First of all, I really like Mendeley, but there are certainly things that I don’t like very much too.. I will plan to add to this blog entry as I think about it. Over the years, I have figured out a number of tips for Mendeley, and occasionally, I have needed to revisit them. Inevitably, I would resort to Google and waste substantial amounts of time trying to relearn the tips that I had already figured out in the past.
I highly recommend that you keep your pdf library on a computer drive that it not your C: drive. You can map any folder on your hard drive to a new drive letter. In my case, I am using a server to store my files and I have mapped it as my Z: drive. This will allow me to map any future folder, thumb drive, or server folder as my Z: drive and my file links will be maintained in Mendeley. This is one of the most frustrating things about Mendeley.
After years of fighting with Mendeley when I switch computers, hard drives, or some other major task, I made a recent discovery. I had a backup of all of my pdf files on one computer in a folder located on my C: drive at C:\Lit. I wanted my Mendeley database to link to the files on my server space at Z:\Lit rather than C:\Lit. I tried to use SQLite to edit the Mendeley database, but encountered problems with the different version of the SQL library between Mendeley and my computer. Finally, I thought to go to Mendeley > Tools > File Organizer and under “Organize my files” I changed the C:\Lit to Z:\Lit. Lo and behold, Mendeley copied all of my pdfs in my functioning pdf database to my new server location AND it updated all of the file locations in the program to the new file locations on my Z Drive! Success! This tip may save you (and my future self) many hours of headaches.