View: Split or Three panes?

Which one do you prefer? Any suggestion, advise? What do you use most?

That’s largely a matter of personal preferences, but there is one notable difference regarding sorting of groups.

In the Split view groups can be sorted in any of a number of ways, including unsorted (which allows one to manually drag groups into a desired order).

In the Three Panes view groups will always be presented in alphabetical order.

That difference might be important in a case where you wish to order groups in other than alphabetical order, for example, if you have a project group in which you wish to manually sort the subgroups within that group.

Both views allow one to sort the order of documents contained within a group, and the sort is remembered for that group.

I find that most of the time I’m working in the Three Panes view. Some users prefer the List view.

Thank you! I personally prefer the split view. With the 3 panes view you need to have all the files in folders otherwise you have no trace of the loose files. This is strange and in a way confusing.

I use split-view exclusively, because my workflow need unsorted order. I am a writer and I like to move my stuff around till everything fits. And I am a visual person. I group related things by dragging them next to each other and I hate it if an item that always has been the first one in a group suddenly is second because a new item comes in and name-sorting mixes everything up. Finally I combine groups with files which would get separated by three-pane.

I only use three pane when reporting a bug to make sure it happens in three-pane as well :wink:


I’m using almost all views. E.g. three-pane view for the top level because of the superior overview, split view for most subgroups and finally icon/list views for even deeper subgroups because I want to view thumbnails of PDFs, images, movies or album art or want to view (almost) untruncated titles.

Hi, I’m new here, evaluating DEVONthink before purchase (and from what I can tell, DT is by FAR it’s the best around…). But I have what seems to me to be an obvious question:

I am able to import several groups of .rtfd documents (1000+) and preserve the original folder structure. So far, that’s great! However, it’s the sorting that I can’t figure out.

The imported groups are organised into years>> months>> dates like this:

1 January>>>
2 January>>>
… etc (for all dates)…
1 February>>>
2 February>>>
… etc (for all dates)…
…etc (for all months)…
…etc (for all years)…

I want to sort the outer group by year (or name… same thing, I guess), and the second-level folder by month (which from what I gather requires unsorting and then dragging to the right location), followed by the specific dates again orgainsed by name.

However, when I go to List View it appears that all the groups will follow the same sorting scheme. That is, if I unsort & drag the months to their proper order, then the dates revert to being all unsorted as well (and organise themselves by the first digit of the date, not the usual date order). But if I try to select just the dated documents and sort them by name, then all the months go back to being also sorted by name.

I read here something which implied it’s possible to sort groups and documents differently, but I can’t seem to do it.

Since I have 1000+ documents, I’d rather not have to sort them all manually.

(Also, one further suggestion: You might want to have separate sortings for name and for number, since name follows alphabetical sort rules and numbers should follow rules of familiarity (i.e., should show 1,2,5,10,15, not 1,10,15,2,5).)

Any suggestions? Thanks for he great product!


That’s already supported.

Yes, I know.

Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear… Correct number sorting is supported, but does NOT occur when “Unsorted” is indicated. This is the actual list I get:

1 October 2002.rtfd
11 October 2002.rtfd
14 October 2002.rtfd
15 October 2002.rtfd
17 October 2002.rtfd
2 October 2002.rtfd
21 October 2002.rtfd
22 October 2002.rtfd
25 October 2002.rtfd
28 October 2002.rtfd

When I sort by name, however, it diplays OK. But that doesn’t work for month, which I want to be Unsorted, since that’s apparently the only way I can rearrange the groups manually (as opposed to alphabetically, which is default).

And once again, as I stated earlier, it seems that whatever sorting option is chosen, is for ALL groups… I can’t figure a way to have some groups (for example) sort by Name and others to be Unsorted.

Any help for this? All I want to do is to sort by year>> month>> and day. Am I missing something?

I haven’t read this thread in its entirety, but if you want that sort order I’d try something like:

2002 October 15.rtfd

rather than

15 October 2002.rtfd

Sorts run from left-to-right and not the reverse. This scheme, however, will sort the months alphabetically, and not in temporal order.

You might also consider something like this:


where the year comes first, month with a leading zero if necessary and then day (w/leading zero). For me at least, easy to read, easy to sort and easy to pick apart programmatically.

HTH, Charles

OK, now I understand what I can do and what I can’t do. It’s not exactly what I hoped for (i.e, allowing separate sorting schemes per group or subgroup), but it’s clear.

Not a horrible problem for me to work around, though. Thanks for the suggestion.

That’s fine but I much prefer separating the parts of the date so I do 2002_10_02 or 2002_1002, making it easier (for my tired old eyes) to read.

I name almost everything in my DBs starting with the date, like 2009-09-09, not just for sorting, although that enters into it, but also because I have some items in my database that are 12 - 15 years old and I like to be able to easily tell the “vintage” of a note or reference without searching for the date it was posted.

In addition, sometimes the posting date is misleading, especially for items that are moved to DEVONThimk from other solutions (it might have been 5 years or more old when it got here).

Ho! Same reason here, especially when I am renaming digitized slides and 35mm negatives that go back to the 60s.