Moving from Evenote - ToDo/Checkboxes

I’m deciding to move from Evernote (many reasons) and have a couple of questions.

  1. How to I do a (saved) search for unchecked tick boxes?
  2. How do I insert tables?
  3. How do I decide what note format to use (RTF/Markup…)?


Checkboxes inside documents? This isn’t possible.

Only rich text supports this currently, see menu Format > Table…

Each format has its advantages and disadvantages, in the end it depends on your needs and which apps & platforms you use.

fwiw Your notes from Evernote will be converted to format Formatted Note (basically html with embedded images)

This format works for me, but we lost checkboxes, a proprietary Evernote object
If your saved checkbox search is important, assign a tag to the notes before converting

That depends very much on your needs and expectations. RTF requires dedicated programs to work with, whereas Markdown (actually not Mark"up" – unless you mean something like HTML or XML) can be used with any text editor (albeit the representation might not match your expectations).
RTF is more geared to the Wysiwyg world (“this is a headline, it has to be in 32,3 pt Helvetica bold”), I think, whereas MD is more oriented towards the semantic markup crowd (“this is a blockqoute, let’s think about its layout later”). Consequently, it is more difficult to wed MD to external content like images, but it is more flexible regarding appearance – a simple CSS suffices to change everthing about your document when printed or seen in a browser.

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Thanks for the reply. How do people manage to-do items? In Evernote I use tick boxes and have a saved search to list them?

Even in EN, I managed my task items (to-do) as individual notes
I use a tag (#Actionable-Task) to identify actionable notes
In DT, I use the note Label field to identify completed tasks
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 02.58.45


Thanks, that’s really useful.

I use Todoist to manage my to-do items. Which is what I used when I was on Evernote.

I have a smart rule that adds an x-DEVONthink links to the description of a Todoist task when I add a specific tag to an item.

Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 10.09.04 AM

Can you share the embedded script?


// From:
// Comment:

on performSmartRule(theRecords)
	repeat with theRecord in theRecords
		tell application id "DNtp"
			set this_subject to (name of theRecord) as Unicode text
			set the_reference to (the reference URL of theRecord) as string
		end tell
		set the_new_reference to findAndReplaceinText(the_reference, "$", "\\$")
		do shell script "/Users/robertallred/Scripts/ " & "\"" & this_subject & "\" \"" & the_new_reference & "\""
	end repeat
end performSmartRule

on findAndReplaceinText(theText, theSearchString, theReplacementString)
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to theSearchString
	set theTextItems to every text item of theText
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to theReplacementString
	set theText to theTextItems as string
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to ""
	return theText
end findAndReplaceinText


EDIT: You do need the Todoist CLI installed as well.

Can you identify the task management functions you use in Todoist?
I prefer to keep all this in DT, but it requires customization for task management

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No worries :slight_smile:

My whole life resides in Todoist, so it makes sense to keep most tasks in the same tool.

Anything in DT that needs to be completed outside of DT gets added to Todoist–For example, if I have a receipt as part of a conference, I might add the receipt to Todoist as a subtask in the Reimbursement task for my Conference project. Or in this case, the bill that is due.

Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 12.52.09 PM

Anything that needs to stay in DT–Process this document and file, for example, I just use the To Do and Done labels. In this case a receipt for a pharmacy order that was scanned and just needs to be filed.

The one place every tool has fallen short for me is when I am taking notes and adding to-do items throughout my notes. For this I process the to-do items as I process the document using a PopClip extension to add to Todoist.

In DT I use a project tag to link notes and tasks (example #Project:Devonthink-Conversion)
I have tasks identified by tag (#Actionable-Task) but no concept for sub-tasks
I added custom metadata (TaskDate) to identify due dates

when I am taking notes and adding to-do items throughout my notes

In followup review, I use an applescript to extract selected text and create a DT task note.
The text is replaced with a note link
The script is launched via an icon in the toolbar

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I would love to see this workflow and script…

Script to extract selected text and create new note replacing selected text with a link
My notes are in Formatted Note format

tell application id "DNtp"
	---- Original Note
	set theOriginalNote to item 1 of (get selection)
	tell application "System Events" to keystroke "c" using {command down}
	delay 1
	set selectedText to the clipboard
	tell application "System Events" to keystroke "[Holder]"
	delay 1
	set theTitle to name of theOriginalNote
	set theLink to reference URL of theOriginalNote as text
	set theLinkHTML to "<a href=\"" & theLink & "\">" & theTitle & "</a>"
	---- New Note
	set theTitle to item 1 of (paragraphs of selectedText)
	set theTitle to (text returned of (display dialog "Title" default answer theTitle))
	set theNewNote to create record with {name:theTitle, type:formatted note, plain text:selectedText}
	set theHTMLCode to theLinkHTML & "<div><br/></div>" & source of theNewNote
	set source of theNewNote to theHTMLCode
	delay 1
	set theLink to reference URL of theNewNote as text
	set theLinkHTML to "<a href=\"" & theLink & "\">" & theTitle & "</a>"
	---Back to Original Note, add link to new note
	set theHTMLCode to source of theOriginalNote
	set theHTMLCode to my Replace_Text(theHTMLCode, "[Holder]", theLinkHTML)
	set source of theOriginalNote to theHTMLCode
end tell

on Replace_Text(this_text, search_string, replacement_string)
	set prevTIDs to AppleScript's text item delimiters
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to the search_string
	set the item_list to every text item of this_text
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to the replacement_string
	set this_text to the item_list as string
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to prevTIDs
	return this_text
end Replace_Text
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Well, a really low-tech solution is to keep your todo lists in mark-down using [ ] for an unchecked box. And that’s just a string that should be relatively rare outside of todo lists, so you can search for all markdown documents containing it, or containing it in the beginning of a line or itemised lists, etc.

(but I also use Todoist and the very useful item links x-devonthink-item://)

What do you do with the to-dos in the note once you’ve got them in Todoist?

I mark them complete in the note, which simply means they’ve been added to Todoist.