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Versioning for Thought items or new DRAFTING knowledge item

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Versioning for Thought items or new DRAFTING knowledge item

Postby mickeyonacoustic » 2014-01-01 08:44

Greetings.

Thank you so much for Citavi. I love this program SO VERY much. It helps me IMMENSELY. I can no longer imagine engaging in academic writing without it.

Feature request:
I mainly use the thought knowledge items to WRITE, as in to begin DRAFTING. It would help me IMMENSELY if -- instead of having to create a new, separate thought knowledge item to hone/expand/revise an already existing thought -- if I could just right-click on the thought knowledge item and add the next version. Ideally, one could opt to go from say, version 1.3 to either version 1.4 OR to version 2.0 . . . depending on how major one feels the revision to the thought is.

AN ALTERNATIVE IDEA FOR THIS IF CITAVI DEVELOPERS WANT TO KEEP THE STRUCTURE OF THOUGHT KNOWLEDGE ITEMS UNTOUCHED:
An alternative would be to add another knowledge item TYPE . . . the DRAFTING knowledge type (or whatever name would be best), and allow it to have versioning. Perhaps the icon for it could be a page with scribbles on it that look like typing, or something. It would be nice to be able to click on a drafting item and select, from a drop-down menu within the item, a particular version. It would be nice to be able to display an item's versions vertically to see the evolution of the draft/thought. It would be nice to be able to export all versions of a thought item as to be able to read, reflect on, and choose from its various versions. Perhaps Citavi users would have the ability to copy and paste quote knowledge items into DRAFTING items, I dunno. :-) That type of nesting might start to get . . . complicated. :)

Anyhow: I don't know if it makes sense to differentiate the concept of a THOUGHT item from a DRAFTING item, but I could indeed use a way to update a thought without losing the copy of my prior thinking, or without having to add 7, 8, or 9 uncoupled thought bubbles to clutter up an outline element in Citavi.

Thank you for hearing the idea, and thank you for all you do!
mickeyonacoustic
 

Re: Versioning for Thought items or new DRAFTING knowledge i

Postby Jennifer Schultz » 2014-01-03 10:02

Hi mickeyonacoustic,

Thanks so much for your kind words. We're very glad to hear that you like Citavi so much!

Many thanks as well for your feature request! While we always caution that Citavi is not a word processor and that the bulk of your writing should be done in Word or another program, we have heard from many users who like to begin writing in Citavi using the Thought knowledge item. We have also naturally given some thought to expanding Citavi's capabilities as a writing or drafting tool. However, since we have a lot of other major development priorities at the moment, it could be a while before we are able to realize any of these features.

I can definitely see the value in having some type of versioning for Thoughts or in having a Drafting knowledge item, and will add your feature request to our wish list. Thanks so much for describing so clearly how you use the Thoughts!

Best regards,
Jennifer
Jennifer Schultz
Citavi Customer Service
 

Re: Versioning for Thought items or new DRAFTING knowledge i

Postby mickeyonacoustic » 2014-01-03 11:21

Thank you!

I totally get the sentiment about Citavi's not being a word processor. Makes sense!

The following is me reflecting in print. I apologize for the length.

I think my thing is workflow: I want to PRE-write in Citavi as opposed to in Word. This is because Citavi allows a less linear (and thus limited and confining) view and experience than Word. In Citavi, I can see my outline while seeing my notes . . . I can display an image and then scroll my outline up and down and think about WHERE to discuss the image and how. I just have to jot the how down when it comes to me! I mean, inevitably while in Citavi my mind begins thinking of WHAT to discuss. Perhaps the thought knowledge items suffice here, but as I add and mentally process additional quotes and notes, their content/meaning starts interacting with the quotes and my notes, thoughts, and comments I had and recorded before. So I want to record that updated thinking while I still remember the (new, in-the-moment in Citavi, inspired) thinking! Hmm: Again, perhaps thought knowledge items and comment items suffice, here.

However, the real reason the idea of versioning of thought and comment items came to mind is because of some advice I read in "Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day" by Bolker which is echoed in here: http://www-users.cs.umn.edu/~carlis/one-draft.pdf.

That advice is to sketch-write as you go along instead of thinking that you are somehow going to go straight from an outline and quotes to an articulate draft in one step.

Bolker advises waking up every morning and committing at least 10 minutes to just updating your thinking about a subsection or topic. This develops one's identity as a writer (a person who just writes everyday), helping to ward off writer's block. Over a couple of weeks, though, that's a lot of thought knowledge items! I'd rather have one knowledge item containing dated and/or numbered versions.

I recently started doing that in Citavi (sketching my writing FIRST as prep for writing), via thought items and comment items. Now when I open MS Word and load the embedded Citavi file, my sketch-written ideas and succinct paragraphs are there for me to further flesh out, develop revise, or hone. It's GREAT because . . . well, in Word I can take a moment (just before attempting to draft a point over a paragraph or 2), scroll my outline up and down, hover over sketch-writes and thought items and quotes, and write the paragraph referring to those sketch-writes and thought items and quotes.

Others would fare just the opposite I'm sure, but for me, getting the first draft written down utilizing sketch-writing and thought-jotting previously done in Citavi is SO much better than starting the bulk of the prewriting-to-writing process in the very linear environment of MS Word. Not just the experience and process of it, but the quality and output of it.

This is because in Citavi, I see (eye, scan, and look) differently and thus get to see (think, reflect, and connect) differently: In Citavi, I see (view) waaaaaaaay more at once (i.e. a given time in my visual field) than in Word. Flexibly juxtaposed, at that. This supports my sketch-writing and thought-jotting at "a whole 'nother level" than is possible in Word. I get cross-fertilization of ideas in Citavi's nonlinear environment and must sketch-write 'em down right then, lest they be lost forever! I would hate to collect them one after the other in Word file unattached to my Citavi outline, and losing the ability to drag and drop and juxtapose them. As I mentioned, adding more quotations and notes sometimes prompts me to see the need/opportunity/way to "update" a sketch-write (thought/comment). And that's how versioning popped into mind! :)

But this is just me musing aloud. I certainly, certainly see the value in keeping too much writing (even prewriting) out of Citavi. I guess I just wanted to share why some of us Citavi lovers want to draft in, without it needing to being our word processor.

Thank you for your ear! Please excuse my typos! ;)

Blessings . . .

Mickey
mickeyonacoustic
 

Re: Versioning for Thought items or new DRAFTING knowledge i

Postby Jennifer Schultz » 2014-01-06 11:50

Dear Mickey,

Thanks so much for your additional thoughts! I loved reading your post, because so much of what you describe in your workflow is how we intend for Citavi to support the writing process. The positioning (and re-positioning!) of quotations and thoughts within the category system should spur users on to new ideas, and I'm glad to hear that that's the case for you!

Thank you so much for describing in detail how you'd like to better use Citavi for pre-writing. As I mentioned before, we are considering developing Citavi further in this direction, at least to a certain extent, and your description of how you work helps us better understand what tools users might need to begin their writing in Citavi.

Thanks again!

Best regards,
Jennifer
Jennifer Schultz
Citavi Customer Service
 


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