Commonly used programs
- Acrobat Pro (cross platform) from Adobe
- iAnnotate (cross platform)
- PDFpen (for the Mac)
- PDF Annotator (for Windows)
Citation Managers that automate PDF ingest and organization
WorkflowsOnce you have chosen software to annotate your PDFs, you will need a workflow for organizing and tracking them across your programs and devices. Here are some examples:
- Identify one place to store your PDFs
- Organize your files by developing a file structure and create a scheme for file naming
- Rename files and move them to the appropriate folder
- Zotero manages your citations and offers free options for working in groups
- Zotpad free iOS app for Zotero
- Use Zotpad with your favorite iPad reader for reading and annotating, one example is Good Reader.
- For storage, Zotero syncs with a variety of cloud storage options.
Your WorkflowYour workflow in dealing with the PDF version of journal articles and other documents probably resembles this one:
- Identify - Locate already saved or newly discovered PDFs
- Organize - Name the file and save the file within your file structure
- Read (and annotate) your document
- Use/Share - Cite it in a paper or share it with others
- Find or relocate
- Decide how to deal with paper
- It's OK to toss documents you won't need again
- Consider hiring a helper
- A quick scan should tell you about the contents of the file
- Names should allow files to display in a useful order
- SmithM 1998.pdf
- AHAgrant Smith 1998.pdf
- SmithM 1998 NEJM heart AHAgrant.pdf
- Choose a scheme that works well for you.
- Consider reusing a strategy from your e-mail.
- If you use search to find your files, then your file structure may not need to be as elaborate.
- Pick one place to save all of your related files
- Consider what works for long-term back-up of important documents
- Is it just for you? Use your hard drive with a separate back-up or a cloud solution
- Sharing with others? Consider cloud storage options.
- One solution might be a citation manager