I have been using a free version of Kami PDF for years. It is a full-featured markup tool for PDFs that lets you store uploaded PDFs on your computer or on your choice of cloud. It will perform OCR on scanned documents and it interoperates seamlessly with Google Drive. Since I work on a Chromebook sometimes and Windows others, this is helpful. These instructions will be similar on each. I also have thousands of references in Zotero reference manager, also free. I have just started to enjoy Remnote, but I wanted it to fit with my current workflow.
Here is a click-by-click description of the workflow I created to solve this for me, if it is of interest to anyone:
- When I find a paper I want to dissect, I first use Zotero clipper to download the reference metadata. Zotero, with appropriate plug-ins, lets you collect, format, and insert references into Google Docs, Word, or Open Office on Linux, Chromebook, Windows, and Mac (I assume, not having lived in that world)
- Open PDF version of paper. (**If your desired paper is behind a paywall, see below)
- If you have attached Kami Chrome extension (Probably available in other browsers as well) it will put an icon in the upper right. Clicking on that icon will open the PDF in Kami, allowing you to mark up the PDF in multiple ways.
- Click on “Share” symbol in Kami menu bar at the top, and copy the sharable code. This will be needed for a next step.
- Click on RemNote Clipper, opening the remnote sidebar on the left. This automatically captures the URL that Kami has created for the PDF (If the PDF name is cryptic, you can always rename the file that Kami uses, in Kami’s top toolbar. This is what your Remnote document/REM will be named.)
- Unfortunately, the direct Kami link copied into Remnote will not open the Kami document if you want to open it from Remnote in the future. Fortunately, you just copied the Share link, and you can paste that into Remnote. When clicked, it will re-open the side-by-side Remnote/PDF windows. From then on, you can go either way, first opening the Kami doc and clicking on Remnote clipper to open your existing notes in the left sidebar, or clicking on the share link you pasted into Remnote, opening the PDF in the right sidebar.
- Thats it. Know that the highlight feature that automatically highlights and transfers the highlight to Remnote will not work. If you set Kami to highlight, highlight a selection, and then click “copy” on the floating toolbar, you only need to click control-V and it will paste directly into Remnote, which takes over the screen so that all keyboard typing defauts to remnote. This can be a problem when you want to search the Kami PDF. To type into the search field, you need to click on the search box in Kami and hold down the mouse button while you type.
** If papers you want are behind a paywall, try using sci-hub. Search internet for instructions. This video points out some other options to sci-hub that I have not tried. SCIHUB/ sci hub not working for 2021 paid articles? BEST WAYS TO DOWNLOAD PAID ARTICLES FOR FREE - YouTube If you do use sci-hub to view a pdf, you have to manually upload it to the directory you have chosen for Kami to use to store your pdf files, and then click on Kami extension in your browser and manually open the file. From there, it should work as above.
Happy knowledge accumulating!