Supporting programs

DT is one of my favourite programs and I’m using it more and more, however my brain needs some additional ways of looking at data. Let me explain what I mean: DT works very very well for storing, listing and searching different kind of data but it is highly text focused. Although I like text the truth is that my brain is basically “visually wired” which means that I would like to have some kind of “think tool” that is spatially based.

I would like to be able to put notes in some kind of 2D or 3D space, moving them around etc something similar to a mindmap. It would be something like a corkboard where I could put notes etc and use the 2D/3D space to remind me about what is connected, what is important etc. Does anyone know of such a program? And does someone know of one that works closely with DT?

I know of Nova Mind and it’s a nice program but not exactly what I’m looking for.

You could use Omnigraffle, arrange your notes  or ideas and export the file as a .pdf vector image or an html image map. You can then import/link etc that into DT.
The downside is that your text won’t “exist” in DT because the omnigraffle file is actually exported as an image.

Omnigraffle was free or rather it was licensed to purchasers of "pro" Mac desktops for the past few years. Perhaps you have a copy "hidden" on your original install discs?

I actually have a licence for it (excellent together with Keynote for making presentations) but not exactly what I’m looking for. Omnigraffle would work to a certain extent, I think, but I can see a problem when handling large number of notes etc. But on the other hand the ability to link items together with lines and then moving them around … hmm, worth making a few tests. Thanks for the idea.

Have you looked at Inspiration? Its carbon and its graphics are not in the same league as OmniGraffle or NovaMind (I use all three) Its has three views: graphic view, outline view, and a unstructured text view. In the graphic view you can open note windows. I believe there is a demo available and they have some examples of  ways to use the app (concept maps, venn diagrams, etc) at their web site.

I use Inspiration for text analysis. In the outliner, each item can be separated into an outline topic and notes text. It is easy to split topics and mark the dividing point between topics and notes text with keyboard short cuts. With a little manipulaton in BBEdit a paragraph based text document can be turned into a sentence document (every sentence is a separate paragraph) and then imported. The next step is to organize the text into an outline that can be displayed in the graphic mode and make the topic a short keyword with the bulk of the text in a note. If you start in the graphic mode and create a series of symbols connected A to B to C to D to E and then switch to the Outline mode, you see the structure is different from a traditional outline.

If the subject gets too complex, multiple documents can be used. A master document with subdocuments that present the details.

That’s  my two cents

DT Pro will support some kind of automatic mapping showing the semantic relationships between contents or words. Maybe real mind mapping (doing it on your own) will be added to a later release of DT Pro (2.0?).

By the way … how much will an upgrade from DEVONthink to DT Pro cost?

Or is it a secret?

Cannot wait to pay you something :wink:



Just the price difference (USD 35) - that’s what we’ve promised to everyone for “some” time now :slight_smile:

I used Inspiration a few years ago and it worked for the things I was doing then (different than now), but I haven’t looked at it in recent years. Thanks for reminding me.

That sounds interesting.

The money is waiting …  ;D

Be patient :wink:

Just revised the menu & the preferences of DT Pro, added a scripts menu similar to the one of Panther’s Mail and database packages (similar to RTFD packages for example) are working now too. Well, the first beta will hopefully arrive during the first or second week of april :smiley:

I have nothing against Carbon … in face the programs I write uses Carbon. Anyway I tested Inspiration again and I was suddenly reminded of why I stopped using it … I especially miss a good way of moving data in and out of the program and it feels very Windows like (but it’s better than the version I used but they haven’t even managed to put the preference menu item in the correct menu). Nova Mind seems much nicer

There was a program for the Mac years ago called "Three By Five." I think I still have a copy somewhere.

It gave you index cards to write on, and a corkboard on which to pin them up and move them around.


What you are describing sounds like a program called "Tinderbox".

A big caveat to all this is that I haven’t actually used Tinderbox yet (it’s 145 USD), so I’m just going by what I’ve read.

I’ve seen elsewhere on this forum that some people use both Tinderbox and DT.

Can anyone help us out here ?

I’ve tried e’m all. Including, most recently, Tinderbox. It’s very powerful and flexible, but it too is Carbon and to my jaded eyes a bit ugly (Downright fugly in mapping mode)

Most problematically, it slows down with my large files(c. 3000 notes) on my PB 550. Maybe when I get a faster system I’ll enjoy it more.

Certainly for outlining, searching organizing and HTML export, Tinderbox can’t be beat for power; and its files are pure XML, which makes them quite flexible. But DT is far better at dealing with web research and file organization.

Right now I’m playing around with exporting HTML (which TB outputs beautifully - with the right template) and Importing the resulting folder to DT. When DT allows automatic updating of linked files, this may prove to be an ideal solution.

In the meantime I’m trying to use DT alone for most of my work. (I used to be a playwright but apparently these days I’m more of an artsy-fartsy note shuffler)  :-[

A future release of DT Pro (probably v2.0) will provide a simple mind mapping tool. Note: The initial release of DT Pro will be version 1.8.2 and therefore DT Pro 2.0 is not that far away  ;)

A free product, still in beta, is MyMind 1.1b2. Early users at VersionTracker are mostly complimentary:

I’ve tried most of these mind mappers and thought the best one was Inspiration, in that you can go back and forth from napkin-doodling to top-down outlines, thus massaging the left and right hemispheres and all that lies between.

However, OmniOutliner is great for quick jotting down and sorting of idea lines, and the extra columns and Note panes give you a rich thinking environment.

You might want to take a look at the latest Novamind (2.0) Its traditional outlining view has improved, it now im/exports opml and it’s much prettier than Inspiration.  The added screenwriting module is buggy, however.
Fellow Outlining Nut, Eiron

conclusion to some replies and answer to your question: Inspiration is now not as good as it was before, when it was allone on the Mac Market. Nova Mind 2.x with the new features and Outliner is getting better and better.
Its the fastest tool to build visual structures (does korrekt and nice Mindmaps)

Omnigraffle is the best when you have to develop(!) (good looking) Maps. (As I do rsp. did about 15 years with Inspiration)

If I understand right what you are loking for, you should have a look at Curio. I m not actually working with it, but it seems a great idea/intuitiv UI and should be also a fine supplemental product to DT.