What feature is most "missed" by a newbie?

I am a relative DT newbie. A long time Evernote user but never happy with the organizational limitations for information (I feel the need for some hierarchy and EN has none, really). About two years ago I tried DT for a little while but felt it was a bit confusing and really didn’t give it a chance. I decided to move some of my stuff to OneNote. I used OneNote for a about a year and liked the organizational capabilities but the MAC version was really, really quirky. So, I decided about 6 months ago to give DT another shot, and this time I gave it a bit more time and got hooked. I have now moved all of my information from EN to DT except for the notebooks have integrations with other apps.

I have been using DT happily for about 6 months and the only discomfort is that I always have the feeling that I am “missing something”. That there is some magic that I could be harnessing that I am not.

So… now to my question. For all of your DT experts. Is there is some DT feature that everybody should use but isn’t obvious to newbies? (It’s ok if the answer is “no”, but it would be nice to know that :slight_smile:


Two things I’ve learned recently (the learning of which prompted me to ask a similar question to the one you’re asking, because I’ve been using DT for three years and am only now starting to feel like I know what I’m doing with it):

  • Investigate the Workspaces feature in the Go menu. I learned about this feature by reading a blog post about it, and it immediately transformed the way I use DT. Words cannot express how pleased I am to have found this feature.

  • If you assign a tag to a folder, all of the files in that folder inherit that tag. I learned about this a few weeks ago, less than 24 hours after having tagged about 150 files by hand that were all already in the same folder.


Scripts. Not just the large built-in library available with DEVONthink as it ships, but also the ones you can add from the Support Assistant, but also the large group available from this forum and all around the internet in various blogs. (Not always easy to discover the latter, but they are there.)

Templates. Could use the same comment as for Scripts.


Welcome @fillmore!

I agree with @Tony2X and @korm’s suggestions.
Workspaces are a great way to return to an organized state. I use at least one every day.

Templates are definitely an unsung hero of DEVONthink’s. The built-in ones are very useful, not only in everyday situations but also as inspiration for what could be done with them. Very powerful stuff, especially when combined with…

Scripts. Our AppleScript dictionary is deep and robust and offers an amazing level of automation. The built-in scripts in Pro/Pro Office are also functional, inspirational, and educational as they are all editable. In addition, the Scripting forum here is full of great questions and answers from noobs to gurus. :slight_smile:


Replicants, and how they can be used differently to Duplicates.


Workspaces, templates, and scripts. I haven’t used any of these, but workspaces is the one that I know nothing about. I think that I have played with replicants a little. Thanks for all of the pointers, I will spend time playing with these!

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Press the little hat


I just did that … but I have no idea what it is showing me :slight_smile:

The “magic hat”, or See Also & Classify, is kicking off a display that shows you two things: groups in your database that DEVONthink calculates might be good destinations for the selected document. And, it shows you other document in your database that DEVONthink calculates might be related to the selected document.

In both cases, DEVONthink shows you a “score” – ranking these matches from “very good / close” to “maybe good”.

All of this is part of the power of DEVONthink’s so-called “AI” that can be helpful for organizing your data. Some people use the feature a lot – other people find it useful advice, but prefer their own methods of classifying documents – and other people find it an interesting but not essential tool for their database.

The Magic Hat tool is tiny but visible in many views, as well as in the Search results. The Data > See Also & Classify command in the menu (or ^⌘S) does the same as the Magic Hat.


I’m not a newbie to DTPro, but rarely use the “magic hat” because it lacks one convenient feature (or maybe I missed it). In the results, I’d like to be able to click on one of the results and have the file moved there – as it is now, I have to use “Move To”, and since I have a lot of files this can be a scrolling nuisance.

And BTW, “See Also and Classify” is not in the DT Manual that I have, but perhaps there’s a newer one? (Mine is 2016)

? If you are referring to a group suggested in Classify, you can click the Move to button, Control-C, or double-click the group… and the file will be moved there.

And we issue updates to our manuals when we update our software, so yes your’s is very out of date. Also, the built-in Help is always there.

Thank you x 2
Have latest Manual
Now using Ctrl-C

You’re welcome. Happy Classifying! :slight_smile:

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Using DT to organize all sorts of documents. For example, I use Omni Outliner for a lot of my research and planning. But OO doesn’t give you a simple way to navigate/browse multiple documents. So I drag the outlines into DT and organize them there. DT gives a good preview of the outline (you can even expand/contract the outline in the preview) that is searchable.


Oh my goodness. First, thanks to @fillmore for asking the question I should have asked a few years ago. What an obvious way to find out what we’re missing!

And @Tony2X – I haven’t even set up a Workspace yet, but two sentences into that blog post you shared, I knew you had pointed me to a major improvement for my workflows. Thank you! And I haven’t even scrolled all the way through the responses to this post yet. :slight_smile:



I was in the exact same position as you, grinding my teeth over Evernote’s organizational deficits, but I stayed with it over DT for one reason. In Evernote, if you attach a document, you can edit that document (via Evernote) and it will update in the Evernote note. In DT, once you attach a document, it’s a static thing, never to be edited (unless you want to strip it from the note and upload an updated version). That was a deal breaker for me.

Welcome, @jeffsf

Define document. There is no singular document, in Evernote, DEVONthink, or elsewhere.

I am not sure what you mean. I have a DOC file in DT. I double click on it in DT and it opens in WORD. I change something and do a SAVE and go back to DT and it is changed.

I always wondered why the hat is so tiny. A more prominent design would benefit it greatly in terms of discoverability, wouldn’t it?

It’s only a shortcut button to the menu item Data > See Also & Classify.