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Using Ecco to build great works from 'notecards' (Popularity: 6858 )

I love Ecco!

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Show the link to this post Using Ecco to build great works from 'notecards'
03/13/08 at 04:10:04

--- In ecco_pro@yahoogroups.com, "joemiller" <joemiller@...> wrote:
> I'm doing reasearch on a general topic with a lot of subtopics I
> need to track.  I am making notes as I go through a series of books
> on the topic.  
> My original plan was to have one big Ecco file so I could easily
> look at all my notes at once but the more I thought about it, and
> the more notes I realized I was making, the more I thought perhaps I
> should use a different file for each of the 8-10 texts I'll be using
> in my studies.  

> My question is will it work if I create a different Ecco file for
> each text,

>  I'm old school and like
> paper so I'd print off the final file, sorted as I want it, and keep
> for reference.  This would let me have all the information sorted by
> subtopics, not by the text where I found the information originally.
> If this isn't workable please let me know or someone has a better
> idea I'd love to hear it.

not sure if ecco is or isn't the right tool for what you want, and curious what others opinion might be.
but can say that Ecco is *incredibly* stable and safe for data.  With its built in data recovery, Ecco is by far the most stable program of this type that have personally worked with.
Best advice to offer up front is that unless you plan on having > 60,000 'notecards',  recommend keeping all you data in single ecco file.   With only 10 primary sources,  sounds like you will end up liking this best.    (There is a 50 Meg,  20,000 post 'archive' .eco which is a living example-- you can have HUGE and stable ecco...  it goes together Wink  
The advantage of an 'all in one' structure,  is that as you build your text,  (assuming text assigned to a folder per source),  you still keep all of the source data together in it's own outline [although it loses its order].
If you have text, or pdf original... or if you scan and ocr your reference sources,  it is easy to directly and effortless 'shoot' into ecco (directly into that 'sources' folder) any 'highlighted' material you want.  
I use ecco extensively just exactly this way.  Each sentence (or part of sentence) is it's own item,  with a pulldown folder citing the source. [can use multi-pulldowns if > 250 prim sources].  A text folder denotes the starting/ending page for reference.
What ecco does that have found no substitute for yet, is allow instant and easy  arranging of all the fragments into an outline of ideas..  [you can also assign to categories to view same info in different contexts]
[You can with HUGE works,  have a file for each reference set.  One trick is then to COPY each file, and bring them into ecco at the same time.  You can then CUT from each reference file, and PASTE into your 'master' file-- and all text formatting and folder references get copied as well.  But it is destructive..  you have to CUT from the reference file...  hence the reason to use a copy if it.]
Another helpful 'trick' is to assign *ALL* items to phonebook.  Allows you get a de-contexted list which you can filter based on source, subject (if you just subject folder), etc.   Once you build your outline, you lose the 'linear' view unless you also do this..
This will result for you, in the end, in:
1. An outline of your text with each paragraph or line (and a sentence can be made up of several lines) containing a reference to source and page number. (and comments if you wish, etc.)(and subject keys, if you wish)(and relevence level, so that you can filter up and down globally to include more or less levels of detail in your work as a whole-- it's kind of cool).
2. Outlines for each reference showing (in context) what was used from that reference in the global work, and where.
3. (if you use the phonebook assignment trick),  based on your filtering per reference (or reference group), a linear listing of all material referenced from any source, including (if made, subject key references).
(There is an add-on tool set to be released (sometime in far future .. (?)) that assembles the outline into Word including automatic creation of a footnote reference (with page number) for each source.  Because there are so many programs now that do this better and automatically,  it is unclear if the tool will actually ever see daylight...    If there is ever strong demand for it, more likely to happen.)
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Show the link to this post Re: Using Ecco to build great works from 'notecards'
Reply #1 - 03/13/08 at 07:16:51
Certainly open to discussion,
came across a blog requesting:
Quotation management features:

1* a note card feature for recording research notes and quotations
2* link between note cards and bibliographic database so that when the note is pasted into the document the footnote is automatically generated
3* searchable keyword categories for the notes
4* an outline manager to organize the notes according to the outline for the paper
5* a way to track which quotes have been used, and if necessary to locate them in the paper


1. Ecco does this darn well.  You can 'shoot' directly into your desired notepad (keyed to the source material).  You can enter quotes, and in text folder(s) [or as sub items] Notes about the quote.    
2. The LINK part is great in ecco-- automatic as 'notepad' in which quote entered attaches note to that reference source.  Also possible with pull-down selection of reference source, etc.  Folder allows for page numbers for each note, etc.
There is currently no standard 'auto-paste' with citation tool,  but such a tool is certainly possibly (if there is ever real demand for it, or,  .. eventually...)...  and you can currently [with slang extension]  copy the note text WITH the citation in a citation column.
Eh ?
nutshell:  You can set up an auto-assign rule for each  reference source that creates a 'citation' entry in a 'citation' text folder.  The entry can be proper citation format, and INCLUDE the page number you fill in (in the page number folder).    This reference will be AUTOMATICALLY generated for each note [or you can use another checkbox folder to select which notes will have a cite].    You can have a view with the citation folder,  and thus,  copy the notes AND their citations. Paste, remove the tabs and returns (search & replace, for example).. and you have it.
anyhow,  auto-paste citation is as explained above possible..automatic.. even nice.. . but certainly not a modern citation pasting tool!
3.  Ecco notes are certainly searchable and assignable to vast options of keys and categories, etc..  AND viewable in multi context references...
4.  Outline organization of notes = Ecco!  
5.  Cross-context viewing =  Ecco!   Ie. see each note from each source used in final text --> and see it in it's context!  [automatic in ecco if this is not clear]
concl:  Other than citation insertion (which tool may someday exist)... Ecco is a very cool and powerful note collection/organization/reference retention tool!
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« Last Edit: 03/13/08 at 09:39:01 by JimmyD »  
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