To Do List app that works with DevonThink Pro


Ive been using DTPro for about a week now and it’s really improving my workflow. I was wondering if anyone had suggestions for a GTD to do app that works nicely with DevonThink?

I have a paid ToodleDo subscription which expires next year, and it works well through the browser and iOS, but it has it’s limitations. I was wondering about the workflow that other folks were using. TIA.

No doubt you’ll get replies, but have you browsed this forum using “Advanced Search”? Or the DEVONtechnologies blog? Of even the internet in general on how different people have blogged on this topic? It’s a pretty common question – but also one that has no single answer.

Personally, I use OmniFocus for most repetitive planning and tracking, and it was originally spec-built around the GTD concept. It’s also consistently available on macOS and iOS, which can be useful.

I use Curio for scoping out major projects. And I frequently just use plain paper and notebooks.

More important is merely visualizing what I need to get done and when with memory palaces.

I’m not an adherent of GTD – I think its time came and is long gone. You know the saying about “a foolish consistency…” and so on – GTD is prone to that scene.

Where does DEVONthink fit into this mélange? Well, that’s where a good portion of my work-in-progress and research data are, so I link to things in DEVONthink from OF or Curio etc.

DEVONthink is not a task planner per se, in my view, without a lot of fiddling. It’s sort of fragile on that front, in my own experience. Sort of like making a Cadillac into a milk wagon. You can do better.

Thanks, Korm. Yes, I looked around everywhere and came to the same result, no magic ideas or solutions. I agree, DT is not a task planner, and Ive learned my lesson not to push as app too far into another purpose (which it how I got to DT - story in itself). I get what you are saying, and I will admit Im overthinking it just a bit.

I too use DTPO and OmniFocus for storing my materials and actions, respectively.

I’m not a strict adherent to the GTD scheme, though I have read the book and apply some of the broader principles.

I think one important thing that David Allen suggests is keeping your actions and your reference material separate. This seems to be something a lot of GTD people apparently disregard, but I think it is a rather critical tenet of the system, and I think it applies well beyond GTD (indeed, I had been thinking that way before encountering GTD, and I continue to think that way even though I am not a GTD adherent).

The ability to copy item links in DTPO and DEVONthink to go and paste them into the notes field on OmniFocus (or any task manager or list manager or calendar application) means that you’ll always have easy access to the materials needed for a given action. Since Item Links in DTPO and To Go work across Mac and iOS, and can be pasted in basically any text field, they will work with practically any application you choose – even if that application is a plain text file with data detectors (to detect the item link URL scheme) where you type out your list of actions.

Put your stuff in DEVONthink, make a list anywhere else you like, and give 'er.

@Fredster, don’t forget the free app you already have. Reminders. No fancy business about contexts**, but you can create multiple lists for projects. And it is free and synced with all devices through iCloud. DEVONthink includes Scripts > Reminders > Add as To Do To Reminders which adds a reminder with a link back to the selected document. (There are other to-do app integrations in that script folder.)

Another option for some external apps (e.g., 2Do and Wunderlist, among others) is to use the macOS share menu and the share extensions for those apps. Here’s how the menu is access in DEVONthink. The downside of this method is that the link that is copied to 2Do, etc., is a file:/// link the leads directly inside the database package. This is a bit dangerous, but more likely it is fragile if you move the document to another database. In that case the link will fail.

[size=85]** Contexts is an aspect of GTD that I think drives a lot of folks to distraction. It’s like tagging – takes a lot of time to curate contexts with very little return.[/size]

You should consider TaskPaper by Jesse Grossjean at
It’s highly scriptable and you can easily link to your DT files, especially if you have Alfred or some similar app. The flexibility of the TaskPaper system allows a lot more freedom than traditional GTD and I find that more time is spend doing actual work rather than tweaking, although it is highly customisable.

This way you don’t have to worry about forgetting a filed document than needs work. Plus you can directly add email to your task list and thereby see all your tasks in one place, if you wish. Because its a plain text format you have many options and are not constrained to one proprietary format.

Then again, Taskpaper is not available on iOS.

I’m using OmniFocus and add item links to materials stored in DEVONthink Pro Office to my tasks. As item links cross the Mac/iOS border everything continues to work on both sides of the sync.

It sort of is. Editorial works well with TaskPaper documents. Taskmator is still around and available from the App Store. Both of these do not support any of TaskPaper 3’s fancy features, but most of TaskPaper 3 is non-essential glitz, from a task management perspective, in my opinion.

I use ToDoist with DTPO item links. Opens DT item directly from Todoist list. Works in iOS and Mac. On the Mac it works with both Mac app and Web version of ToDoist. I like the ubiquity of ToDoist as well as its flexibility. I load the web version of ToDoist inside of DTPO by using bookmark. Now you have a very powerful ToDo list inside DTPO. Since it is web based you could put the same list where ever you want in DT… even multiple places. This use of ToDoist also translates to iOS.