Should I add files to DT or index? Should I replace Evernote

I am a bit obsessed with productivity at the moment! constantly trying to improve my work efficiency. One of my current, and I hope last, issues I have is the disorganisation of documents. Over the years in an attempt to be productive I have Evernote, Google Docs, Dropbox, Sugarsync and of course normal files. I hate the dispersed ness of it all, going to different places for different things.

So I think DEVONTthink can help organise that. I think it can ensure all my resources (files, weblinks/bookmarks) are organised and accessible in one place. So far so good.

But I am a little unsure of a couple of things.

It seems DEVONthink imports files into its own database by default, if I drag and drop. I wanted to know if this is the best way? Or is linking to files OK, the indexing approach? I dont feel comfortable having all my files inside DEVONthink. But should I be? If I do, should I then delete the original? The files I would need to index are in Dropbox and Sugarsync, so thought it best to index and link to them, then when I sync between my Macs, the same files and links are there.

Is DEVONthink a complete replacement to Evernote? I have used Evernote for years and its iPhone app is really good at capturing images and adding to Notes. I can add images to existing notes in the app which is great (rather than may notes of images relating to the same note and I have to later merge). But if I use DT I assume I could replace Evernote. I want to reduce the apps I use. If Evernote still excels at what it does, is adding links in DT to Evernotes the way to go?

For info I use:-

  • Mail App for email
  • Omnifocus for daily tasks (I email tasks and have them imported to OF)
  • Google Docs for documents (and notes) - I share Google Docs with employees, I need the sharing for procedures and coding snippets (we are web developers).
  • Evernote for notes (and documents) - sometimes I’m unsure whether to use Evernote or Google docs
  • Dropbox and Sugarsync for file syncing between my iMac, Mac and iPhone, iPad
  • And of course I have normal files and use Finder to find and open them - which can take time.
  • Notepad on iPad to hand write notes in meetings which I can export to a Notebook in Evernote
  • Oh, Bookmarks in Chrome to many websites and resources we use

So I am hoping DEVONthink will give some structure to the above in one place (excluding Mail and OF).

P.S. Am trying DEVONthink Personal, seems like it can do what I want, not sure if I need the advanced yet, but if I do thats fine.


Also wondered if DT import my Chrome bookmarks? If so and I add new bookmarks how to update them?

Any number of workflows are possible. Use what works best for you.

I don’t use Evernote. My data life revolves around my DEVONthink Pro Office databases, which are typically self-contained (not Index-captured). But for documents such as a daily journal that I may want to access and edit also on my iOS devices, I use a Pages document saved to iCloud and Indexed into DEVONthink.

My favorite capture mode of Web data is by rich text or WebArchive (if formatting is very important) only of selected areas of the page, concentrating on the desired data and excluding irrelevant content so as to improve the efficiency of the AI assistants and searches, as well as to reduce file size. So I don’t use Chrome or Firefox as a browser, because they don’t recognized the Services (with keyboard shortcuts) that I use for those capture modes.

I don’t use Adobe’s tools for annotation of PDF. Instead, I use searchable rich text documents to make notes about documents including PDFs and the other filetypes in my databases, such as the Annotation template that can be invoked by a keyboard shortcut and allows text formatting, images, links, tables and lists to be incorporated in my notes (unlike the limitation of Adobe’s text notes for PDFs, which are not searchable and are limited to plain text (as well as seeming very ugly to me)). If my note needs to point to a particular location in the referenced document, I’ll use the Page Link in the case of PDFs, or a copied (and enclosed in quotation marks) unique text string that will open other documents such as WehArchive, text, etc. to that location via a Lookup search.

I’m a fan of the Cornell Notes approach to note taking. To format that, I’ll insert a little 2-column 1 or 2-row table in a rich text note. The right column may contain some comments or an excerpt, the left column a concise summary, keyword, Page Link and/or “cue string” to the location in the referenced document. My rich text note might contain several such “Cornell Notes”. I do that instead of underlining or highlighting in my reference documents, so that I don’t “vandalize” the original documents. I find this approach much for efficient for analyzing and retaining comprehension of material than highlighting or underlining.

Others may prefer plain text or perhaps Markdown notes.

My approaches work for me, but that’s just me. Develop workflows that are the most effective for you. :slight_smile:

Thanks. I have a workflow in mind but need to know if DT can do some of it. I’m hoping to have all my bookmarks in it, indexed files and notes. Everything apart from email and omnifocus, I would like to use an app as the primary access point to everything else because everything else is do dispersed and disorganised.

Found the Chrome bookmarks import. Quite obvious really!