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.
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”)
… 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 …