DEVONthink versus Delicious Library

So far I like DEVONthink but there is something I clearly miss and I feel that maybe DEVONthink is not aimed toward that usage, hence the subject’s title:

Is is possible to use DEVONthink as a replacement for Delicious Library?

I have a large and growing collection of paper books that I want to keep a record of.
I don’t use Delicious Library because I don’t like it and I don’t want to use one more application). I also don’t want to subscribe to an external service. I wanna be able to set-up the list of all my paper books inside DEVONthink.

The closest way I think about would be something like being able to make a database like Bentō, FileMaker or Access : set up a model form and then fill one form per book.

But it also seems DEVONthink has a document approach, where you have databases of text files and images, but you can’t set up and forms like a classical database.

Am I missing something or am I right DEVONthink is not modeled to be a replacement of Delicious Library? (Knowing that all the things like automatically pull information from Amazon and al. are of concern to me; I rather do everything manually to be sure to be error free.)

In DEVONthink 3 there are actually two options:

  • Custom metadata (see Preferences > Data) which can be applied to any item and is fully searchable, scriptable and supported by smart rules.

  • Sheets (see Data > New > Sheet…) which support typed columns (like custom metadata) and in case of the Pro/Server editions a form view


DEVONthink seems to have an undisclosed feature : always surprise the user by showing him the impossible was indeed possible. I will try that ASAP, thank you very much!


Welcome @Braintrash

Am I missing something or am I right DEVONthink is not modeled to be a replacement of Delicious Library?

It’s not modeled to be a replacement of any app specifically. However, as Criss pointed out, it has a lot of flexibility and functionality that can allow for reproducing behaviors found in some other apps.

1 Like

Indeed, my choice of words wasn’t accurate to what I had in mind and you correctly expressed my thoughts.

As for the sheet, it is really great, seems to be exactly what I needed and I am grateful for both your help, but I have one question remaining:

I created a new sheet after a model (Bibliography/Books) as a test, but how do I add a new line (ie. a new entry)? So far, I entered a first test book and now, I would like to add some more to get the complete hang out of it.

But I just can’t figure it out.

See e.g. commands in menu Tools > Sheets. Or switch to the editing bar (e.g. via Format > Show Editing bar, pressing Cmd-Shift-E or clicking on the icon in the navigation bar)

1 Like

Damnit, it’s perfect, thank you so much !
I will totally buy my licence for DEVONthink 3 and To Go!

Please note that form views of sheets are only supported by DEVONthink Pro/Server 3, see, the standard edition supports only the standard table view of sheets.

1 Like

That won’t be an issue for me as my workflow is better suited for the Pro edition, so I’ll just save my money in order to cover the expense.

But this is an important reminder, thank you for that.

And as another reminder: Don’t forget the built-in Help (also part of the beta test). A lot of work has gone into making it a useful reference guide for DEVONthink 3.

In your specific case, check out Documentation > Documents > Sheets for a (we hope!) nice overview.

1 Like