I just can't leave you, DEVONthink

On August 22nd I wrote

I took DEVONthink out of the rotation today. Too much overhead for how I use it (as a glorified file manager). HoudahSpot does a fine job of helping me find things. I’ll miss capture and inboxes, so we’ll see if it takes.

It didn’t take. I’ve been using DEVONthink since 2005 and I should have known better.

DEVONthink Pro (DTP) is a deep and powerful app that can masquerade as merely a fancy file manager. I sometimes feel that it’s unnecessary overkill for my purposes, so I move things out of it and into the Finder. (DEVONthink makes this almost too easy).

Then, I find a snippet of text that I want to save and I don’t know where to put it. Evernote works for that but I don’t want to use Evernote.

Or I scan a document and it ends up on my Desktop and not OCR’ed because I can’t remember how to configure ScanSnap to do that. It was so much easier to just let DTP handle it because it’s very good at that sort of thing.

Then I try cleaning out my Downloads folder and there are a bunch of receipts in there that now need filing. DTP’s AI features make filing documents almost automatic and I suddenly miss that.

Or I want to link to a file I just created but the file is still on my Desktop so the link will break once I move it (manually) to it’s new home. DTP makes it easy to generate permanent links to documents that don’t break no matter where I move the file.

What if I want to take notes about a document? In DTP I just add an annotation and type as much as I want. Finder comments aren’t nearly as flexible or accessible.

You see what I mean? For something as simple as a “glorified file manager”, DEVONthink sure brings a lot of power to the process of capturing, managing, and finding information.

I just bought the upgrade to version 3 and I’ll be spending time today bringing everything back in (which, of course, DTP also makes easy work of).