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DevonThink Pro Office


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#1 R. Mansfield

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 10:01 PM

I remember someone commenting on this forum that DEVONthink was like Accordance for documents or something to that effect. Considering that I have 21 years worth of computer files, I decided to buy it. My main problem is wrapping my head around the way the program works. Supposedly, the version 2 beta is fairly stable, so that is what I've downloaded, but most of the support materials have not been updated for it yet, including videos.

So I wonder if anyone can offer tips for a beginner or point me in a good direction to get started.

Also, what are practical ways for using DEVONthink with Accordance?

Edited by R. Mansfield, 22 June 2009 - 10:18 PM.

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#2 Alistair

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 06:34 AM

I stopped using Devonthink and now use FoxTrot Professional Search.

http://www.foxtrot.ch/foxtrot/

It allows me to search through a library of 11,990 (and growing) files, including PDFs, RTFs, DOCs, etc. It claims to support "300 document types and metadata."

I can browse the documents inside FoxTrot, launch them in their parent application, or find them in the Finder.

It does not duplicate the files but does create its own internal database files (or index) to facilitate fast searching (Spotlight does this too).

I have found that it is the best tool for searching a large number of text files.

11,990 files is about 30GB, the index is 1.5 GB. I cannot imagine searching texts without it.

I use Scrivener as a basic research layout and organisation/writing tool.

http://www.literatur.../scrivener.html

Again, Scrivener is something that I cannot imagine having to work without, I have found it the best tool for large research and writing projects.

Teaching notes usually end up in Pages and in Keynote.

#3 R. Mansfield

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 08:12 AM

Yes, but Alistair, surely you can appreciate the fact that since I have now invested in DEVONthink, I will want to learn how to use it, and it wouldn't really be practical to switch to yet another program.

So again, if anyone would be willing to offer some tips for using DEVONthink--especially version, 2, I'd appreciate it. And again, I'm curious to know how others might use DEVONthink and Accordance together if that is something that is regularly done.
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#4 mikes

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 11:38 AM

Yes, but Alistair, surely you can appreciate the fact that since I have now invested in DEVONthink, I will want to learn how to use it, and it wouldn't really be practical to switch to yet another program.

So again, if anyone would be willing to offer some tips for using DEVONthink--especially version, 2, I'd appreciate it. And again, I'm curious to know how others might use DEVONthink and Accordance together if that is something that is regularly done.


DTP Office is a great product. The v2 feature of being able to separate out databases is fantastic. I put all my paperless statements on a DB that's on an encrypted disk image.

WEB CAPTURE
I capture everything from safari I want to keep (the web changes) into DTPO that go into the inbox then use auto classify to push to my folder structure.

PDF OCR
One of the essential features I use from DTPO is the ability to take even image PDF files and OCR them... this means that crude scanned paper manual that you download can actually be searched now (can't be done with any other spotlight++ tools out there).

CRITICAL PROJECT STUFF
I have critical projects that I work on where I leave many things on the file system and index the folder hierarchy in DT. I also pull in email that is critical to archival (e.g. sign offs, milestone commits, technical issue threads, purchase approvals, etc.)

PAPER CAPTURE
I capture all paper using the fujitsu scanner (Expensive but SOOOO worth it!). This includes business expense receipts. Receipts for bigger purchases, manuals, conference materials, non-electronic statements, and so on. The WAY cool feature here is the OCR piece that allows me to search all this stuff.

You can also make all this available on the web for access via your iphone or another computer.

One BIG diff in the newer version of DT is the ability to index existing file systems instead of just pulling them in. The ability to enable spotlight visibility into DT db content (selectively) is also a new and long overdue feature that is there in v2.

Where's all my "Accordance" related stuff? ALL over the place, but searchable from one place. I put all my purchase receipts in personal expenses, codes in a mac software license classification, bible study accordance folder get my accordance user notes printed as PDF and OCR'd, other accordance stuff, such as forum threads I want to capture, Accordance docs and blog entries, links to Joe's website, etc. go in Bible Study/Accordance. Web searches that come up with interesting content (e.g. N.T. Wright PDFs and html) go into Bible Study/Theology.


Hope this helps!

#5 Alistair

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 06:50 PM

Yes, but Alistair, surely you can appreciate the fact that since I have now invested in DEVONthink, I will want to learn how to use it, and it wouldn't really be practical to switch to yet another program.

So again, if anyone would be willing to offer some tips for using DEVONthink--especially version, 2, I'd appreciate it. And again, I'm curious to know how others might use DEVONthink and Accordance together if that is something that is regularly done.


You're quite right, I totally missed the point. I cannot comment on using DEVONthink in this way because I haven't used it enough to be able to do so, even though I did acquire it with high hopes of using it after watching the demo videos from the website. I was planning to use it extensively (after I had worked through the tutorials/manuals etc ) until I discovered FoxTrot.

I have noticed that DTPO will allow the OCR of scanned documents with a lower resolution than that recognised by Acrobat Pro. This is the main reason I use DTPO now. (I think the limit with Acrobat is 150 dpi, while DTPO will OCR documents down to 72 dpi.)

~Alistair

PS I think I emailed you once about your Bible collection after reading about it on your blog.

#6 R. Mansfield

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 06:31 PM

Interesting blog post about using DTPO for course management:

http://parezcoydigo....rse-management/
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#7 R. Mansfield

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 12:03 PM

For those of you interested... DEVONthink has finally come out of beta and released the final 2.0 product today.

http://www.devon-technologies.com/
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