Could use some help transitioning from PE to Pro

Am very happy to see the Pro edition is now out. As a PE user, has anyone written a short ‘how to best make the transition’ guide? I’ve checked out the tutorial but it seems targeted to the new DT user, not necessarily someone entrenched in the PE paradigm trying to figure out how to operate in Pro.

Even just 2-3 top suggestions on how to think and work differently to start harnessing the power of Pro would be great. Perhaps that thread is out there, but i’ve been scanning and haven’t found it yet so i thought i’d throw this out there.

Been using it for a few days now and it seems very solid, but i haven’t been tapping into any of the new features yet. not really sure where and how to start.

for example, automatic grouping. is it the same as auto classify except operating on multiple documents at one time? or is it somehow more/different than that? Given that i have auto classify enabled in preferences, i’m not sure when/why i’d use auto grouping.

with downloading/archiving websites for offline viewing, i don’t see the ability to specify number of levels. What’s the intent of this capability? is it different than something like Site Sucker? Could I, for example, use DT Pro to download all of my personalized yahoo news page up to the displayed page and the links the next layer down so i could browse the news on an airplane?

how about multiple databases. what’s the process benefit of this? i’d imagine it’s perhaps more useful for someone like Bill DeVille who has a pretty hefty database as opposed to someone like me who is still growing his. Is it a way to manage performance issues as a db grows or is there some other benefit? i have difficulty seeing a pure process benefit from fragmenting my one database into multiples.

how are y’all using sheets/tables? is it a way to have a more notebook-like option of inputting/storing data?

I guess i’m looking for reasons to upgrade to Pro and I think I’m missing the power and rationale behind some of these new features. one thing i have found that I really like is the 3-pane view. Makes browsing through my db much easier.

For what it’s worth, I would just start using Pro in the same way that you have been using PE, then gradually experiment with the new features. It doesn’t need to be anything more complicated than that!!!


rollo…i understand what you’re saying but for me, i really don’t have time to play around with the software trying to figure out what the heck i’d use a certain feature for. I’m sure it was developed specifically to address some functional or structural issues. Would just love to know what those were so i can determine if it’s a feature i should invest the time in to figure out.

take grouping. i’ve played with it a couple times, not really sure what the heck is happening. I took 5 docs that weren’t assigned to a folder, highlighted them all and hit the group button and it put them all into their own new folder. either i’m missing something or it’s a feature i’ll never use again.

or multiple databases. why? again, is it to offset performance issues as a db grows or are there other reasons. sure, i can fragment my db into multiples, but why would i want to do that?

would love to hear from folks who eagerly awaited these new features to tell us how they are using and extracting value from them.

I use this a lot when I have items that I want to put in a new group. Much faster than creating the new group first, then moving the items. But if the group already exists, I just drag and drop or control-click and move.

Well, I guess it depends on how you like to work. For me this was the number one reason I was looking forward to DT Pro. When I first started using DT-PE, I was mostly looking for a way to store and organize bits and pieces of information and articles that I was picking up on the web, and it worked beautifully for that purpose. But then I found that DT was also perfect for keeping track of my folders full of genealogy data on my hard drive. It wasn’t impossible to keep that in the same database, but I much prefer to keep it in a separate one. It’s something I work on quite separately from my web-surfing, has tons of sub-groups, and it’s just less distracting for me to have it in a different database. I probably won’t split up the rest of my main database though, because I like having all my general info in one place, and also it’s easier to do rich text clippings from Safari if they all go into one main database.

that makes sense. i’ve also read about people who use DT for practicing the Getting THings Done system and they use a very specific folder naming convention to accommodate this. Might make more sense to keep that in a separate database.

i don’t use DT like that (at least not yet anyway) so i’ve yet to encounter a process reason to split it up, but am starting to see situations where it would be helpful.

It’s a convenient method of moving selected items into a newly-created group without first creating the group then moving items into it. Somewhat analogous to New Playlist From Selection in iTunes.

Recently discussed in another thread or three.

I immediately found use for many new features as they were added to DT Pro during alpha/beta testing. And others, some old and some new, I don’t foresee ever using. And a few may become useful with further refinement.

[edit: I just saw Clara’s earlier followup and much of what I just wrote is redundant]