Sente vs. Papers: What is the best PDF management system? (part 2)

Sente vs Papers (part 2)This article is the second part of the big showdown between Sente and Papers. With a price tag of around $100 for the complete package (Mac and iPad app) and a similar (but not identical!) set of features, the decision of what system is the best fit for your PDF management needs is not easy. And it is more than money that is at stake, as you will spend a considerable amount of time building your library once you have taken the plunge. [Read more...]

Sente vs. Papers: What is the best PDF management system?

Do you remember the first thing that crossed your mind when you first saw an iPad? In my case, I was thinking how great it would be to read and annotate PDFs on it!

Serious academic readers are wise to invest some time and money into a dedicated PDF management system for their read-cite-write workflow. With Mendeley and Bookends not supporting annotations on the iPad, there are only two contenders in the race for the best PDF management system:  Sente and Papers. If you are on the fence between these two, you have to read this article. [Read more...]

Just released: Readability for iPad

Readability for iPad and iPhoneHave you ever wished that reading on the web would be a more pleasant experience? Are you annoyed by all these blinking and moving ads? Readability is a fantastic free service that de-clutters your reading experience by removing all distracting features and replacing it with a clean, visually pleasing interface. On top of that, you can also add webpages to your reading list to read them later, similar to Instapaper (except that the Instapaper app is not free). [Read more...]

Annotating PDFs with Sente for iPad (Videos)

This second-last post in the mini-series on PDF management systems gives you an insider’s look into Sente’s companion app for the iPad. Sente for iPad is free for small libraries of 100 papers or less. If you want to have more papers in a library, an academic premium account asks for a one-time fee of $30.

Its getting more complicated when your library attachments need more than 1GB storage on Sente’s servers, at which point you would have to look into storage top-ups that start at $20 a year, but bottom line is this: Sente is free for beginners, and very affordable for most people. Sente says that a premium account with 1GB storage will be good for about a total of 1000 typical journal articles (across all your libraries!), and this is pretty accurate.

However, don’t worry about paying a little extra for the non-free version (if your library has more than 100 papers) and even a yearly top-up (if all your papers take up more than 1Gb of disk space). Sente is absolutely worth its price! Why? Beyond seamlessly integrating with your Mac over the cloud, Sente for iPad also offers you a feature-rich annotation workflow that is unmatched in its functionality[Read more...]

Surprise: Papers is coming to Windows!

Papers for WindowsThis is big news! The mekentosj crew has silently rolled out a pre-release version of their upcoming Papers for Windows app. This is good news for iPad owners in academia, especially if you are also using a Windows PC – so we make an exception here and briefly talk about a Windows app on academiPad. [Read more...]

Annotating PDFs on iPad with Papers Touch (Videos)

Papers for iPadAnnotating journal articles is one of the top reasons why people in university buy an iPad. But how do you find a good annotation app, without spending a ton of money upfront?

In this mini-series on reading and annotating PDFs, previous posts have suggested that PDF management systems are great for academics who want to integrate their laptop/desktop computer and their iPad in a coherent read-write-cite workflow. The currently best PDF management solutions are Sente for Mac and Papers for Mac.  This posts reviews Papers’ companion app: Papers Touch for iPad. Its an expensive app, so I made four videos that will give you as much first-hand experience as you can get for free!  [Read more...]

Start loving to organize your PDFs with Papers for Mac

Papers 2 for MacThe best apps offer a simplistic and beautiful interface that allows people to use the software in an intuitive way. Papers by mekentosj is one of these apps: Through its iTunes-like interface, Papers allows you to organize and annotate your endless collections of journal articles in an easy and fun way.

This post is part of a series exploring the two leading PDF management systems on the Mac and iPad: Sente and Papers. Previous posts have explored the benefits of PDF management systems (in comparison to stand-alone PDF readers) and offered an in-depth review of Sente for Mac. The current post checks out Papers, following the same structure as the Sente for Mac posts: it introduces the Papers ecosystem, reviews how you can add and annotate references, and briefly talks about how you can insert in-text citations and bibliographies into your write-ups. [Read more...]

Super-charge your PDF workflow with Sente for Mac

Finding, reading, annotating, and citing journal articles is our daily bread as academics. But are we good at cutting it? How many times have you searched for “that perfect paper” you have read just a few weeks ago!? Or have you ever almost missed a submission deadline because compiling the bibliography “took a little longer”?

If you are reading a lot of journal articles (and chances are you do if you are in university), it makes sense to invest in a tightly integrated ecosystem that allows you to organize and annotate your PDFs seamlessly on the Mac and the iPad. As I mentioned in the previous guide to annotating PDFs, there are right now two contenders in a neck-to-neck race of offering the best, multi-device PDF management system: Sente and Papers. To keep the current review of Sente for Mac somehow manageable (Sente’s user manual stretches over 316 pages, just to give you an idea), it only covers the most basic functions: how to add a PDF (or reference more generally), how to organize your references, what annotations are supported, and how you can insert in-text citations and bibliographies into your write-ups. [Read more...]

The ultimate guide on how to annotate PDF files on the iPad

Ultimate guide on how to annotate PDF files on the iPadFor most people in university and college, the ability to annotate PDF files is one of the main reasons for buying an iPad. There are hundreds of apps out there that let you annotate PDFs: how do you know which one is the best one for you?

Rather than discussing one particular app in detail, this post presents the bigger picture by discussing three different user profiles whose needs are different with regards to PDF annotation and management. Once you know what type of user you are, you can check out the overview of 10 (plus 3) apps, my personal favorites, and some thoughts on using a stylus. With all this information, finding out what app you need to annotate PDF files “your style” becomes a piece of cake.

[Read more...]