Can Coda help me with accessing and connecting research and quotes for a book

I’m wondering if Coda can help me with a significant research project. I’m exploring Notion, Coda and Curio.

I’m working on a large book project. I have collected a lot of digital research/resources. The material is primarily in one of three formats: PDFs, plain or markdown files, or archived web pages.

Currently all of the documents are in folders/sub-folders in iCloud and accessed through the Finder or through the Files App. They were originally in DEVONThink but I was having syncing issues on iOS so I moved everything out of DT to iCloud.

Currently Used Primary Apps

  • Scrivener–my long form writing app on iPad Pro and the MBP
  • MindNode
  • PDF Expert
  • I’ve downloaded a trial version of Curio but have only tried a few ideas in the app. I don’t have an opinion on this app yet.

Possible Ohter Apps to Use

  • Curio?
  • Coda?
  • Notion?
  • Roam (the subscription price is too high for my tastes)
  • Other?


  • Cross platform MBP and iPad syncing in iCloud

My struggle
I may be making this much harder than it needs to be. What I’m trying to do is review each research document related to a particular topic, say team dynamics and cull out the important ideas from the document into a system so I can manipulate the information around and connect it to create final headings and subheadings for each chapter I’m working on.

I’m trying to capture a visual outline or mind map of the ideas/concepts/quotes so I can connect them by copying/pasting/dragging them into an application so that the resulting content does not require reopening the source file. If I use a mind mapping app or free form canvas app like Curio, Coda or Notion, then I only want to type (or cut/paste) a few words with the remainder of the content embedded in the app or branches of a mind map for quick reference.

Ideally I want to be able to export the results into each chapter in Scrivener as headings/subheadings. From there I’ll start the writing. I’m looking for a “bridge app” between the research documents and Scrivener to ensure I capture and connect all of the major ideas, facts, and concepts from the research into appropriate conceptually connected headings/subheadings for each chapter in the book.

Now here is where I may be making this harder than needed. In the “good old days” I had a stack of books and research literature for my dissertation stacked everywhere and I took notes, arranged them in legal pads or note cards, and then started writing. I can certainly do something similar again but I’m hoping there is a better way given all of our new digital tools.

Any best practice advice will be appreciated!

Dear @Barrett_Mosbacker,

As you can see from my activity on this community, I am a big Coda enthousiast and it has endless use-cases

As far as I can judge you might consider this tool for various reasons, especially after you mentioned RoamResearch, but found it too expensive.

And use Coda for the end result, you might want to publish some of your work in Coda, what makes it really accessible, user-friendly and interactive for your audience. :raised_hands:

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Thanks for the kind help, much appreciated. I’ll also check out Obsidian.

100% agree with @Jean_Pierre_Traets, Obsidian is my go-to for “high dimensional” ideas like those that go into writing a book or playing with an idea. Then Coda is a great place to present ideas and make them usable. For me it’s proven to be less of a gardening tool (where you explore ideas to see how they grow), and more of an architecture tool (where you build something functional).

@Barrett_Mosbacker you should use or to Sync your highlights from Kindle, Instapaper, Pocket, iBooks, and more .