Nailed it! My workflow for paper annotation

It was a good challenge. After weeks of experimentation, I finally could nail the workflow.

  1. Download paper from various sources after identifying the important context.
  2. Highlight the important aspects of paper. I am using PDF Expert for this (on Mac).
  3. Add my comments (which appear as block quotes)
  4. Extract annotations through an excellent web called sumnotes.
  5. Upload paper on Scribd to embed it.

I had previously used PDF expert to export annotations but it made a mess of it. Even if it does it in Markdown, it is a terrible option. WordPress requires a “premium subscription” to host PDF’s – I am not too happy about it but I will explore it if I am able to keep up with the discipline.

Stay tuned for more. I am also exploring the option to create mind maps. That is going to be cool as it would allow me to explore thematic issues, instead of individual papers.

I am excited about this project!

The technical blurb:

(Dropbox holds all my papers. PDF expert opens the Dropbox file and makes standard annotations (which also opens up in other PDF readers). Once the project is saved, everything flows back to Dropbox. I can also access the same project from other devices. Sumnotes extracts all the annotations and my opinion in a structured format. Therefore, I can comment freely on the paper). It took me a while to figure this out.

PaperPile also annotates the PDF’s beautifully but I wasn’t keen on pushing for yet another subscription. Offline reference managers (Zotero and Bookends) work reasonably well. Reference managers another subsequent post)