DEVONTHINK + v1:Obsidian or v2:iAWriter or v3:Bear

Hi Dev-Pros.

I use the whole Apple Eco System only.
I have DT3+DTTG since year but have not learn trough its features so deep. Right no I throw everything at it to capture and look at anytime at it. Now is the time that , anytime is now. :slight_smile:

What want to do and need and like:

I want to use devonthink for data storage archive . And I found READWISE + their READER very nice for clipping and highlighting, but I know that DT§-DTTG can do that also somehow any.

I am not so much the tech nerd person, rather more a person which likes easy workflows which go by it own - automation.

I WANT TO (CAPTURE) work out some books ( real books - our scan some highlights, and kindle books with readwise) and also make notes to audio books audible someway easy. and also sometimes my handwritten notes ( I like writing old school pens too ).
I WANT TO WEBCLIP also websites, highlights or , read later pages I have stores in readwise …
I WANT TO RECHERCHE in the Data captured somewhere (Devonthink or obsidian , + sync of READWISE Notes/caputes) and sort them and gather my learnings together TO:
a- make courses
b- make keynotes
c- write blogs and post
d- make Youtube videos or Podcast
e- SCRIPTING for all of those Content (Outlining)

I must say normally I use Mindmaps first ( Ayoa ) to structure and brainstorm my ideas. Maybe that will be different if I use stored data from DV or else. Mindmapping is for new ideas creation now not learning out of data. But I am open to ideas of workflows.

SO CONTENT CREATION is at the end of the line. Not really a book (yet) - scrivener I know also but seems maybe to big for writing, but I own it to.

I like writing with the notes besides open or structuring ideas first. Sometimes I just write , but then I loos very easy the red line and eveything is getting to big - nobody will read this big things :non-potable_water:

I need to design my workflow for data capture and storage and then writing for learning and making excerpts and content. so writing and data view , data storage, data mining and data ideas it the point.

I have looked at obsidian ( I like extremely the bidirectional linking - I NEED THAT I HAVE WAITED FOR THIS - BUT I think DV can not do this easy like obisidian) and I have looked and read the features of iAWriter which has also bi-directional linking as obsidian. Bear does have some sort of cross linking they call it. but this is maybe not real bidirectional linking. I like the optics of bear and the Apple Watch note function because I use it often on AW with 2do-app.

Q1: is the electron thing with apps like obsidian a big problem. , its hughe and needs a lot of memory. I have Apple MBPM1max 32g but obsidian seems a monster or ramusage. is electron by itself a problem? should I stay away from this if I need to do video 4k editing too. would be a writer solution and DT3 better if I just need the bidirectional linking.

Q2: what is the better place to store all data. I love DT for that but how can I get obsidian with DT and storing all data optimal , including readwise data sync to somewhere. the linking I have tried in DT but this seems too simple its just a reference , no real link- or I have not understood it yet and do it wrong - which is very likely :wink: - I NEED A BIDIRECTIONAL LINKING SOLUTION.

Q3: how good is search and find in obsidian vs DT3?

Q4: READWISE must be in the workflow solution also, cause of the read later functions. I know DT3 has a web clipping I use heavily but I dont read in DT3, so this is why my data is grounding there and not read. I hope a nice app like readwise with easy highlight and annotation and notes system will help me read my clipped data. but maybe you folks can show me an EASY and same nice looking way of using DT3 as READWISE. good thing about Readwise is its not expensive or free too.

Q5: I need then a system to store my WHOLE CONTENT which I produce myself, not the stored one. where to put this to have an easy workflow with video editing or YouTube video listings and keeping the whole thing in shape and order to see and know what I have done already. meaning a content management for videos , podcasts and texts (Blog).

Q6: what is the difference between obsidian and iaWriter, what is iAWriter missing when connected to DT3. is a DT3+iAWriter a good setup for bidirectional linking and work a librarian stile . I work in the capture world like a librarian and often in the creative world, blog texts or videos, very creative like a gardener style. The minimalist approach of iAW is nice but is it missing tools and features like obsidian?

Q7: could BEAR some sort of solution with its cross linking, or is this just referencing and therefore nogo for my needs.

INFO: why is bidirectional so important: I work heavily with a text called DAO DE JING, and there are 81 verses and I excerpt a psychological view of it for life style and life counseling - I WORK AS A PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSELLOR - Coach and do YouTube soon, and work on my online course academy.

I know i have a lot of questions but after 2 weeks oft very intensive reading and YouTube watching to get info I can not decide which is the good solution. * I have test installed obsidian and people have told me its a resource killer. and today apple mail collapsed , - maybe of this ??


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Hi Andreas! Welcome to the community!

Wow… there’s a lot here. Let me try to answer a few things from my perspective. I am an Apple User and my PKM is solely on Devonthink and Obsidian.

Q1 - My view is that Obsidian is lousy for storing huge amounts of content in. I only use Obsidian as an external markdown writer and I index my vault in Devonthink, so that all my markdown notes are alongside the other things I store in Devonthink.

Q2 - I do linking to and from Obsidian with HookApp. You can of course create manual links, it just takes a bit of time.

Q3 - DT3 is much superior to Obsidian in searches, so that is why DevonThink is the foundation of my PKM. You also get the AI part of DT.

Q4 - I recently picked up Readwise and I use it. You can do what Readwise does in Devonthink with it’s ‘Reading List’, but I found that Readwise is much faster. What I do is I use Readwise as the first level of processing. As I am out on the net, I put stuff in Readwise. If I wind up keeping it and marking it up, then I archive the materials in Devonthink so that I have a locally stored copy. My Readwise highlights and notes are synced into Obsidian, which then appear in Devonthink because I have indexed the vault.

Q5 - I can’t comment on DT for storing video files. I would need to defer to someone else.

Q6 - iAWriter is basically another Markdown editor, without a lot of the functionality of Obsidian. I like iAWriter for writing blogs. The markdown file is still in Obsidian in the vault and is indexed in Devonthink, but iAWriter is just a really nice writing environment. This is really down to preference because you can write markdown in Obsidian and for that matter Devonthink. It is just a front end for writing if you like their concept of minimal screen usage… just the text.

Q7 - I think Bear would likely not add much to your workflow, particularly in backlinking. Devonthink and Obsidian are very capable programmes. In fact, you could do everything in Devonthink alone if you wish.

For links and backlinks, check out HookMark. What HookMark does, you can do other ways. It just makes it easier and simpler.

I hope this helps.


I am curious do you do mobile at all for your workflow. I am very heavily mobile and do like the obsidian interface (and much easier to make shortcuts since it is just appending or making MD files). I have issues in that I need to go to a Mac (or leave one running at all times when not home) to have my obsidian indexed notes on mobile available to search in DT. Also DTTG doesn’t show wiki links so I end up using DTTG copy to markdown function. Long story short ended up just using DTTG markdown editor which I don’t love.

I have pondered the same questions, wondering if there is an option to use something like iA writer on mobile, but am not sure how it would handle wiki links.

Ultimately I wish I could not use markdown at all, and if DTTG supported WYSIWYG (formatted note) had bullets/lists, highlight and text color I would be happy with that. Closest I’ve found is pages but it just adds one more step every time.

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thank you for your time answering my questions. :wink:

seems you have a journey behind.

I love DT for storing also web clipping is nice ( even though I dont think it can do the same as Readwise+ reader - but haven’t checked).

You said that DT3 can do bidirectional back linking ? how. I only see the x-url… links which are not so easy to set like in obsidian where you get the list matching.

I need a good writing solution with the jumping ( back linking) so there came obsidian and iaWriter up. Bear is no real back linking is it ?

I will like you have all data in DT3 but like the obsidian writer more than the DT ( which is also buggy I think , or I use it wrong). I need an easy writing experience. .md I have never used, but it seems clear for future proof and transferring data to other sources. I like formatted text but this is always a problem when connecting other software. so md is status quo. therefore I hav not got the big difference between DT3 and obsidian. is it only the nicer back linking features and the easier way of creating the backlinks ( with the list you get shown). or is there more in obsidian than in DT3.

seems well all have to go down the same roots :wink:
is wiki links the same as bidirectional links? or something else?

I mainly use my mobile to capture stuff and sometimes refer to it, but I do all my real editing and curating of my PKM on my MacBook Pro.

Because I don’t put a lot of content in Obsidian, and it mainly just has markdown, I don’t have any issues if I want to look at a few pages on my iPhone or iPad. I can even edit on it, but I don’t like the virtual keyboard, so mainly it is for reading.

DTTG is even more limited. I mainly use DTTG as a reader.

YMMV… others on the forum use the mobile apps much more than I do.

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Wiki links are within markdown files. Though this might trip you up. Some markdown purists prefer to use markdown links. You can switch back and forth in the settings of Obsidian, and there is also a plugin which will change links from one format to the other, but this is a topic for another thread.

If you are curious about this, you can do some google searching around.

Deep links in the the apple ecosystem are not exclusive to markdown files. For example, I can get a Devonthink link and put it in my task manager. When I click on the link it takes me to the file in DT.

I am probably not fully explaining this, but links are quite a topic in themselves. My suggestion is to read and experiment. Also, try to keep it as simple as possible.

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readwise vs DT/DTTG for web clipping and highlighting as reader app , read later and annotations etc.

i See readwise in front. but its one app more. what can readwise do what DT cannot. or other way around. is the DT-way of read later and annotation the same smooth and easy experience like readwise+reader?

It’s all down to preference.

DT can act as a read later service and I used it that way for many years.

I use Readwise because it is faster and allows me to triage articles with less time. They initially go into my inbox. Then later I go back to the inbox and scan them again. It is amazing how many articles that I delete at this stage because I have moved on. Those that I keep, go into the “read later” box on Readwise. Then in that folder I highlight and annotate. When I put it in the archives, I also create a corresponding copy in Devonthink.

You can drop Readwise out of the workflow and do the same. For years I put articles in the inbox. Then if I really wanted to read and annotate an article, it went into my reading list. What I found with DT is that rendering a copy of the article in PDF with or without clutter was trial and error. Also, in DT the highlighting and annotating process is not as keyboard driven as Readwise, so it is slower.

It’s all down to preference. If Readwise disappeared tomorrow, I could easily use DT. It is just at this stage faster for me to have Readwise in the mix to cull and select materials quicker.

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