What I envied was the idea of all my PDF's in one place with a native PDF reader so that I could also take notes, etc. on the article I was reading (yep, I'm actually an academic). Then, Mendeley came out not so long ago and it looks a lot like Mac's Papers but is FREE (at least for the moment)!!! It also seems to have more features than Papers including an online sync function. But one of the things I love most about Mendeley is that its developers are pretty responsive to user criticism and wishes. Each new update makes me love the program more and more.
Of course, it's still not my dream program....here are some additional things I'd like to see in the program:
- store other file formats (such as images and word documents) with their own native viewers (is this asking too much?)
- be able to see my associated comments or tags next in the documents pane-- sometimes this just helps with getting a sense of your research
Finally for those of you who are die-hard Zotero fans, I love this tool, too...but admittedly, I haven't found it as elegant as Mendeley...
Consider the images of what it's like to view a PDF in each program-- the top is Zotero and the bottom image is Mendeley.
(why do the developers think that we prefer to see the date that an article was added rather than the comments field?!).
For those of you who still aren't convinced why these programs are great, imagine being able to view all your PDFs in one place, make notes about all of them, and then search all your notes and articles at the same time-- all without having to open and close a ton of PDFs. In an alternative scenario, if you make notes about an article in a regular pdf reader, your notes would essentially to only that pdf. To search across everything, you'd need to use a desktop search program of some kind...But where Mendeley is really useful is that it's also a bibliographic manager-- you can cite and insert references into word or open office documents as you write the paper (CWYW)...
At any rate, I encourage you all to have a look at these programs....they're pretty impressive and I've found these types of literature organizers invaluable.
Now, I really, really have to work!