The long-awaited third DEVONthink generation debuts, quite literally, hundreds of new features and improvements. For DEVONthink 3 we have revisited every aspect of the app, from the user interface as a whole to the many details that make it a strong companion for every information worker.
Other pro-grade features include custom metadata, imprinting for images and PDF, a better OCR engine, and a completely rewritten web interface. New automation options like smart rules and flexible reminders let even non-programmers easily delegate repeating tasks to DEVONthink.
All editions support automation, multiple databases, and all file types. Learn more about the Pro and Server editions on the Editions page. Downloads Just one downloadable applicense codes enable or disable edition features. User Interface Application New integrated user interfaceutilizing panes and inspectors versus independent windows. Application Support for dark mode macOS Mojave and later. Inspectors Added the Info Inspector, showing general information and custom metadata Pro and Server editions only about selected files.
Inspectors New Content Inspector displaying the table of contents found in some files or the thumbnails for PDF documents. Inspectors New Document Inspector displaying indexed metadata, added annotations, and detected links.
Inspectors New Concordance Inspector giving you access to a word frequency list. It also has a new Cloud view, showing a word cloud with sizes based on frequency Pro and Server editions only. Inspectors New Search Inspector providing in-document search-and-replace and a list of search results, allowing for viewing the context of the search term and easy navigation through the document.
Sidebar New Import sidebar making scanning and email archiving easily accessible Pro and Server editions only. Sidebar New Reading List sidebar to gather items you want to read or return to at a later time. Sidebar New Extras sidebar providing you access to up to date scripts, templates, tips and tricks, and news from us. Sidebar New, less intrusive Activity pane. Sidebar Favorites can now contain documents. Security Encryption Databases can be encrypted for maximum privacy.
Search Extended search language using prefixes, e. These are also used in scripting. Search More precise highlighting of search hits when using proximity operators, e. Navigation New Filter panes allow for filtering the displayed groups and documents by tags, dates and marks label color, locked state, etc.
These allow quicker access to open, reorganize, small ring mauser tactical stock link to items in your databases. Reliability Tighter integration with the filesystem when using indexed files.
Office Support for adding custom imprints to images and PDFs, including placeholder text and Bates numbering Pro and Server editions only.September 12, I use it as a central repository on my Mac for almost every piece of information in my professional and personal life, including as a place to store personal and business records, deposition data, jury verdict reports, legal research, trial notebooks, and more.
DEVONthink 3 is too deep of an application for me to cover all its features, do it justice, and still live my life, but here are some bullet point highlights of my favorite additions and changes, after using the DEVONthink beta for the past few months.
Please note that these opinions were formed using the betas. The two most obvious changes concern the sidebar, and the inspector pane. The sidebar now has a dedicated area for all your inboxes, as well as a section for smart groups and smart rules more on smart rules below. If you use Hazel on your Mac, and ever wished DEVONthink offered a similar ability to auto file, auto tag, and more, your prayers have been answered.
You also can export those smart rules for use on other Macs. One of my favorite features of DEVONthink 2 is its use of artificial intelligence to suggest where I might want to file a document in my database.
Drag a file over the drawer, and the drawer expands to show pre-configured target locations within your databases. The new Sorter is much more robust. You can relocate it to the menu bar if you prefer, and now it shows all open databases and groups as targets, in nested-tree form, with your Favorites pinned to the top.
The Sorter includes other features as well, such as web clipping, note taking, and the ability to capture various types of media.
They still show up in DEVONthink, and you can work with them as you would other files in the app, but they actually reside elsewhere.
That has changed. In the improved and powerful inspector pane, you can add notes annotations to a document. This will be huge for lawyers who want to review records, and take notes as they go, since DEVONthink has always allowed you to grab links to specific pages of a PDF. This made for too much jumping around for me. So that brings me to my one main gripe.
This allowed me to hide the main sidebar containing my favorites and my database listand use a layout familiar to many lawyers — folders organized alphabetically Correspondence, Discovery, Litigation, etc. The third pane contained a view of the document itself.
Beta 2 introduced the ability to expand your groups under each database in the far left sidebar. So I now have the same three columns, but with the added clutter of additional information other databases, smart groups, etc. I can reduce this by closing other databases prior to going into court or a deposition, but this takes extra times, especially since my normal workflow has me dropping documents into several other databases throughout the day.
My other gripe is nitpicky, and I suspect it will be addressed going forward. DEVONthink 3 is the overhaul many users have been waiting for, with not only a nice facelift, but several enhancements and brand new features.
Check out the feature comparison on the DEVONtechnologies website for a breakdown of the differences. DEVONthink is a one-time purchase i. Purchases of all versions of DEVONthink come with two seats, with additional seats available for purchase.
Administrator Hello, I'm Evan. I write about tech from my perspective — that of the average tech geek, sometimes with my lawyer glasses on. You can also find me on Twitter and at my real-life job as a lawyer. Thanks for the blog post. How do format the differing colors for each database? September 16, — am. OMG, thank you! September 20, — pm. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.I was intrigued by the potential of bringing all my disparate notes into one friction-free digital home, enabling new connections and insights from all these books and ideas.
Before discovering Craft, I used an assortment of tools that never really meshed with how I liked to work. I did my writing in Ulysses. I kept stacks of orphaned index cards with book notes and insights in a card box. While I enjoyed the retrieval power of DevonThink, its obtuse editing function frustrated me why must I click into a different mode to edit a note? Its inefficient sync process frequently had me exasperated, waiting for my notes to appear on whatever device I was using.
I was stumbling along unhappily with this setup when I heard about a new note-taking app that MacStories named their app of the year. So, what is Craft? Its unique page and page-block system can include rich text, Markdown text, images, scans, Apple Pencil jottings, PDFs, and external links beautifully rendered on the same nicely formatted page. With links and back-links between documents and even specific paragraphs on a page, It checks all the boxes for a proper Zettelkasten tool.
Syncing is fast, sharing with others is simple and elegant, export options are robust, and real-time Google-like collaboration is built in.
The most important things to me were the ability to combine Markdown text and any kind of media on the same page, Zettelkasten-style links and back-links, and a native iPad app experience where I do most of my writing. I decided to give Craft a try over the holidays.
It took an evening to copy over decades worth of book notes and commonplace quotes from their various cubbyholes to Craft. I spent some extra time to drag book cover pictures my reviews and utilize the page styles that make this program so attractive. I began taking notes in Craft on the books I was reading. I felt drawn to the app, almost like the pull of social media apps like Facebook or Instagram, yet here, the content was my own creation.
It took another week to realize Craft is a writing tool that capably handles note storage and retrieval. To think of this as a mere note-taking app is missing the real power of the software. The user interface is simply beautiful. Text and images are centered in the page with wide margins and plenty of white space. It reminds me of the Things task management app, which is high praise. Hidden functionality awaits that is intuitive and powerful.
Rearrange entire paragraphs or reorder lists by simply dragging with your finger. Pull a quote into an essay from your book review also in Craft using split-screen. Drag in a picture from a website or your photo album, and it appears just like you would expect.
Performance is fast and stable. Keyboard commands exist for practically everything. Links and style formatting are simple to apply, letting my mind stay focused on the content. No friction. It just works. This is amazing for such a young app. I came to Craft thinking it might replace DevonThink as my notes archive. Craft won that battle easily, at least for my needs. With Craft, I seem to write better and with more focus. I have a few months before my Ulysses subscription renews.
My wish list for the app is surprisingly short.It seems a bunch of senior staff are heading out the door. I would be especially concerned for academic research. You may even find room in your workflow for both. In fact, it is one of the remaining reasons I still use macOS. I certainly hope to see those rumours come to fruition. For all its wonderful power, the interface has aged. Nonetheless, beneath that interface you will find the most powerful software available for information management and research.
The AI heuristics and advanced search are some of the best study and research tools you will find in any form. I wish had earlier than I did. The web clipper can clean a web page, and save multiple formats. It might be stripped back compared with the Evernote clipper, but it does an admirable job at capturing what you need. The best part is, it speaks Markdown. Not only is it smarter, but your data remains private and secure. Migrating your data to DEVONthink is trivial, as it can connect to Evernote directly to pull everything across with a single click.
And, with the help of Workflow migrating you data on an iPad is not as difficult as many would have you believe. I have even setup some workflow shortcuts to help with the process. See my post on migrating Evernote data. It avoids all the pitfalls of a web based, proprietary system by building a stack on plain text. Not only is Notebooks a clever app, it is lean and your data remains future proof.
If you want to avoid ever falling into the Evernote trap again, I would give this a serious look. I have just started putting the ability to extract tasks automatically to good use.
Notebooks can be set to extract tasks from a line in any note, by nominating a special character or phrase to indicate a line as a task.
Notebooks will now extract the task from the text, and set a reminder. This is ingenious. It also opens up all kinds of possibilities with Siri Shortcuts, using Notebooks Siri integration. Mac and iOS users have options for alternatives to Evernote. It has everything an everyday user might need, right down to document scanning and shared notes.
I can also understand why Bear has become so popular, the interface is a delight. At the same time, both of those apps are built on a database that ultimately obscures the notes themselves. For more on Notebooks, see links to my recent posts below.
Note Taking Automation with Notebooks, Workflow etc. Instead, you can index any folder, anywhere on your Mac. Because Notebooks stores data in native file formats, which are accessible directly from the file system, DEVONthink and Notebooks are very compatible.Aug 31, 24 comments.
Note taking apps seem to be growing in popularity as of late.
But not just for taking notes in the conventional sense. These are notes that are tiny in nature but, when linked together, they become a powerful database with which to explore thought and build ideas. But another one that is certainly worth exploring is Obsidian. It provides a solid linking and back-linking system, and has quite a snazzy graphing mechanism, to boot.
Now, you may be worried, as is often the case in the world of productivity, about choosing what to use. Fortunately, you can use both. DEVONthink is the sort of app that plays well with others. It integrates a whole host of functions and then lets you use most any other app alongside it. DEVONthink has recently had a small but quite significant change in its WikiLinks preferences that accommodates this rather well for note-linking apps. Checking both Square Brackets and Names and Aliases.
I often discover having written about something without remembering having done so. Now, however, because of the change to the preferences, I can have both. Note in Obsidian. You can see that the note shows links within the body of text, but I also use the bracketed links. The bracketed links have become a way to signify linking on a more meaningfully-near scheme, while the in-text links also function to help me discover softer links, ideas that are further off perhaps.
DEVONthink and Notebooks: Alternatives to Evernote
These can really help me consider those interesting connections I might not have otherwise considered. In order to set this up, you only need to have both programs point to the same set of files. However, I am debating on using iCloud instead.Kourosh Dini is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and productivity expert.
He is the author of an excellent book on how to take smart notes using DEVONthink, a personal information management tool. In this conversation, we discuss smart note-taking and how DEVONthink can help us work more effectively. Download episode Some show notes may include Amazon affiliate links.
I get a small commission for purchases made through these links. For folks who might not know you, can you please tell us about yourself? Kourosh: Sure. And I work with clients, I see patients and do some medication, but also do a lot of talk therapy type work. And I can add one more: I enjoy video games.
So all of that together is whatever I am. I reached out to you because of the productivity side of that formula. Kourosh: What are smart notes? And he had based it on the Zettelkasten approach; this idea of having individual notes that really captured a single idea that would then link to other notes. Which in turn would link back and based on this approach that the sociologist — Luhmann was it? And then Sonke Ahrens had translated that into these digital versions.
So, smart notes, I think encapsulates a lot of different ideas that come from that very simple process. Again, the simple process is: You have a single note that has maybe a single idea to it, and then you connect that to other notes.
And what makes it smart, I think, is where you start to reflect on those notes. Jorge: I remember when I was in school, I would take copious notes of what the teacher was saying. And later on, when I was in professional context — in meetings — I would also try to take notes of what was being said in a meeting, right?
And I was not trying to be verbatim at that point but trying to summarize on the fly. Kourosh: Absolutely. Maybe do homework with or something like that. You want the ideas to be able to come to you when and where they are useful to you and you want them to stay out of the way otherwise. But then as you develop that, the hard part is where you start looking at what these notes are saying and how they might be different. Again, by writing on a sketchbook, but I was limited to what was on my mind.
Is that a fair description of it? So, you can actually do the other work of thinking on top of that. You can build on top of those ideas much more easily. I was in a discussion a couple of weeks ago with friends who were talking about migrating from Evernote and they were considering Notion. Or another one that we hear about a lot these days is Roam Research. There are quite a number of note-taking apps and new ones coming up all the time.Bundles everything up from other types of notes into a single Web archive file and then imports it into DEVONthink, and Throws the temporary files in the trash for you.
It also attempts to preserve metadata like tags, dates, etc. See Below Want to steer items into a group or make a new group? The script changes the "Creation" and "Last Modified" dates to match the original item in Evernote.
Tag transfer is also supported -- but must be enabled manually see below. If you bring over a bunch of notes from Evernote with lots of different tags, your group list is going to be populated with them as well. To me, this is counter-intuitive enough to where I feel the need to leave it "shut off" -- but you can certainly turn it on if that's what you prefer. If you do decide to try it, I'd suggest that you start with a few notes and examine the results in DEVONthink to see if you like it.
To enable transfer of tags, you just need open up the script in your favorite editor and change the value of the first property called transferTags to "ON":. The file names are sometimes altered in the exported version if they include typographical characters that would halt the file creation process; Attachment transfer can be inconsistent and your file may not save with the new note. This is something that I hope to revamp in the "2.
You should always proceed cautiously at first to understand how the script works before moving large amounts of your files around.
New in DEVONthink 3
I use this script myself and feel very comfortable with using it, but I cannot accept any responsibility for any data misadventure you might suffer. Use at your own risk! The comment thread isn't a great way to report and diagnose individual bug reports or questions.
Please click here to send a bug report directly to me. Can you be my hero and help me fix this?? I will do anything to help, I am really in trouble without this script, thanks! Have a number of new AppleScripts — including a completely rewritten version of this one with a bunch of bug fixes!
Hope to publish very soon… but anyone who wants to get an early look can always send me a message with the Contact Form or a note to the Veritrope. Justin, any news on this script update?
The current official script crashes after a few exports. Much appreciated. Version 1. Justin, great — working well. Really well. Makes using Evernote long-term reassuringly feasible. Hi there, I am getting the same problem. The result was that I get another error message:.
Hey Justin, thanks for the quick reply! I am attempting to use your script to import from Evernote Version 3. As is, the script copies the EN link in to DT. Thank you for the script. I downgraded evernote to 3. I just installed the Evernote 5. I been traveling quite a bit, but I hope to get to updating the script soon… Check back or follow on Twitter for the latest updates!