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While I like working with matematics inside LaTeX (that is to say, scribble notes e.t.c. even for things I know I will never want typeset), I often find myself resorting to pen and paper for the simple reason that I find it more convenient (being able to shuffle papers around, write some additional notes to the proof of a theorem on one paper so as to remember some detail for whenever I want to sue that particular theorem).

I realise that I probably won't be able to totally move away from using pen and paper (using TikZ to fiddle around with commutative diagrams in "real time" seems like rather a nightmare), but I would like to avoid the huge stack (read mess) of unorganised palimpsests I have to wade through every time I'm looking for some note/theorem/definition.

I'm thus wondering if anyone is aware of some form of software for organising "mathematical thought" (for lack of a less cheesy word); somewhere between a full fledged theorem prover (Coq, Agda e.t.c.) and a typesetting system (LaTeX).

Relevant features would be some form of mathematical "awareness" (maybe something like a a browser for some mathematics RDF schema?), searching (for symbols, texts e.t.c.) and version control (in case of plain text files this could just be achieved by using a regular version control system, but it would be nice if it was more aware of the contents).

Thanks in advance for any hints or suggestions.

EDIT: I just realised that I might just want org-mode. I haven't used it for anything beyond creating basic outlines, is anyone using it for something like what I'm describing above?

EDIT2: Before anyone suggests it, a wiki is not quite what I want, unless you can set it up without starting a server and it's very easy to organise things into seperate small projects (if the threshold of using it isn't minimal I can't see myself using it over grabbing a piece of paper near me).

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Don't use tikz, use xy-pic for commutative diagrams. But I prefer the old pen and paper for scratchwork. –  Thomas Rot Jul 10 '12 at 16:28
    
@ThomasRot Thanks (I've only seen the name before, never used the package, I'll definitely check it out), the issue of TikZ was mostly a small side note though :) –  Tilo Wiklund Jul 10 '12 at 16:34
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I would very much like some kind of drag-and-drop manager for a collection of typeset theorems/statements, perhaps something that runs on a tablet. Coq and Agda are nice, but my mental picture of theorems is more along the lines of how they look when typeset as opposed to their abstract syntax trees or the internal representation that the theorem provers use. –  deoxygerbe Jul 10 '12 at 18:29
    
@deoxygerbe Pretty much the same issue I have (though I'd also like some general way to manage relations between things in this collection), something like this would be the first reason ever for me to actually want a tablet. –  Tilo Wiklund Jul 10 '12 at 18:34

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Tilo has probably got a solution now but for others.....

Windows-based outliner software like SEO note and TreePad are excellent programs to collect disparate and unorganized information into one document. There is a tree structure you can create to organize and navigate your stuff.

You can create hyper links to documents (maple files, spreadsheets, pdf math books, scanned images, etc) on your hard disk or webpages on the net.

enter image description here

HyperLinks to start external programs (for typesetting or theorem provers in Tilo's case) is very easy to setup as well.

You can copy/paste scanned images of your handwritten notes into the outliner document and add some keyword text so that these notes can be located through the search function.

There are many helpful features but some features and functionality that would make these programs even better would be text folding, direct image scanning into the document, graphics tablet support, revision history, LaTex support and syntax highlighting. It's been a while since I looked into these programs. Perhaps some of this functionality exists in some outliners now. That Wikipedia link has a list.

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This seems similar to using Emacs Org-mode, which is/was my as of yet unimplemented plan. Nice overview with motivating examples! Is there any reason for stressing Windows-based? –  Tilo Wiklund Jan 7 at 19:22
    
No. I was going to mention a MAC and LINUX outliner for the benefit of the readers but I didn't know which ones to choose (owing to the fact I have never used a non-Windows outliner). –  Kon Jan 8 at 3:51

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