Devon for prosumers

Is there a future for Devon – Think, Note or whatever – as a professional tool for others than documentarists, librarians and academic researchers?
I have been using Devon Think since it was in the beta stage, eagerly following it’s development (as an example I registered to this forum as number 12, the day after CG Grünenberg 14 March, 2003).
As a registered user of Devon Think PE, DTPE, the “personal” edition, and Devon Note, DN, I use daily Devon daily in my work as a journalist to collect reports, usually pdf:s and news clippings, rtf:s or rtdf:s, collected through Safari or NetNewsWire.
I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t think that DevonThink was the best repository around, just the “See Also” functionality is a strike of genius.
Once the “pro” versions came I tested them, but found them too bloated and less intuitive than the original versions and chose to stay with DTPE, even though it was downgraded to make the “pro” and “office” versions look better. (As an example of the downgrading I can mention that DTPE:s rudimentary scriptability disappeared, as did the possibility to save MS doc:s in their original format as you can do with pdf:s.)
Naively, I thought that Devon would restore the lost functionality in due course, and continue to develop it’s whole product range.
I admit to some naivety, going on hoping, while the last feedback at Versiontracker on DTPE and DN was in August and October 2005 respectively. Apparently everyone else has given DN/DTPE up.
Should also I do that? Let me know?
There is not a lot I would expect from a new “prosumer” version of Devon:
• Basically a DevonNote that accepts also pdf, QuickTime and maybe also jpg files.
• A three pane window, which is standard today, something like in the basic note-taker Mori.
• Smart folders.
• A real full screen capability, something like the bare-bones and elegant WriteRoom.
• Some basic scriptability that, at least, make it possible to archive mail from
Not a lot?
Is there still hope, or have Devon decided to leave the pro/consumer market for good?


Your wish-list describes the current versions of DT Pro & Office. I’m a journalist too, and I also use DT every day; only I use Office because it allows me to file emails into DT. Bloated? on the surface it looks exactly the same as DTPE - you choose how far you want to dig down in its features.

I’m keen to see the next incarnation of DT, particularly integration with the OS X file system, but for now all that’s between you and your ideal DT is an upgrade fee. You just have to decide whether you’re a consumer or a professional, rather than sitting on the fence.


Suppose you have a point. It’s just a bit irritating to be a paying user of a software that get stripped of features and doesn’t get a real upgrade for years. (version 1.5 was introduced 2002-02-02, the present version is 1.9.9).
If the developer has stopped developing a program, I would appreciate if they said so, not just go on marketing it.

I’m sorry but that’s not true. For example v1.7.x, v1.8 and v1.9 were major and free updates.

And we didn’t “strip off” features - we’ve streamlined the product line by removing the almost useless scriptability of DT Personal but we’ve also added Pro features like full screen viewing and iPod/website export at the same time.

V1.0 was introduced 2002-03-31 :wink:

I refreshed my memory by looking at Versiontracker, that apparently is not correct. So, not more than five years+ from v1.0 to 1.9.9.

To your other points. One man’s streamlining is another man’s downgrading.

The scriptability was rudimentary, but useful for some purposes. e.g. I had a droplet on which I could drop files and folders, thereby importing them into DT and at the same time clear them from the desktop (the original .doc files landed up in DT:s “Files” folder where I could reach them from DT. Very convenient, if you ask me.), I had scripted folders whose content was mirrored in DT.

Rudimentary, yes, but useful, worth developing instead of being chopped off.

The UI was not revolutionary, but up to par 2002. 2007 a three pane window is not a “pro” feature, nor are smart folders. And, a bare bones application like WriteRoom runs circles around DT when it comes to full screen functionality.

I know I sound too negative, DT (and DN) still has strenghts that put it apart from the crowd, and a helpful development team :wink:. But it is not a one horse race anymore.

I guess that the question I want answered, that I have asked many times before, is if there are any thoughts about a future for Devons “lighter” applications, or if they are going to stay Cinderellas that every now and then gets a crumb from the favored siblings table.

Perhaps pro/office/power-user is the way to go for Devon. If that’s so, just say so :exclamation:

There will be Personal/Pro/Office editions of DEVONthink 2. But the development of the more powerful editions will be always faster: More features mean that there’s more stuff to improve/fix :wink:

Having cleared the niceties and established that some sort of personal edition is here to stay and will be developed, why not ask ourselves what such a creature should look like: what are our hopes and requests?
I suppose the main difference between Personal and Pro is the multiple database capacity. I tried it and it really didn’t do anything for me. Since I couldn’t have more than one base open at the time, I found that for me the combination of DT Personal and DevonNote was better. I could use DT as a repository while DN provided me a base for notetaking and a basic writing environment. (two bases for me also mean two languages, as most of the files in DT are in English, while my own writing, notes etc. are in Swedish, my mother tongue).
So what are we looking for? I’m hoping to see something like this:

• Basically a DevonNote that accepts also pdf, QuickTime and maybe also jpg files preferably with capability to handle more than one database or view.
• A three pane window, which is standard today, something like in the basic note-taker Mori.
• Smart folders.
• A real full screen capability, something like the bare-bones and elegant WriteRoom.
• Capability to save mail from as rtf in one step. (As it is now I first have to save the mail as rtf to the desktop, import it manually into DT or DN, then delete it from the desktop. The same goes for pdf:s that now has to be downloaded and then imported.
If possible I also want to restore the old way of handling Windows docs, see my earlier response. Also I wish to see a way to import and simultaneously delete files from the desktop or wherever, something like the droplet I once had.
Otherwise scriptability is not on my wish list. It might be useful for some, but doesn’t really turn me on. It’s always better if things work without scripts.

That’s my wish list. I dare say that it is very reasonable, considering that we are talking about a note-taker/database program that has been around for more than five years now.


I don’t get it. Nearly all those features are available in DEVONthink Pro. So you just want them in the personal version, to percolate down as a freebie.

You may or may not get that – one thing is, you can keep waiting, or you can just get DT Pro and get them all, now… they have been available for about 2 years now.

So I’ll try to explain to you. Slowly. DevonNote and DevonThink PE are two commercial products (no “freebies”) sold by Devon Technology, that have not developed much during the last five years. This is the forum to inquire about their future development and suggest improvements (I suppose thats why the forum is called “DT/DN Requests & Suggestions”).

Still don’t get it?

Oh, I get it. You are suggesting that DT make the “pro” features available to users of the “personal” product, probably because you don’t want to pay for the “pro” product.

Which is, of course, your choice. Keep in mind, though, that “upgrading” the personal version in this way effectively downgrades the pro version, making people less willing to pay its higher price. Thus, you shouldn’t be surprised if neither DT nor current users of the pro version are terribly sympathetic to your position.

Personally, I’m inclined to wonder why you don’t just pay for the pro version. It’s not that much more expensive. If you’re a working writer, the improved productivity would have paid for itself in the time you’ve spent posting here, much less the time it would take DT to actually implement your suggested changes to DT Personal.


Oh, you do, do you, Katherine? You’re certainly a real pro!

So you do get that I have paid for and use two of Devon’s commericial products, DevonNote and Devon Think (a package that, I admit, is slightly cheaper that the “pro” version), as I’ve found that combination more conveniant than the “pro” version, as it lets me have more than one database open at any time.
Perhaps you’ve also understood from my earlier posts that I’m interested in the upgrade, that have been promised for a long time (most recently in this thread), and that I know that this upgrade will not come for free.
If you have read my earlier posts, you, smart as you are, might also have understood that I’m slightly peeved by the slow pace of development and by the fact that the personal edition has been de facto downgraded to make the the “pro” version look better.
I’m confident, that you have also understood that this is the forum to discuss and make “requests & suggestions” concerning future upgrades .
If you have understood that much, I’m positive that you also understand why I resent being called a cheapskate by flamers who are anyhow not interested in the matters I bring up.


Whoa, guys…I hate to see two excellent members of the forum get so peeved with each other. Let me suggest a new route of discussion. Mats, you might like to experiment in your workflow with Journler. It has a journaling section, which is handy for developing thoughts that are time-stamped, but it also functions like DN, in that you may create folders and drop in all sorts of files, and then view them in the right pane. It also has tagging, stores multimedia, has Dictionary support, and Address Book integration. The cost for a personal user is $10. You might want to give it a try: And peace.

Thanks howarth, funny that you should suggest Journler. Just downloaded it last night and started to play with it. Looks very promising.
And peace be with you too, and all excellent members of this forum.