Academic Lifehacker


Tools and ideas to improve academic efficiency

Fluxiom: is it the solution to online PDF organization?


I thought I’d found the answer to all my PDF organization needs when I stumbled across Fluxiom. This online file management/DAM solution offers the ability to upload, tag, and search files from any computer to a hosted account.

I thought that it could be a good centralized solution to DevonThink for those of us on Windows, with the added bonus of being available from any computer. Sort of like a personal Google Books.

When I saw the price, I’ll admit that I winced a bit. Nine euros for the lowest-level plan seemed a little steep. However, the site design is amazing, and the functionality seemed well worth the price.

The About page boasts that Fluxiom provides “Full text search: Fast search inside documents like PDF, Excel, Word, Powerpoint, and others.”

However… once I scrolled down to the bottom of the Overview page, I discovered to my dismay that only the Basic (29 euros/month), Pro (89 euros/month), and Deluxe (169 euros/month) plans offer the full-text search feature.

For me, the full-text search within documents was the major selling feature. And 29 euros a month is rather a stretch for any academic budget. The 9 euros I might be able to justify to myself, but 29 is a bit much…

Do any readers have an alternative online PDF organizer they’d like to share? (Or does anyone have any friends at Fluxiom who we could sweet-talk into providing full-text search on the Private-level plan?)


Filed under: Bibliographies, Books, Files, Online, Organization, PDF, Research, Tools, Web

6 Responses

  1. lemire says:

    It looks like too much “fluffiness” anyhow.

  2. JamesH says:

    Zotero, the excellent open source bibliographic utility, can index the full text of pdf’s stored in it’s database, using platform specific programs with only a little setup.

    When you suck a citation from many online databases, Zotero will automatically grab the pdf (if it’s available). On sites where this is not automatic, it’s easy to drag a link to a pdf into your library, or to select a file on your computer. Zotero can pull in almost all bibliographic files, so it’s easy to migrate to, and everything is stored in a transparent way, so you will never be locked in.

    Zotero is a firefox plugin, but in future versions will have a built-in web accessible dimension for collaboration and availability from any computer.

  3. Fluxiom looks awesome. I definitely need to check that out. I was going to recommend Zotero – but James beat me to the punch. Zotero is my favorite research plugin for Firefox. It quickly allows me to save pdfs and citations for online journals. I can assemble my work cited lists in minutes now.

  4. jccalhoun says:

    Personally, I tend to just use OCR software on PDFs to turn them into .doc or .rtf files that are then easy to have the computer index and search through

  5. JC,

    Would you care to elaborate on the exact steps of your process for conversion for a neophyte? I would appreciate knowing how you work things–whenever I try to do what you describe, it takes an inordinate amount of time. Plus, I try to use free software. Half the time the software or sites crash. Any advice/insights are most welcome!


  6. beeray says:

    Fluxiom seems ok for photos and filetypes where looking at thumbnails is critical, but there is not much you can do for the two main file types of the academic: PDFs and websites(HTML!).

    Its been 3 years since this post and many similar ones for people looking to replace DevonThink with a real Windows alternative, with only partial successes. Any luck anybody? Couldn’t the academic community pay someone to make a clone of DevonThink for Windows in 3 years?

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