Best way to take copious notes?

Hello. I’m a longtime user of DTPO and DTTG and not going anywhere. Love everything it can do.

That said, I’m in several classes now, and like to keep all the handouts, emails, etc. together with the notes I take in class. All that probably makes sense. The issue is… The text editor in DTTG is just plain not good. The interface is not good to look at, the styling options are weak, and the cursor seems to have a mind of its own. I have read enough forum posts to know that DT is working on improvements - again, I’m not going anywhere, so I’m not trying to trash DTTG or make a specific suggestion.

My question to folks out there… Do you use another app when you need to take copious notes (meaning, more than just a few sentences), and then send them over to DTTG? If so, what do you use? Do you bother trying to manage those files, or just send them to DTTG and remove them from the originating app?

Any advice and help would be great.


How much is “copious”? 500 words – 50,000 words? What kind of notes are you taking – text; text + images / drawings; annotated documents? The answer matters.

If you’re on the lower end of the range, 500 - 1000 word notes, then use a good markdown editor that works with iOS Files so you can create / open and save files directly into DEVONthink to Go groups. TextTastic, for example.

If you’re on the upper end of the range then you’ll want to move over to Scrivener or Ulysses – but you’ll lose interactivity with DEVONthink to Go.

If you’re taking notes + diagramming / images then consider GoodNotes or Notability and export your finished notes back to DEVONthink to Go. GoodNotes also works with iOS Files.

I never use DEVONthink’s internal editors – not on macOS and not on iOS. Reminds me of TextEdit. I really dislike TextEdit. There are very few editors less useful than TextEdit and its clones. I always use external editors and send results to DEVONthink on either platform. (Jim will no doubt correct me, but that’s that :smiley: )

Thanks, I should have been more specific…

I would say, usually typewritten, sometimes with an embedded image or link. In the neighborhood of 500-1500 words per class, maybe a bit more.

It sounds like a Markdown editor would be good, but it would have to be able to handle the images/links, and I just don’t know enough about Markdown to make a good choice among them. Again, any suggestions are welcome. If TextTastic handles the images and links and you think it’s the best, I’m happy to use something that can put a file directly into a DTTG group…

Thanks again.

Where are the images located? In the database? iOS Photos? Somewhere else?

Almost any markdown editor can handle images, but what matters is where you are getting the images and/or image links while you are taking notes. Are you adding images on the fly, or after the class while you are editing notes.

Images: Sometimes added on the fly, sometimes after class.

Coming from web or Photos.



On iOS I use Drafts. It’s absolutely excellent for first creation of Markdown notes, which you then can send very quickly to DTTG.

Round-tripping I do mainly on macOS with Emacs straight on the Markdown files in the DEVONthink database bundle.

Images insertion:

In regards to images, Web pictures are easy, if you are happy with external links. Just paste the web address inside the Markdown image tag:


Images from the Photos app involve a few more steps: 1. Share the picture from the Photos app to DTTG. 2 In DTTG find the image and long-press it in the result list then select “Copy Item Link” 3. use this link in the Markdown image tag:



Ditto for Drafts on iOS. I’m on the Drafts 5 beta and it is amazing.

On macOS, I like Multimarkdown Composer as my external editor of choice for .md files. You can also use Ulysses, but many of the cool features of Ulysses don’t translate to MultiMarkdown (which is what DEVONthink uses).