Writer Usage Case Suggestions Please

I write in markdown in iA Writer, .txt files and reference various research from the internet and other documents. I am frustrated with Finder et al and very open to ideas for how to create a streamlined workflow with DevonThink.

Do I move (or better to copy?) my .txt files into DT? Then add research notes and docs and internet bits and play and learn from there?

I’m non-technical, so simple is best. And if I’m barking up the wrong tree or you have a suggestion of another option, I’m all ears. Thanks!

Welcome @DeaconPatrick

Database organization is largely a personal matter unless you’re working collaboratively.

You can import and even edit Markdown or text files in DEVONthink. I suggest you spend some time reading the Help > Documentation > Getting Started chapter to understand the basics. There’s plenty of good info in the manual.

If you have a nest of directories containing these files, you can just have DT ‘index’ them. If you change them in the finder or inside DEVONthink the changes (directory structure, file names, file contents) will match up between them - what you do in Finder will appear in DEVON, what you do in DEVON will be mirrored in the Finder. The files are in the DEVON database, but the actual file contents (and metadata) are in Finder.

This would be a really low-risk way to experiment. You could just archive the directory in full to have an instant backup if you were exploring the more one-way features in DEVON (eg, file and directory deletion!)

I also keep as much as possible in Markdown in DT, and also use iaWriter with it - it’s a great combination. The other neat feature, if you have an iPad/iOS device and DEVONthinkToGo, is that you can replicate the DEVON database to the mobile platform, edit files there (iaWriter on iPad is lovely!) and sync them back - if you’re using Indexed directories, these will go right back to the right locations in the Finder.

DeaconPatrick, I am a writer as well and am constantly exploring new workflows looking to find the perfect one.

I suggest thinking through what your frustrations are with Finder and how DevonThink might solve them.

I’ve been using DevonThink most of the past two or three years, with occasional breaks to see if another workflow might be better. I’m probably all in for good at this point.

I write a half-dozen articles monthly, and use one Group per article or project. I store all my research materials in DevonThink–PDFs, archives of web pages, emails, interview notes, interview audio, PowerPoints, Word documents.

Most of the time I also took running notes in DevonThink, and wrote articles in DevonThink using Markdown as well, usually using an external Markdown editor such as iaWriter or MultiMarkdown composer. In my current job, before I send an article to my editor, I copy it to Microsoft Word, and then save a copy of the Word document in DevonThink.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been experimenting with using an additional app, Craft for running notes, bullet-type journaling, scratchpaper, and drafts. I’m using Craft in conjunction with DT, and plan to export projects from Craft into DT when I’m done. This is because Craft is quicker to use than DT, and the iPad/iPhone clients are MUCH better. It also makes it easier for me to experiment with Wiki-style organization (though DT also supports internal linking and wikilinks).

One of the signature features of DevonThink is that everything is stored in standard documents and folders. It’s very easy to get documents in and out and change around the organization to suit your needs. That contrasts DT with apps such as Evernote and Bear, which also let you export your work but exporting a lot of notes is a big project.