I have nothing against multiple, smaller notes and I use them. But my point is that multiple, small notes alone aren’t an adequate solution – not for me anyway. There also needs to be a level in which sources are left whole. For example, suppose I have a transcript of an hour-long interview, in which there are three or four passages that are useful for my immediate purposes, and another 3-4 that are relevant to some other chapter or line of thought, which I’ll attend to later.
Yes, I want each separate morsel to be referenced and cross-referenced. But if I have ONLY the separated pieces, I have lost
(a) the ability to rethink and change my original decisions about where to carve up the larger file
(b) the original context in which I received the information, which is often highly informative (did she make this interesting point in a discussion of the history of the discipline or in a discussion of important new ideas?; was this striking phrase coined by a major figure or an interloper?)
My point here is that I don’t want to choose between multiple small notes and big ones. And I don’t want the big notes to be too separated from the small ones they generated (because then to connect them I have to stop working with the notes in order to do bookkeeping – ok, I have a phrase in my Tinderbox note, now to find the source in DevonThink, I have to search a pdf).
This ability to keep two layers in tight accord is the strength of qualitative analysis software, as I understand it, but I am trying to find ways to do it in Tinderbox. And I think the footnote approach might work.
Will try to come up with a manageable example.