Should I be using a wiki to collect my notes on mathematical research? Which one?
I am a mathematician and I generate a lot of notes, thoughts, and computations. For many years, my method of gathering these was to write everything down under dated headings in a series of spiral notebooks, then index each notebook as it was finished. Drawback: my handwriting is really hard to read after a couple of years, and I often found it easier to work out something again from scratch than to try to follow the reasoning in my scribbled notes. Besides, since I work on a lot of projects at once, the notes relevant to project X might be scattered over various notebooks in hard-to-find ways.
For the last year or so, I've been LaTeXing short notes on various subjects; having a nice clean document makes it much easier to keep track of what I was trying to say, but now I have tons of .tex and .pdf documents on my hard drive and in order to find the one I want I often have to remember the filename -- or I just forget the document exists altogether.
It occured to me that the correct platform for what I really want to do might be some kind of a wiki, where the notes, .pdfs, links, etc. associated with a given project will stay "in one place," where I can easily link to or even include outside documents, and most importantly where I can easily locate all notes relevant to a given question.
Are any of you mathematicians or mathematical scientists who use a wiki in this way? Am I right to think this might be useful? And if so, which of the many options should I be thinking about? I'm a bit confused with Google Sites, PBWiki, Tiddlywiki, VoodooPad, instiki, and more all floating around offering what looks like substantially similar functions. Or should I just learn how to use Zotero or Google Desktop or Papers and tag the hell out of all my floating .pdfs?
Things I care about:
* Must be easy, really easy, to set up on a Mac. (i.e. presume I don't know how to use Linux.)
* The search functionality should be really good.
* Should be able to export well, since I'm not at my computer all the time and I do want to have easy access to printouts.
* (related to above) should be in a sufficiently stable format, or be sufficiently exportable, that I don't have to worry about a company going under and my notes being inaccessible; this is stuff I want to be sure I have access to years in the future.
Things I don't care about:
* Good TeX formatting; I don't mind writing notes "e-mail style" without the symbols.
* Whether it's hosted or sits on my hard drive -- though ideal, I think, would be something that was hosted but mirrored itself on my laptop so that I could work on it off-line.
* Privacy -- i.e. the thought of Google or whoever else having this data stored on their servers doesn't trouble me.
This old thread
has some good suggestions, but it's two and a half years old and the criteria are somewhat different.