Words and pictures, together at last
January 16, 2008 3:55 PM   Subscribe

Taking text notes with incorporated image thumbnails: there's gotta be an application that does exactly what I need.

I'm writing a thesis that involves watching a lot of TV shows on DVD and taking notes on it. My current note-taking system has utterly failed me. I'm in the midst of a note-taking epiphany, but I'm having trouble finding the software solution that I know is out there somewhere. Here's what I would like to be doing:

-Watching DVD on laptop
-Taking text notes on said DVD
-Occasionally taking a screen capture of the DVD, saving a nice-sized jpg of it somewhere, and incorporating a thumbnail of it into the text notes.
-Keeping the resulting notes document/file relatively small, manageable, and easily scrolled through
-Moving the whole process along as quickly as possible
(These last two were where just inserting images into a Word document really failed)

What software application will help me streamline this process and make a painful, painful writing process slightly sunnier?

What I'm working with: Macbook, 10.4, Firefox
posted by doift to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As far as I understand, you're basically inserting a resized version of the "nice-sized jpg" into your document? You might find that editing it in a program like Photoshop and making a smaller version of it before inserting it into the document will make the file less clunky.

As far as text + pictures go, I find One Note and Evernote to be really good - Evernote is designed to work with tablets, so it should have no problem handling the image component of your paper. I'm not entirely sure if there's a Mac version, initially googling seems a bit confused on the subject. This is the official website.
posted by Phire at 4:02 PM on January 16, 2008

TextEdit might be a good choice. It's way leaner than Word, so it should be able to handle things like images fine.

It might make sense to get a 3rd party screenshotting program that puts a thumbnail of the picture as the icon of the picture. That way you can just copy the icon and paste that into the document.
posted by Deathalicious at 4:23 PM on January 16, 2008

Search for a program called "Notebook" by a company called Circus Ponies. I think it can do basically this.
posted by shanevsevil at 4:35 PM on January 16, 2008

I just heard about a program called ScreenSteps.

Imagine you need to make a walk-through showing someone how to turn on a feature in Safari. Normally you would need a screen capturing app, a text editor, a image editor, and Safari running to get this done. Lots of switching back and forth, and lots of time later you have what you wanted. Enter ScreenSteps. It is smart enough to watch your clipboard for any screen grabs you make, and it enters them in a document. Just snap away, switch to ScreenSteps when you're done and there are all your shots waiting for you to type in some text. ScreenSteps also has some rudimentary image editing, and a host of graphics you can add to your images (to circle buttons and what have you).

Once you have this ScreenSteps document you now need a way to share it with folks. You can export it either as a PDF, as valid HTML (with templates that you can customize), or share it on ScreenStep's hosted service.

posted by now i'm piste at 6:32 PM on January 16, 2008

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