Importing stuff from other note taking apps

I´m using DT since summer 2003 for storing and writing. It´s just perfect.  
Only one PITA remains:

=> How to import databases of iOrganizeX and MacJournal?

I´ve used both apps before DT and I´m tired to import every file by hand (some hundreds entries in MJ and some thousands in iOrgX).

What about some appropriate scritps to automatize this procedure? Import the whole goddam database, split it into the files they were in MJ and iOrgX and bingo? [color=Red]Please!  ::slight_smile:

If it helps you at all, I use Hog Bay Notebook to assemble all sorts of information that later goes into DEVONthink. I don’t know if it’s the same with iOrganizeX and MacJournal, but it’s easy to export all contents in Notebook to RTF or RTFD files … and just as easy to import them into DT. It’s really no effort at all.

We can’t support proprietary file formats - there are just too many of them. Unfortunately, neither iOrganize nor MacJournal provide the possibility to batch export files.

Personal Note: Never store your data in an application without batch im- and exporting and using a proprietary file format. Otherwise you’re locked to this application and switching to other solutions is almost impossible. But maybe that’s want some developers want.

FYI: Hog Bay Notebook 3.0 adds OPML export.

Just curious - does anyone like the interface of HBN 3.0? Because this is not a notebook anymore in my humble opinion. But maybe it’s just me.

I must say, as a heavy user of HBN, I am very unsure about its new interface, which was excellent before, but now seems to be playing outliners … I agree with Christian.

Some VersionTracker comments claim it’s possible to configure HBN3 to use a pre-3.x interface style.

I briefly looked at HBN2, VoodooPad, and a few other note taking and outliner apps before deciding that DEVONthink was all I needed (for now). I’ve been quite satisfied with that choice, plus the excellent support and communication!

Besides a few features coming in DT Pro and future versions, something I’d like to see in DT is a more powerful Undo/Redo facility; HBN and Circus Ponies Notebook (which I may eventually purchase) are good examples.  Enhanced outliner functionality isn’t a high priority since my content is often too unstructured to make that work effectively for me.

I can’t for the life of me imagine why anyone would use anything other than DT. The functionality is far superior to any other other apps out there and Christian and the crew have been great about implementing useful features. I think VoodooPad is pretty kewl the way it intuits wiki links, but as that feature is now implemented in DT and it promises to act more like Voodoo down the road, I am fine with staying right in the Devon groupie pool. The addition of OPML support will make it complete.

Great work y’all!

Thanks for the positive feedback :wink:

The current roadmap looks like this:
Complete Undo/Redo abilities will be probably added to version 2.0, version 1.9 will support OPML im/export and v1.8.2 will improve the handling of links.

And there are other some outlining enhancements on our to-do list but their priority is quite low at the moment - DT Pro has the highest priority finally :slight_smile:

I’m not impressed with HBN3.  It used to be an excellent notebook app now it is a poor relation to OmniOutliner.  I’ll be sticking with 2.2 for my scratchpad.

DevonThink is an excellent information manager and I have moved all my academic research notes into into it.  I’m really looking forward to moving all my professional projects into it too and make it my main working app supported by OO and HBN  so I am glad  :D to see that Pro finally has priority and multiple database and the advanced web features aren’t far away.

The probably most important features of DT Pro (multiple databases, complete scripting, real offline archive, enhanced database management, unlimited number of images/PDF documents, automatic grouping, download manager/site sucker) will be (more or less) finished within the next two weeks. Maybe then the first internal alpha (as there are other things still left to do - e.g. semantic maps, support for tables/forms etc.) will arrive.

I think Christian has done iOrganizeX an injustice; it does have export of individual notes, catorgories, or the entire file. They’re all under the appropriate menu.

I disagree that Hog Bay Notebook 3 is a bad evolutionary step. It is a much superior outliner to either OmniOutline or DT, and folks ought to try it out instead of just dismissing it.

DT has only recently introduced true outlining and it has a long way to go in this area before the feature is refined and stable.

OmniOutliner has not upgraded since 2.2.6 (Oct '03) and it still lacks many features of MS Word, which (sadly) is still the best outliner available.

The main virtue of OmniOutliner is that you can create columns; but you cannot get it (or DT) to show levels 1-n of an outline. Word does that instantly, showing an entire document structure in a single screen.

Well, HBN 3 does that now, too. It also instantly imports (via drag/drop) any text selection from any application (including itself). I use it to grab quotations from the Web, old files, or DT items; arrange them into a topical array; and then drop them into the DT database.

I’ve read a lot of complaints about the new HBN interface and they puzzle me. I suspect that outlining is not important to those users. For me it’s the heart of the writing process, the ability to take disparate bits and pieces of text and arrange them in a sequence that makes sense to me.

Whereas I am one of those writers who think a notebook is a notebook, and an outliner an outliner. . . and see no reason for the two to be conflated, as is so frequently requested, by those who use outliners in their work.

More than that, it’s become a bit of irritant, not only on this forum but several others. Outliner-types seem confident a product is not fully developed until their needs are accomodated, almost as if they are unaware that there is a world of writers who care not for outlining, and who find products such as DevonThink, Circus Ponies NoteBook and others to be incredibly useful enhancements to the writing process, just as they are.


This is the second time that Zo has bashed me for being an anal-retentive outliner type. As a Smothers Brothers fan, she will understand if I resent having to play Dick to her Tom. (They were both funny and smart, in different ways.)

For me, an outline is an intinerary for a piece of writing, but the actual journey is full of surprises, digressions, and happy accidents. That certainly was true for both Plato and Aristotle, where this quarrel about inspiration vs design probably began.

To suggest that one means of writing is superior is being mighty defensive about one’s dithyrambic methods. Fortunately, DT serves all kinds of users, including those who insist on getting the last word. And I am quite certain that will not be me. Stay tuned…

Zo and willhow, more power to you both!

I’ve never been into the finer points of outlining and outliners. In the old days, I put together some massive bibliographies on science policy and a series of graduate course guides from stacks of thousands of 3 by 5 cards.

Once the material was on the cards, the trick was to play with them and shuffle them into topical stacks that seemed to make sense. The topical stacks were tied together with pieces of string, and a brief summary was scrawled on a sheet of paper and put on the top of each stack. Then I played with the order of topical stacks until satisfied, and scrawled a table of contents and title page. Then off to typists.

Seemed to work well enough. The National Science Foundation paid for publication, and one reviewer called the course guides "a masterful intellectual tour de force." They were in fact used at Harvard, MIT, Stanford and a few other places for some years.

I suppose that’s my style of outlining still, but DEVONthink, NoteTaker and NoteBook make it a lot easier to create order out of chaos.

Zo, don’t tell Jayson, but I use NoteTaker for most of my writing for two reasons: [1] the ability to search across multiple notebooks when I forget where I’ve put something; and [2] NT’s really good formatting for PDF output. I must say that the current version of NT is far more responsive and stable than some of its past incarnations. But I prefer CP NoteBook for HTML generation. DEVONthink, of course, holds my hundreds of megabytes of reference information (I make a lot of use of DT’s “see also” feature).

I find it easy to move stuff back and forth as needed between these three applications. And it’s much neater than using cards and string. ;D

I’m not quite sure why a post of mine should be considered “bashing” anyone (except that I am a woman, and one hears that, of course.) The truth is, I’m lucky if I remember not to repeat myself, both here and on Circus Ponies forum, and it takes ages more to remember individuals.

Nor is any judgement implied; why would there be? I’ve simply seen, this being the web, after all, an infinite number of posts from tech-oriented men, who are very clear about their needs, which seem always to amount to: Outlines. Do you hear much from the non-tech side? No you do not. In part because of reactions such as the above, in part because it is harder to state this case. I can’t see where literary, non-tech writers/artists are exactly flooding the forums with their requests.

So pipe down.  ;)

Bill, I must guiltily concur.  

More than ever, as both apps become more stable (and NT far less hideous,) one wants again to lock Scott and Jayson in a room together. But I hear NT is going Windows, which scotches that idea.

In concept, in paradigmatic beauty, however, it’s clear DevonThink and NoteBook are the real kin.

As always, enjoyed your post,

Sister, can you spare a paradigm? :wink:

Writing has never been easier – we’ve got great tools under OS X.

But now I’ve got to finish my tax return.

Just because we non-tech writers aren’t “flooding” the boards with requests for better outlining, doesn’t mean were not pining for it. I for one have been waiting all along for DT to handle outlines better.

After all, if they’re going to bother officially calling it outlining within DT, it should be more than an over/under view and a checkbox.

Personally I’d love to see outlining built in to the cocoa editor and accessible from its ubiquitous ruler. (That kind of naiveté should be proof enough that I’m not a techie)

Willhow might be overeacting to your wholesale labelling and dismissal of “outliner types” as some sort of irritating fringe group that seeks to overstructure, rearrange and collapse civilization as we know it- but your assumption that he’s accused you of bashing because you’re a woman strikes one as a bit …well…ummm… hysterical. :wink: