Alternative to DEVONthink for Windows users

As a business coach, I will soon be giving a conference on time management and personal effectiveness.

DEVONthink is one of the tools I can no longer do without in my daily work and that I would like to present to the participants.

Of course DEVONthink is unique… but do you know any “comparable” tools that I could recommend on a Windows platform?

Thank you for your suggestions!

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See Switching from Mac to PC

No chance. Buy a Mac. :grinning:

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Obviously there is definitely no alternative to DTP on Windows…

The nearest I’ve come across is Zoot - I haven’t used to for a long time, but it’s feature-rich and may work as a substitute.

Don’t forget Evernote - it may suffice for many people

Holy mackerel, when I saw the subject line of this topic I thought about Zoot – which I have not thought about in many months, and not for many years before that.

Zoot was my introduction to this sort of “everything bucket” app. I also tried Info Select – which is also on Windows and may be an answer to @Claude’s question, assuming it’s still updated – and then to DevonThink and Evernote.

My introduction to Zoot was an article by journalist James Fallows, of all people. He is the former editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, and reports mainly on public policy and politics. I wonder if he is still using Zoot?

Three more probable options:

  • Microsoft OneNote will be the most accessible to most Windows users. It doesn’t get you the search and “see also” of DevonThink.
  • Obsidian and Roam Research take a different approach to the content-organization problems than DevonThink/OneNote/Evernote do. They rely on links and backlinks, like a personal Wikipedia. But they achieve the same goal of organizing information. They have search. AFAIK there’s nothing comparable to “see also,” but users report the same kind of serendipitous connections just by following the links they themselves made in the past.
    • Another liability of Roam and Obsidian compared with DT: DT supports pretty much any kind of document that your computer can read, whereas Obsidian only supports Markdown, PDF, and images. I’m not as familiar with Roam, but I believe it has the same limitations.

P.S. Partial answer to my own question: Fallows comes up in this forum as a person who advocated DT in a 2005 NYTimes article about “everything bucket” apps.

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James Fallows switched to Mac a while ago, and is a fan of Tinderbox (and significant contributor to the TB forums. He has some comments on this stuff here from 2016.

In fact, it’s partly his fault that I took up Tinderbox

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I’m torn on whether I should read that Fallows link. He’s a wonderful writer and I enjoy his articles – but I fear he’ll make me want to try Tinderbox!

Thank you all for your suggestions.

Here is a summary of “Window’s alternatives” to DEVONthink, maybe this list will be useful to someone else:



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I have difficulty considering OneNote, Evernote as any kind of alternative to DEVONthink. And Obsidian and Roam are in a completely different universe from DEVONthink.


Back in the days, when I was using Windows PC, I used some programs to collect, store and find information in.

Those were:

Whilst I’m not going to advocate using it, Paperless (Mariner Software; available for Mac and Windows) has some of the functionality of DT. I used v2 a while back, but found it to be less reliable than DT; it also had no AI, and whilst it had smart groups, it didn’t have smart rules. I suspect it also wasn’t scriptable. I don’t know what has changed with the current v3.

(So, like the other “alternatives”, it isn’t really an alternative for a “power-user”)

I completely agree, but these may be (degraded) options for Windows users who are not fortunate enough to have DEVONthink

… before I switched from Windows to MacOS I used TheBrain. Actually it is a system with knowledge management capabilities. There is one downside: if you need a multi-user/multi-device solution you will need their own cloud solution. No iCloud/dropbox/WebDav, …
However, I think it is worth to check it …

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Before I moved to MacOS/DT years ago (2012), I used EloOffice on my Windows client as document management system.

The product is still on the market and you will find additional information:

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Very happy to read numerous suggestions about windows application somewhat close to Devon tech : I agree there is nothing exact

I tried google desktop earlier bit now old versions don’t work well at all
So was looking fr new alternatives
Pooled these
But can’t share
Links not allowed

Welcome @Anilg

Can you post the names of potential applications for now?