can see the breadth of the collection type folders in one level.
 

AFG

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In one sense yes but I don't put all the dog stuff under a separate folder. I just name them so that dog subjects come up in the same place, Ditto for other similar groupings like food and books. I don't like traversing down more than one folder to get to stuff I'd rather have a lot of similarly names so I can see the breadth of the collection type folders in one level.
Agreed. When it fits.

I like tree browsers that have expandable and collapsable subtrees. So that you can have


+ File_Cabinet
+ Apple_Cider
+ Book
+ Book-Ignition_Rocket_Fuel​
+ Chickens
+ Dog
+ Dog-Current
+ Dog-Livestock_Protection​
+ Equipment
+ Equip-iMac
+ Equip-SlideScan_Pro​
+ Food_Recipes
+ Food_Recipes-Sheep
+ Food_Recipes-Sides​
+ Genetics

Instead of

+ File_Cabinet
+ Apple_Cider
+ Book
+ Chickens
+ Dog
+ Equipment
+ Food_Recipes
+ Genetics

and then have to clik into a folder at a time

+ Food_Recipes-Sheep
+ Food_Recipes-Sides

IMHO it is stupid to restrict users to seeing only one folder at a time - it's nice tp have context, when there is screen space.

IMHO it is also annoying to waste space on the folder names - hence views like yous

+ File_Cabinet
+ Apple_Cider
+ Book-Ignition_Rocket_Fuel
+ Chickens
+ Dog-Current
+ Dog-Livestock_Protection
+ Equip-iMac
+ Equip-SlideScan_Pro
+ Food_Recipes-Sheep
+ Food_Recipes-Sides
+ Genetics

although I have also playe around with doing things like making the folder name smaller font - although that looks a bit odd, as you can see below

+ File_Cabinet
+ Apple_Cider
+ Book
+ Book-Ignition_Rocket_Fuel​
+ Chickens
+ Dog
+ Dog-Current
+ Dog-Livestock_Protection​
+ Equipment
+ Equip-iMac
+ Equip-SlideScan_Pro​
+ Food_Recipes
+ Food_Recipes-Sheep
+ Food_Recipes-Sides​
+ Genetics
 

Oogiem

Registered
I like tree browsers that have expandable and collapsable subtrees. So that you can have
I don't I like to get to one level and see it all there. I'm on a mach and I almost always have all my finder menus in the column view.
 

Gardener

Registered
I was thinking, possibly as a result of reading this thread, about the way that the governing structure for Usenet discussion groups used to (and probably still does) handle group splits--which are arguably the equivalent of subfolders. One criterion for a group split was that the topic in question already had enough traffic in the parent group to justify its existence.

So, if, say, the group

rec.food.cooking

had a ton of posts specifically about Italian food, then there might be a successful effort to create the group

rec.food.cooking.italian

But that would NOT involve a simultaneous creation of

rec.food.cooking.german
rec.food.cooking.japanese
etc., etc., etc.

Discussion of those other cuisines would remain in rec.food.cooking, because there wasn't enough traffic to justify a bunch of little splinter groups.

This tends to be how I sort and file things. If a category is so dominant that it's making it hard to see the other stuff (and making a list too long is part of "making it hard to see the other stuff"), I take it out and give it its own "place", and then the "everything else" is left behind. And I want the list as flat as humanly possible.

So if I had a folder of stuff that contained three seed lists, five documents about various ornamentals, and sixty-eight documents about perennial vegetables, I would NOT divide that into a higher level folder and lower level folders:

Gardening
---- Gardening - seeds
---- Gardening - ornamentals
---- Gardening - perennial vegetables

Instead, it would be:

Gardening
Gardening - perennial vegetables

because perennial vegetables is the only category that's crowding things.
 

Oogiem

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One criterion for a group split was that the topic in question already had enough traffic in the parent group to justify its existence.
Exactly, my larger groups don't have enough stuff to split them further. So I do it as I need to
 
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