New and confused!

Im a newbie so please be kind:

After the best part of eight years slowly collating clippings, pdf’s, web pages, etc. for a book project I am now about to start writing, I took the plunge and bought both DTPO and DTTG and Bookends (nice learning curve!) I am reasonably competent in Scrivener and use it for all my writing projects. All my collated ‘stuff’ is filed carefully and thematically in Dropbox and all my notes (taken from books read etc.) are in OneNote - I’ve yet to see an easy insert of OneNote notes into DTPO although there is one for Evernote? Anyway, I’m at that anxiety piece in that I’m unsure of the best way to progress. Any advice will be welcome:

Do I move all my ‘Dropbox’ stuff into DTPO? If so how? Drag and drop? create replica folders as databases in DTPO?

Do link each separate item from Dropbox (1000s of thematic files) and leave Dropbox ‘as is’. If so, is there an easy ‘fix’?

I am happy to spend the time learning but a number of help pages have returned 404 errors informing me that i was not on the page i wanted (doh!), so thought I would throw my lot in here. This is a huge move for me so any advice gratefully accepted.

For one, I would not be dropping 1000’s of items into your databases until you’ve got your legs under you. DEVONthink is not complicated but you should get comfortable with some basics of organizing in a way that makes sense to you.

Re: the Dropbox stuff, it depends. There are two methods of putting data in a DEVONthink database.

  1. Importing copies files into the internal structure of the database. This creates a portable, self-contained database that can be moved as a single file. This is the default behavior of DEVONthink. .
  2. Indexing creates links to files outside the database. This allows more direct access to the files in the Finder by other applications or people. (A common example is people using a cloud service like Dropbox and indexing folders in the local Dropbox folders.)
    It is best used on fairly static locations, ie. you’re not moving the folders around in the Finder and renaming them. However, if you do index a location, you can update it in the database and it will change to reflect the changes in the Finder.

Note: Indexing is not necessarily the ideal approach for all situations and should be approached thoughtfully. A search on our Forums regarding the matter is advisable. Look for posts by @Greg_Jones, as he uses indexing pretty much exclusively.

There is no direct import from OneNote.

PS: There is a lot of information here, in the built-in Help, as well as the manual.

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Perfect! Many thanks for the speedy and informative reply.

You’re welcome. Cheers!

For the stuff in Dropbox (pdf articles and books), I suggest you to start to sort it using Bookends first, if you want them to be in Bookends as well. You can then index the Bookends library in Devonthink.

For the clippings and snippets, you can simply index the main folder into Devonthink.

As for the notes in Onenote, the best approach is first to export them to word format. If you have a windows machine, there is a onenote AddOn software that can export all the notes in one sweep to word format.

Many thanks for the assistance. I have now moved most of my Dropbox stuff into Devonthink. I am really impressed with what the software does and the sync feature with DTTG is working faultlessly. I find that I am now working on my projects far more whilst ‘on the move’. Im definitely an advocate of the software - it is saving me hours every week. So far the forum and tech help has been first-class too. Ive yet to get my head around ‘Bookends’ and how it related to DTPO/DTTG but I’m certainly no longer ‘new & confused’ just ‘new’. Again, thanks for the support - really appreciated.

If you are drafting on Ms word or Scrivener, you need Bookends to insert your citation ( I mean, if you have the need to insert citation). Otherwise, you can just use Devonthink for everything.

The way most people (academicians mostly) use them is by managing References (the metadata such as Author, Title etc), and their associated pdf files in Bookends, and finally, index the attachment folder of Bookends into Devonthink.

As for the ipad version, both Bookends and Devonthink have great apps. I myself have been wondering which one to use for a while.

  • the Bookends app is better for reading and annotating
  • But, you need to have an icloud storage (the only cloud supported by Bookends ios) and a yearly subscription (10$) to use its full power. You cannot use Dropbox with Bookends app.
  • Devonthink ios app is good for the syncing. But, the pdf reading experience is nowhere as good as the Bookends app. I am especially frustrated that DTTG cannot open in another pdf reading apps such as PDF expert.

Great choice. I make extensive use of DTP, Bookends, and Scrivener in my writing. Check out my blog of academic workflows:

I have entries on DTP, Bookends, Scrivener, and how I make them all work together.

Cheers, Jeff Taekman

Welcome @jtaekman :slight_smile:

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