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Q&A

Writing many entries/articles, storing them, and browsing them

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I'm looking for software that will permit me to write articles of various sizes, with a title and tags for each article. The program should store the content, and then allow me to browse (whether from a list, or from a table).

Article will have equations, tables, graphics, and things like that; but if these options are not available, I would be okay with text-only.

I'm a student, and I often have to write my own reviews about some concepts and notions. Let's take enthalpy for example: I would like to write a small article about enthalpy where I would summarize the info I need about it, then store the texty and mark it with tags so I can find it easily afterwards. Let's say that afterwards I wanted to write a small article about crystal solubility, I would like to do the same thing I needed for the enthalpy article, and store it.

In the end, I want to be capable of browsing my articles' titles, one by one, displaying the content if I want to; or searching by either tags or content or title. It could be similar to a blogging system, but for personal use.

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This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/q/14429. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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2 answers

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When looking for tools like these, future-compatibility is a very big issue. First off, try to avoid any tools that have their own proprietary format and can't be edited using any other tool (look what happened to many 80s document files which were written using their own editors and the editors suddenly just vanished). Microsoft Office is also one such example which can not be relied upon. Their format might change 10 years from now, making your documents incomprehensible.

With this consideration in mind, I started storing my content in plain text files with markdown formatting. But then I met Zim Wiki.

This is a personal wiki for managing information which stores its data in plain files. It uses its own syntax but the syntax is very reasonable and quite close to markdown. I keep various notebooks inside it -- one for my research notes, one for general notes, one for my diary entries etc. It indexes all of the text and you can easily search across all your notebook. The good part in it is that you don't have to raise your hand above keyboard for any task. There are shortcuts for all sorts of things. You can easily search or go to any page without touching your mouse.

It supports adding Latex equations, code syntax highlighting, diagrams etc.

I would consider it to be equivalent to Evernote, albeit it has no Android client and all the data resides in your hard-disk in pure future-proof text files.

Furthermore, though it is quite old and mature now, the development is still active.

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This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/17338. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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Sounds like Scrivener might work nicely for you. You write your pieces in text, you can add graphics, you can view your pieces either in a list or as graphics which you can tag, and you can organize your individual pieces in folders.

You can download a fully-operational demo and use it for 30 days. Search for Scrivener on this site to see other discussions of it (often from me :) ).

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