Just a sanity check

Hello DevonThink community,

What a wonderful product you have here. I have used it exclusively for the last 4 months. I am a Manager at a not-for-profit Healthcare system where I am constantly inputting a wide array of content into this platform. It has helped propel me to a paperless, more effective way of getting things done.

I understand that there is no one size fits all way of using DevonThink to import all of my content. I thought though that I’d run my method past the gurus and make sure I’m not heading towards trouble in the future.

My old platform of organization was Outlook where I kept e-mails loosely organized with categories. I would categorize an item and scoot it over to a catch-all folder call “processed” which become my holding tank for EVERYTHING. However, it was all classified and indexed so it was still very workable.

I use DTPro in the same capacity except instead of Categories, I use Tags. Then I scoot all the content to a folder called “processed” which is the only kind of folder I am using. Other than tags, there’s really nothing special about how I am using the platform except that I spend some time and effort truing up my ever growing stash of tags. I just want to see if I could be doing it a better way or if it makes more sense to use groups or smart groups and what the advantages would be.

Thank you again for this impressive program and for all your support!

If I understand your description, all of your documents are in the same folder, except for the “processed” documents. And you use tags exclusively to categorize the documents? (Are you also placing your originals in subgroups of the Tags group?)

This is a perfectly workable approach – especially if you are happy with the results.

However, you are missing out on the value of DEVONthink’s AI features – especially See Also & Classify. If all the documents are in one (or two) groups – or if they are all stored in Tags subgroups, then See Also & Classify will not have much to work to suggest destination groups for your documents. See Also & Classify does not (at this point) suggest Tags.

A common workflow is to bring documents into the Inbox. After an initial period of manually classifying documents into groups, then you can use See Also & Classify to suggest the groups where documents in the Inbox should be slotted, and move them there. (If you’re very comfortable with DEVONthink’s approach, then you can tell DEVONthink to auto classify your documents. With everything in a single group, this workflow wouldn’t work well.

I suggest you read extensively in the forum – many current and former posters who have written at length about their process are not likely to see and respond to your thread, and there is a wealth of quite detailed expositions of individual approaches to using DEVONthink. (Read everything here that Bill DeVille has ever written – seriously.) Also, read Joe Kissell’s book, and browse the web for blogs that discuss research and document management with DEVONthink.

There is no "right"way or “better” way than what you’re doing now … but there may be tweaks that can increase the benefit of the program for you.