Devonthink as writing environment

I’m interested enough in this topic to sign in and make an account for the first time so that I can post this question. I am giving serious thought to what writing environment I’d like to choose and there is already a separate Scrivener topic. I have used Scrivener, Storymill and Ulysses and each has somewhat different take on what makes the perfect workplace.

There was a question in one of the posts on the Scrivener thread which asked for any example databases or real examples of what someone who uses Devonthink to write is doing with it. Johannes what you posted was something like a collection of gold, with so many possibilities that no other software is doing, all at once.


Is there any hope of being able to see a public version or example of what you are doing?

Patrick much respect, I would also ask you the same question.


How does it work for you? With your background I am very curious why your tools of choice are Devonthink and TextEdit? I don’t know who Johannes is or what he is working on (I checked if you had a web site listed or any public information and am presuming you are being anonymous or private which I respect and don’t wish to bother you). You are easy to look up Patrick and not being anonymous. I know you’re being glib, but without being facetious with all the top notch, mac-centric writing software that is evolving, why Devonthink? Why do you use TextEdit if you are already using Devonthink? Were you being serious?

I am trying to wrap my head around everything that’s inside Devonthink and it looks more like a near-endless collection of parts that you can use to build whatever environment you want. But I can’t so much visualize what either one of you may be looking at, because Devonthink is so vast that I am having difficulty imaging how to assemble the parts into a writing database if that makes sense?

I would very much like to know the answer to the same question that was asked here as well by Jennifer


Steven Johnson has written at great length how he gathers together and prepares to work, using Devonthink to start himself and then loads all of it into whatever word processor he is using (which changes with every book according to what he’s said). He’s not writing within Devonthink though, he is using it more in the complementary manner that others describe using Devonthink and Scrivener, only instead of Scrivener he uses a word processor.

Are there any example databases for what a writer who writes within Devonthink may be using? If there are none, why not?

All I’ve found online is mostly unimpressive. I don’t mean that in a negative way, only in the way that it sounds like what everybody else is doing by gathering together their research. … nthink-pro … ok/1609798

These are using the older 1 versions of Devonthink, but there don’t look to be any real examples of a writer taking full advantage of what makes Devonthink unique. The closest example I have ever seen was Johannes post, which I am having difficulty visualizing.

(Sorry I missed your post until you mentioned it somewhere else.)

If have been thinking about sharing an example database for quite some time. Unfortunately this is nothing I can do within an hour. An empty database won’t show you much. And some of my scripts are dirty-quick-hack-it-till-it-works-somehow sort of programming. They need some debugging and code sweeping before going public.

If more people are interested in my example database I will tried to put something together. But I think it does not make much sense until DTP 2 is out of beta.


Thank you for your reply, I understand that people’s private databases are private, but if you ever get your database in a state where I could even see screenshots with parts of blurred out if you don’t want to include them, that would be much appreciated.

I do wish that DevonThink would at least do something like Bento has done and offer a template/database exchange, with a larger assortment of examples. Most of the videos online and the material in Devon Academy all relate to old versions of DevonThink and aren’t really all that great to begin with. I know the DevonThink book is coming which would be nice, but a template and database exchange would, I think, be much nicer and a lot more useful. … /index.jsp

mikeh, What is this about??

Sounds like it could be a terrific help.