Any DevonThink users using VoodooPad in conjunction with DevonThink?


It looks an interesting app although at present am still working out how it might fit in with DevonThink.

Just curious

I’m trying out VoodooPad and Hog Bay Notebook <http://www.hogbay.com/software/notebook/>, both of which use wiki-style links. I’m convinced that they’re both excellent applications conducive to creative writing, if only because of the wiki-style links. What I can’t decide is which one is better (I’m leaning towards Hog Bay at the moment) and exactly how to use them, and I haven’t yet thought much about how to use them in a proper workflow revolving around DT.

Trivially, I guess the first thing to do is to import all the files created by these applications into DT, either manually or by attaching the Action Import script to any folders in which you’re likely to place them. In the case of Hog Bay, a file will become a folder of many files in DT. The content pages are saved as rtfd (not sure how this differs from rtf), openable within DT. In addition, there’s a link called “index”. Double-clicking this opens the notebook title page’s underlying HTML/XML (?) code in my favorite text editor, Hydra. More usefully, using the contextual menu’s “Show in Finder” command reveals the original file.

Hog Bay Notebook’s organization is more useful, and the search function is excellent, so the function of DT is to keep track of all your writings by maintaining a central database. At the same time, it acts as a safety net in case the original file becomes unusable.

Forgot to mention this: Note that both applications are at present $19.95.

I’ve tried both and much prefer VoodooPad because it’s so free-form – no categorization, no metadata, just documents with unexpected links. It has really revolutionized the way I write notes and work.

I’m using DT mostly as a retrospective search tool – not writing in it directly, but storing stuff and then going back through it later. I’ve found that if, every week or so, I export my .vdoc to RTFD, and then import those into a “VoodooPad” folder in DT, I get pretty good searchable access to my information. So right now I have a three-step process:

  1. Writing either in VoodooPad directly, or on my Palm handheld with a keyboard in MacNoteTaker, which syncs with the desktop – I have to manually copy these files into VoodooPad as there is (as yet!) no VoodooPad ‘conduit.’

  2. Export the .vdoc and import it into DEVONThink.

  3. Search that .vdoc using DT’s search features.

What would be MUCH better would be if I could make DT ‘watch’ the MacNoteTaker folder, where all of my .vdoc text gets placed every time I export and hotsync my Palm. Then DT would update seamlessly. Someday, when VoodooPad gets a Palm conduit – something Gus Mueller (the nicest guy ever!) has kinda sorta suggested he might be working on – then I’ll have the absolute perfect note-taking solution.

I express my views of HBN in the "Usage Scenario" thread, below. I have used both VP and HBN as writing tools and think that HBN is vastly superior, at least for the kind of writing that requires lots of logical structure, citations, and footnotes. It could be that a more creative essay or story might develop better in the VP note-taking environment.

Yes, I, anyway, prefer VoodooPad because most of my note-taking is ‘free form’ – I don’t like having to actually think about categories and organization when I take notes, and VoodooPad lets you just write, write, write, write without having to organize at any point. For me it’s pretty unbeatable.

The Linking thread ties in with this topic.

Outliner Features—Part 2 is an interesting and informative article, with comments mentioning DEVONthink and VoodooPad (the article mentions Hog Bay Notebook).

I’ve been evaluating DEVONthink as a (mostly) technical content database/manager rather than as a writer’s tool or outliner.  It seems better suited for that than HBN or VP, but DT groups tend to get awkward for organizing large numbers of “random” items.  Often I don’t want to care where I’m adding certain items (yet I resist being too sloppy about it); I just want to easily find, update, and (eventually) combine/correlate them.  There may be a combination of groups and classifying that works okay but I still need to experiment more.  And maybe give the apps with Wiki-type linking more time to see if they can be integrated with DT, as others have done.

Seems like traditional directory/file boundaries somehow eventually get in the way of how I really want to manage and organize data, both at application and filesystem levels.