DevonThink Pro Office is 90% perfect for my needs. Naturally, I am posting about the last 10% : )
I do research in the humanities – soft stuff, reading and analysis, large quantities of qualitative source materials, etc. I absolutely love the main DT desktop software for organizing my research and writing. DevonThink To Go, on the other hand, is borderline useless to me. Why? Because – even though all my other apps take dictation perfectly through the iPhone 4s dictation function, my DTTG app verges on rendering iOS dictation nonfunctional. Almost always, I say something, and it returns absolutely nothing – not even the forlorn ‘cursor wiggle’ to indicate it couldn’t understand. Once a while it will return the first couple of words that I said (out of several sentences). And once in a very great while, it will actually work and output the text that I said.
For much of my work, this isn’t a problem b/c much of my reading (many archives; all journals) is on iPad, such that I can sync from GoodReader to my server, and paste any relevant text directly from the electronic sourcefile into notecards in my desktop DT Pro Office. But it becomes a real hindrance in two cases:
(i) Whenever I’m reading non-electronic material (typically a book) away from my desk. In this situation, I have to either lug a laptop around, or tap-tap-tap paragraphs of text into DTTG manually through my iPhone touch screen. Both options are pretty lousy, not least because part of the joy of reading a book is that you’re not tethered to your desk or to large electronic equipment.
(ii) Whenever I want to take ‘notes to self’ – particularly when outlining some difficult point that i just resolved in my head, or when thinking of a new idea. In this situation, if I’m not in my office, there’s not an easy way for me to do this and sync it with DevonThink Pro.
A couple of quick background notes
- The amount of text I dictate doesn’t seem to affect this problem. It happens just as often with 5 words as it does with 30 words.
- It doesn’t seem like a problem with my iPhone’s dictation software, which works just fine for Siri purposes, etc.
- Nor does it seem like a problem with how my iPhone’s dictation software interacts with 3rd party apps on the iPhone, because I’m able to do dictation text entry perfectly fine with every other app I use.
- For a while I was working around this by dictating into Evernote, then exporting from Evernote into DT. This didn’t work for me for a lot of reasons, mostly having to do with (i) convenience and (ii) unsolveable formatting issues.
I love desktop DT so much that I’ve just resolved to work around this problem. But boy would I be hugely happy if either
(a) Someone else has encountered this problem and fixed it, or
(b) This was on the tech team’s radar screen to fix for the next update.
I don’t care almost at all about accessing my DT database on mobile devices, or about tagging/folders etc. I just want an easy way to dictate notes that I can then easily sync over to DT Pro and manipulate/file from there…
Any thoughts enormously appreciated,