Universal Show/Hide DEVONthink groups

Well, nobody seems to be using my scripts yet, but I hope they are useful to somebody. Here’s another one that I use all the time (well, considering that I’ve only used DT for like a week and a half); it lets me keep my DEVONthink window closed all the time I’m not actually reorganizing or adding, by allowing a system-wide hotkey for showing/hiding the DEVONthink groups quick-window (which must set to be always-on-top for this to work). Using Quicksilver Triggers, I call this script with Control-G (‘G’ for “groups”). It switches to DEVONthink, opens the app if necessary, toggles the group visibility, and switches back to the formerly active app. This makes it really easy if you are browsing files in Finder and want to dump them in DEVONthink without losing your train of thought. Just setup a global hotkey (I use Quicksilver but anything else should work fine) for an applescript file that contains the following code:


set currentApp to ""
tell application "System Events"
	set currentApp to name of the first process whose frontmost is true
	
	tell application "DEVONthink Pro"
		set wasOpen to false
		try
			set thinkWin to first think window
			set wasOpen to true
		end try
		
		activate
		
		--if wasOpen = false then tell first think window to close
		--try
		--tell first think window to close
		--end try
	end tell
	delay 0.05
	keystroke "g" using {command down, control down}
	delay 0.05
	
	-- display alert currentApp
end tell

tell application currentApp
	activate
end tell

i do and i really like it. it helps to keep my desktop and the various »clean up from time to time corners« of my disks clean.

Cool, thanks. The original reason I made this one was actually for WriteRoom, a full-screen writing app. Pretty annoying to go full-screen and be all ready for productive writing, and have that always-on-top groups window showing up, so it provides an easy way to hide the window without losing what I was doing.

maybe off topic, maybee »devon think competitors«:

i tried with writeroom, but to be honest, i couldn’t see benefits for me and my way of working. i don’t mind, if there is something else visible on my screen.

i always liked small notebooks to carry around with me and since they exist i use moleskins. then i loved the idea to have that small notebook metapher on my mac as well. so i invested in an app called »note taker«. (i know, it’s not very cool and nobody else seems to use it.) i still work with it with great pleasure. i have a lot of little »books« for various purposes gathered in a kind of »library«.

some years ago i stopped using note taker and only worked with dtp for gathering notes, planning projects, writing copies etc. but with the more and more intensive use of the dtp importing and archiving capabilities the database became a fat vessel, not easy to move from office to armchair. and i still wanted some speedboats around it.

then i came back to note taker and now i have an ideal combination with dtpo as my mighty knowledge- and database and note taker for planning and thinking, accompanied by an application called »incubator« that visualises outlined information in a simple but speedy way.

but as i’m really interested in that kind of stuff i always have a look at new solutions.

Cool, Incubator looks interesting; I’ll have to check it out; I’d been using NovaMind for such things, but I like the seeming drag&drop flexibility of Incubator (at least per their site). I have 2 main reasons for using WriteRoom:

  1. I’m a GTD follower, so I try to focus on one task at a time when I’m in that mode
  2. I’m a writer, and with my personality, I’m a sucker for distractions as excuses for not writing.

I don’t really see much of a reason for non-academics or non-writers to use WriteRoom (I’m sure there are other niches, but those seem the main ones), but alot of DT users seem to be students/teachers/writers/generic-researchers, so WriteRoom can be pretty nice for focusing on what you’re writing.

One thing I’ve really enjoyed since switching to Macs is how many options there are for productivity and working apps, so based on personality, you can pick from an assortment of really nice commercial apps to get what you need.