I have recently shifted my usage of DT and it’s causing me a headache now that I’ve started to use DTTG.
Here’s the issue.
I have around 1000 PDF files of academic articles which are related to all of my different research areas. I had these all in one DevonThink database. I made separate groups for each of my writing and research projects.
This database got large and slow, so I exported the academic articles and put them in a Finder folder, which I then indexed with DevonThink. This solution also let me use iAnnotate on my iPad to read and mark up the PDFs. I will call this the “External PDF Archive.”
Then, for each new research project, I started a separate DevonThink database, and used the Index command to link to my External PDF Archive. This let me use the “See Also” function and worked quite well.
DTTG has thrown a wrench in this solution because it will sync over the PDF documents in the indexed folder, but any changes I make to them will not be synced back to the Finder folder. Therefore, I have to keep another set of these files in iAnnotate. That would be OK, but then any “read this article for more insight on X topic” links I’ve made in RTF documents to PDF files from my are dead and therefore useless unless I sync over the Indexed External PDF Archive – which would then mean that I have multiple copies of these PDFs on my iPad, one for each DT database where they have been indexed, PLUS one in iAnnotate.
I understand that sync is complicated and I’m not expecting the developers reinvent the wheel based on my idiosyncratic usage of a complicated program, but I suspect I’m not alone. Anyone else out there dealing with an issue like this? How did you resolve the problem – did you just go back to one database?
I leave my pdf collection (approaching 3K) out of DtTG, and will do so as long as DtTG doesn’t allow the kind of annotation I can get in iAnnotate or GoodReader. Since DtTG doesn’t provide the AI you get in the desktop versions, there’s no functionality lost by doing it that way.
Yes, this is the solution I’m settling on. It’s irritating to have to use more than one application to deal with things and to have to move things out of DevonThink… kind of clashes with the purpose of a global inbox.
Actually, changes made in DTTG to indexed files ARE synced back to the Finder folder, for both Text and pdf files. While an indexed text file can be edited directly in DTTG and synced back, annotating a pdf is a bit more complicated and involves opening the file from within DTTG in iAnnotate or GoodReader and saving the changes back to DTTG. The annotations aren’t visible in DTTG but appear in the synced file back on the Mac. Other threads explain this process in more detail.
As a PhD student with many PDFs and notes organized just so, I agree that it is disappointing and surprising that DTTG 1.0 has such an anemic PDF viewer.
And, yes, it is kludgy to move PDFs back and forth to GoodReader or iAnnotate. (And, yes, their price points are stark bargains compared to DTTG’s cost and performance.)
Yet, the clumsy process does work. And going through it enables you to have your DT resources and in your preferred structure on your iPad. And, importantly, by jumping the hurdles and running the maze, the edits and annotations you make to your PDFs, and round-trip back to DTTG, will find their way to DT-Mac upon sync with the annotations and notes intact.
Elegant? Hardly. Proficient? Not really. Better than no DTTG on the iPad? A judgment call. For me, the current process is unquestionably clunky, kludgy, convoluted; but yes, better than not having it.
Now that DTTG has been released into the wild, the community is publicly weighing in with a variety of usage scenarios and preferences. I trust that the good folk at Devon Technologies will step up and, er, evolve their nascent iPad product.
We are working on a more robust PDF viewer for a future release of DTTG. It should be noted that PDF-specific applications on iOS are full applications in their own right, and supplying all this functionality in the short-term will be not be possible. However, we do wish to allow users a much better PDF viewing experience within our application, and it is a top priority for our next point release.
For academic articles, Papers could be your best bet. For books, one developer of a PDF reader has said future Skim support with desktop syncing is possible. I keep reminding them of how nice it would be, and it seems likely. Will keep you posted.