ragan mentioned using TB in place of Maxqda. I remember a similar issue has come up in the old forum–whether to use NVIVO or TB for data analysis—mostly for getting concepts and conceptual connections in documents. I myself have been wondering about this for a while. You can see the thread in here for example.
My position has been TB requires a lot of processes (like, turning your documents to Doc or other text files) to serve as a qda application. Most academics rely on PDF files. TB not very much friendly with PDF files. We need some means of annotating and exporting text files from PDF sources to use the power of TB. Sense created the best environment as it was able to break annotations into small chunks. Skim also generates fairly good exports. The standard process is we have to export annotations and explode them in TB. It is doable. I personally have been doing it for a long time. Devonthink made the process a bit smoother as it accepts Markdown files (best export format for Skim) and converts them to rtf files (best import format for TB). But, the process could be hard to maintain in the long run. I have struggled. Furthermore, the explode machine is mechanical. It can break paragraphs; but, cannot see concepts. I want to compare the concepts, not necessarily the paragraphs. That is where QDA applications excel. Concepts can get lives. Concepts start to live by themselves in qda applications because I can code them, write a complete story about them; I can develop them fully. The system is built to zoom into (focus, magnify) the pieces of concepts (which could be a mere word, a sentence or paragraph; inside a word document, a text file, or a PDF document; even within a video). The code gives the concepts a full life. Memos develop it to a full being. But, there are things I would miss in a QDA application. The smartness that TB pack is not there (yet).
A better option I have been thinking about is using TB alongside a dedicated QDA applications such as ATLAS TI and Maxqda. These applications can export clean texts; with coded tags. But, the question is why. My impression is if I am going to use Atlast TI, really, I don’t need to export my text (quotations) to TB as the maps in Atlas are almost as good as the one in TB (https://youtu.be/MLwhtzyHa20?t=4719). But, there are good reasons to avoid AtlasTi. Their licensing is dangerous; even out right sinister. Maxqda, on the other hand, is a great qda application. But, it has weaknesses on the mapping side. The maps are nowhere close to the maps of TB. Therefore, for people using Maxqda and TB, it is possible to use the best of both worlds by exporting the coded data from Maxqda to TB. But, again, one can question if the process is maintainable in the long run.
What do you guys think of using TB as or along with a qda application?