PaperShip: Easy annotation tool integrating with Mendeley/Zotero

For a while I have been struggling with the lack of an integrated reading, annotating and referencing tool for Mac, PC – and iPad. But it seems I might have found a solution at last in the form of an iOS application called PaperShip – which works together with Mendeley and Zotero.

The biggest problem I encountered so far was the limited annotation facilities available in Mendeley, which I generally think is a nice and easy tool to sort papers. Zotero, as far as I know does not have an iOS application – so that’s not helping.
Then of course there was/is Papers, which was better in terms of annotation tools, but failed to work in the beginning, and had some very annoying bugs in version 2, like notes would not sync between different iOS devices. Papers version 3 made the application completely unusable… so that wasn’t really an option.
Thus, the only reliable(-ish) way was to use an different annotation tool (GoodReader or iAnnotate), but while it worked, it made the reading process a bit cumbersome.

So last week I discovered PaperShip in the app store. As it is integrated with both Zotero and Mendeley it means it adds more annotation functionality to the excellent paper organising and referencing uses of either programme.
It is relatively early days yet, but so far I found it a convincing, easy to use and cheap option:
PaperShip retrieves your papers from Mendely or Zotero. On the iOS devic you can then annotate and highlight as you wish. The free version let’s you highlight only, but for £2.99 you can buy a full set of annotation tool, including highlighters, drawing and commenting. When syncing, all highlights etc sync back to Mendeley or Zotero on the Mac/PC.
Syncing, so far, seems easy and flawless. And you can move the paper into another folder on the iOS device and it will move in Mendeley/Zotero for sorting it, or mark it read/unread etc…

A particularly neat trick I discovered was that you can send the paper via email, and when doing so, PaperShip also includes all the highlighted text passages – so in a way you can create an easy way of sending all the highlights to yourself (or, for example, send citations to something like Evernote).

There is also a PaperShip for Mac, though I haven’t tried the app. I don’t really like reading on my Mac for too long, so I’m not sure I’ll try it – or indeed how useful it would be.

As I said, it’s early days… I have been using it for around 5 days. But so far, I think PaperShip seems surprisingly easy to work with and makes the slightly complex task of managing reading lists a little easier.

Have you used PaerShip? Or other applications which are useful? Let me know!

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