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Old 10-22-2018, 08:05 PM   #1
skb
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Document management/Library (with no documents)

Hi everyone - I need to brainstorm (or drizzle) this idea...

I belong to a Family History group and I've discovered that they have a bajillion folders full of articles and 'stuff' that they've collected. From magazines, newpapers etc. There's lots of good stuff in there but it's basically inaccessible because of the volume and the rather idiosyncratic "system".

I'm wondering if I can suggest they use Calibre to not so much store the 'docs' but rather use it as a library index card thingy.

The reason I'm thinking Calibre (apart from its obvious awesomeness) is that it's got most (if not all) of what they could use out of the box. I doubt that they'd even need custom columns.

The only downside would be that they'd have to use one computer to maintain the library (unless someone has written a web interface overnight). They (the group) are almost all over 65 and aren't really computer savvy (one won't even use cut & paste because it's too hard). And email is a bridge too far. You can't make this stuff up.

And although they have multiple computers, they don't have a network - so I'd need an automatic backup strategy. That's really, really automatic and simple.

I did have a look at Zotero but even though it's webby, it might make their brains explode. Which is a shame, because it looked good.

Anyone been there, done that (not exploding brains, but rather a document thing)?

The more I think about it, the more I'm liking using Calibre...
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Old 10-22-2018, 10:37 PM   #2
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First thing I'd probably consider is something like OneNote or Evernote. they are good at managing loosely structured data, they can handle multi-user sharing, they run on Windows, MacOS, Android and IOS (not Linux afaik).

For concurrent multi-user access I think they are tied to their respective vendors cloud storage offerings.

If you want to use calibre you ought to look at the CalibreSpy plugin which can be used as a read only app, so it is safer for concurrent multi-user access to a common library.

BR
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Old 10-23-2018, 12:05 AM   #3
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Excellent - thanks BR.

I don't think the computers they have would run OneNote (I could never get ON for some reason. Although I know some people love it). Evernote might be the go, although, they don't have a bean, so I don't know how the group would go if they had to pay. Also, I think they need to be structured somehow rather allowing open slather with the data entry - otherwise, like the multitude of folders, stuff would be hard to find. But then...Evernote does have templates, doesn't it? Hmm, thanks - I'll check that out.

I've had a play with Calibre, with a view to importing a CSV list of the stuff (using the Import/Export Plugin). I'll check out Calibre spy. I'm also grappling with trying to create my own IDs (for location in the folders...or something).

Thanks! Lots to think about.
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:38 AM   #4
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do web searches for "evernote genealogy templates" and "onenote genealogy templates".

No idea which is best in this context, probably much of a muchness. But if I wanted to make use of Note Links to create hierarchies and networks I would look at OneNote first. The note linking abilities of EN and ON are functionally line-ball, but ON has a 'browserish' way of creating links to 'child' notes from within the 'parent' note; whereas in EN it is copy link from 'child' note, go to 'parent' note, and paste 'child link'

In a calibre Long Text (HTML) custom column you can put many links to just about anything - folders, files, EN and ON notes, web pages, email addresses etc.

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I edit all metadata in the book list so I prefer this approach over creating Identifiers in L&F and maintaining the values in MDE.

BR
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:19 PM   #5
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Thanks again.

I did a search as suggested - there's some good stuff out there. For me, it'd be Evernote (because I'm on a mac). I had a play and templates are quite easy (although it takes a little while for the search to index) and, of course, customisable. But it does require a paid account, I think.

But for the group, I'm still leaning towards Calibre. Although now that I've tested the CSV import (easy), I'm a bit hesitant about the "adding empty books" dialog. I have a feeling that they won't be able to cope.

I might put some options together and let them decide. Although "can't cut & paste" person may melt down...

thanks!
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Old 10-23-2018, 07:34 PM   #6
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A bit off-topic, but if these documents aren't already transcribed, I've used a program called Transcript (not the most creative) in the past, particularly when OCR fails. It's free for personal use.
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Old 10-24-2018, 09:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ownedbycats View Post
A bit off-topic, but if these documents aren't already transcribed, I've used a program called Transcript (not the most creative) in the past, particularly when OCR fails. It's free for personal use.
Ooooh, that's a pretty neat program. And not off topic - the articles aren't transcribed they're...cut out of magazines and put into plastic sleeves and then put into folders the size of a moose. And the folders are breeding. I think there are at least ten of them.

Thanks!

Currently, I'm investigating Google Docs. I'm trying to think outside the box. But I'm also trying to come up with a solution (like an Access database) that doesn't depend on someone being around to fix/modify it. It needs to be relatively set & forget.
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