Docking panes in ConnectedText

ConnectedText (CT) is a highly modular application, with a large number of panes that can give different views of your data more or less simultaneously. Viewing a lot of panes at the same time requires screen real estate, therefore CT can particularly benefit from having a second monitor. Users with two monitors are presented with a decision to make: one could undock some of the panes and move them over to the other monitor, or one could keep them all docked but stretch the CT window across both monitors.

I belong to the first camp and I only use my second monitor for undocked floating CT panes (especially the Navigator pane, occasionally the Outliner pane). My main reason for this is that I only turn on the second monitor when I really have to, as I usually find it too distracting when I need to concentrate on working in the main monitor. However, recently I came across Brian Lennon‘s screenshot of his CT setup, who prefers to work with the CT window stretched out across both monitors.

I find Brian’s setup very interesting. There are clearly some benefits to this approach as well. You can have a more complete and diverse view of your project. You can have a more fluid workflow by staying within the CT environment, rather than using e.g. an external PDF viewer and web browser, as I do, which requires me to switch back and forth. (In fact only now I’ve understood why CT needs an internal browser and file viewer: so that you can create this sort of total CT environment.)

Below is a screenshot of Brian’s CT window (remember, it’s stretched across two monitors). I have added some labels and arrows to show all the different panes that are visible and the relationships between them. As you can see, Brian even had a bit of space left over in the right-hand side monitor, so he could have stretched the CT window out even further and made more of the panes visible. His CT project is also an interesting example of a reading notes database. (If you do have two monitors, you could try to stretch out the image across both of them to see the screenshot in its actual size and full glory.)

ConnectedText panesMany thanks to Brian Lennon for giving me permission to use his image.

P.S. Novices may find the docking process in CT rather tricky at first. Watch the second tutorial video to see how to carry out the docking of panes in ConnectedText.

Brian Lennon on ConnectedText

I have just come across an interesting blog and wiki by Brian Lennon, who discusses ConnectedText in the context of academic note-taking. I would warn people who are new to wikis and ConnectedText to keep in mind that Brian is dealing with fairly advanced features in CT, such as using Python scripts. You don’t need to understand any of this stuff and still be able to use CT successfully as a note-taking tool and much more. Nevertheless, Brian’s use of CT is a good example of its versatility and expandability with scripts and plugins, which can lead to integration with other tools, such as Zotero.