DevonThink have been my “everything bucket” for a while now. Ever since I realized how expensive Evernote was, for something that didn’t for fill my needs.
This is how I look at it: to compare Evernote and DevonThink is like comparing Byword and Textmate/Sublime Text. They are two different animals, that are serving two different markets.
This article started as a complex review. But then I realized how much time that would take, and I wouldn’t have the time to complete it in a long time. Both because of the time it would take me to write it, but also the time it would take me to use the app enough to have informed opinions about it.
I won’t tell you about every single feature, or about all the cool stuff DevonThink can do here. But I will tell you why I bought it, and what I really like about it. And some of the stuff I don’t like that much.
DevonThink is a power user tool. I love how easy it is to make as many databases as you want, and they makes it easy to organize your content the way you want to do it. You can look at each DevonThink database as a disk drive; and you can have sub folders and tag the files in each database. And it’s easy to move files between them.
There are two features that made me buy a license for DevonThink. They have great markdown support, and their OCR feature is even greater. This means that you can OCR any PDF you store there, if you want to.
One of the things I use DevonThink for is writing assignments at the University, or larger projects for this site. I can store all the related documents or web-pages there and write the different drafts in markdown.
Trial. I think the way DevonTechnologies are doing trials need some attention. You don’t get X days for free. You get 150 hours of usage, before you have to pay. There are a few limits, for example on how many documents you can OCR, per day(or something). But you have a functional app for 150 hours, that is awesome.
To sum up, DevonThink is the power user everything bucket. They have support for most of the stuff power users expect. Markdown. Apple Script. Plug-ins for mail and safari. And you can organize your files the way you want to.
iOS App. There are a version of DevonThink for iOS. But I haven’t found much use for it, yet. One of my problems with it, is that there aren’t any good support options. You need to sync it over your local network, and you need to mark which files you want to sync, by moving them into a special folder.
I hope they are planning to introduce a better sync option for the iOS app in the future, for example over Dropbox.
But that’s the only thing about DevonThink that I don’t like. It’s a great place to store all my files that I don’t want to have laying around on the file system. And they make it easy to organize and find what I’m looking for, when I need it.
There are four versions of DevonThink. Go to their comparison table to figure out which version’s for you. You don’t need to buy the most expensive version now, if you think you might need it in the future. They have a cool upgrade policy. Just remember to buy the non-App Store version.