I’ve been happily using Interleave to takes notes while reading PDFs ever since I read about it in Piotr Limanowski’s excellent post on Reading for Programmers. It’s a great way to take notes that are synchronized with the PDF.

Gonçalo Santos has produced a similar system, org-noter, that provides much of the same functionality as well as some others. I temporarily loaded it so I could try it out. One thing from the documentation that I liked about it was that it can remember your place in the PDF so that it’s easy to take up where you left off. With Interleave, I do that by making a temporary note that I delete when I continue reading. Sadly, I couldn’t get that feature of note-taker to work. I’m probably doing something wrong but it’s not obvious what.

Other than a couple of minor items in the way it handles the notes buffer, it operates pretty much like Interleave. There are not enough differences to get me to switch but if you haven’t loaded either yet, it’s worthwhile trying them both out.

If you’ve used org-noter and have thoughts on it, please leave a comment and enlighten us all.

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  • Nuno M. Salgueiro

    You might recall (or maybe not :) my comment a couple of weeks ago about this type of functionality for nov.el. Well, Gonçalo got in touch with wasamasa and has added support in org-noter for EPUB/nov.el (uploaded yesterday to MELPA).
    It's still totally experimental. I could only play with it for 10~15 min, but worked fine!
    Anyway, I know you prefer PDFs but just thought you might want to know. :)

    • jcs

      That's really nice. A good reason to seriously consider org-noter, especially if you aren't currently committed.