First time user getting started

After searching for a database program I came across Devonthink. As I read a number of reviews I got really excited about all the possibilities for my work app. I downloaded the prof vers. for a trial run. Since I’ve not used a db program before I spent an hour or so reading through the pertinent sections of the manual in hopes of finding some answers on how to get started. But I’m stuck. For first time users of a db, you might think about writing your manual as in step one . . . step two. Granted, I’m not great with my computer, but this simplified approach would have helped me. Can you offer some suggestions on getting started. thanks

Hi Jim:
Try this. Download the DEVONthink Professional Tutorial database from the main download page. Open the tutorial – it’s a live DT Pro database. You’ll see a document called “Welcome to DEVONthink Pro.” It will start you on a ‘live’ tour of the features.

I recommend clicking in the following path: “Welcome to DEVONthink Pro” > “Getting Started with DEVONthink Pro” > “Common Tasks.” On this page, begin by working your way through “Importing”, then “Editing,” then “Finding” or perhaps “Organizing.” Then back up, and look at some of the Usage Scenarios.

DEVONthink (Pro) is an open-ended application. Unlike, say, Safari, or Quicken, it doesn’t do Just One Thing. So that makes it harder to create a “Step 1” “Step 2” tutorial. But the upside is that it makes for a rich application.

Have fun exploring.

Start small, and see what happens.

[1] In Dt Pro, select File > New Database, name it and save it.

[2] Choose one or more folders of files to experiment with. During the course of the experiment, don’t delete them from the Finder.

[3] In DT Pro select File > Import > Files & Folders. Navigate to the folder(s) for your experiment, select it/them and click on Open.

Result: DT Pro has copied files into the database and has captured the text of all readable file types. Unless you checked the option to include “unknown” file types in Preferences > Import, it did not copy files that it doesn’t “recognize”.

[4] With your new database open, select File > Database Properties. Near the top of the Database Properties panel check the option to make this your default database. (You can change to another database as default any time you wish.)

[5] Select Preferences > General. In the Interface section, make sure that “Always open groups in new window” is checked. In the Startup section, make sure that “Open windows that were open on quit” is checked.

Playtime: Each folder that you imported is now represented by a group in your database. Double click on a group with interesting contents to open that group in its own window. Click on a document to read it.

Experiment with the view options. I usually work in the Vertical Split view mode. Some users prefer the Three-Panes view.

Experiment with searches. Select Tools > Search. Enter a word or two that exists in one or more of your documents. You may wish to read about the search operators in Help > DEVONthink Pro Help.

With a document open, click on the See Also button near the bottom of the document window. Assuming you have some interesting content in the database, DT Pro will suggest a list of related documents. The larger your database, the more likely you will find useful suggestions.

I’m suggesting a period of simple “hands-on” experiment so that you can get comfortable with the various screen views, searches and so on.

You may also wish to download the Tutorial database, which provides many tips and tricks. Simply click on the “Welcome” document and explore the hyperlink trails.