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…]

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…]

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…]