Zotero vs Calibre, or a workflow for using both?

I've been using Calibre for a while for books and just discovered Zotero which I've been liking a lot for academic papers. I know that there is a plugin to integrate the two, but it seems to add more complexity that it is worth, so I'm pondering whether to just use one for everything or keep one for books and the other for papers (the problem being that some topics I cover obviously have both).

If anyone here uses both, what do your use cases and workflows look like?

Thanks!
  • I have been using both for a very long time. Its ok if I keep books and articles separate.
  • edited March 14, 2020
    Thanks. So you havent linked the two with the Zotero Metadata Impoter tool, or other means? And you simply use one for books and one for articles?

    I'd love any other people's feedback as well!
  • I use both, but use Zotero as my main management app. The workflow is pretty clean, but requires a little effort.

    Here's my setup:

    Calibre for books (specifically it's really just in here to standardize things - ie. de-drm them, and produce an EPUB and PDF of every digital book I own).

    Zotero is the database of all source texts, notes, citations, etc.

    Google Drive File Stream allows everything to work pretty seamlessly across devices, and between apps.

    I read on my computer, phone, ipad, and remarkable tablet. The Remakable is new, and adds a bit of a wrinkle to the workflow, but it's not awful. On my phone, I just have to use the remarkable app to create a copy of a book / document and send it to remarkable. This breaks the beauty of the single-copy setup that I was using before but... easily being able to mark things up on that device is nice. I'm not yet sure if I prefer this, but playing with it for now. I got the Remarkable to mess around with it, so I might see if I can mount my Google Drive on it or sync it to a local directory on the tablet.

    In my Google Drive, I have a directory called `readings/`. This is the root directory in Zotero (I do not sync resources using Zotero). Within this folder is a subdirectory `readings/Calibre Library/` which, not suprisingly, is my Calibre library.

    Workflow for a new book resource from Amazon Kindle:

    1. Download book to computer
    2. Import book to Caliber and export EPUB and PDF (this brings the Kindle files into `readings/Calibre Library`, and also saves .epub and .pdf there. It's File Stream, so available to me everywhere now).
    3. Copy identifier from Calibre, and add a new record in Zotero by pasting the identifier.
    4. Attach link to the .epub and / or .pdf to the Zotero record
    5. Add .epub to whatever e-reader app(s) you prefer, if not Calibre / Kindle (or wherever you bought the book).

    All in it takes probably 3-5 minutes.
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