Liz recently had a conversation going on Facebook where some academic workflows came up. This is the sort of thing I love to read and then run my mouth about, particularly about software and methods of organizing the things that end up getting collected because I think it’s especially relevant to the ABDs.

I had some bookmarks on Pinboard that I hastily shared but I wanted to grab a few more things and put together a more tailored list.


Since she and I both are firmly ensconced in the Apple Family, most of these are directly related to iOS and OS X software and I will make no apologies for that. There are many exceptional options for research and organization of information that favor OS X and iOS, and that’s where I spend the majority of my time so my sources are slanted that way. dealwithit.gif.

The problem 1 I had in putting this list together is that in some cases my bookmarks are a few years old, and things move and change quickly. Because of technology being such a fast-moving target, some of this will be a little different (or a lot different), but this shouldn’t be too distracting since, as best I can tell, most academic researchers commit to something and don’t fiddle with it nearly as much as I do.

General Workflows and Notes for Researchers and Academics

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and more than just a few tools for creating a paperless workflow for academic research and writing. I’ve noted some of the possibilities on the Affordable Mac apps for academic tasks page.”

Goes into some detail with various tools like Sente and DEVONthink, including the workflow they use for research, drafting, and polishing their work. Scrivener fan, too.

Luc Beaulieu’s Posts

Luc’s e-Office series has some interesting workflow and notes relevant to academic research.

He’s also got some interesting academic templates for DEVONthink Pro that I’ve used as a scaffolding to come up with some more suitable for my own work.


I love DEVONthink Pro Office so much I want to marry it. Some notes I’ve found dealing specifically with DEVONthink are bound to happen. Luc’s templates are interesting but I’ve got tons of links!

DEVONthink is really great at a lot of things, but honestly I don’t find it that exceptional for collecting — especially when I’m away from the computer. I prefer Evernote for that sort of thing. This is primarily because the iOS version of DEVONthink is weak sauce, as the kids say.


So many people write about Evernote — It’s something a ton of people use and it has the benefit of multiple platforms. There are some reasons to use Evernote and some reasons not to, but rather than get into that now I’d recommend generally against keeping confidential data in Evernote, but otherwise go nuts.

Rabbit-hole warning

Numerous outbound links here for other workflows.

I can’t help myself.

The Creating Personal Flow article on doing research lead me to a neat post about Commonplace Notebooks and I think that’s the sort of thing my wife likes to read about.


Thoughts and observations on software and workflows for more-productive academics.

I love Ulysses 3 and use it for writing projects all the time. It’s pretty awesome. I could never get into Scrivener but Ulysses had me from the start.


A lot of good notes about Scrivener but other interesting tidbits as well.

It’s been a year since I wrote this post on academic workflows. The way I work has changed a bit since then – some apps have gone out, some have been added, and the relationship between some of them have changed, primarily affecting my literature review work flow. Here’s a little post on my current set up.


That’s a good start.

Fuck this shit, I’ll use paper

You sound like my wife. But seriously, folks, go see my friend Patrick, and do not pass Go and do not collect the $200. You won’t need it anyway. Paper based markup systems!


My more complete archive of things I scrape away for later is pretty large, but some especially relevant items include but are not limited to things I tag as:

You’ll notice that many of these use tags for platform, e.g. iOS and OS X.

  1. One of many.