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DEVONthink Pro is your essential assistant for today's world, where almost everything is digital. From shopping receipts to important research papers, your life often fills your hard drive in the form of emails, PDFs, Word documents, multimedia files and more. Questions eventually pop up, like where do you store all of this stuff? How do you organize these very different file types, and even better, how do you find the exact file you're looking more...

What's New

Version 2.7.6:

New

  • Clip to DEVONthink and bookmarklets support markdown by using Markdownifier. The option Reformat with Instapaper is renamed to Reformat with Readability for Markdown.
  • Command Data > Create Table of Contents added. The created document cross-links the selected items.
  • Option Create Index Pages added to more...

Requirements

OS X 10.6.8 or later

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DEVONthink Pro User Discussion

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Most Helpful Reviews...

MacUpdate most helpful reviews user icon

Once again, Devon Technologies has put out a minor release that many, many vendors would have tagged as "major" and charged for an upgrade -- this time, adding a new note type, Markdown capability, and Mavericks tagging.

I more...

14 people found this review helpful
Version 2.6
MacUpdate most helpful reviews user icon
from Phaleron

As an organizational and archival tool, DevonThink Pro would be a fantastic application, if it would work right. But, several problems prevent it from being that.

Capturing a page from a web-browser (whether as Text, Webarchive, or PDF) more...

4 people found this review helpful
Version 2.5.1
Sort by: Time | Smiles
D-J Member IconReview+149
D-J
+2

Simply the most useful software out there, regardless of your area of interest or professional need.

For the challenged who give it half a star, that's just bitter childishness, or trolling, or a competitive agenda.

Or it's just that software is smarter than the reviewer.

Reply1 reply
Version 2.7.4
burkanov
+3

Please, tell me then, what is so great about this software? The classify feature - yes, it's fine. But what else is causing you to burst such a love for DevonThink? I'm trying this software every year in hope it changed or I will finally see the light - but regretfully, I still see the same meaningless mess of interface components. I'm not trolling, my friend, I'm wondering. I read the documentation. I read the forum. I have written my own scripts to bring this software any closer to a useable form, but I still see no difference with just saving a bunch of files into dropbox folder and working with DevonThink. Except for the facts, that the prior is much cheaper, syncs reliably and has better interface.

burkanov Member IconReview+63
burkanov
+2

I really hate this program. I believe it I would ever teach creating software, I would use DevonThink as an example of how not to do. I'm following development of DevonThink since years and the biggest question I have is why there is nobody yet to write a normal alternative to this monster?
There are hundreds of features, that are barely useable due to the terrible interface, others barely work due to the terrible implementation. Yes, there are users, that find it OK to suffer in order to see this ugly bear dancing. The software is so bad, it's hard to tell what could it be used for. Note taking? There are zillion other note taking apps which offer useable interface, from Evernote to Onenote and so on. Sorting? The functionality is very limited, inconsistent and unpredictable. Searching? The internal structure of even newly created "data base" is stupid organised, that, multiplied to the awful UI you can't find even the data you've imported a second ago. Syncing is a joke - it "syncs" to Dropbox by simply copy-paste everything you have. Each time. Editing, marking, managing data is done by using hundred of different, inconsistent, poorly designed and poorly implemented forms and scripts. Generally, working with DevonThink - it's like working with multiple SAP forms, thrown together by a bunch of teenagers in computer club.
The only good thing DevonThink has - auto classification and auto suggestion.
As in my opinion, DevonThink belongs to the one and only place: trash can.

Reply4 replies
Version 2.7.3
Odysseus
+2

Yeah, I'm not really sure what it's good for anymore, particularly since the cloud syncing is so weak.

D-J
+0

Complete disagree. This is a thinking person's kit of software, exceedingly powerful if one bothers to take the time to learn it. Every update is a careful suite of improvements and once you've brought DEVONThink into your workflow, it simplifies and organises like nothing else out there.

You say that you can't find the data you just imported? Duh, it's in the Inbox, the folder choice at the very top of the sidebar. If you missed that simple effort, I can understand your challenges in understanding DEVONThink overall.

DEVONThink and DEVONAgent used together are the most powerful utilities for data gathering and organising on any platform. Bar none.

Yes, the UI design is getting long in the tooth and looks a bit dusty. But it's not that bad yet.

Seems to me you downloaded a copy, played around with it for half an hour, and wrote up your half-star review, burkanov. That low score alone suggests a chip on your shoulder or another agenda, not a measured analysis of a phenomenally crafted software utility.

Mar6473
+5

@burkanov — You have a point that if you don't have a consistent filing system Devonthink can turn into a mess because it has so many options. It's also true that if I personally tried to keep everything in Devonthink it wouldn't be as useful. I used Devonthink as my primary information manager through an MA degree and it was incredibly helpful. Your claim of "unpredictability" is simply not true through. It does precisely what you tell it to do.

The reason why DT is a valuable tool is because it manages information from a wide variety of sources. It lets you browse the contents of filed information sources and compare them against others. For example, my database is full of academic papers. I can highlight citations and then later find one important sentence when I don't recall which PDF it's in or if I want to support a point I'm writing about but I don't recall all the citations I have collected. The Finder can't do this and other info managers can't do it with so many types of sources. It is not helpful—for me anyway—for active documents I'm working on like Word; for this I use Dropbox with cloud support and I can usually recall something based on the doc type and the file name.

Having cloud access to every single file on your computer is not productive—it's trendy. I don't want to work with large amounts of information on my iPhone. I do need mobile access to a lot of my files so I use a laptop.

The interface isn't eye candy like Evernote; but I don't expect this from a tool like this. If you've ever used Bento, DT looks great. It might not fit your personal workflow, but saying it belongs in the trash is misleading and not very fair.

Kihoalu
+3

The first question I would ask:
Do you believe you have a need for what DevonThink does?

You haven’t in all these years found an alternative you find acceptable?

Maybe you like working from a junk drawer? Or don’t have a lot of files that are keepers. Certainly you have a strong opinion about this product.

It is tempting to comment on a piece of software at first glance, based upon whether you grasp the concept readily, or not. I’ve backpedaled a time or two myself, once I realized there is a lot of value in a tool that I was originally lukewarm about.

The videos give you a good idea of what DT can do as a database or selective data manager. How that applies to your junk drawer, is purely up to you.

One has to put in some effort to use DevonThink - and pull chaos into organization & that’s true of any organizational tool. If you have a need to be organized at all.

All the tools are there in DT to handle a miss-mash of files to keep & they’ve been great about free updates. You can always launch items with another tool, such as the note-takers you allude to above, if your other synced devices have them.

Syncing files is not a big deal.

Having said that, I don’t use it often enough, or very well - because it means spending time organizing the mess I already had & I never quite get the old stuff together. Wish I had it on a brand new computer.

The interface could be prettier, but it does what it claims.

Cocoanut Member IconReview+209
Cocoanut
+2

It's a good app and I use it but it's lacking one important feature and has one annoying UI element which I can't stand.

The feature I want is simple password security, a timed lockout of the app when I get up to eat dinner and forget to hide it from my family's prying eyes. I don't need encryption just a simple cover for my work I can set to a timer such as 3 minutes.

The UI element I really don't like is the Take Note window which is transparent black. This is horribly difficult to read and type in and serves no actual purpose except to look ugly. Please, Mr. Developer redesign the Take Note window to be a nice looking, well formatted standard grey window. Thanks!

Reply0 replies
Version 2.7.3
 Member IconReview+0
+0

I've used DevonThink Pro for some years now. I used to use it as a general chaos-information bucket. Really, for me, it was a bit unwieldy. Also the slow and not-useful iOS app discouraged me. In fact, I stopped using DTP altogether for a while. But I was just assessing various solutions for a very specific information wrangling scenario. I'm a fine art photographer, and I needed a way to deal with the relationship between image -> file instances -> print instances. It was a complicated thing to try to set up in a relational database (it's a complex set of relationships). It turns out it was relatively easy to do in DTP, and I'm so far extremely happy with the result. I think this is why academic researchers like it so much -- it is potentially extremely wonderful and flexible for focused large scale tasks. I'm back in the Devonthink Pro camp, and I might even start using it for other things again. But definitely not for the big general information dump or anything that needs to sync to iOS.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.7.3
Jimblue Member IconReview+337
Jimblue
+2

excellent review of an excellent product made by an excellent software company.

i enjoyed reading your well-worded review. very nice, thanks.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.6
Mdognrdog Member IconReview+152
Mdognrdog
+14

Once again, Devon Technologies has put out a minor release that many, many vendors would have tagged as "major" and charged for an upgrade -- this time, adding a new note type, Markdown capability, and Mavericks tagging.

I bought this package shortly before 2.0 came out, when the developer was offering a 2.0 upgrade for any buyers of 1.x after that date.

That was five years ago; the 2.0 release was in 2008. And several times now, the Devon people have put out some pretty big new features (especially on the Pro Office package, which I don't have), without upping the major release number.

If you're going to spend anything more than $10 or $20 on a piece of organizational/research software, it's nice to know that that "planned obsolescence" is not the developer's strategy.

Aside from that, it's just really good software. I tried a bunch of these products that make information capture and organization easy. Yojimbo's capture is probably easier, but not by very much if you use DevonThink's Sorter. DevonThink can also capture from a lot of different places in your workflow -- browser extension, print-to-PDF dialogue, global Inbox in your Finder, all mean you can capture any time the thought comes to you.

But none of the other information managers out there provide you with anything like the kinds of tools you get from DevonThink for whipping your information into shape once you've captured it. Seriously, there's just no contest. There's an AI for suggesting cross-references and filing/tagging locations, you can auto-file all the stuff in your inbox if you've learned to trust that AI, you can annotate and edit PDFs, HTML, and Rich Text...

It's just flat sick, is what it is.

And, since it's basically morally wrong to keep a guy's stuff in a proprietary database with no way out (and there are information managers that do this), you can export to plain old files-and-folders that mimic your groups/tags, and navigate them through the Finder.

Reply1 reply
Version 2.6
Oldmiller
+3

Sir, this is a great review. As this also and fully applies to the “Office” version of DEVONthink Pro, please consider publishing it as a review on MacUpdate's listing for the Office-version too.

Devadog Member IconReview+11
Devadog
+7

Stable, Fully featured, well thought out, VERY powerful,well supported. Probably the best file/ document organisation tool available for the Mac.
I wavered for a very long time before purchasing this app (and have tried most of its competitors). It seems that you do get what you pay for. There are many cheaper products out there but none can match DevonThink in features and performance in my opinion.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.5.1
Phaleron Member IconReview+97
Phaleron
+4

As an organizational and archival tool, DevonThink Pro would be a fantastic application, if it would work right. But, several problems prevent it from being that.

Capturing a page from a web-browser (whether as Text, Webarchive, or PDF) is useless, because, except for tags and folders designated as favorite, not all paths in the database are available from the save panel. The same issue is encountered when saving a page via the scripts from the script folder.

Equally frustrating is it's inability to make hyperlinks in a page, because, again, not all paths are available. This was true in Leopard, and it continues to be true in Snow Leopard.

I have for a long time refrained from rating DTP because I really like what DTP does, waiting update after update to see this resolved, but time is up. I will revise my rating as the developer corrects the problem.

Reply1 reply
Version 2.5.1
Lev
+2

Not quite, in my experience. You can capture material from a browser into any nested folder using the Clip extension. But you're quite right that that's NOT the case when making links within a DevonThink database, which I agree is a strange and severe shortcoming. (You can only make a link to a top-level folder)

Kihoalu Member IconReview+114
Kihoalu
+4

Clicked the wrong button & lost a longer review.

I've tried some of the other suggestions here, but the other apps mentioned don't all do what DevonThink does.

DevonThink is a very good piece of software if you have a little dedication in the beginning of re-organizing your sock drawer or chaos bin. That's the hardest part of getting organized.

DevonThink can help with that. Start tagging data & categorizing & it only gets easier to rearrange as the databas(es) grow.

To make this work best, you need to stay with organizing your data until some structure becomes evident that works for you. If you have that capacity, this is a slick application.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.5.1
Rasputinsrevengereloadet Member IconReview+93
Rasputinsrevengereloadet
+0

If you seriously want to go paperless or as much paperless as possible, you need a software of that kind!

DEVONthink Pro Office is the most feature rich of it's kind.

There are no bugs what's or ever only improvements from time to time.

So I guess it's one thing to be on top, but another to stay there!

I'm happy to know that the future will bring me lots of satisfaction with this software and my money was well spend on this (four years ago!!).

Thank you for the great work on this software that I can rely on.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.5
user icon+2
Ededed
Version 2.7.5
user icon+93
Version 2.7.4
user icon+0
fawza
Version 2.7.3
user icon+0
Léonux
Version 2.7.3
user icon+0
franglophone
Version 2.7
user icon+0
crazy-tec
Version 2.6.1
user icon+0
ChaomingChen2551
Version 2.6.1
user icon+0
Version 2.6.1
user icon+0
katlinquinn
Version 2.6.1
user icon+35
PRjohnson
Version 2.6.1
> 4 126

Ratings

Overall
(126)
Current Version (2.x)
(110)

Details

Downloads 98,645
Version Downloads 2,657
License Demo
Date 22 May 2014
Platform Intel 64 / OS X / Intel 32
Price $79.95
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