Papers changed my life. I have used it to organize the 1200+ (and counting) pdfs that I have collected and cited in the course of my time in grad school. I love:
- the autofill on the metadata (I wish it worked better on some of my areas of interest — I rarely get more than half of the metadata with any mass import — but I will grant that it is improving over time)
- the smooth import when I am on campus (off campus is a different story: I cannot get the U of T proxy to work for me inside Papers and it is making me crazy — suggestions welcome!)
- the iPhoto/iTunes-esque star rating system, smart folders and ability to sort files into multiple folders without making unnecessary copies
One of the most frustrating things about Papers for me has always been the lack of functionality beyond basic filing and citing. There is a facility for adding notes, but it’s Very. Very. Slow. on my two year old bare bones laptop; it takes up a lot of screen real estate; it’s on the second tab, and, as far as I know, there is no export/report function. (I could be wrong here. I am far from a power user of this application.) For me, flipping through articles in Papers to assemble notes into a manuscript is a little laborious. It’s also annoying that Papers only runs on Mac operating systems, because it means that I can’t flip back and forth between my laptop (Mac), desktop (Windows), or, for that matter, any of my husband’s computers (Linux.)
I am currently exploring Zotero as another tool that could complement or perhaps eventually replace my Papers obsession. So far, I am extremely impressed. I am not usually an early adopter (I rarely use a version 1.x of anything) so I am a little annoyed some of the ‘coming soon’ issues, but as I work on a long manuscript that involves taking notes on multiple articles and sorting and organizing them intelligently, I am really, really enjoying this tool.