I am a Dad, prosecutor and tech enthusiast. I find myself needing to have things like the most up-to-date version of the acetaminophen/ibuprofen dosage chart, latest ruling on search and seizure from an appellate court and that neat article on Hazel I just found online, right at hand. I was an Evernote “power user” but I finally had enough of the most common “external brain” app. I cancelled my subscription, and went all in with DTPO and DTTG. I’ve been in the DTPO ecosystem for a couple of weeks now and wanted to share some observations and tips from a new user for other new users.
Coming in from Evernote, I ended up setting up DTPO twice. The first time, I just began dumping things into DTPO, indexing folders, and syncing to all my devices with little to no planning and it caused a bit of headache. I was like a kid in the DTPO candy store and began trying to throw all my data in and implement all the amazing features at the same time. After a 24 hours of pain, I finally just stopped, deleted all databases, sync stores, apps, and started fresh and had a much better experience the second time around. So here are a few tips from a new user.
This is especially key if you are importing large amounts of data. I was importing a few thousand notes from Evernote, setting up sync stores, reorganizing notes and folders, and syncing on my iPad and iPhone through Dropbox and it caused a few problems! Take your time, I’d suggest importing your data into DTPO first, set up your sync stores, ensure that syncing to Dropbox, or where ever you syncing to, is complete, then start the sync to your mobile device. DTPO will throw up a status window showing you what its doing, uploading/downloading, removing obsolete items etc. Let an operation complete before cranking up a new one and don’t move large swaths of notes to different folders while other operations are ongoing. Note that setup and sync issues for me only occurred in the initial setup and it only occurred because I was tinkering with large amounts of data while everything was importing and syncing. I didn’t have any issues the second time around when I exercised a bit a patience. Also, daily usage with adding/deleting items and sync has been flawless for me so far.
Yes, there is a manual.
This is a great resource. It’s put together very well and should be the first stop in trying to figure things out. A PopClip extension is also on this page. If you aren’t using PopClip, you’re wrong! PopClip is a super simple app that will change how you work on a computer. Check out the Bookmarklets as well. Super helpful.
User forums are extremely helpful. Use the forum search before posting a new topic with a question/issue. Most of my questions/issues have been easily resolved by using forum search where another user has had the same question/issue.
Sort before you import (or index)-
Before doing a huge data import to DTPO, take the time to see if you need to reorganize things. If your organization system is sloppy and confusing in Evernote and you import into DTPO, it will still be sloppy and confusing in DTPO. Info will be much easier to find in DTPO than Evernote, but your data will not be magically organized right off the bat. Also, you’ll be trying to reorganize data in a new environment where things are a bit different. The second time around, I took the time to move some things in Evernote, combining folders with overlap and so on, and found that transitioning to DTPO was a bit easier.
The same principle applies to indexing (ahhh, indexing, the DTPO feature that I never knew existed but has changed my life!). Indexing a folder on your computer allows for DTPO to see the folder and files and display the actual content of the file in DTPO and allows for the content to show in DTPO search. Content of files and folders indexed will show up in a search with notes that are actually in DTPO database. I can also group notes in DTPO with a file that is stored in a folder on my computer. Just. Plain. Awesome.
When I began indexing, I realized how disorganized my folder structure had become. This disorganized folder structure was now what I saw in DTPO. I took the time to go back and sort through and clean up my folder structure and indexed the folder again. The result is that my actual folder structure and what is displayed in DTPO are the exact same and much improved. At first, I tried to reorganize the structure in DTPO and the actual folder itself and it just caused a headache.
Trust me, take the time to reorganize your data before you put it into DTPO.
Beware of websites telling you DTPO can’t do something.
I have found some wonderful websites and blogs that discuss DTPO. Even those that have been recently updated can contain outdated information along with awesome tips and tricks. The developers are constantly updating these apps so beware information from websites and blogs even if they appear to be up to date.
Nail down basic usage first
Many of my initial problems stemmed from trying to utilize every great feature as I found it. I remember setting up apps like Omnifocus, Hazel, Keyboard Maestro and Text Expander, I’d spend hours creating rules, macros and shortcuts that I never used. Same principle here. Get going with your standard workflows and once your comfortable, introduce and master a new feature at a time. Admittedly, I break this rule all the time, but hey, its not my fault DTPO has so many features to play with!
Importing from Evernote
The ability to import notes from Evernote is baked in (Thanks Developers!). It will give the option to select individual folders to import. I began importing one or two folders at a time with no problem. Finally, I selected several folders that contained a couple thousand notes for import. The import process started out blazingly fast, but eventually slowed to a crawl. This was more of an Evernote problem according to Activity Monitor as Evernote started to chew up my memory. I’d suggest importing a couple folders at a time rather than trying to import everything at once.
Hope this information is helpful to a fellow new user. If there are any glaring mistakes that I made, please feel free to correct me!