Can anyone help me with a suggestion for a good method (or app) to manage a bunch of PDF’s?
I have approx 100 PDF’s I need to read. Marking them as read, maybe with categorisation, would be good too. Currently they are all sat in one iCloud folder. I typically add the files from my Mac but will read on ipad.
Any suggestions to tackle this growing challenge gratefully received!
Depends on your ultimate goals and how much time and money you want to spend on a setup.
If DEVONthink had only one use-case, though, it’d be this. It has tools for managing groups (of PDFs), read/unread state, flagging, tags, labelling, full-text PDF search, built in OCR (in the Pro version), all the classic annotation tools, the ability to make a written annotation file linked to a reading, annotation extraction abilities, automatic summarization abilities, it can add and search on metadata fields for your readings, and more.
It’s expensive, it doesn’t handle image annotations like Highlights and a few other PDF editors, and it has a learning curve proportionate to the feature list above.
Note that it’s 25% off this weekend. (No, they don’t pay me!)
Currently reviewing my PDF reading/management workflow myself, as someone who has a lot of PDF reading to do but isn’t an academic researcher. My primary options (in case they’re useful to anyone else):
Keep It. Highlighting but no annotation. Labelling AND tagging. Some useful Shortcuts integration.
MarginNote. Supremely powerful PDF and ePub reader / research tool. Lots of note-making and annotation affordances, as well as support for managing collections. Integrates well with cloud/local storage. Learning curve. Had it for years and never used it properly. Could do with easier export of notes to markdown or plain text.
Will try Highlights again (thanks for the reminder to do so, @ryanjamurphy)
Surprisingly, I might just end up using Kindle, with the PDFs archived/backed-up in my filesystem. Not the most powerful reading/annotation experience compared to something like MarginNote, but I’m starting to think that it might be better to have fewer places to go look for things I’m supposed to be actively paying attention to (I already have a large Kindle library). And because the Kindle app’s widgets aren’t that useful (IMHO), I’m probably going back to maintaining my current reading list as a Reminders list (via GoodTask)…
You might want to try using the tools you already have. The built-in Preview app is pretty good and does 90% of all the features other listed above, and its free. You could create a simple set of nested folders for Completed Reading, etc. and move the individual documents into the folders as you finish them.
UPDATE: I subscribed to PDF Expert Pro for a year at their Black Friday price.
I need a PDF editor for both Mac and iPad. I work with PDF files all day long, and my chief functions are annotation (highlighting, stamping) and page management (extracting, importing, copying, rearranging).
I’m deciding between a PDF Expert PRO subscription at $80/year ($40 for the first year for Black Friday) and DevonThink 3 + ToGo. I ran out of my DT trial, so I can’t experiment with how it is as a PDF editor. I may buy DT anyway for its intelligent document management, but haven’t decided yet.
I’m using PDF Expert (non-pro) on my Mac at present and it’s excellent. Not on the level of the PC app I left behind (PDF X-Change Pro), but it’s my favorite on the Mac. I won’t buy Acrobat on principle.
Will DT be enough for me for PDF editing? Or will a dedicated PDF editor like PDF Expert Pro be worth it? Thanks for any thoughts!
DevonThink is perfect for this purpose. I currently have thousands of PDF’s and DT allows me to rank them in importance, have duplicate files in different folders (or replicants), and an ultra-powerful search tool. Further, it has an internal reader/annotating function or can use any outside app such as Highlights, Acrobat, etc.
If you are interested in going with DT, MacSparky/David Sparks has a great online course, and during the holiday, it’s on sale. DT is hugely powerful and a little intimidating. MacSparky’s course is the fastest way to get up and running.
Thanks. Until that day arrives, you can use DEVONthink’s “Open With” those other new apps you refer to and get your AI now. Meantime, perhaps discuss the features you want on DEVONtechnologie’s forum and perhaps there will emerge some new learnings or help you further now.
It was amazing then, and one of my main reasons for investing in the software. But it’s AI capability has not moved much beyond that in the years that followed. There’s a lot of catching up they need to do!
As one recommendation above - Zotero 6 (with Zotfile add-on) works wonders in Mac and Windoze environments - version has internal comments and highlights, and effectively keeps one copy, yet links via tags and collections in a variety of projects - and 100 pdf, is child’s play in Zot. Zotfile also allows Zotero to hold its copy on your local drive or your cloud-based service