Richard Ratzan
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Richard Ratzan commented on 18 May 2008
bookdog is great!!!!!!! indispensable. it does so much more than alphabetize/sort (at levels one can control) browser bookmarks (it's pitiful that safari doesn't include such a basic feature when it comes to bookmakrs). i do not use most of its features, frankly, but like the fact they are there and at its reasonable price, it's worth it for just the sorting/validation/duplication identification features.

developer was very responsive to an unusual request of mine (how to sort by date of creation/modification) with a workaround

and upgrades - free - are almost weekly and painlessly installed and BBD relaunched.

a must have

rich ratzan
[Version 5.1.12]

Richard Ratzan commented on 10 Sep 2007
The following is what I wrote in May for MacWorld review (of 1.03 - i have not tried subsequent versions) and see no reason to reword it (but shall soften comments on Mindola's Supernotecard in spirit of generosity):

Scrivener is a good program and a standout amongst the many "creative" wordprocessor/project managers (I've tried them all - from Ulysses to Avenir to Jer's Novel Writer to Z-Write to CopyWrite to WriteRoom to Smultron and TextMate; steer clear of Supernotecard - too buggy) and combo wordprocessor/sketch-outline programs (like Curio, OmniGraffle, NoteTaker, VoodooPad, and NovaMind) and sui generis apps like Tinderbox, a uniquely powerful pluripotential program with an equally daunting learning curve.

But if you want a creative wordprocessor/organizer app, and if you are like many creative writers - at least I am such an one - then you are probably making connections with existing texts, pages of notes, web pages, snippets of information and images from your own personal toolbox. Which is why I do not use Scrivener any more but rather DEVONthink (I actually use DEVONthink Pro, DTP). At $39, DT is roughly the same price as Scrivener. Although DT is a few dollars more expensive than Scrivener, it is unfair to compare the two costs as the price of two wordprocessors since once you own DT, you have a lifelong, smart, scriptable repository of virtually infinite capacity (10,000 files for DT and much more for DTP) within which one can dump virtually any text format of any length (I've put entire books into DT), any web page format, any image format - and then later access, arrange, and cut and paste them into one's creative effort. (I have not done any screen writing so cannot attest to its use for such). Full screen editing is also a feature. If one wants multiple windows open and in a certain arrangement, a la Scrivener or Ulysses, one can open as many windows as one wants, place them in desired spots on screen, tick off "Open windows that were open on quit" in Preferences and they will open in same location you left them when you reopen DT. One of the many additional advantages of DT/DTP are the incredibly powerful search, classify, "see also" (for similar passages or items in database), and other properties of this unique program. And the word processing is clean and simple but all you'll want or need for writing most genres. There is also an accessory web-searching program, DEVONagent, to complement DT/DTP. The user forum community and program admins are quite responsive, helpful and polite.

For smaller "quick and dirty" projects I prefer Smultron (donationware, with almost hourly upgrades) and TextMate, using its "project" feature (a little more pricy than Scrivener at 39 euros). The bad news is they have fewer bells and whistles than Scrivener. The good news is that they have fewer bells and whistles than Scrivener and are therefore, for me at least, much easier to use. (I find corkboard options in Scrivener cute but of no utility - clearly personal preference.) Smultron also sports split windows. And of course for writers/programmers - their primary audience - these two programs have many, many other features.

By the way, the best version-comparison app (since DocuComp in the old pre-OS X days!) I have found is Mariner Write, using the Window->Cleanup feature which allows one to tile many open files (in their own windows) horizontally or vertically, quite useful for texts in which the actual physical layout/appearance is important - in my case, sections of poems with word/line arrangement at stake.

The more I write, the more value I find in having and learning one program, like DT, that combines my own unique growing "library" of various source materials/data/images/notes, et cet., with my research or creative drafts and texts, with easy searching of both and easy transfer back and forth from one to the other.

Rich Ratzan
September 10, 2007
[Version 1.08b]

1 Reply


Richard Ratzan replied on 11 Oct 2007
Sorry if all three commenters thought i was a DTP salesman. i am not.

i was commenting/reviewing Scrivener by way of comparable writing tools. i did and still do find that a legitimate and useful way to "review" an app.

i do not intend to get into a prolonged argument with each commenter as to why and how. actually only one long paragraph was about DTP and that was in addition to the mention, with comments, about other, similar tools (i am not using word processor since most of these, incl DTP, are hybrids of word/image/database apps) i have no problem assembling and re-organizing different texts/text windows in DTP. i find it more than adequate as a "word processor" It actually has some above and beyond features most word processors do not have, such as "classification" and concordance options. the search feature of even an huge database of files and texts, with an heirarchical ranking of "best fit" is quite impressive.

i also apologize if i was not clear to polymath or other readers about reference to macworld. with all due respect to polymath, no one else has called my writing unclear

each to his own. i find DTP the best tool for what I do and tried to explain why.

as the mexicans say at this point ¡ya! which means i would drop it, unless others wish to pursue it, which i would suggest they do offline, which they are free to do at

best wishes to all writers and whatever app they use! and to all those carbo-loading for NaNoWriMo, good luck!!!!

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