Bookends to Zotero?

Sonny Software just hit me up for $40 to get upgrades for Bookends for 2 years.
Just to be thorough, I’m looking into Zotero.

Has anyone made this switch? The interwebs say it can be done using an EndNote exporter, then importing that into Bookends.

I would be looking to preserve attachments, as I have ~1800 refs.

I also have a custom field ‘Location’ that tells me where my paper copy is, and would want to preserve that too.

I no longer have a need for reference managers, but Zotero and Mendeley are the two biggest, most powerful and well-supported alternatives. Newish Mac apps that also looked good when I examined them were PaperPile and SnowyOwl.

Also see Citavi, Qiqq, Sente.

Thanks. Been down those roads (except SnowyOwl):

  • Mendeley is evil
  • Sente died 4 years ago
  • Citavi is Windows only
  • Qiqqa is Windows, Android, Firefox
  • Paperpile is browser-based
  • SnowyOwl is simplistic

Really just wondering if anyone successfully made the Bookends to Zotero transition.

No help, I’m afraid, but just a note for whatever it’s worth: I made the switch in the opposite direction last year.

That’s not a knock against Zotero, which I first used when it was initially released, and used on and off for years. That team does good work.

But over the years, my workflow changed, and the iPad became a big part of it. I never did find a good workflow for Zotero that played well with iPad (there were some third-party efforts, but all of them involved some hassle). Bookends plays really well with the iPad.

So, if the iPad is an important part of your workflow where a reference manager’s concerned, that’s something to think about.


If the attachments you have are pretty easily downloadable via the web, Zotero does a pretty good job pulling them down. I migrated a library from Papers to Zotero some years back via, I think, a BibTeX export.

Unfortunately my library wasn’t, and I spent the better part of a weekend manually adding PDFs I hadn’t yet.

This thread seems to indicate it’s possible, but it’s not something I’ve tried:

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FYI: Paperpile has both an iOS app and a desktop Microsoft Word plugin that are in beta. I haven’t used the word plugin, but the iOS beta is solid even if it doesn’t have all the features of the web app.

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Just to close the thread, I wound up staying with Bookends.
I’m already familiar with it, and it has good integration with Tinderbox, among others.
When moving from one system to another, there are always snags that you anticipate, and snags that you don’t anticipate.

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