image/svg+xml Follow

I'm writing a paper, and I've found a decent approach to keep things organized:

1) Everything is in a repo, and i collaborate with the other authors through (private repo, for now).
Changes to the text are discussed through github issues and PR.

2) To overcome writer's block I wrote a one line comment where each paragraph will be, so that I get an idea of the logic of the paper.
The paragraphs then are folded (using ) into the one line summaries, to keep the overview.

Sounds really good. I've been looking for a solution to #2 every now and then, i.e. how to toggle between viewing the full text and an outline without maintaining separate files.

Come to think of it, maybe occur mode could do this with some kind of markers for the outline elements (I'm using emacs)

Thanks! I'm not familiar with emacs, but I'm sure that it has some version of code folding.

The nice thing about this approach is that you can easily reorder paragraphs if you feel the text is not flowing well.

Does it still work if the file is a *. tex? I'm not very familiar with org-mode, but I've heard extraordinarily good things about it.

@mprv @mmin I believe org mode supports embedding LaTeX though I haven't tried it. I just scratch the surface of org-mode functionality for my general note-taking!

I used org for some time but then my configuration started getting more and more complicated and emacs was slowing down on my work computer. I use pandoc so I'm now staying with simpler pandoc markdown. I know that you can only use org for simple stuff but for me it was a rabbit hole 😀

@mmin @mprv pandoc has proved excellent the couple of times I've needed it, I think I'll look into pandoc markdown. Sometimes I spend so long putting together a nice elegant workflow I forget it was supposed to be to 'save time' in the first place 😬

I used pandoc too for a while, and I still think that most papers could be written in markdown.
This workflow should be language independent, though: you can version control *anything* 😁

And the other thing is mostly a mental order question (and editor capability).

What does your workflow look like?

@mprv @jamie I agree that language independence is important. My previous workflow was built around org and then supplemented with org-bibtex and org-brain (a mindmap extension), but for some reason this was very slow and was becoming unwieldy. Now I use zotero for references and reading notes, a paper notebook for quick notes and tiddlywiki for more permanent notes.

But this seems to be constantly a work in progress 😀

Nice! How's tiddlywiki? I tried using a personal wiki for my notes but I've not found one that has decent math support.

I'll probably keep handwriting things and use my filesystem to keep them sorted.

And don't worry, these things are always a work in progress, that's why we need open, language independent solutions 😉


I like tiddlywiki a lot although setting up is nontrivial. It needs a browser plugin and the wiki needs to be under the downloads directory, otherwise it can't save with modern browsers. Once it works, it's really nice because you can use tags, links etc. You can even visualise the network with the tiddlymap plugin. Can't say about math support.

To be honest though I overestimated my need for a research wiki. I haven't used it nearly as much as I initially thought.

I see. I've watched a video about org-mode and the folding functionality looks very good!

I've tried using emacs in the past, but the keybindings don't click for me :BlobCatGooglyShrug:

@mmin @mprv This workflow sounds awesome :-) I wish my co-authors would jump over the git hurdle.

Re outlining: Many text-editors should have some kind of folding tools. Maybe via a plugin for the most common file formats, for example

@gittaca @mmin

Thank you, I've been very lucky with my two current collaborators, and I"m trying to convince as many people as I can to use git. Luckily there are now many easy interfaces towards it (the atom integration is very user friendly, for example) so that even people who do not feel comfortable with the command line can get started.

I usually use vim with "foldmethod = marker", but I couldn't find an equally powerful substitute for Atom. Do you know of any?

@gittaca @mmin

This is close, but it doesn't play nice with vim-mode-plus for some reason (maybe I haven't configured it right) and having to start every comment with the same marker rather than ending it feels inelegant.

Vim's structure looks much better, in my opinion:

# Something something {{{
code to be folded
# }}}

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Scholar Social

Federated microblogging for academics

Scholar Social is a microblogging platform for researchers, grad students, librarians, archivists, undergrads, academically inclined high schoolers, educators of all levels, journal editors, research assistants, professors, administrators—anyone involved in academia who is willing to engage with others respectfully.

We strive to be a safe space for queer people and other minorities in academia, recognizing that there can only be academic freedom where the existence and validity of interlocutors' identities is taken as axiomatic.

"An academic microblog that you can be proud to put on the last slide of a presentation at a conference"

"Official" monthly journal club!

(Participation is, of course, optional)

Scholar Social features a monthly "official" journal club, in which we try to read and comment on a paper of interest.

Any user of Scholar Social can suggest an article by sending the DOI by direct message to and one will be chosen by random lottery on the last day of the month. We ask that you only submit articles that are from *outside* your own field of study to try to ensure that the papers we read are accessible and interesting to non-experts.

Read more ...