Would you recommend DevonThink3 and why?

Specific questions I would like to be answered :

  1. What do you use it for ?
  2. What other tools / apps does it help replace ?
  3. What are some limitations that you have faced with it , based on your personal workflow ?
  4. What are some generic use cases that might work well with DevonThink?
  5. What type of PKM enthusiast personality does it complement most ? Archivist/ librarian , architect , gardener etc
  6. Is it really worth the money ?
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  • In short, DevonThink is a great one-stop shop from the past. Just as children growing up with a smartphone would fail to appreacite an iPod, if you never used DevonThink before about 2010, it’s probably difficult to understand its reputation now.
  • I used to use it for document management heavily during undergraduate years. It works very well with a limited set of files for a specific topic/project. But personally, I’ve seldom opened it apart from legacy projects.
  • So what has changed since then? To give a few examples: In 2011, the first standalone version of Zotero was available. In 2013, with the launch of Mavericks, we gained native tagging support in Finder. And around 2015 saw a plethora of modern note-taking and scrapping apps that are either web-based or with a more lightweight native UI, not to mention other revolutionary features like database, bi-directional links, block reference, etc.
  • DevonThink is still the best all-arounder, meaning much of the PKM needs you can think of can probably be met with it, but the learning curve is also a bit higher than some less integrated and ambitional apps.
  • It has some unqie features like automatic keyword discoveries which’s not available to the base version. And if that’s important to you, then it’s certainly worth the money, but if you are more accustomed to find the connections of your materials in other ways or already have an established workflow, I would say it’s probably not. So be sure to give those features a try before you decide.
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Thanks for the input , it sure answers some of my questions regarding the reputation for the tool !

  • I certainly understand a lot of it’s aspects now .
  • For now, since the PKM market is booming and I am jumping from one tool to another , investing in DevonThink3 might not be the most responsible decision to take .
  • Thanks for saving my 100 bucks ! :wink:

These day I’m sure won’t stick to a tool that is Mac only. I always choose web tools or cross platform.

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Valid point . Always best not to restrict our future selves to a sandbox

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Notable features of DT not in other apps:

  1. Nearly unmatched search capabilities
  2. Bulk mod, conversion, extraction, etc. highlight all relevant files to ocr or extract PDF highlights and boom.
  3. Automation is nearly unmatched as in-house solution - crazy if you know apple script. Automatic filing, tagging, ocr, renaming, filings, etc.
  4. Secure encryption, local sync, mobile app is killer.

There is more. I would like to know other apps that do these things as well, as a package.

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you make a really compelling case !
Do you happen to use their apps as well , such as Devonagent and Devonsphere ? @Calhistorian

It may be old, but the dev is SOLID. it is a workhorse that looks like one too. Version 2 to 3 took like 5 yrs or something. But it’s shear power saved me from 20 5$ apps or some other ratio. PDF reader of highest quality, text manipulation, file management, quantitative AI functionality (though not that powerful in this regard), every piece of data has a link (like hook), etc. wonderful.

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