I have been using Devonthink Pro for a few weeks now on a trial basis along with Together by Reinvented Software. I have to say that I have really liked Devonthink a lot. However, there is one issue with the organization of the database that may be a deal breaker for me and I was wondering if it is something that might be addressed in a future version.
My issue is as follows.
Although the Devonthink database now stores documents in their native format, it does not do so in a way that mirrors the folder structure that I have set up within DTP. This means that in order to access a document, I have to use the DTP interface because otherwise it is almost impossible to find the document I need.
However, there are times when I may want to access a document and using the DTP interface is not possible. For example, I keep the DTP database within my Dropbox folder and I sometimes want to view a document on my iPhone through the Dropbox app but I can’t do so without having to search through many folders first making the process too cumbersome. Another situation may be where I want to open a document without necessarily having to open DTP in order to do so.
Are there any plans for future versions of DTP to make the DTP database folder structure mirror the folder structure that the user sets up within DTP itself?
I also investigated Together a few years ago, this was during the epoch of time, when DevonThink 2 was ‘coming any minute now!’ for about 4 years. DT 1 was very long in the tooth and 2 was nowhere to be seen, I had not yet made a commitment to using DT long term and was looking at alternatives. I really liked KIT, which became Together but eventually my problem with it was that while it utilized a lot of Apple frameworks to make a very nice interface, the programming behind all that did not scale very well when you start to add tens of thousands of documents. It slows to a crawl and for all intent and purposes becomes this large swamp where nothing works anymore.
I had the same experience with Yohimbo. It’s very nice for very small collections. You go become a few thousand documents and it turns into junk.
I have complained about the DevonThink UI in the past and think there are areas which desperately need polishing, like a visual overview of your tags using a cloud or the DevonAgent version of same, or both even, but far more importantly smart groups that allow specific date ranges and at least the possibility of sorting tags from most to least or none, but as of the 2 releases, there isn’t anything available which comes close to touching the power of DT Pro Office, which is good and bad, since being not only the best in class, but the only program which manages to handle very large document databases, may be slowing down the development of DT 2, or causing complacency with a lackluster UI to an incredibly powerful program.
My opinion might also be wrong, there are dozens of threads on these topics here if you do a search.
So much for my long intro but, the reason DT stores the files the way it does internally is, as far as I understand it, for purposes of speed and use of the AI. If its extremely important for you to maintain your folder structure outside of DT, then you may want to index instead of import files.
Interesting thread, but not what I was looking for… which is like semi-blindly hunting for the proverbial needle in a haystack here (again, sigh) because I can’t remember enough unique keywords to narrow the search results. Closest I’ve gotten is:
My thanks to MDAndermdan and sjk for the feedback clarifying the reason for the DTP database folder structure, which did not come as a surprise.
I’m looking forward to seeing what Devon does with the to-be-released iPhone app and the extent to which it provides remote access to documents in the DTP database.
To MDANderson, you may also want to give Together another look as the issues that users were having with sluggishness when working with large databases appear to have been resolved in a more recent version of the program. I have to say I have enjoyed using Together (and it may yet be my information manager of choice due to the folder structure issues presented by DTP) but if I were to put the folder structure issue aside, I think that at the end of the day, I definitely give props to DTP as my preferred information manager. The speed, the ability to work with multiple databases simultaneously, the global inbox, etc. all make for a very powerful, highly usable and (in my experience) very stable program.