Using DevonThink for organizing sermons and sermon prep

I’ve seen a couple posts about this on Google but most of them are A) several years old and B) lacking details about how it is setup.

For the past several years I’ve wanted to start using DTOP for organizing sermons, by which I really mean organizing all of the various bits of stuff that I find out there when I am preparing for a sermon. This seems like a place where DTOP’s AI could really be useful.

I’m curious how people have organized things and how they have tagged them as well. Seems like tagging could be a huge boon, but where to begin and what to tag? Scripture reference? Author names of articles? Biblical topics, etc?

Any advice would be welcome.

Greetings and Thank You for Surfacing this Topic!

I don’t “tag” the documents, Web snippets, RSS feeds converted to RTF [thank you DevonThink wizards!], scanned images, pictures, or other sundry items DevonThink allows me to capture. Tagging was something I attempted and failed at due to lack of being able to be consistent in tag naming. What I do now is to dump all of my potential support materials into a database named “eArticlesSnips”.

Although it was drilled into our heads in Bible college and even graded as to how well organized it was, I no longer try to file my support materials in Topical folders, i.e., Salvation, Marriage, Youth problems, Depression, How to Be Happy Even when You’re a Baptist, and et cetera. Everything is dumped into my eArticlesSnips database.

My RSS feeds are now read via DevonThink’s interface. The “Convert to Rich Text” function is a huge help. It takes but a few seconds to capture the feed’s new article’s contents and add it to my eArticlesSnips database.

I’ve found the “Find” and “See Also” (the Magician’s Hat) functions to be most helpful, more accurate in finding an item related to a topic than when I attempted to keep things in a topical folder structure, and often surprising in presenting links to other helpful items.

My sermon preparation workflow is something that I’m seeking God’s wisdom and direction about as I’m once again working at refactoring what has become too complicated–Accordance, DevonThink, Scrivener, MindJet, Kindle, Word, PowerPoint. Before being called as a pastor, I was a statistical analyst and software developer who loved all things of Geekdom. My natural bent is to overthink, over-engineer, and shut myself away as I search for the perfect development tool or system. Your resurfacing of this topic has come at a perfect time in my life. I look forward to seeing the good we will all enjoy as this topic is discussed by our DevonThink family.

Joyfully Magnifying God’s Glory Through Jesus Unto All Peoples,


How to Be Happy Even when You’re a Baptist


Thanks for this Daniel, I never thought of converting to Rich Text but I will now convert all my feeds, Cheers. :smiley: