Ethnographic journaling software

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We talked in my Ethnographic Filmmaking class yesterday about field journals. I'm particular to keeping paper journals (which I scan and PDF) but students had some recommendations for online journaling software:




I should mention that some of my grad students have also experimented with using blogging software set to a privacy mode to blog their fieldnotes.

I also posted an older (but much more extensive) list a while ago:


When I was doing my most recent fieldstint in Peru, I primarily used Microsoft OneNote. It has a much cleaner interface and is much, much more powerful than comparable software such as Evernote. Being able to integrate searchable images, audio, and video alongside my text notes has shown to be invaluable. Now that I'm working on transcribing my interviews, OneNote has a great little player built-in which makes transcription a breeze. The audio program also automatically links the text you type with the corresponding audio as it plays, adding to the depth of the search functionality.

The only problem I had with OneNote is its lack of portability, but I've found a way to circumvent that. Using a second piece of software -- in my case DropBox -- which allows you to sync folders/files with a server on the internet, you can setup the OneNote folders inside the DropBox folder. With this setup, I can get my notes anywhere in the world and they're always up to date. However, if I happen to save over a file that I needed, DropBox has recovery functionality and keeps revisions of files quite a few versions back. With this setup, I can work on my notes from my USB key with a portable copy of OneNote, from my office computer, my laptop, or from my home desktop, all the while ensuring that I have the same data between the different computers.

I use DEVONthink.

Hi, thanks for this post. I m an anthropologist at souther Chile.
I worked with "onenote" for a while and now I m triying with evernote. Its good to have notes available on-line, the sync between desktop Pc and the web works fine. I'll tell you if I have any problem.


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This page contains a single entry by Karen Nakamura published on September 12, 2008 5:09 AM.

Great Diagrams in Anthropology, Linguistics, & Social Theory was the previous entry in this blog.

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