DTTG for taking notes / creating board diagrams

Dear DTTG team,

I love the ability to annotate PDFs within DTTG. However, since I have seen a similar functionality in other apps, I am missing the opportunity to easily create a blank sheet or PDF (or a ruled / squared one) in DTTG and take notes on it, e.g. with Apple pencil.

Especially for us educators this would be a great way of replacing blackboard visualizations, presenting them in combination with an AppleTV and have them instantly available in DevonTHINK - for all further uses like sharing them over WebDAV with our students.

Could you imagine adding this functionality in a further update?

Thanks, best wishes

You can already do this with iOS 11 and DEVONthink to Go 2.3. With Notes or any other iOS app that supports handwriting and drag-and-drop. Put DEVONthink to Go in a slide-over window and drag the note from Notes, etc, into DEVONthink to Go.

The logic of iOS 11 is that apps have even less need to build features like you suggested when the interaction between apps with drag-and-drop, files, split screen / slide over, make integration fast and seamless.

As an addendum to korm’s reply, we have considered a freeform Note format but have not reached a suitable answer at this time. It’s a good thought though. :smiley:

Dear Korm, dear Jim,

thanks a lot for your quick answers!

Korm, I can definetely see why you promote the approach to use another app and then drag this document / PDF into DevonThink. The last thing I want is DTTG to become a bloated piece of software that tries to do everything at once.

But let me give you a different perspective on that. Judging from your website, your target group is „knowledge workers“ - lawyers, educators, researchers, students… I think that all these people would love working from a "blank canvas“ that they could design using a combination of their handwriting and other features of DTTG.

I myself see numerous applications for this. Think about the author who can quickly jot down a network of relationships for his new novel and link specific elements to chapters or folders within his database. Think about the researcher who needs to create visual representations of his work - and maybe make them searchable by using OCR within DevonThink. The educator who wants to create quick visuals for his students. The student who needs to note down something during a lecture. The list goes on and on.

I guess, being a creative person I am just a big fan of the “blank canvas” that can spark ideas and see a lot of enhancements by the technological change that came with devices like the iPad Pro and Apple pencil. To me, it would be great if this was reflected within DTTG.

My workaround thus far has been to create a blank PDF, e.g. in Pages, and use it within DTTG to create my notes on it. It already works quite well (and is less cumbersome than using another app), however, I see a lot of potential for further development and ease of use.

Looking forward to your comments!

All the best

Interesting story, Alex. I don’t work for DEVONtech so I have no idea or influence on their products.

Just as a user, I’ve always found that DEVONthink and DEVONthink to Go are a lot more useful to me when I find ways to integrate the software with the other software I use, rather than imaging that DEVONthink it would be different than it is. The power of DEVONthink, IMO, is that it is a great partner for other software. iOS 11 brings that kind of flexibility and integration to the iPad and DEVONthink to Go plays well with it.

I think that the ability to write notes, and to have OCR capability (as per Goodnotes) to jot notes is critical to the Devonthink ecosystem. It’s a fundamental unit of knowledge. I agree that for heavier tasks, we are better off using an external application and integrating it into the DT workflow. But a note? And OCR is critical to that so as to ensure search ability. I’ve been using Goodnotes to do this on the iPad but I find it tedious to be using to apps for, again, a fundamental task.

Not sure what “a fundamental unit of knowledge” is, but as I mentioned last year, I’m still at the point of view that DEVONthink and DEVONthink to Go have the great strength of working with dozens and dozens of apps in the macOS and iOS universes where the DEVONthink apps live. I get so much more out of DEVONthink by using it as a document hub working with other apps.

With slide-over and split screen on iPads it is very easy to drag Apple Notes into a split screen beside DEVONthink to Go, draw whatever you want to draw, then drag that note from the Notes file list into any group with DEVONthink to Go. For myself that’s excellent and sufficient. The whole point of iOS is to easily use and flip between apps, and DEVONtechnologies, I think, makes good use of that. GoodNotes + DEVONthink to Go is worth more than either app by itself.

some more info: on the iOS Version (DT2Go) you can easily insert blank Pages to existing PDF with the (in-App purchase required) PDF editor tool (not the annotation tool, it‘s a different one) - even with different layouts (e. g. lines).
And since the Apple Pencil is pretty well supported by the PDF tool, handwritten annotaions are very easy and nice to do.