S1E9: The Greatest Lie the Writing Devil Ever Told

Episode of: The First Draft

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Aug 13, 201438m
S1E9: The Greatest Lie the Writing Devil Ever Told
Aug 13 '1438m
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Jason and Paul discuss writing, note-taking, tagging, and outlining with Tree, Scrivener, Gitit, Evernote, FoldingText, Mendeley, Zotero, Editorial, Markdown, Copy, LaTeX, Pandoc, MacVim, TextMate, BibTeX, and DEVONthink.

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Show Notes

The No-Fail Secret to Writing a Dissertation | Vitae

  • Here’s the basic, scalable program that I recommend: Sit your butt down in a chair, preferably in a quiet and distraction-free room. Disable your internet and turn your phone on silent. Come into your writing space having already done the research you need for that day’s writing task. You will not be researching or looking anything up during your writing time (research and editing are discrete tasks, believe it or not, and should be done in separate blocks).

Top of Tree - Tree, outliner for Mac OS X. Horizontally expanding outliner.

  • Tree assists you in organizing your information, sketching plans and brainstorming new ideas. Tree allows you to store your ideas and keywords in segments that you can sort, re-arrange and constantly refine. Tree is designed to be a lightweight application that lets you concentrate on your ideas.

Literature and Latte - Scrivener Writing Software | Mac OS X | Windows

  • Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.

gitit demo - Gitit

  • Gitit is a wiki backed by a git, darcs, or mercurial filestore. Pages and uploaded files can be modified either directly via the VCS’s command-line tools or through the wiki’s web interface. Pandoc is used for markup processing, so pages may be written in (extended) markdown, reStructuredText, LaTeX, HTML, or literate Haskell, and exported in ten different formats, including LaTeX, ConTeXt, DocBook, RTF, OpenOffice ODT, and MediaWiki markup.

Evernote | Remember everything with Evernote, Skitch and our other great apps.

  • Evernote apps and products make modern life manageable, by letting you easily collect and find everything that matters.

Skitch | Evernote

  • Get your point across with fewer words using annotation, shapes and sketches, so that your ideas become reality faster.

On sorting, tagging and other nerdery - BrettTerpstra.com

  • The beauty of tagging, as you may know, is that you can easily assign multiple categorizations and topics to each item, rather than just having them exist at one location which defines it as a type or part of a static collection. I still use the shallow hierarchy of folders that drill down to individual projects and topics, so it’s not a “one pile” deal. I couldn’t function like that; it’s difficult to weed, and if metadata is lost, so is the file, essentially. I use folders to maintain filesystem sanity. I use tags and other metadata to maintain my sanity.

Posts Tagged “tagging” - BrettTerpstra.com

Create a Zettelkasten for your Notes to Improve Thinking and Writing • Christian Tietze

  • Storing stuff in small-ish notes is the fundamental principle in creating a device called “Zettelkasten” (German for “slip box”, or “card index”). Vladimir Nabokov, Jean Paul and Arno Schmidt wrote their novels’ drafts on index cards. German sociologist Niklas Luhmann’s productivity was increased to epic proportions (70 books, 400 articles) with the help of his Zettelkasten.

Posts tagged “zettelkasten” • Christian Tietze

How I use Outlines to Write Any Text • Christian Tietze

  • Nowadays, I write all of my texts in outlines. This post is no exception. I found this to be a game-changer when it comes to writing, so I thought I’d share the process.

FoldingText — Plain text productivity for Mac users

  • For Mac users who love plain text. FoldingText is the markdown text editor with productivity features. Unlike other editors, FoldingText does outlining, todo lists, and more.


  • Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network. Make your own fully-searchable library in seconds, cite as you write, and read and annotate your PDFs on any device.


  • Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.

DEVONthink — Smart document management for Mac - DEVONtechnologies

  • DEVONthink saves all your documents, keeps them organized, and recalls them whenever you need them. Now there's no need to store Office files, PDFs, bookmarks or other information in separate apps.

Towards Better PDF Management with the Filesystem | GradHacker

  • My solution was to stop using the everything buckets and rely on the filesystem. All of my PDFs are now stored in a master folder (simply called “papers”) and the filenames follow the Zotero naming template of the author’s last name, year of publication, and short title (e.g., “O’Mara – 2006 – Cold War Politics and Scientific Communities”).

Posts on devonthink | parezco y digo

  • As these are by far the most popular posts on this blog, here are direct links to my devonthink posts in order.

Write and Cluster Small Texts | William J Turkel

  • Two programs lie at the core of the workflow, DevonThink Pro and Scrivener. When I add a new source to my local repository, I create a bibliographic record for it, then I index it in DevonThink. Once it is indexed I can use the searching, clustering and concordance tools in DevonThink to explore my sources.

Editorial for iOS

  • Editorial is a plain text editor for iPad and iPhone with powerful automation tools and a beautiful inline preview for writing Markdown.

Editorial Workflows

  • Welcome to the Editorial workflow directory! This is the place to explore what others have created with Editorial. You can share your own workflows directly from the app.

Editorial is a Powerful, Flexible iOS App for Text Editing – ProfHacker - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

  • Combined with a well designed interface and incredibly powerful workflows built on Python and snippets, Editorial redefined the way I edit text on the iPad. More and more I find myself reaching for Editorial for text editing over anything else, including any apps on my Mac. And pairing it with a Bluetooth keyboard has, with the exception of Scrivener, made Editorial the most productive writing environment I’ve used. Editorial changed how I thought about my iPad. It had largely been about consumption — gaming, reading books and PDFs, catching up on RSS — but Editorial made the iPad a production device for me as well.

Byword • Simple and efficient text editor for Mac, iPhone and iPad.

  • Simple and efficient text editing for Mac, iPhone and iPad.

iTextEditors - iPhone and iPad text/code editors and writing tools compared

  • This is a feature comparison of text editors on iOS. The information was compiled by the web community on an open Google spreadsheet. I cannot vouch for its current accuracy, but will be verifying everything as I’m able. It’s meant to help you find the most useful way to write, code or take notes for your personal needs. Every editor is geared toward a slightly different purpose, with their own strengths and focus.


  • Pythonista is an integrated development environment for writing Python™ scripts on iOS. You can create interactive experiments and prototypes using multi-touch, animations, and sound – or just use the interactive prompt as a powerful calculator.

Mac Basics: Automator

  • Automator is your personal automation assistant, making it easy for you to do more, and with less hassle. With Automator, you use a simple drag-and-drop process to create and run “automation recipes” that perform simple or complex tasks for you, when and where you need them.

goodreader.com :: products :: GoodReader

  • GoodReader is the super-robust PDF reader for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Its iPad version was the #1 selling non-Apple app for iPad in 2010 in USA! Mashable describes it as "a Swiss Army knife of awesome!" Reviews worldwide hail it as "essential," "the best," "magnificent" and "the killer app". With GoodReader on your iPad/iPhone, you can read virtually anything, anywhere: books, movies, maps, pictures. Use it once and you'll be hooked. If you work with documents, soon you'll be wondering how you ever managed to use your iPad or iPhone without GoodReader.

ZotFile - Advanced PDF management for Zotero

  • Zotfile is a Zotero plugin to manage your attachments: automatically rename, move, and attach PDFs (or other files) to Zotero items, sync PDFs from your Zotero library to your (mobile) PDF reader (e.g. an iPad, Android tablet, etc.) and extract annotations from PDF files.

Skim | Home

  • Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file.

Papers for Mac

  • Papers is an Apple Design Award and Ars Design Award winning solution for managing research literature. Now, it's time for Papers 3 to take your personal library of research to a whole new level. Papers keeps your library organized and portable, automatically downloads full-text content for your articles, shows you related content when reading, and lets you sync your library between home and work, whether you're using Mac or PC, iPad or iPhone. Staying organized was never this easy.

Amazon.com: On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction (9780060891541): William Zinsser: Books

  • On Writing Well has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style. It is a book for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does in the age of e-mail and the Internet.

Amazon.com: How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing (9781591477433): Paul J. Silvia: Books

  • All students and professors need to write, and many struggle to finish their stalled dissertations, journal articles, book chapters, or grant proposals. Writing is hard work and can be difficult to wedge into a frenetic academic schedule. In this practical, light-hearted, and encouraging book, Paul Silvia explains that writing productively does not require innate skills or special traits but specific tactics and actions. Drawing examples from his own field of psychology, he shows readers how to overcome motivational roadblocks and become prolific without sacrificing evenings, weekends, and vacations. After describing strategies for writing productively, the author gives detailed advice from the trenches on how to write, submit, revise, and resubmit articles, how to improve writing quality, and how to write and publish academic work.

The Daily Routines of Famous Writers | Brain Pickings

  • Kurt Vonnegut’s recently published daily routine made we wonder how other beloved writers organized their days. So I pored through various old diaries and interviews — many from the fantastic Paris Review archives — and culled a handful of writing routines from some of my favorite authors. Enjoy.

Why (and How) I Wrote My Academic Book in Plain Text | W. Caleb McDaniel

  • I’m writing this post partly to tell you that none of these are insuperable obstacles for the academic historian who wants to use plain text. In fact, I wrote the entirety of my academic book, forthcoming in early 2013, in plain text files. Before submitting the manuscript to my press, I converted all of my plain text files, complete with notes about what to italicize and where to place footnotes, to Microsoft Word documents using a simple program called Pandoc, and the press never knew the difference. I’ve done the same thing now with a conference paper and journal article, too. It is possible to write academic publications in plain text, and in fact, Lincoln Mullen and I are working on a paper that will spell out how to do so in detail.

Lincoln Mullen · Historian of American religions

Daring Fireball: Markdown

  • Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. Markdown allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML).


  • MMD is a superset of the Markdown syntax, originally created by John Gruber. It adds multiple syntax features (tables, footnotes, and citations, to name a few), in addition to the various output formats listed above (Markdown only creates HTML). Additionally, it builds in “smart” typography for various languages (proper left- and right-sided quotes, for example).

LaTeX – A document preparation system

  • LaTeX is a high-quality typesetting system; it includes features designed for the production of technical and scientific documentation. LaTeX is the de facto standard for the communication and publication of scientific documents. LaTeX is available as free software.

Pandoc - About pandoc

  • If you need to convert files from one markup format into another, pandoc is your swiss-army knife. Pandoc can convert documents in markdown, reStructuredText, textile, HTML, DocBook, LaTeX, MediaWiki markup, OPML, Emacs Org-Mode, or Haddock markup.

macvim - Vim for the Mac - Google Project Hosting

  • MacVim supports multiple windows with tabbed editing and a host of other features such as: MacVim supports multiple windows with tabbed editing and a host of other features such as bindings to standard OS X keyboard shortcuts (⌘Z, ⌘V, ⌘A, ⌘G, etc.); transparent backgrounds; full-screen mode; multibyte editing with OS X input methods and automatic font substitution; ODB editor support, and more. Most importantly, MacVim brings you the full power of Vim 7.4 to Mac OS X.

TextMate — The Missing Editor for Mac OS X

  • TextMate brings Apple's approach to operating systems into the world of text editors. By bridging UNIX underpinnings and GUI, TextMate cherry-picks the best of both worlds to the benefit of expert scripters and novice users alike.

Notational Velocity

  • NOTATIONAL VELOCITY is an application that stores and retrieves notes. It is an attempt to loosen the mental blockages to recording information and to scrape away the tartar of convention that handicaps its retrieval. The solution is by nature nonconformist.


  • A Ruby utility to list all the citation keys in a BibTeX file.


  • The word ,,BibTeX'' stands for a tool and a file format which are used to describe and process lists of references, mostly in conjunction with LaTeX documents.

Github - citation-style-language

  • github.com/citation-style-language/styles is the official repository for Citation Style Language (CSL) styles and is maintained by CSL project members. For more information, check out CitationStyles.org and the repository wiki.

19 - co,Co,CougH by Accky on SoundCloud

  • The First Draft theme song. (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Please contact us at hello@firstdraftpodcast.com or @firstdraftcast to share comments, questions, or show topic ideas. Thanks for listening.

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