Researcher’s Bleg: Looking for a technical solution to enable project & document management, collaboration and revising

UCSF researcher Ralph Gonzales writes to get our advice regarding his Wiki-Whiteboard (or Wiki-Noteboard). Here is his description of what he is looking for:

Version 1.0. Lives on my iPad. A handwriting recognition program that allows one to organize documents into different notebooks (i.e., projects), and that allows one to attach different types of documents (Word, Powerpoint, PDF, scanned documents, etc.) to different locations on different pages and notebooks. Think about the “insert comment” function in Word… for this we would have an “Insert document” function. The mock-up/layout could actually resemble the word document, except instead it’s my handwritten notes with documents inserted. It would be nice to be able to insert documents directly from different sources such as email folders, as well has hard-drive.

Version 2.0. Lives on a server with all the same functions as above. Selected individuals could also access the specific Noteboards and provide comments to the notes or attached documents using something similar to “Track Changes” from Word… using the “Insert Comments section. You would have different colors for different individual’s comments.

Great question. Team, can we offer some ideas/recommendations?

6 thoughts on “Researcher’s Bleg: Looking for a technical solution to enable project & document management, collaboration and revising

    • The Circus Ponies app sounds exactly like what i’m looking for for v1.0! I will check it out.
      I suppose if we ran it on a local server, then my staff and I (or students and I) could access it remotely and interactively/iteratively?

      • Circus Ponies Notebook is great for note-taking with attachments, but it isn’t a good shared collaboration/wiki platform. You can easily export your data to PDF/web, but it’s hard to let other folks collaborate on that. (If everyone has a Mac, one could, I suppose, put the data on a shared drive, and have folks access it one at a time using the Mac version, but one would run the risk of having two people edit the data at the same time — something it was never designed to do.)

        Evernote (recommended by Peter) has support for shared notebooks, which work with the Mac, Windows, and Web clients; support for shared notebooks on iOS/iPad is forthcoming. However, I’m fairly sure it doesn’t keep a pretty version history of who edited what when.

        (If collaborative text editing is your primary aim, you may need to drop your flexible inline file attachment requirements, and consider something more like a wiki.)

    • And this handles the server/multiplatform issue. although there may be a tradeoff with the handwriting notebook serving as the central organizing unit. You guys are amazing! thanks!

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